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81. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 5
Tommy J. Curry Please Don’t Make Me Touch ’Em: Towards a Critical Race Fanonianism as a Possible Justifi cation for Violence against Whiteness
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The unchanging realities of race relations in the United States, recently highlighted by the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina, demonstrate that Black Americans are still not viewed, treated or protected as citizens in this country. The rates of poverty, disease and incarceration in Black communities have been recognized by some Critical Race Theorists as genocidal acts. Despite the appeal to the international community’s interpretation of human rights, Blacks are still the most impoverished and lethally targeted group in America. Given the “white racial framing” that stems from “white habitus,” and enforced systemically, the situation of Black Americans is best described through a racial realist perspective, in which racial equality is merely an illusion. Under such dire colonial circumstances, I argue that there should be a renewed discussion on the role that violence and decolonization can play in the American context.
82. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 5
Tom Jeannot Marx, Capitalism, and Race
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Cedric J. Robinson and others have criticized “Marxism” for “its inability to comprehend either the racial character of capitalism…or mass movements outside Europe.” Whatever the merits of this criticism for “standard Marxism,” Marx’s own thought is neither “economistic” nor Eurocentric, it does not deny historical agency to the struggle against anti-black racism in its own right, and it does not reduce that struggle to the European class struggle. By exploring Marx’s Civil War journalism and correspondence as well as his critique of political economy, this essay demonstrates that Marx’s philosophy of liberation conceptualizes the revolutionary struggle to abolish slavery as an epoch-making worldhistorical freedom struggle, both as a Black liberation movement and also as a necessarycondition for the development of the international working class. A little known Blackled revolt in Bolivar, Missouri in 1859 is Marx’s clue to the meaning and significance of the American Civil War.
83. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 5
Jeffrey Paris Abolition Democracy and the Ultimate Carceral Threat
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The series of conversations between Angela Y. Davis and Eduardo Mendieta entitled Abolition Democracy is a powerful investigation of the failed moral imagination of imperial democracies. After examining their discussion of how truncated political discourses enable abuses in both war and imprisonment, I look to the “exceptional” status of war prisons such as at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. I argue that domestic prisons, like international war prisons, are means for the paradigmatic functioning of the exception in modern democracy, as described by Giorgio Agamben, and thus constitute no less of an “ultimate carceral threat.” Within the domestic prison, the legal status of inmates is virtually suspended and they are reduced to bare life. I conclude that we may yet share the hopes of Davis and Mendieta for an abolition democracy, and that such a democracy would bear the echoes of the unconditional sovereignty “to come” theorized by Jacques Derrida.
84. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 5
Harry van der Linden Introduction
85. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 5
Karsten J. Struhl Is Democracy a Universal Value?: Whose Democracy?
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I consider several related challenges to the idea of democracy as a universal value, among them the “Asian values” argument and the claim that Islam can recognize only God as sovereign. I argue specifically against each of these challenges and attempt to demonstrate that it is possible to find strands within the Confucian tradition and Islam which can be woven into a democratic fabric. I also explore several attempts to argue in favor of democracy as a universal value and then offer a political historical argument that its universality is historically contingent. Finally, I consider whether liberal democracy has a universal value and argue that it does not. My conclusion is that each culture must find a democratic version of itself and that any attempt to impose a historically specific form of democracy on another culture is a denial of the universal significance of democracy.
86. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 5
Contributors
87. Radical Philosophy Today: Volume > 5
John Exdell Immigration, Race, and Liberal Nationalism
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A nationalist theory of the modern state holds that territorial states should be constituted as nations composed of people who in some sense belong with each other as members of their country. Liberal philosophers have defended this view on the grounds that nationality creates the solidarity necessary for social justice. Their argument is troubled by the case of the United States, where nationality is strong but solidarity weak. According to the best empirical studies, the fundamental reason for the American exception is not libertarian political culture, but white anti-black racism. This essay makes the case that an open border policy with Mexico and other Latina/o states is likely to weaken the national identity now widely held in the United States, but increase the political prospects for racial justice. It follows that a liberal nationalist justification for excluding undocumented Latina/o immigrants from membership in U.S. society should be rejected.