Tuesday, October 02, 2012

More on Racism with reference to the USSR and Israel

Despite all the claims about 'race' being a constructed category I don't think a lot of liberals and leftists really believe that it is constructed. They seem incapable of imagining 'race' constructed along lines that differ from what has existed in the US or Nazi Germany. Hence only White supremacy and Anti-semitism count as racial discrimination in their minds. Other racial constructions such as anti-Germanism in the USSR and East Central Europe or anti-Arabism in Israel don't strike them as racist because they do not conform to the above 'organic' patterns of racism with which they are familiar. The claim that the deportation of the Volga Germans can't be racist because Germans are an ethnicity, nationality or "socio-historical" group and not a race is in essence a denial that race is a constructed category. Likewise the claims that Israel can't be racist because Jews are allegedly not 'White' is a reinforcement of the idea of specific racial categories and relations as natural and organic rather than artificial and constructed. If Stalin's deportation of the Chechens can't be genocide because the Chechens are not a 'race' then it seems impossible to claim that there has ever been a case of genocide. After all Jews are a religious or ethno-national group not a 'race' and Armenians like Chechens are also an ethno-national group. The fact is that racial discrimination is a type of practice and the theory used to justify this differential treatment is rather unimportant. It does not matter if it is done on the basis of an essentialized culture believed to be alien or a false belief in biological inferiority.


Anonymous said...

German and Chechen incidents may have been the acts of genocide, but you tend to ignore the context, the war. Similar with Armenians, Iraqi Kurds, the Vietnam war. In the context of war, of general madness, madness prevails, and then it disappears. Americans don't hate the Vietnamese anymore, Polaks Germans, Turks Armenians.

White supremacism, antisemitism, and, I would add, the Ashkenazi supremacism, they are different. They are long-lasting attitudes, that persist without any context whatsoever.

J. Otto Pohl said...

The Holocaust and Nakba also occurred during wars. There isn't much anti-Semitism in Germany today either. Also I think there is a context to White supremacism and anti-Semitism. Certainly anti-Black racism developed in places like South Africa as a way of justifying the unequal distribution of resources between Europeans and Africans. In contrast there are societies where there has been comparatively little anti-Black racism like Russia. Mainly because the Black population has been so small and racism has been directed at other groups.

Anonymous said...

Nakba didn't occur during a war, the 1948 war started because of it; read Arab League's declaration of war. And I'm not saying that the Ashkenazi supremacy attitude has to do with Arabs specifically (hating the Arabs is, perhaps, one of those temporary phenomena), it's a general contempt (and if not contempt, then complete indifference) for the goys, gentiles. It's very common.

The Holocaust - yes, but antisemitism has been around for a long time. Maybe it's largely over now when the Ashkenazi have finally become definitely 'White', no different from Greeks or Italians. But it sure has been around for centuries.

Turks vs Armenians, not so much, just a political crisis/war situation getting out of control.