Part 3 of The Global Movement for Justice and the end of Oppression

“Brian Koontz
I sense we’ve started to talk a bit passed one another. When I say racism – a term which has been controversial in its definition – I think of oppression. Those who are singled out and oppressed to serve others are facing a form of “racism”. For instance, Israel has systematically oppressed and created conditions of control over the Palestinian people. I would term that racism. Perhaps you would not.”

I agree with your understanding of racism, but I’m saying that racism does not derive from hatred. The relationship between the American government (dominated by whites) and Iraq and it’s government (dominated by “browns”) is a perfect example.

In the 1980s Iraq served as a check on Iranian power. The American government’s policy was to encourage arms sales to Hussein. With Hussein’s ambitions fueled with enough weaponry, he went to war with Iran for nearly a decade.

With Iran and Iraq weakened and the American purpose fulfilled, the next step was engaged – severe economic sanctions on Iraq. This greatly weakened the population and the economy.

And then the next step was engaged, the current step, to militarily and governmentally dominate the country and open up it’s oil reserves to control by American multinational firms, as well as open up it’s critical geography to American military bases which can then strike at areas in the region (including Iran).

None of this has anything to do with racism, except that the American government fuels racism domestically in order (one reason) to create racism so as to move public opinion as well as make it easier to fill the ranks of American soldiers. In order to perpetuate war the American government through propaganda and social policy causes the American people to be racist. And then when war comes that same government invents slurs like “hajji” for American soldiers to use to make it easier for them to terrorize and kill the Iraqi population.

My point is that racism is a convenience, a *tool* of subjugation, and not the *cause* for subjugation. The cause is greed, desire for power, desire for wealth, and desire for domination. None of this would be any different if there was no racism in the world – all that a non-racist world would be (in the absence of other changes) would be one where greed, war, terrorism, power-plays, theft, and subjugation were not based on race. Calling that an “improvement” is at best cynical. The improvement will be to no longer *allow* greed, war, terrorism, power-plays, theft, and subjugation, whether such things are organized by race or not, in the same way as through the structure of domestic society we do not allow crimes through social control and legal enforcement. Crimes still occur, but they are effectively accounted for and minimized in their duration and frequency (at least that’s what a good society does, America is somewhat different).

An objection to this is Europe – where I’ve heard it said countless times that the United States and Europe are allies because Europe is also dominated by whites. That’s ridiculous – Japan is an ally of the US for the same reason (western) Europe is. The reason is simple – both Japan and Western Europe are powerful forces who are also more or less compliant to American wishes. It’s this combination of strength and acquiescence (shared interests) that makes them allies of the U.S., not their race. Israel is in the same category, but is given favorable military treatment to fuel their desire to fight the Arabs in the region. A country that is weak and acquiescent (like Colombia) is treated differently. A country that is weak and not acquiescent is targeted for destruction, and if they have significant resources they are doomed to a quick death, like Iraq. China is treated differently from Japan because it’s seen as a threat, as a country which has the power to potentially dominate American multinationals. So the idea is to use India as a check on Chinese power just like Iraq was used against Iran in the 1980s.

Or take a look at chattel slavery. People make a big deal out of Africans being black and American slavemasters being white, as if that was the cause of slavery. The cause, as you point out, was economic. That is to say, again, greed, subjugation, capitalism. Africans were weak (militarily) and abundant in resources. Perfect for capitalist exploitation. If they were white with the same degree of weakness and resources they would have also been exploited.

The precise nature of the exploitation is based partly on racism. There is still such a thing as racism even without elite creation of it. Racism at it’s core is an extension of the localized family/society model that is geographically and historically centered. So over time races develop that culturally and biologically are distinct. Even in the absence of elite creation, if a person sees two equally injured people lying on the road, he is more likely to help the person of his same race, because he sees that person as a closer extension of his family/society. Likewise, if you see your child and a stranger lying injured on the road, you’ll help your child first. Your child may live and the other may die as a result of your priorities.

So if whites inhabited Africa instead of blacks, would chattel slavery have occurred or some other form of exploitation? Probably another form that was less extreme, I suspect. The real underlying racism fueled the greed and desire to subjugate that was the primary motivation and made the result worse than it otherwise would have been.

But the 10 million whites who were killed by whites in World War I can make quite an effective objection that racism is hardly the “cause” of conflict, as well as any of other countless examples.

Far too many people believe racism is the cause of social problems. Ending racism may have a very minor positive effect on the total oppression in the world, but mostly what it would do is to distribute terror more evenly across races, which is a pathetic solution at best.

To end terror we need to attack, destroy, and control those who implement terror, theft, war, and subjugation. That’s the early solution. Putting George W. Bush and those like him in jail is a good first step toward a solution. A more stable solution is to create societies and institutions that ensure good practices and values.

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