Material Roots of Racism

RMovement recognises racism as a system of ideas constructed by capitalists and maintained by capitalism. To understand racism as a system within the capitalist mode of production it is necessary to understand its historical context.

The history of racism came into being with the rise of capitalist nations, it was used as a justification for slavery and colonial exploitation, it has always been a tool by the ruling class for the creation of maximum surplus value (profit) and has historically been used as a justification for lower wages, division of the workforce, counter organisation of labour and building an ideology for violence against other nations.

If we look at the period preceding slavery we can see a contradiction between the need for some humans to work like slaves to maximise profit combined with an ideology that “all men are created equal”.

While white workers were indentured at first, the condition were too harsh in sugar production in the Americas which killed many, leading the “drying up” of the “voluntary supply” of labour. While the capitalist free-market ideal is to increase wages to get more voluntary workers, wages would have been set so high to make up for the terrible conditions it would have made the production of sugar less profitable.

The opposing force which prevented forced labour on white workers was the belief that humans couldn’t be forced to work on sugar plantations – after all humans weren’t slaves, they were gods creation.

Luckily (lol) for the capitalists it was only a short step before discovering that non-Europeans were not humans, but were “sub-humans” who were nothing more than a supply of labour who could be forced into slavery with the ideological justification of “race” (which is nonsense according to science.)

We recognise racism as historically specific to capitalism, and with this realisation we see racism as an ideological system which can only be erased by removing the social need for racism, the inequality in material life. utilising the only forces which we have to create a unified movement struggling for democracy and equality.

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