Rethinking MARXISM Volume 3, Numbers 3-4 (Fall-Winter 1990)

 

Continuing Significance of Race:

Overdeterminist Approach to Racism

Satyananda Gabriel

The related concepts of race and racism play an important role in the theoretical discourse of Marxian and non-Marxian theorists alike. Marxian theorists have attempted to untangle the relationship between racism and capitalist exploitation because of a desire to build coalitions with oppressed minority peoples. But despite the importance given to race as a useful theoretical category and the desire to build coalitions, race and racism remain alienated from the central concepts around which Marxian theory makes sense of the world. Marxian theory remains unconsciously hostile to the project of addressing racism as a unique phenomenon that is no less harmful to human beings than capitalist exploitation, and no less an impediment to transition to a socialist society. This is clear in many typical practices within Marxian discourse, such as the ghettoization of discussion of racial oppression and marginalization of the concept of racism. Rather than elaborating a unique social process of racism and the interrelationship of racism and capitalist (and noncapitalist) exploitation as integral to Marxian theory and analysis, discussions of racism are usually segregated in "special" issues in radical publications or "special" panels in conferences. In the main, discussions of racism continue to be largely ad hoc and anecdotal. There have been very few attempts at integrating the concept of racism into the core of Marxian theory and analysis. Why is racism not relevant to the internal dynamic of epistemology, ontology, crisis theory, questions of capital accumulation, analysis of the state, and examination of agrarian reform? Just as class is often ignored or denied as a theoretical category worthy of serious use in making sense of the universe so, too, is racism.

Perhaps the problem is precisely that many theorists, including Marxists, agree with William Julius Wilson's contention (1978) that race and, by extension, racism are of declining significance in making sense of the universe. Indeed, for many of these theorists racism was probably never viewed as all that significant to begin with.

But let me not be too harsh. It is not necessary to my argument that I assume that my Marxist colleagues have either no interest in understanding racism and the effects of racism or a declining interest in such questions. The point that I hope to make with this paper is that within the Marxian tradition the significance of racism has been largely underestimated. It has been underestimated precisely because, even when racism is accepted as a legitimate theoretical category, it has been adopted within a framework wherein it is assumed that racism may exist and yet at times be insignificant to understanding the dynamics of certain other social phenomena. This understanding springs forth from an ontology wherein causality is treated as the link between two autonomous subsets of the universe, each subset necessarily including certain categories or processes--which are therefore significant to the question at hand--and excluding all others--which are therefore insignificant. This ontological method leads to a search for significant subsets of phenomena that will "explain" other subsets.

Racism is treated as nothing more than one of the many potential members of these subsets. It is sometimes included as a member of the set of "significant factors" and at other times it is excluded. The social significance of racism can therefore be conceptualized as "declining" when it ceases to be a "significant factor" in "explaining" events for which it was at some previous time a determinant.

Because this type of theoretical work creates a set of essential determinants to explain other social phenomena, we refer to it as essentialist. Criticisms of essentialism are by now quite well known. Suffice it to say that this paper is written in the spirit of an enthusiastic antiessentialism. Thus, the approach promoted in this paper is overdeterminist. Overdeterminist in the sense that it is assumed that all social phenomena are significant in the shaping of all other social phenomena, that the task of social scientific work is to elaborate the particular way in which certain social phenomena shape other social phenomena.

Thus, within the framework of an overdeterminist analysis of racism and its consequences, the statement that racism is declining in significance is a nonstarter. Why? Because to say that race or racism is of declining significance (and when folks say that race has declined in significance, I must assume they mean racism) presumes the aforementioned possibility that an existing social phenomenon such as racism can cease to affect other social phenomena. One could, however, argue that racism has declined in significance if it has ceased to exist altogether. That is, if it is argued that racism is dead and gone, then it would make sense to say that racism has no significance. However, I do not think that is what is meant by most of those who argue the declining significance of racism. It is certainly not what William J. Wilson has in mind. Nor would most of my Marxist colleagues make such a statement, at least not in mixed company.

If racism is not dead, and this author is quite certain that it is not, then the implications of an overdeterminist approach to racism and the consequences of racism are that we must get to work producing theoretical products that specify the particular ways in which racism shapes other phenomena and vice versa. For Marxists, this would include making sense of how racism shapes various types of exploitation. This paper may be viewed, in part, as a contribution toward the relatively recent attempts of Marxist theorists to step away from a conflation of racism and exploitation--or, as it is usually stated, a conflation of race and class (see, for example, Wolpe 1986; Ben- Tovim et al. 1986; San Juan, Jr. 1989). By freeing ourselves of such a conflation, we may be able to better understand both racism and exploitation and, thus, to pursue a more effective strategy in opposing both racism and exploitation.

In addition, an overdeterminist approach to racism implies that the process of transition or nontransition to a "socialist" society must also be influenced by the presence and consequences of racism. Thus, for those who are interested in such a transition, making sense of racism may not be a luxury, or simply a nice way to make black, brown, or yellow friends, but may be a condition of existence for their success at something very dear to them, that is, the promotion of a socialist future. Indeed, it can be argued that socialist society cannot come into being in the absence of an understanding of the articulation of racism and exploitation, partly but not wholly because the process of racism creates the space within which exploitation and other forms of alienation and oppression can be generated. Making sense of racism provides the conditions for creating a successful strategy to oppose and, perhaps, destroy racism. Thus, making sense of racism must be considered as important as making sense of capitalist exploitation in any attempt to create a socialist society.

In this effort to introduce an overdeterminist approach to racism and its consequences, racism will be strictly defined and then discussed as a cultural process distinct from other social processes, including other cultural processes, and of no greater or lesser significance than other social processes. In particular, racism will be distinguished from ethnocentrism, another distinct cultural process that is often conflated with racism. Racism will be located as a unique cultural process by which individuals are systematically defined and hierarchically grouped on the basis of race, where race is herein understood as a socially constructed concept based upon determinate genetic origins and identifiable by phenotypical differences and within which this racial classification necessarily implies non-phenotypical characteristics. While racism creates the social and psychological context within which individuals are excluded from participation in determinate social and natural processes and/or forced to engage in determinate social and natural processes on the basis of race, such exclusion or inclusion should not be confused with racism. We will come back to this point.

The Language of Race

The first problem one encounters when attempting to write on the subject of racism is that the language used to make sense of the issue is itself in part shaped by racism. I must assume that the concepts deployed in this paper have been partly determined by racism, including Marxian concepts. This poses a difficult epistemological problem in any attempt to develop a new understanding of racism through which an antiracist strategy can be promoted. For example, the discourse on racism--even the title of this paper--often gives primacy to the concept of race. But what is race? Race is a category created in order to specify differences in genetic heritage, to alienate human beings into groups classified on the basis of common and uncommon genetic origins (the specification of "homogeneous" races); the creation of a "race" generates a specific subset of homo sapiens as a unique universal set and simultaneously generates the inverse of that universal set.

The concept of a racial existence (as opposed to, for instance, a historical/cultural existence) is the product of a process of definition and taxonomy within which racial categories come into being. Perhaps this taxonomy is not in and of itself racist. For example, to classify certain individuals who have shared a common genetic lineage (for some specified historical period) into a common category for the purpose of investigating the historical and environmental processes shaping certain physiological commonalities within the group is not in and of itself racist. Indeed, such a process could serve an antiracist purpose. Understanding why certain homo sapiens might be more likely to suffer from calcium deficiency or skin cancer or sickle cell anemia than certain other homo sapiens might be useful as a means of understanding the role of differing flora, fauna, climate, diet, and other such factors in shaping human physiology. However, this process does not require the definition of "race." Race appears to come into being as a social construct for the specific purpose of alienating the human species into "distinct" and rather fixed groupings of peoples. Insofar as this is the case, the concept of race and the creation of taxonomy of "races" based upon determinate genetic origins and phenotypical characteristics is a necessary, though not sufficient condition for racism.

Indeed, it may be the case that for the most part the language of race has served as a condition of existence for the cultural process of creating a knowledge of the human species as alienated into inferior and superior genetic groupings or races. Race becomes the site of a specific form of reductionism wherein all sorts of political, cultural, natural, and economic characteristics are conflated with genetic origins to produce an understanding of the inequality of racial groupings as the product of differences in genetic origins. It is precisely this process that we call racism.

This historical role for the concept of race may be particularly powerful and persistent within a society, such as the United States, wherein various forms of racism have flourished and, at certain historical moments, been produced by public policy. In such societies the word "race" necessarily carries echoes of past meanings. And these past meanings are loaded with the past uses to which the word was put. The concept of race was and is put to use in the creation of racist conceptions of human beings and such conceptions have provided a tool in the production of other social phenomena, such as genocide, the theft of land, slavery, rape, castration, the disorganization of exploited peoples, and geographic segregation. Even when we attempt to use the word in an attack upon racism, its echoes bring forth the racist ideology resting in the pores of our collective memory.

Thus, it becomes possible for racism to be produced and reproduced through "unconscious" means. The deployment of concepts, such as race, that have been used as means of production in racism can shape the meaning of cultural products, including works of Marxian theory, incorporating these products into the corpus of racist ideology. The solution to this dilemma is not to abandon the concepts, but to consciously engage in struggle against the hidden, as well as explicit, meanings of these concepts; to expose their epistemological and ontological content, and to create a new discourse on racism: a new discourse grounded in an understanding of the overdetermined existence and reproduction of racism, as well as the continued significance of racism as one of many determinants of social life.

Demarginalizing Racism

Racism, as a cultural process wherein the notion of unequal and distinct races of homo sapiens is produced and disseminated, interacts with--shapes and is shaped by--all other social processes, including exploitation. However, racism is distinct from these other social processes. Racism is complex enough to be irreducible to any of these other social processes. Making sense of racism is, then, partly the process of distinguishing racism from these other social processes, as well as elaborating the interaction of racism and these other social processes.

Obviously, it is not possible to explore all the ways in which racism might be or has been conflated with or subsumed within other social processes. Thus, for the most part, I will restrict my attention in this section to the popular conflation/subsumption that prevails within Marxian theory that racism is either a consequence of exploitation (or of a particular form of exploitation, to be more exact) or an epiphenomenon of exploitation or both. I will briefly contrast this conflation with two other popular conflations: racism with discrimination, and racism with ethnocentrism.

One of the most respected works in the Marxian literature concerned with racism has been Oliver C. Cox's Caste, Class & Race. The book is the classic statement of the theoretical position that racism is the product of capitalist exploitation. Cox gave a very thorough and careful argument to support the idea that "the interest behind racial antagonism is an exploitative interest-- the peculiar type of economic exploitation characteristic of capitalistic society" (Cox 1948, xxxi). For Cox and those who share his view, class struggle within capitalism is the condition of existence of racism. As Cox so eloquently states: "Racial antagonism is part and parcel of this class struggle, because it developed within the capitalism system as one of its fundamental traits. It may be demonstrated that racial antagonism, as we know it today, never existed in the world before about 1492; moreover, racial feeling developed concomitantly with the development of our modern social system" (xxx).

The conclusion from this argument is rather straightforward: if you want to get rid of racism then you must work against capitalist exploitation. After all, if one is working for the end of capitalist exploitation, then by the way Cox and others have defined the problem, one is also working against racism, since it is capitalist exploitation that provides the raison d'etre for racism (see Miles 1989). This prevalent approach to racism within Marxian theory tells us to concentrate our energies upon the sins of exploitation; all else will follow from that. In other words, class matters and race does not.

As it turns out, there is a great deal of agreement between the above "orthodox" Marxian approach to racism and the approach taken by Wilson in The Declining Significance of Race. Wilson states that "my central argument is that different systems of production and/or different arrangements of the polity have imposed different constraints on the way in which racial groups have interacted in the United States, constraints that have structured the relations between racial groups and that have produced dissimilar contexts not only for the manifestation of racial antagonisms but also for racial group access to rewards and privileges" (1978, 3, emphasis added). Racism is, therefore, a product of the economic. Racism is not one of the many social processes that shape the universe but is merely an epiphenomenon shaped by other social processes. Thus, any effect racism may have upon society is merely the indirect effect of those other social processes. Once again, class matters and race (or racism) does not.

Of course, this is exactly the conclusion most Marxists wanted from their theory. At least this has been the case for those Marxists who did not want to grapple with racism as a unique phenomenon. After all, if racism was not part of the capitalist baggage, then it might be possible for capitalism to crumble without ending racism. Most Marxists wanted and continue to want to believe that racism is only a problem because of its functional role within capitalist exploitation. On the other hand, so long as African-American nationalists and other antiracist activists placed the antiracist struggle first on their list of priorities (proclaiming that "If you aren't willing to fight racism, then I don't want to be part of your revolution"), then the basis of coalition building between such radicals and the majority of Marxists was problematic. If, on the other hand, Marxists could convince those who opposed racism of the primary importance of ending capitalism, and in particular that ending capitalism was a necessary and sufficient condition for ending racism, then not only was there a basis for a coalition, but the coalition would be formed in accordance with the reductionist Marxist position. The problem with this strategy, of course, is that those who make fighting racism a priority often find it much more sensible to reject Marxism than to accept this "mainstream" reductionist Marxist logic. They are justifiably unwilling to set aside the antiracist struggle to focus upon the anticapitalist struggle.

This rejection has often surprised and dismayed Marxists who genuinely believe the reductionist arguments. Many Marxists have had to face even more stinging attacks from African-American nationalists and other anti-racist radicals who have from time to time charged Marxist groups and intellectuals with practicing racism. But why, the surprise? Certainly there will always be unfair and disingenuous attacks. But it is also possible that a failure to recognize the specificity of racism has provided the space within which some Marxists may indeed perpetuate racism. After all, if it is possible for individuals to fight against capitalism without necessarily opposing racism, then it is also possible for anticapitalist radicals to participate in the perpetuation of racist ideas, that is, to be racist, just as it is possible to be antiracist and engage in capitalist exploitation. But for reductionist Marxists this simply makes no sense. For them, to be Marxist is to be antiracist by definition. My response to such lingering fantasies is not entirely diplomatic. The one-word response to such beliefs is "bull." To be concerned with ending capitalism is not by definition to be concerned with opposing racism. And revolutions that overturn capitalism do not necessarily contribute to a reduction, much less destruction, of racism. It is entirely possible that a revolution against capitalism may result in social changes that could promote an increase in racism. Some American Indian activists, among others, have made just such a charge against the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. Indeed, Sandinista racism may have contributed to their defeat in the recent elections in Nicaragua.

Thus, it is only within the arrogance of reductionist Marxism that one finds a logical basis for the conflation of struggles against capitalism with struggles against racism. This conflation may, indeed, be a condition for postrevolutionary racism in so far as such arguments undermine the anti-racist struggle. The revolutionaries can claim, in accordance with their theoretical assumptions, that racism ended with the revolution and that those who continue to make charges of racism are merely counterrevolutionaries attempting to undermine the revolution.

The whole difficulty arises from the failure to recognize the specificity of racism, to create a new discourse on racism, just as Marxism has done for the social problem of exploitation. Marxists have unwittingly joined forces with the William Wilsons, neoconservatives, neoliberals, and others in marginalizing the whole issue of racism. Racism loses its specificity, just as class loses its specificity in many non-Marxist discourses. In creating this new discourse on racism, it is critical that racism not be conflated with capitalism or with the various events that are, in part, shaped by racism. For example, the act of lynching a human being is not racism. The lynching may be partly the result of racism. But the lynching is neither reducible to racism nor is racism the sole cause of the lynching. Lynchings may occur in the absence of either capitalism or racism or both. As a process of alienating human beings into separate and unequal groupings of races, racism may promote unusual treatment of certain human beings, including lynchings. In this sense, racism and lynchings may reciprocally condition each other's existence. The denial of an individual's full humanity, by using his/her genetic origins and/or phenotypical characteristics as the basis for classifying him/her as an inferior human being, may make it easier to take his/her life or to torture, or exploit him/her in a manner that would otherwise be considered unacceptable, but murder, torture, and exploitation also require that other social and natural conditions exist at a particular place and time if they are to occur. Because such events are the complex products of various social and natural processes, it is possible to put an end to such acts of brutality without necessarily eliminating racism.

William Wilson, Marxist theorists, neoliberals, and neoconservatives all tend to conflate racism with certain specific social events, typically acts of violence and/or discrimination, that are partly shaped by racism. There is no attempt to theorize racism directly. In this approach, statistical analysis of such "facts" as black unemployment provides the basis for determining the relative importance of racism. These statistics take the place of any serious investigation of racism.

Racism cannot be either understood by counting certain acts that are partially shaped by racism or defeated by the simple regulation of such acts. While most Marxist theorists understand that counting the number of people below the poverty line, for example, does not provide the core statement in a theory of class, these same theorists might consider counting the number of "minority" people below the poverty line as a key statement in their theory of racism. This does not simply indicate theoretical inconsistency, it indicates that most Marxist theorists continue to view racism as of only subsidiary importance to their overall political and theoretical project.

The point here is that we need to make clear how racism and certain acts of brutality within which racial identification plays a role are and are not connected, to explode the conflation of the two processes. If we can successfully destroy this typical conflation, then we can end the arguments within which the significance of racism is determined on the basis of testing the winds to see to what extent certain acts of brutality are or are not occurring. We can then focus our attention upon racism itself.

In this same vein, we must finally put an end to the conflation of racism and discrimination. Neoliberals and neoconservatives have more or less agreed that discrimination in employment, housing, education, and certain other social spheres is wrong. The popular debate over "race" is a debate over discrimination (again Wilson 1978; Boston 1988). But discrimination and racism are not synonyms. Discrimination, like the other acts we have discussed, may be shaped by racism but cannot be reduced to racism.

Similarly, it is important to make explicit the distinction between racism and ethnocentrism. These are distinct cultural processes with distinct effects upon other social and natural phenomena. Struggles against both racism and ethnocentrism are critical to ending the oppression faced by people who have been historically oppressed because of their lineage and of building a society within which oppression ceases to be a way of life.

Racism confuses culture and race, making the former seem to be an outcome of the latter. However, since race is a categorization based on genetic/physical characteristics and culture refers to the production of meaning, the generation of a body of knowledge, including the production and use of specific logics, epistemologies, and ontologies for making sense of the universe, past, present, and future, then outside of a racist discourse it must be clear that there is no one-to-one correspondence between race and culture. Any set of individuals may share certain cultural traits without sharing a determinate genetic heritage. Similarly, individuals who share genetic heritage do not necessarily share certain cultural traits.

This distinction necessarily has its impact on how we differentiate racism from ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the notion that a particular culture or cultures is better or superior to some other(s). Believing that one set of cultural traits is superior to some other set is a separate problem from creating a hierarchical differentiation of racial groupings (racism). Ethnocentrism has, on the other hand, played a role in the particular type of racism produced within the United States. The notion of "white" people, for example, has been influenced by a concept of "white" culture. Although these concepts of "white" people and culture are constantly changing, the concept of "white" culture acts as one of the determinants in the assimilation of new "races" into the "white race." Germans, French, Irish, and other designated groups have, at certain times and places in the United States, been able to join Anglo-Saxons as members of the "white race" due, in part, to their acceptance and practice of common cultural traditions, that is, they assimilated "white" culture. This amalgamated "white race" thus provides the basis for the dominant racial group, "white" people, also to be a numerical majority of the U.S. population. The cultural traditions that serve as the blueprint for assimilation also become the foundation for a strong ethnocentrist view. It does not matter as much where this blueprint originated, although it is commonly traced to the cultural traditions of the Anglo-Saxons, insofar as it as a form of exclusionary device that rejects other cultural traditions as inferior.

The so-called Black middle class may be viewed through this lens as a group struggling to satisfy the ethnocentric test of whiteness, even as they continue to fail the racist test, which within the prevalent racism of. The United States continues to sharply differentiate people of African origin from most people of European origin. Thus, while in many parts of the United States individuals of Polish heritage may assimilate into the "white" race, individuals of African origin in general cannot. Of course, what constitutes a "white" person is not consistent throughout the United States or throughout U.S. history. The racial classifications that are most important can often be identified by reference to marriage taboos. For example, if it is generally taboo in an area for "whites" to marry Italians, then it is clear that in that particular place those who are classified as "white" do not include Italians, even when those Italians have successfully assimilated "white" culture. Thus, although individuals may pass the ethnocentric tests, that is, they may accept and practice the hierarchy of cultural values and behaviors of the "white" culture, racism may continue to playa role in differentiating those individuals from the dominant group, denying such individuals privileges accorded to the higher caste/race and forcing such individuals to suffer the indignities accorded to lower castes/races

The debate over improving American education by providing a more diverse understanding of history is one manifestation of the struggle against ethnocentrism. European history has typically been the basis of educational curricula in the United States as well as most European nations and former colonies of European nations. This history, along with certain values and behaviors, has constituted an important part of the aforementioned blueprint for "white" culture. The distorted view of history that this has fostered is now under attack by those who challenge the presumption that Europe was the source of all that is good and worthwhile in human "progress" Nevertheless, ethnocentrists have mounted a predictably fierce counter-attack, charging those who seek diversity with undermining traditional educational values. While many of these ethnocentrists are also racist, there is no doubt many are not. And although ethnocentrism may provide support for racism, it is also possible that many ethnocentrists are firmly opposed to the idea of racial determinism.

Racism

Racism is the creation and dissemination of a particular knowledge of human beings. Racism is generated in both explicit theoretical work and in popular discourse. The widespread dissemination of such knowledge, in various forms, generates the space for racism to shape processes that are not typically associated with racism, such as everyday conversation (and I do not necessarily refer to conversation within which racism is explicitly being practiced), workplace interaction, choices of association, and so on. Racism necessarily involves the use of concepts that alienate homo sapiens into separate (i.e., unequal) groups, whether these groups are referred to as "races," "castes," or by some other appellation. The separateness of these groups is defined within racism.

In this unique social process, the genetic origins and/or phenotypical characteristics of the different groups become the sign and basis for differences in other social and natural characteristics. For example, in July of 1990, a CBS news correspondent speaking from Berlin sought to assuage fears that the Federal Republic of Germany's leveraged buyout of the German Democratic Republic would generate dangerous levels of inflation by stating that it was "in the German genes to be conservative" and thus proper precautions against inflation would certainly be taken. Not only is such a statement obviously ludicrous from the standpoint of history but it is also blatantly racist. Or take for example a magazine ad for an automobile "made in England by Rover Cars" where the automobile is pictured and below it we find the words in all caps: "The Remarkable Handling of a Sterling. It's in our genes." The Sterling is no more a product of English or British genes than its near-twin the Acura is of Japanese genes. But the creation of such "knowledge" does, however, simultaneously sell cars and perpetuate racist notions of human beings.

Part of our task is to describe the relationship of racism to other social processes, including economic processes. Let's go back for a moment to the CBS correspondent's racist notion of Germans, within which Germans are understood to be more conservative than other unspecified races. To the extent that such a notion of Germans is fostered and accepted, it may be easier for German firms and the German government to obtain loanable funds in world markets. Indeed, racism may help to moderate increases in German interest rates despite what may very well turn out to be a reckless monetary policy of the West German government. Thus, racist notions may directly influence German economics, in particular the supply of loanable funds and the price of such loanable funds.

Similarly, racism may cause interest rates in other countries to rise. For example, racist notions of "hot-blooded" Latins may contribute to high and volatile interest rates in Latin America. Similarly, racist notions of lazy Africans may reduce the quantity and increase the price of loanable funds available for investment in African nations. The same argument can be made for the shaping of domestic markets in loanable funds, helping to make sense of the dearth of loanable funds available for investment in "minority" communities.

Thus, the shaping of international and domestic markets in loanable funds, including quantities supplied and demanded and the prices of such funds, depends partly upon racist notions. Even if these markets in loanable funds tended towards some equilibrium set of prices and quantities, as neoclassical economists claim, that equilibrium is itself shaped by racism.

Finally, I have no doubt that racism has played a role in shaping markets and other economic processes long before the widespread prevalence of capitalism and that racism continues to playa role in the shaping of markets within capitalist societies, including the United States (see, for example, Ross 1982). Indeed, it can be and has been argued that racism is one of the historic presuppositions for the creation of capitalist wage-labor markets and what Marx described as "primitive accumulation." For example, the creation of slave-labor concentration camps (euphemistically called slave plantations by those who do not recognize the role of racism and economic determinism in their terminology) in the United States based, in part, upon racist ideology, provided for the accumulation of significant wealth in the hands of a relatively small elite in the Northern and Southern states. Thus, to the extent that such accumulation and concentration of wealth provided a catalyst for the growth of U.S. capitalism, capitalism in the United States, rather than producing racism, may have presupposed the prior existence of racism.

Insofar as this is the case, understanding the unique constitution and influences of racism may be critical to understanding the evolution of capitalism in the United States. Similarly, understanding American racism and its constantly changing forms can be greatly supported by an understanding of exploitation--slave, capitalist, ancient, and other forms of exploitation--that were and continue to be significant influences upon American life. Thus, it is in the interest of Marxist theorists to expand the scope of their theoretical work to include the role of racism upon exploitation and other social processes, as well as in the interest of those who are concerned with ending racism to make sense of the ways in which exploitation and other social processes shape racism.

References

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Boston, T. D. 1985. "Racial Inequality and Class Stratification: A Contribution to a Critique of Black Conservatism." Review of Radical Political Economics 17 (Fall): 46-71.

------------------ 1988. Race, Class and Conservatism. Boston: Unwin Hyman.

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