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Cap K v Identity/Performance

NDI 2015
what you need to win: capitalism is truly the root of all oppression and must be the
sole starting point. race and gender may have existed before it, but it is (according
to the cards) only possible to imagine a world without racial/gender domination, but
not a world without race/gender. class is the root of all oppression the existence of
class=oppression, but capitalism relies on the super-exploitation of womens labor,
and racism is only the problem of a class defending state. the existence of class
allows class a tool but which marginalized individuals are oppressed economic
recommended reading: <>.
brought to you by GGAL NDI 2015, tina gao and devon bright-patterson

Capitalism is the root cause of gender and racial divisionits
rooted in underlying structures of power found in capitalist
modes of production and their ideological elementsthat
means discussion of class is a prerequisite to solvency.
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale and McLauren 03, V. and Peter McLaren, The Strategic
Centrality of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, UCLA, 2003,

It is necessary to
understand the history of such cultural developments and their connection to class
analysis. It is necessary to grasp the 'totalizing... power and function of capital' (153).
In this sense, '"culture" is not the "other" of class but rather constitute part of a more
comprehensive theorization of class relations' (153). Difference arises from social contradictions
themselves stemming from domination and oppression in particular contexts. In this sense, separating
class from culture is a misleading abstraction. What is needed is to understand why
However, it is still important to move beyond the discursive and cultural realms.

particular differences become important in particular circumstances. In some circumstances, culture is treated as if
it were separate and autonomous, hence analyses can take that for granted as an abstract [this is an example of

A politics of
difference often means little more than a demand for inclusion 'into the
metropolitan salons of bourgeois representation' (154). This is nothing more than a
demand for access to the cultural market place, and did assumes that difference is
based on some essential cultural qualities and not constructed. Excessive attention
to difference simply 'averts our gaze from relations of production' (154). Celebrations of
the classic Marxian critique of the methods of political economy and abstract philosophy].

difference can also 'mesh quite nicely with contemporary corporate interests precisely because they revere lifestyle'
(154). The dangers of such uncritical celebrations life in their advocates' inability to distinguish between good and
bad differences -- why not celebrate different fascist parties for example? Class differences are not celebrated
either. An empty liberal pluralism seems to inform the discussion. However, categories of difference can be

different kinds of identity are 'central to the exploitative

production/reproduction dialectic of capital' (155), especially those differences
stressing race and gender. It is clear that 'people of colour' find themselves in the
most exploited groups: as with women, these groups 'provide capital with its
superexploited labour pools -- a phenomenon that is on the rise all over the world '
ideological. In particular,

(156). [The concept of superexploitation presumably refers to the need to exploit people even more than would be
required on the basis of the production of surplus value alone? It is a way of generating super profits, characteristic
of monopoly capital?

There may also be a political issue -- that some groups need to be

exploited even more than would be required to make them conform to capitalist
economic forms? I am most familiar with this argument when it is applied to women -- women need to
be superexploited in order to produce free domestic labour as well as paid wage
labour. I'm not sure I grasped the point in connection with 'race': it may be necessary to
superexploit black people in order to pursue a specific strategy of 'neocolonialism'?]. Class is not just another dimension of difference. It is necessarily
related to capitalism, not just a 'subject position', but the source of value itself [lots to
discuss here of course]. It is universal, and the only one which will require
revolutionary change to abolish it. Other categories have their importance -gender is perhaps the most long-standing form of oppression, while racial identity
can be the most immediate existentially, as in brutally racist societies -- but class
relations are fundamental to the whole capitalist system, including the state . It is also

one of the more recent and therefore most open to doubt -- ' a

world without class is preeminently

imaginable -- indeed, such was the human world for the great majority of our
species' time on earth' (quoting Kovel, page 157). For marxists, ending class is a
prior necessity to ending all other forms of oppression. Recent marxist analysis has
focused on the relations between class and other forms of division . All social constructs gain their
force from the reproduction of capitalism. These social forms 'constitute the ways in
which oppression is lived/experienced within a class-based system ' (158), and they
help to reproduce it. Class is thus central to exploitative relations of all kinds .
Personal experiences, and the categories they generate, are valid, but should not be
seen as completely self-explanatory. They must be transcended and traced back to
a social and historical context. Many recent perspectives fail to explain how
particular kinds of different have emerged -- in particular, '"race" is not an adequate
explanatory category on its own' (159), and focusing on it can obscure 'the actual
structure of power and privilege' (159). 'Race' is not a scientific category anyway, although it persists in
popular discourses and even in 'mainstream social sciences' (160). Gilroy is right to renounce it, even though it may
weaken historical movements for liberation based on 'race struggles' (160). Instead, race needs to be seen as a
construct rooted in underlying structures of power, especially those found in capitalist modes of production and

Race cannot be
subsumed into class, but racism is only explicable with the development of
capitalism -- for example, 'Capitalism [once] relied on slave labour and needed an
ideological legitimation' (161). Contemporary race-relations are still best understood
as arising from the dynamics of capitalism, and challenging racism must
therefore involve challenging capitalism. This would be much more threatening than a
politics based on difference alone. Class differences have sharpened, deepened and
become fundamental in recent years: it makes even more sense to see capitalism
as 'an overarching totality... more universal, more ruthless and more deadly' (163) The
connections can also be seen if we realise that 'the vast majority of the working class consists of
women and people of colour' (quoting Foster, page 162). It does not make sense to ignore the class
their ideological elements. In this way, specific forms of racism will become more apparent.

dimension in their experiences and struggles. Indeed, 'a good deal of post-marxist critique is subtly racist (not to
mention essentialist) in so far as it implies that "people of colour" could not possibly be concerned with issues
beyond those related to their racial, ethnic, cultural "difference"' (163). It also assumes that 'working class' means
'white'. Radicals may be posturing based on discourses of difference which simply reflect academic politics and a
disinterest in economic exploitation outside. As Marx said about the young Hegelians, their battle seems to be
about phrases and counterphrases, reflecting their own class positions, while capitalism itself remains uncriticised.

Really radical positions have been marginalised by the academic left who celebrate
differences while capitalism increasingly imposes a universality. Marxism should be
revived if 'the triumph of globalised capitalism and its political bedfellow, neoliberalism' are to be challenged (165). Inequalities of wealth and power exceed those in Marx's day .
Exploitation and oppression need to be understood in modern context, applying
marxism rather than rejecting it, and proceeding on both theoretical and a more
politically engaged basis. It is common experience of exploitation rather than
apparent differences that needs investigation. Of course, the struggles of black people
against racism must not be ignored, but it should be traced to class relations.
Notions of class may seem outdated, but those found in post-marxist analyses are
even more so -- '"experience of multiple oppressions no longer requires multiple
theories of oppression because corporations multiply oppress (Starr, 2000)' (167). A common
enemy is emerging on a global basis, as seen in globalised protest movements. A new socialist struggle is required.

Capitalism causes inevitable crises which culminate in

genocide and a war against alterity
Internationalist Perspective 2000
(Internationalist Perspective 36, Winter 2K, Internationalist Perspective, Capitalism
and Genocide,
The basis upon which such a pure community is constituted, race, nationality, religion, even a categorization by
"class" in the Stalinist world, necessarily means the exclusion of those categories of the population which do not
conform to the criteria for inclusion, the embodiments of alterity, even while they inhabit the same geographical
space as the members of the pure community. Those excluded, the "races" on the other side of the biological
continuum, to use Foucauldian terminology, the Other, become alien elements within an otherwise
homogeneous world of the pure community. As a threat to its very existence, the role of this Other is to become
the scapegoat for the inability of the pure community to provide authentic communal bonds between people, for
its abject failure to overcome the alienation that is a hallmark of a reified world. The Jew in Nazi Germany, the
Kulak in Stalinist Russia, the Tutsi in Rwanda, Muslims in Bosnia, blacks in the US, the Albanian or the Serb in
Kosovo, the Arab in France, the Turk in contemporary Germany, the Bahai in Iran, for example, become the
embodiment of alterity, and the target against which the hatred of the members of the pure community is

The more crisis ridden a society becomes, the greater the need to find an
appropriate scapegoat; the more urgent the need for mass mobilization behind
the integral state, the more imperious the need to focus rage against the Other.
In an extreme situation of social crisis and political turmoil, the demonization and
victimization of the Other can lead to his (mass) murder. In the absence of a
working class conscious of its historic task and possibilities, this hatred of alterity
which permits capital to mobilize the population in defense of the pure
community, can become its own impetus to genocide . The immanent tendencies
of the capitalist mode of production which propel it towards a catastrophic
economic crisis, also drive it towards mass murder and genocide . In that sense, the
death-world, and the prospect of an Endzeit cannot be separated from the continued
existence of humanity's subordination to the law of value. Reification, the overmanned
world, bio-politics, state racism, the constitution of a pure community directed
against alterity, each of them features of the economic and ideological
topography of the real domination of capital, create the possibility and the need
for genocide. We should have no doubt that the survival of capitalism into this
new millenium will entail more and more frequent recourse to mass murder.

The alt is to adopt a historical materialist approach that

acknowledges that racial and gender difference is rooted in the
capitalist system of exploitation.
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale and McLauren 03, V. and Peter McLaren, The Strategic
Centrality of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, UCLA, 2003,

A historical materialist approach adopts the imperative that categories of difference

are social/political constructs that are often encoded in dominant ideological
formations and that they often play a role in "moral" and "legal" state-mediated
forms of ruling. It also acknowledges the "material" force of ideologiesparticularly
racist ideologiesthat assign separate cultural and/or biological essences to
different segments of the population that, in turn, serve to reinforce and rationalize
existing relations of power. But more than this, a historical materialist understanding

foregrounds the manner in which differ- ence is central to the exploitative

production/reproduction dialectic of capital, its labor organization and processes,
and the way labor is valued and enumer- ated. The real problem is the internal or
dialectical relation that exists between capital and labor within the capitalist
production process itselfa social rela-tion in which capitalism is intransigently
rooted. This social relationessential or fundamental to the production of abstract
labordeals with how already existing value is preserved and surplus value is
created. If, for example, the process of actual exploitation and the accumulation of surplus value are to be seen
as a state of constant manipulation and as a realization process of con- crete labor in actual labor timewithin a
given cost-production system and a labor marketwe

cannot underestimate the ways in

which differenceracial as well as gender differenceis encapsulated in
the production/reproduction dialectic of capital. It is this relationship that is
mainly responsible for the ineq- uitable and unjust distribution of resources. Hence,
we applaud E. San Juan's goal of racial/ethnic semiotics that is "committed to the
elimination of the hegemonic discourse of race in which peoples of color are
produced and reproduced daily for exploitation and oppression under the banner of
individualized freedom and pluralist, liberal democracy" (1992, p. 96).


Biometrics are a tool of capitalism recognition is a
prerequisite to address neoliberal reformism and the language
of capitalism
Harris and Pendakur 2 [Manjunath Pendakur, PhD @ Simon Fraser, Professor of Political Economy
of the Media @ FAU, specialization in the political economy of communications; Roma M. Harris, professor of
information and media studies @ Western; Citizenship and Participation in the Information Age pg 99-100;
University of Toronto Press; 2002; accessed 08/01/2015; google books.]

the technology of positively

identifying individuals holds great promise for governments who are intent on
implementing neo-liberal reform. While there are a great many key issues related to biometrics, one of
the more interesting concerns the politics behind how these technologies are introduced and
rationalized. The main elements of neo-liberal governance privatization, the
reconfiguration of roles and responsibilities, cost recovery, and corporate style service efficiencies, are all well
served by a biometric program. Governments which have been elected on a mandate of
neo-liberal reform are attracted by a number of key features of the technology and the promise
of long term gains. The political value of the technology in respect to its relationship
to science is an important factor, and the ability for governments to rely upon the perception of top
In this brief overview of two biometric programs it is evident that

experts in lab coats hard at work on complex social problems is extremely important. A mandate which preaches
governmental reform is advanced where it is able to replace the perceived ineffectiveness of past programs with

The ability to quantify

the problem is vital for the issue must be cast in terms of large numbers in order to
demonstrate the urgent need for action and must allow for clear goal attainment
the resoluteness and stability of scientific efficiency (Donzelot, 1979; Gandy, 1993).

(Porter, 1995). In welfare reform, this is achieved by claiming that there is X percent fraud and that a stated cost

What gives weight to this kind of planning

is the scientific pedigree of the program which offers the expectation of problem resolution, definitive
goal attainment, and the ability to fit ephemeral and amorphous variable into a neat and tidy
classification schema. (Hacking, 1990; Postman, 1992; Volti; 1995). Closely related to the
scientific character is the promotion of the business agenda . Within the platform are key
features such as accountability, partnership arrangements and even a redefinition of roles and responsibilities. We
are all aware of the slogans of neo-liberal reform which demand that government follow the
savings amount will be reached in a particular timeframe.

model of business efficiency. The calls for less government, less waste, reduced spending and greater care for

Biometric programs fit nicely here, as they are designed

to reduce fraud and as we have seen in the Connecticut example, may effectively reduce the overall cost to
the taxpayer, at least in the short term, by reducing the number of total recipients. Combine this with the
professed ability for the technology to pay for itself and you have a program that
fits perfectly within the prevailing downsizing theme . Biometrics meshes well with a
taxpayer dollars, are familiar refrains.

Thatcherist-style trend that government agencies should fit within an account ability model, drawing a more direct

Partnerships between private industry and

government promote this scheme, generally following the model of public funding,
with engineering and consultation from the private sector, on a cost-recovery basis
(Dean, 1991; Rose, 1996). An interesting footnote in this trend toward the business model
of governance is the reformation of language within these programs. Welfare clients
become customers, case workers and frontline workers become service providers, and
fingerprinting evolves into digital imaging. These are often subtle transformations
but they indicate how state governance is adopting the language and ideology of
private industry.
line between taxpayer dollar and program success.

Their call for abstraction allows cyborgs to be an anti-radical
tool of liberalism
Malik 1 [Suhail Malik, writer and course leader Post-graduate Critical Studies (Visual Arts) at Goldsmiths
07/10/2001; accessed 07/25/2015;

a cyborg is: the hybrid transfiguration of the human and the machine into
hope of this integration
is for a transorganic or transhuman future, something like an entirely new evolutionary stage of life
which will surpass the organic limitations of brain and body in favour of new, unlimited
We know what

one continuous, prosthetically extended, techno-organically enhanced whole. The

potentialities. A new sort of future that undermines the divisions and boundaries between the human and its others;

a cross-disciplinary movement that, as Donna Haraway asserts in her foundational text, The
Cyborg Manifesto, has characterised liberal societies in postmodernity . The cyborg is yet
another manifestation of the collapse of the traditional bounded stability of the human
and its anthropocentric beliefs. But this notion of the cyborg is a lazy reconfiguration of
already well-established political and moral sensibilities why? 1> It duplicitously
welcomes the technoscientific hybridisation of the organic and the technical while
maintaining and perpetuating the critique of technological rationality which has characterised
left-liberal activism and humanities. Neither aspect is transformed by what is in fact a confrontation
but comes to exist side-by-side in a typically vague optimism in which all transgressions of boundaries
are welcomed, without adequate consideration of content or the difficulties involved. In this way, the theory of
the cyborg perpetuates the standard assumptions of leftist (and proto-hippy) critique. 2>
This hypocritical determination only serves to reinforce equally naive notions of an
extended freedom and responsibility which, rather, the cyborg is in the service of. There is
something disgustingly, liberally communitarian about the cyborg in its current
appreciation, which could be readily taken as a covert if naively assumed parochialism or, better, Americanism. No
surprise that this should come from those on the nice left where contestation always involves respect and

theory is mostly a self-serving sexying-up of critical liberalism through great gadgetry and
concept-busting movements in the technoscientific organisation of living material and extended systems. Tie-dye
T-shirts are swapped for leather deathpants and ethnic beads for prosthetic
hardware in a desperate bid for contemporaneity . 4> But the errors and dogmatism of
the now common notion of the cyborg also extend to the understanding of what is
actually happening in the technosciences. The cyborg is a theoretical fiction, since how the
machinic and the organic in fact materially interact and combine is not and cannot be accounted for by
a theory ultimately based on abstractions. 5> This tendentious, primarily phantasmatic
creativity rather than war and destruction (see Hardt and Negris approbation of Haraway in Empire). 3>

appropriation of technoscientific development as cyborgian precludes a technically precise and fully inventive
understanding of organico-machinic integration in favour of asserting what has been going on in well-meaning left-

It is a complacent reduction of the actuality of the

organico-machinic nexus, dulling it into politically comprehensible and polite terms .
liberal circles for some time anyway.

Debate Space
Discourse of race in white institutions merely reinforces racial
capitalismwhite institutions emphasize diversity to acquire
social and economic benefits, thus commodifying nonwhitenessthe impact is exploitation and a perpetuation of
slaverythat turns the case
***FYI, another way to understand this is that attempting to bring racial diversity
and/or attempting to highlight racial problems in white institutions (such as debate)
is problematic because those institutions will merely use diversity in their
institution as a selling point to others to prove why their institution is the best and
thus gain capital

Leong 14,

Nancy Leong, a law professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Racial
Capitalism, The Harvard Law Review Association, Vol 126, No 8, June 2014,
To be clear, I see nothing inherently problematic in encouraging racial diversity within social groups and formal
institutions, and I am convinced that such diversity is a necessary prerequisite to improving racial relations in
America. The efforts of colleges and universities, employers, and other institutions to promote racial diversity

problems with racial capitalism arise when white

individuals and predominantly white institutions seek and achieve racial diversity
without examining their motives and practices. Striving for numerical diversity ,
without more, results in awareness of nonwhiteness only in its thinnest form as a
bare marker of difference and a signal of presence. This superficial view of diversity
consequently leads white individuals and predominantly white institutions to treat
nonwhiteness as a prized commodity rather than as a cherished and personal
manifestation of identity. Affiliation with nonwhite individuals thus becomes merely
a useful means for white individuals and predominantly white institutions to acquire social and
economic benefits while deflecting potential charges of racism and avoiding more difficult questions of racial
should be celebrated, not disparaged. But

equality. This instrumental view is antithetical to a view of nonwhiteness and race more generally as a

the instrumental view of

nonwhitenessinhibits efforts at genuine racial inclusiveness and cross-racial
understanding. The irony, then, is that our legal and social emphasis on diversity while
intended to produce progress toward a racially egalitarian society has instead in
many cases contributed to a state of affairs that degrades nonwhiteness by
commodifying it and that relegates nonwhite individuals to the status of trophies
or passive emblems.16 Racial capitalism frequently does not benefit the nonwhite individuals whose
identities are the source of capital, nor does it necessarily benefit society as a whole. Racial capitalism is
troubling on both a symbolic and a practical level. When white people and
predominantly white institutions commodify nonwhiteness and exploit its value ,
even under the auspices of a well-intentioned diversity rationale ,racial capitalism
evokes one of the darkest eras in American history, during which nonwhiteness
and nonwhite human beings were assigned value and transferred among white
people as commodities. Racial capitalism also forecloses progress on a practical
level, both by inflicting identity harms on nonwhite individuals and by displacing
substantive antidiscrimination reform. We should therefore decline to engage in
racial capitalism and should instead develop more meaningful mechanisms for
improving racial relations in America.
personal characteristic intrinsically deserving of respect. Worse still,

Identity Politics
Identity politics are anti-radical no revolutionary potential to
disrupt capitalism or change class politics
Herod 7 (James, graduate of Columbia University and social activist, Getting
Free, p. 33-4)
new social movements, based on gender, racial, sexual, or ethnic
identities, cannot destroy capitalism. In general, they havent even tried. Except for a tiny
fringe of radicals in each of them, they have been attempting to get into the system, not
overthrow it. This is true for women, blacks, homosexuals, and ethnic (including Anative) groups, as well as
many other identities old people, people with disabilities, mothers on welfare, and so forth. Nothing has
derailed the anticapitalist struggle during the past quarter century so
thoroughly as have these movements. Sometimes it seems that identity politics
is all that remains of the left. Identity politics has simply swamped class politics. The
mainstream versions of these movements (the ones fighting to get into the system rather than
overthrow it) have given capitalists a chance to do a little fine-tuning by eliminating
tensions here and there, and by including token representatives of the excluded groups. Many of the
demands of these movements can be easily accommodated. Capitalists can live
with boards of directors exhibiting ethnic, gender, and racial diversity as long as all
the board members are procapitalist. Capitalists can easily accept a rainbow cabinet as long as the
cabinet is pushing the corporate agenda. So mainstream identity politics has not threatened
capitalism at all. The radical wings of the new social movements, however, are rather more subversive.
The so-called

These militants realized that it was necessary to attack the whole social order in order to uproot racism and sexism
problems that could not be overcome under capitalism since they are an integral part of it. There is no denying the
evils of racism, sexism, and nationalism, which are major structural supports to ruling-class control. These

militants have done whatever they could to highlight , analyze, and ameliorate these
evils. Unfortunately, for the most part, their voices have been lost in all the clamor for
admittance to the system by the majorities in their own movements .

Self-expression will get co-opted by market forces because our
inner impulses will be channeled into intentional consumer
choicesthat means our personal acts of rebellion are a false
liberation because our identities will still be shaped and
conditioned by patterns of consumption.
Davis 03, Joseph E. Davis, Research Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia. The
Commodification of Self, The Hedge Review, 2003, pages 42-46,

published in 1976, the sociologist Ralph Turner found evidence

that recent decades have witnessed a shift in the locus of the self. 1 He characterized
In a characteristic article,

the movement in self-anchoragein the feelings and actions that we identify as expressions of our real selfas
movement along a continuum from institution to impulse. At the institutional pole, one recognizes the real self
in the pursuit of institutionalized goals. Self-control, volition, and exacting standards within institutional frameworks
are paramount. At the impulse pole, by contrast, institutional motivations are external, artificial constraints and

the real self

consists of deep, unsocialized, inner impulses waiting to be discovered and
spontaneously expressed. 3 Though few people occupy the extremes, Turner emphasized, the personal
superimpositions that bridle manifestations of the real self. 2 At this end of the continuum,

relevance of institutions seemed to be declining and personal reality increasingly indexed to impulse. Turners

Nathan Adler had suggested that an antinomian

personality, a character type who rejects conventional morality, was emerging for
whom the expression of impulse and desire is central. 4 Similarly, Christopher Lasch,
in his best-seller The Culture of Narcissism, saw the spread of a therapeutic
outlook in American society that seeks peace of mind in the overthrow of
inhibitions and the immediate gratification of every impulse. 5 in a more empirical
vein, joseph Veroff and his colleagues, comparing the result of national surveys they
conducted in 1957 and 1976, found a significant shift in the way that people
structure their self-definition and sense of well-being. They characterized this
change as one from a socially integrated paradigm to a more personal or
individualized paradigm and identified it in three aspects: (1) the diminution of
role standards as the basis for defining adjustment; (2) increased focus on selfexpressiveness and self-direction in social life, [and] (3) a shift in concern from
social organizational integration to interpersonal intimacy. 6 Along with others, including
observations were not unique. Earlier,

Daniel Bell, Robert Bellah, and Daniel Yankelovich, these scholars saw the sixties and seventies as giving rise to a
new emphasis on the exploration of personal desires and immediate experience, on distancing oneself from
institutional (i.e., external) norms and goals, on finding ones unique inner voice, and on freely expressing ones

evidence suggested that they resonated as an ideal and as terms of self-expression
with a much wider swath of the public. On the way to the seventies, many Americans had, in effect,
intimate feelings.7 None of these sentiments were new, of course; all reflect an old Romantic sensibility. Yet

internalized the harsh fifties critique of the organization man. The Commodification of Real Selves Consumerism
and the commodification process were among the key forces that social critics such as Lasch and Bell identified as
leading to the attenuation of social identities (e.g., mother, deliveryman, member of the Elks Club) in self-definitions
and the destabilizing of the older institutions of identity formation (family, school, church, and so on). These
developments created a vacuum of normative expectations and bonds. The very terms of the new self-definitions
did so as well. The nonconformist appeal of individuated paradigms and unsocialized, inner impulses required

The real self, in this view, has its own

criteria. Each person works out his or her own self-definition in relative isolation
from others. The need for socially-derived identity criteria and the social recognition
of others is in principle denied. The very market forces that helped create the
that they lack social definition and normative structure.

vacuum now rushed in to fill it. New scripts, to use Louis Zurchers apt term, were
written to channel those inner impulses into intentional consumer choices .8
Branding, for instance, the powerful marketing strategy used by companies to sell
mass-produced goods and services, was transformed in the mid-to-late 1980s.
Companies, some with no manufacturing facilities of their own (e.g., Tommy Hilfiger),
began to emphasize that what they produced was not primarily things but images. 9
A brand became a carefully crafted image, a succinct encapsulation of a products
pitch. But a successful brand is also more than that. According to branding expert Scott Bedbury,
in an interview with the business magazine Fast Company, a great brand is an
emotional connection point that transcends the product . Myth-like, it is an evolving
metaphorical story, that creates the emotional context people need to locate
themselves in a larger experience.10 Inspiring passion and dreams of gratification,
the theory goes, successful brands impel people to buy. The new marketing scripts
incorporate the language of self-determination and transformation, and build on the
knowledge that being true to our unique inner selves is a powerful moral ideal.
Indeed, authenticity has been so thoroughly appropriated and packaged in the
metaphorical stories of the mass marketers that we barely notice anymore.
Advertisements rail against the conventional demands of society and sell products
as instruments of liberation. Brands of jeans signify rebellion and rule breaking, fruit
drinks and sneakers have countercultural themes, and cars let us escape and find
ourselves. In the person of the bourgeois bohemians or Bobos, as journalist David Brooks portrays them, we
have a social type that lives on precisely this model of selfdetermination, merging an ethic of nonconformism and

Theirs, to use Thomas Franks term, is a hip

consumerism.12 Even such ostensibly intimate concerns as sexual expression, selfdevelopment, and spiritual growth are now the subject of expert advice and
prepackaged programs. Self-actualization, as Louis Zurcher once wrote, has become a product marketed
impulse with a vigorous consumerism.11

by awareness-training organizations that are subsidiaries of dog food and tobacco companies. Are you only a three
on our self-actualization scale? Too bad! We can make you a ten during one of our weekend seminars in Anaheim,
minutes away from Disneyland, for only a few thousand dollars.13 By purchasing the right workbook, following the
right steps, or getting the right makeover, we can change the quality of our inner experience, enhance our

The marketing scripts have power

because they are points of personal identification. The marketers recognize that an
inwardly generated self is a fiction. We are selves in dialogue, both internalized and
in direct conversation, with others. People need to locate themselves in a larger
experience, and they need social recognition for their identity projects. To the
degree that social identities are attenuated as the mooring of self-identification (and
this, of course, is widely variable), companies can position their goods and images (and ever
more precisely with niche marketing) not simply as fulfilling desires but as meeting
a felt need for connection, recognition, and values to live by. At the same time,
consumers can feel liberated, seeing their consumption choices as facilitating an
expressive self and the articulation of personal style without the constraints of
tradition or convention. Social identities remain but as one is turned into a
consumer, they are increasingly shaped and conditioned by patterns of
consumption. We identify our real selves by the choices we make from the images,
fashions, and lifestyles available in the market, and these in turn become the
vehicles by which we perceive others and they us . In this way, as Robert Dunn has
written, self-formation is in fact exteriorized, since the locus is not on an inner self
but on an outer world of objects and images valorized by commodity culture. 14
psychological well-being, and finally achieve true self-fulfillment.

There is more than a little irony here, but the mediation of our relation to self and others by acts of consumption

also has significant implications. These implications overlap with another form of self-commodification and to that I

Race Films
Educational films that engage in race and politics perpetuate
neoliberalism by failing to address the underlying problems of
the systemin fact, the film industry purposefully produces
these ideals to reinforce the idea that there is no thinkable
alternative to the ideological order under which we live
Reed 13, Adolph Reed, Jr. (University of Pennsylvania), Django Unchained, or, The Help: How Cultural
Politics Is Worse Than No Politics at All, and Why,, February 25 2013,

All these filmsThe Help, Red Tails, Django Unchained, even Lincoln and Glory
make a claim to public attention based partly on their social significance beyond entertainment or art,
and they do so because they engage with significant moments in the history of the
nexus of race and politics in the United States. There would not be so much discussion and debate and
no Golden Globe, NAACP Image, or Academy Award nominations for The Help, Red Tails, or Django Unchained if

The pretensions
to social significance that fit these films into their particular market niche dont
conflict with the mass-market film industrys imperative of infantilization because
those pretensions are only part of the show; they are little more than empty
bromides, product differentiation in the patter of seemingly timeless ideals which
the mass entertainment industry constantly recycles. (Andrew OHehir observes as much about
those films werent defined partly by thematizing that nexus of race and politics in some way.

Django Unchained, which he describes as a three-hour trailer for a movie that never happens.7) That comes
through in the defense of these films, in the face of evidence of their failings, that, after all, they are just

Their substantive content is ideological; it is their contribution to the

naturalization of neoliberalisms ontology as they propagandize its universalization
across spatial, temporal, and social contexts. Purportedly in the interest of popular education cum

entertainment, Django Unchained and The Help, and Red Tails for that matter, read the sensibilities of the present

They reinforce the sense of the past as

generic old-timey times distinguishable from the present by superficial inadequacies
outmoded fashion, technology, commodities and ideassince overcome. In The Help
into the past by divesting the latter of its specific historicity.

Hillys obsession with her pet project marks segregations petty apartheid as irrational in part because of the
expense rigorously enforcing it would require; the breadwinning husbands express their frustration with it as
financially impractical. Hilly is a mean-spirited, narrow-minded person whose rigid and tone-deaf commitment to
segregationist consistency not only reflects her limitations of character but also is economically unsound, a fact that

The deeper
message of these films, insofar as they deny the integrity of the past, is that there is no
thinkable alternative to the ideological order under which we live . This
message is reproduced throughout the mass entertainment industry; it shapes the
normative reality even of the fantasy worlds that masquerade as escapism . Even
further defines her, and the cartoon version of Jim Crow she represents, as irrational.

among those who laud the supposedly cathartic effects of Djangos insurgent violence as reflecting a greater truth
of abolition than passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, few commentators notice that he and Broomhilda attained

This reflects an ideological hegemony in which

students all too commonly wonder why planters would deny slaves or sharecroppers
education because education would have made them more productive as workers.
And, tellingly, in a glowing rumination in the Daily Kos, Ryan Brooke inadvertently thrusts mass
cultures destruction of historicity into bold relief by declaiming on the segregated
society presented in Django Unchained and babbling on with the absurdly ill-informed and
pontifical self-righteousness that the blogosphere enables about our need to take responsibility for
their freedom through a market transaction.8

preserving racial divides if we are to put segregation in the past and fully fulfill Dr.
Kings dream.9 Its all an indistinguishable mush of bad stuff about racial injustice
in the old-timey days. Decoupled from its moorings in a historically specific political
economy, slavery becomes at bottom a problem of race relations, and, as historian
Michael R. West argues forcefully, race relations emerged as and has remained a
discourse that substitutes etiquette for equality.10

Race Slavery
Slavery was predicated off the emergence of capitalist ideas of
free laborhowever, modern day depictions of slavery is
problematic because it focuses on brutality rather than the
underlying systemfor example, thats what The Help depicts
regarding Jim Crow
Reed 13, Adolph Reed, Jr. (University of Pennsylvania), Django Unchained, or, The Help: How Cultural
Politics Is Worse Than No Politics at All, and Why,, February 25 2013,

brutality was
neither the point of slavery nor its essential injustice. The master-slave relationship
could, and did, exist without brutality, and certainly without sadism and sexual
degradation. In Tarantinos depiction, however, it is not clear that slavery shorn of its extremes of brutality
That absolute control permitted horrible, unthinkable brutality, to be sure, but perpetrating such

would be objectionable. It does not diminish the historical injustice and horror of slavery to note that it was not the
product of sui generis, transcendent Evil but a terminus on a continuum of bound labor that was more norm than
exception in the Anglo-American world until well into the eighteenth century, if not later. As legal historian Robert

it is not so much slavery, but the emergence of the notion of free

laboras the absolute control of a worker over her personthat is the historical
anomaly that needs to be explained.2 Django Unchained sanitizes the essential
injustice of slavery by not problematizing it and by focusing instead on the extremes
of brutality and degradation it permitted, to the extent of making some of them up,
just as does The Help regarding Jim Crow. The Help could not imagine a more honest
and complex view of segregationist Mississippi partly because it uses the period
ultimately as a prop for human interest clich , and Django Unchaineds absurdly
ahistorical view of plantation slavery is only backdrop for the merger of spaghetti
western and blaxploitation hero movie
Steinfeld points out,

. Neither film is really about the period in which it is set. Film critic Manohla Dargis, reflecting a decade ago on what she saw

as a growing Hollywood penchant for period films, observed that such films are typically stripped of politics and historical factand instead will find meaning in appealing to seemingly timeless ideals and stirring scenes of love,
valor and compassion and that the Hollywood professionals who embrace accuracy most enthusiastically nowadays are costume designers.3 That observation applies to both these films, although in Django concern with
historically accurate representation of material culture applies only to the costumes and props of the 1970s film genres Tarantino wants to recall. To make sense of how Django Unchained has received so much warmer a reception

economics are the method: the object is

to change the soul.4 Simply put, she and her element have won. Few observersamong
opponents and boosters alikehave noted how deeply and thoroughly both films
are embedded in the practical ontology of neoliberalism, the complex of
unarticulated assumptions and unexamined first premises that provide its common
sense, its lifeworld.
among black and leftoid commentators than did The Help, it is useful to recall Margaret Thatchers 1981 dictum that

Objection to The Help has been largely of the shooting fish in a barrel variety: complaints about the films paternalistic treatment of the maids, which generally have boiled down

to an objection that the master-servant relation is thematized at all, as well as the standard, predictable litany of anti-racist charges about whites speaking for blacks, the films inattentiveness to the fact that at that time in
Mississippi black people were busily engaged in liberating themselves, etc. An illustration of this tendency that conveniently refers to several other variants of it is Akiba Solomon, Why Im Just Saying No to The Help and Its
Historical Whitewash in Color Lines, August 10, 2011, available at: Defenses of Django Unchained pivot on claims about the social significance of the
narrative of a black hero. One node of this argument emphasizes the need to validate a history of autonomous black agency and resistance as a politico-existential desideratum. It accommodates a view that stresses the
importance of recognition of rebellious or militant individuals and revolts in black American history. Another centers on a notion that exposure to fictional black heroes can inculcate the sense of personal efficacy necessary to
overcome the psychological effects of inequality and to facilitate upward mobility and may undermine some whites negative stereotypes about black people. In either register assignment of social or political importance to depictions
of black heroes rests on presumptions about the nexus of mass cultural representation, social commentary, and racial justice that are more significant politically than the controversy about the film itself. In both versions, this
argument casts political and economic problems in psychological terms. Injustice appears as a matter of disrespect and denial of due recognition, and the remedies proposedwhich are all about images projected and the

, nothing could indicate more strikingly the

extent of neoliberal ideological hegemony than the idea that the mass culture
industry and its representational practices constitute a meaningful terrain for
struggle to advance egalitarian interests. It is possible to entertain that view
seriously only by ignoring the fact that the production and consumption of mass
culture is thoroughly embedded in capitalist material and ideological imperatives.
distribution of jobs associated with their projectionlook a lot like self-esteem engineering. Moreover

Marxist conceptions of surveillance understand all their
dimensions capitalism is the foundation of surveillance in
corporate settings and by the government
Fuchs 12 [Christian Fuchs, Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University, Kyrkogrdsgatan;
Political Economy and Surveillance Theory pg 4-5; Critical Sociology; 2012; accessed 07/31/2015;
<>.] Also can be read as a watch back alt card if the
underlining/highlighting is changed

surveillance is a fundamental aspect of the capitalist economy and the

directing, superintending and adjusting becomes one of
the functions of capital, from the moment that the labour under capitals control becomes co-operative. As
For Karl Marx,

modern nation state. The work of

a specific function of capital, the directing function acquires its own specific characteristics (Marx, 1867: 449). Marx
argues that the supervision of labour in the production process is purely despotic (1867: 450) and that the
capitalist does not directly exert this despotism. He hands over the work of direct and constant supervision of the

An industrial army of
workers under the command of a capitalist requires, like a real army, officers (managers) and
NCOs (foremen, overseers), who command during the labour process in the name of capital.
The work of supervision becomes their established and exclusive function (1867: 450). But surveillance is
not only an economic concept for Marx. He also points out political dimensions . He
shows that in the USA, population growth in the 19th century resulted in the surveillance of
states and regions (MEW, 19561968, Vol. 7: 434) and points out that nation states engage in the
surveillance of passenger traffic (MEW, 19561968, Vol. 6: 127), the surveillance of the execution of
laws (MEW, 19561968, Vol. 19: 30), spying (MEW, 19561968, Vol. 8: 437) or police surveillance (MEW,
individual workers and groups of workers to a special kind of wage-labourer.

19561968, Vol. 2: 78; Vol. 7: 313; Vol. 9: 511; Vol. 17: 401; Vol. 18: 387). Like Foucault, Marx talks about

disciplinary surveillance power by saying that the state enmeshes, controls, regulates,
superintends and tutors civil society from its most comprehensive manifestations of life
down to its most insignificant stirrings (Marx and Engels, 1968: 123). Marx also uses the notion of
surveillance in the sense of counter-surveillance (watching the watchers) when he says that the press not only has
the right, it has the duty, to keep the strictest eye on the gentlemen representatives of the people (Marx, 1974:
116). Although Giddens (1985) claimed that Marx ignored the topic of surveillance, these quotations show that

Marx considers surveillance as a process that shapes modern society . Surveillance

is, for Marx, on the one hand a coercive and technological method for controlling and
disciplining workers, but he did not (as claimed by some surveillance scholars) reduce the
concept to an economic meaning. Rather Marx on the other hand also sees the role of
surveillance as a political process of domination and political and cultural potentials for
counter-surveillance, i.e. processes of watching the dominative watchers that allow
counter-power to be exerted in political struggles . Marx sees the economy and
politics as the two main interconnected surveillance spheres. This idea is reflected in
contemporary approaches that analyse the political economy of surveillance .
Toshimaru Ogura (2006: 272) argues, for example, that the common characteristics of
surveillance are the management of population based on capitalism and
the nation state. Gandy (1993: 95) says that the panoptic sort is a technology that has been
designed and is being continually revised to serve the interests of decision makers
within the government and the corporate bureaucracies. It is impossible to give a full
interpretation of the relevance of Marx for conceptualizing contemporary surveillance in a short article. What can be

Marxs notion of accumulation stems

from economic analysis, although it can be generalized for other subsystems of
society. So what will follow in the two subsequent sections is an expansion on the argument that especially the
done is to start the analysis in the economic sphere because

Marxian cycle of capital accumulation (that was elaborated upon in the three volumes of Capital) allows us to
systematically understand economic surveillance. This requires introducing the concept of the cycle of capital

Muslim Terror/Islamophobia
The war on terror is merely an excuse made by corporate
Americawars are fought to boost military spending and
uphold the economyproven by WWII, Cold wars, and Gulf
warstoday, the war on terror is merely a reiteration of that.
Pauwels 14, Jacques R. Pauwels is historian and political scientist. Why America Needs War, Global
Research: Center of Research on Globalization, November 9, 2014,
Wars are a terrible waste of lives and resources, and for that reason most people are in principle opposed to wars.


American President, on the other hand, seems to love war.

Why? Many commentators have sought the answer

in psychological factors. Some opined that George W. Bush considered it his duty to finish the job started, but for some obscure
reason not completed, by his father at the time of the Gulf War; others believe that Bush Junior expected a short and triumphant war
which would guarantee him a second term in the White House. I believe that we must look elsewhere for an explanation for the

The fact that Bush is keen on war has little or nothing to do

with his psyche, but a great deal with the American economic system. This system
Americas brand of capitalism functions first and foremost to make extremely rich
Americans like the Bush money dynasty even richer. Without warm or cold wars,
however, this system can no longer produce the expected result in the form of the
ever-higher profits the moneyed and powerful of America consider as their
birthright. The great strength of American capitalism is also its great weakness, namely, its extremely high productivity . In
the historical development of the international economic system that we call
capitalism, a number of factors have produced enormous increases in productivity,
for example, the mechanization of the production process that got under way in England as early as the
18th century. In the early 20th century, then, American industrialists made a crucial contribution
in the form of the automatization of work by means of new techniques such as the
assembly line. The latter was an innovation introduced by Henry Ford, and those techniques have therefore become
attitude of the American President.

collectively known as Fordism. The productivity of the great American enterprises rose spectacularly. For example, already in the
1920s, countless vehicles rolled off the assembly lines of the automobile factories of Michigan every single day. But who was
supposed to buy all those cars? Most Americans at the time did not have sufficiently robust pocket books for such a purchase.

Other industrial products similarly flooded the market, and the result was the
emergence of a chronic disharmony between the ever-increasing economic supply
and the lagging demand. Thus arose the economic crisis generally known as the
Great Depression. It was essentially a crisis of overproduction. Warehouses were
bursting with unsold commodities, factories laid off workers, unemployment
exploded, and so the purchasing power of the American people shrunk even more,
making the crisis even worse. It cannot be denied that in America the Great
Depression only ended during, and because of, the Second World War. (Even the greatest
admirers of President Roosevelt admit that his much-publicized New Deal policies brought little or no relief.) Economic
demand rose spectacularly when the war which had started in Europ e, and in which the
USA itself was not an active participant before 1942, allowed American industry to produce unlimited
amounts of war equipment. Between 1940 and 1945, the American state would spend no less than 185 billion dollar
on such equipment, and the military expenditures share of the GNP thus rose between 1939 and 1945 from an insignificant 1,5 per
cent to approximately 40 per cent. In addition, American industry also supplied gargantuan amounts of equipment to the British and
even the Soviets via Lend-Lease. (In Germany, meanwhile, the subsidiaries of American corporations such as Ford, GM, and ITT
produced all sorts of planes and tanks and other martial toys for the Nazis, also after Pearl Harbor, but that is a different story .)

The key problem of the Great Depression the disequilibrium between supply and
demand was thus resolved because the state primed the pump of economic
demand by means of huge orders of a military nature. As far as ordinary Americans
were concerned, Washingtons military spending orgy brought not only virtually full

employment but also much higher wages than ever before; it was during the
Second World War that the widespread misery associated with the Great Depression
came to an end and that a majority of the American people achieved an
unprecedented degree of prosperity. However, the greatest beneficiaries by far of the
wartime economic boom were the countrys businesspeople and corporations, who
realized extraordinary profits. Between 1942 and 1945, writes the historian Stuart D. Brandes, the
net profits of Americas 2,000 biggest firms were more than 40 per cent higher than
during the period 1936-1939. Such a profit boom was possible , he explains, because
the state ordered billions of dollars of military equipment, failed to institute price
controls, and taxed profits little if at all . This largesse benefited the American business world in general, but in
particular that relatively restricted elite of big corporations known as big business or corporate America. During the war, a total

The big corporations Ford,

IBM, etc. revealed themselves to be the war hogs, writes Brandes, that
gormandized at the plentiful trough of the states military expenditures. IBM, for
example, increased its annual sales between 1940 and 1945 from 46 to 140 million
dollar thanks to war-related orders, and its profits skyrocketed accordingly.
of less than 60 firms obtained 75 per cent of all lucrative military and other state orders.

Americas big corporat ions ex ploited their Fordist expert ise to the fullest in order to boost production,

but even that was not sufficient to meet the wart ime needs of the American state. Much more equipment was needed, and in order to produce it, America needed new factories and even more efficient technology. These new assets were duly stamped out of the ground, and on account of this the total value of all productive facilities of the nat ion increased bet ween 1939 and 1945 from 40 to 66 billion dollar. However, it was not the private sector that undertook all these new investments; on account of it s disagreeable ex periences with overproduct ion during the thirt ies, Americas businesspeople found this task too risky. So the state did the job by invest ing 17 billion dollar in more than 2,000 defense-related projects. In ret urn for a nominal fee, privately owned corporat ions were permitted to rent these brand-new factories in order to produceand to make money by selling the output back to the state. Moreov er, when the
war was over and Washington decided to div est itself of these investments, the nat ions big corporations purchased them for half, and in many cases only one third, of the real value. How did America finance the war, how did Washington pay the lofty bills present ed by GM, ITT, and the other corporate suppliers of war equipment? The answer is: partly by means of taxation about 45 per cent -, but much more through loans approx imately 55 per cent. On account of this, the public debt increased dramat ically, namely, from 3 billion dollar in 1939 to no less than 45 billion dollar in 1945. In theory, this debt should have been reduced, or wiped out altogether, by levying taxes on the huge profit s pocketed during the war by Americas big corporat ions, but the reality was different. As already noted, the American state failed to meaningfully tax corporate Americas windfall profits, allowed the public debt to mushroom, and
paid its bills, and the int erest on its loans, wit h it s general revenues, that is, by means of the income generated by direct and indirect taxes. Particularly on account of the regressive Revenue Act int roduced in October 1942, these taxes were paid increasingly by workers and other low-income Americans, rather than by the super-rich and the corporations of which the latter were the owners, major shareholders, and/or top managers. The burden of financing the war, observes the American historian Sean Dennis Cashman, [was] sloughed firm ly upon the shoulders of the poorer members of society. However, the American public, preoccupied by the war and blinded by the bright sun of full employment and high wages, failed to not ice this. Affluent Americans, on the other hand, were keenly aware of the wonderful way in which the war generated money for themselves and for their corporat ions. Incidentally, it was also

During the
Second World War, the wealthy owners and top managers of the big corporations
learned a very important lesson: during a war there is money to be made, lots of money.
In other words, the arduous task of maximizing profits the key activity within the
capitalist American economy can be absolved much more efficiently through war
than through peace;
In order to keep the profits gushing forth generously, new enemies
and new war threats were urgently needed now that Germany and Japan were
defeated. How fortunate that the Soviet Union existed, a country which during the
war had been a particularly useful partner who had pulled the chestnuts out of the
fire for the Allies in Stalingrad and elsewhere, but also a partner whose communist
ideas and practices allowed it to be easily transformed into the new bogeyman of
the United States. Most American historians now admit that in 1945 the Soviet Union , a
country that had suffered enormously during the war, did not constitute a threat at
all to the economically and militarily far superior USA, and that Washington itself did
not perceive the Soviets as a threat. These historians also acknowledge that
Moscow was very keen to work closely together with Washington in the postwar era.
Indeed, Moscow had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, from a conflict with
superpower America, which was brimming with confidence thanks to its monopoly
of the atom bomb. However, America corporate America, the America of the super-rich
urgently needed a new enemy in order to justify the titanic expenditures for
defense which were needed to keep the wheels of the nations economy spinning
at full speed also after the end of the war, thus keeping profit margins at the
required or rather, desired high levels, or even to increase them. It is for this
reason that the Cold War was unleashed in 1945, not by the Soviets but by the
American military-industrial complex, as President Eisenhower would call that elite of wealthy individuals
from the rich businesspeople, bankers, insurers and other big investors that Washington borrowed the money needed to finance the war; corporate America thus also profit ed from the war by pocket ing the lions share of the interests generated by the purchase of the famous war bonds. In theory, at least, the rich and powerful of America are the great champions of so- called free enterprise, and they oppose any form of state int ervent ion in the econom y. During the war, however, they never raised any objections to the way in which the American state managed and financed the economy, because wit hout this large-scale dirigist violat ion of the rules of free enterprise, their collective wealth could never have proliferated as it did during those years .

however, the benevolent cooperation of the state is required. Ever since the Second World War, the rich and powerful of America have remained keenly conscious of this. So is their man in the White House today [2003, i.e. George W. Bush], the scion of a money dynasty who was parachut ed into the White House in order to promote the interests of his wealthy family members, friends, and associates in corporate America, the int erests of money, privilege, and power. In the spring of 1945 it was obvious that the war, fountainhead of fabulous profits, would soon be over. What would happen then? Among the econom ists, many C assandras conjured up scenarios that loomed extremely unpleasant for

Americas polit ical and industrial leaders. During the war, Washingtons purchases of military equipment, and not hing else, had restored the econom ic demand and thus made possible not only full employment but also unprecedented profits. Wit h the return of peace, the ghost of disharmony between supply and demand threatened to ret urn to haunt America again, and the resulting crisis might well be even more acute than the Great Depression of the dirty thirt ies, because during the war years the product ive capacity of the nat ion had increased considerably, as we have seen. Workers would have to be laid off precisely at the moment when millions of war veterans would come home looking for a civ ilian job, and the resulting unemployment and decline in purchasing power would aggravate the demand deficit. Seen from the perspect ive of Americas rich and powerful, the com ing unemployment was not a problem;

what did matter was that the golden age of gargantuan profit s would come to an end. Such a catast rophe had to be prevented, but how? Military state expenditures were the source of high profits .

and corporations that knew how to profit from the warfare economy. In this respect, the Cold War exceeded their fondest
expectations. More and more martial equipment had to be cranked out, because the allies within the so-called free world, which
actually included plenty of nasty dictatorships, had to be armed to the teeth with US equipment. In addition, Americas own armed
forces never ceased demanding bigger, better, and more sophisticated tanks, planes, rockets, and, yes, chemical and bacteriological
weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. For these goods ,

the Pentagon was always ready to pay

huge sums without asking difficult questions. As had been the case during the

Second World War, it was again primarily the large corporations who were allowed
to fill the orders. The Cold War generated unprecedented profits, and they flowed
into the coffers of those extremely wealthy individuals who happened to be the
owners, top managers, and/or major shareholders of these corporations.

(Does it come as a surprise that in the United States newly retired Pentagon generals are routinely offered jobs as consultants by

large corporations involved in military product ion, and that businessmen linked with those corporations are regularly appointed as high-ranking officials of the Department of Defense, as adv isors of the President, etc.?) During the Cold War too, the American state financed its skyrocketing military ex penditures by means of loans, and this caused the public debt to rise to dizzy ing heights. In 1945 the public debt stood at only 258 billion dollar, but in 1990 when the C old War ground to an end it amount ed to no less than 3.2 trillion dollar! This was a stupendous increase, also when one takes the inflat ion rate into account, and it caused the American state to become the worlds greatest debtor. (Incidentally, in July 2002 the American public debt had reached 6.1 trillion dollar.) Washington could and should have covered the cost of the Cold War by tax ing the huge profits achieved by the corporations inv olved in the
armament orgy, but there was never any quest ion of such a thing. In 1945, when the Second World War come to an end and the Cold War picked up the slack, corporat ions st ill paid 50 per cent of all taxes, but during the course of the C old War this share shrunk consistently , and today it only amounts to approxim ately 1 per cent. This was possible because the nations big corporat ions largely determine what the government in Washington may or may not do, also in the field of fiscal policy. In addit ion, lowering the tax burden of corporations was made easier because after the Second World War these corporat ions transformed themselves into mult inationals, at home everywhere and nowhere, as an American aut hor has written in connect ion with ITT, and therefore find it easy to avoid pay ing meaningful taxes anywhere. Stateside, where they pocket the biggest profit s, 37 per cent of all American multinationals and
more than 70 per cent of all foreign multinat ionals paid not a single dollar of taxes in 1991, while the remaining multinationals rem itted less than 1 per cent of their profits in taxes. The sky- high costs of the C old War were thus not borne by those who profited from it and who, incidentally, also cont inued to pocket the lions share of the div idends paid on government bonds, but by the American workers and the American middle class. These low- and middle- income Americans did not receive a penny from the profits y ielded so profusely by the Cold War, but they did receive their share of the enormous public debt for which that conflict was largely responsible. It is they, therefore, who were really saddled with the costs of the Cold War, and it is they who continue to pay with their taxes for a disproport ionate share of the burden of the public debt. In other words, while the profits generated by the C old War were priv atized to
the advantage of an ext remely wealthy elite, it s costs were ruthlessly socialized to the great detriment of all other Americans. During the Cold War, the American economy degenerated into a gigant ic swindle, into a perverse redistribution of the nations wealt h to the advantage of the rich and to the disadvantage not only of the poor and of the working class but also of the middle class, whose members tend to subscribe to the myth that the American capitalist system serves their interests. Indeed, while the wealthy and powerful of America accumulated ever-greater riches, the prosperity achieved by many other Americans during the Second World War was gradually eroded, and the general standard of living declined slowly but steadily. During the Second World War America had witnessed a modest redistribut ion of the collect ive wealt h of the nation to the advantage of the less priv ileged members of societ y. During the

The minuscule percentage of superrich Americans found this development extremely satisfactory. They loved the idea
of accumulating more and more wealth, of aggrandizing their already huge assets,
at the expense of the less privileged. They wanted to keep things that way or, if at all possible, make this
sublime scheme even more efficient. However, all good things must come to an end, and in 1989/90 the bountiful
Cold War elapsed. That presented a serious problem. Ordinary Americans, who knew that they had
C old War, however, the rich Americans became richer while the non-wealt hy and certainly not only the poor became poorer. In 1989, the year the C old War petered out, more than 13 per cent of all Americans approx imately 31 million indiv iduals were poor according to the official criteria of poverty, which definitely understate the problem. Conversely, today 1 per cent of all Americans own no less than 34 per cent of the nations aggregate wealt h. In no major Western country is the wealth distributed more unevenly.

borne the costs of this war, expected a peace dividend. They thought that the money the state had spent on military expenditures
might now be used to produce benefits for themselves, for example in the form of a national health insurance and other social
benefits which Americans in contrast to most Europeans have never enjoyed. In 1992, Bill Clinton would actually win the presidential
election by dangling out the prospect of a national health plan, which of course never materialized. A peace dividend was of no
interest whatsoever to the nations wealthy elite, because the provision of social services by the state does not yield profits for

had to be done, and had to be done fast, to prevent the threatening implosion of the
states military spending. America, or rather, corporate America, was orphaned of its useful Soviet enemy,
and urgently needed to conjure up new enemies and new threats in order to justify a
high level of military spending. It is in this context that in 1990 Saddam Hussein
appeared on the scene like a kind of deus ex machina. This tin-pot dictator had previously been
entrepreneurs and corporations, and certainly not the lofty kind of profits generated by military state expenditures.

perceived and treated by the Americans as a good friend, and he had been armed to the teeth so that he could wage a nasty war
against Iran; it was the USA and allies such as Germany who originally supplied him with all sorts of weapons. However,
Washington was desperately in need of a new enemy, and suddenly fingered him as a terribly dangerous new Hitler, against whom
war needed to be waged urgently, even though it was clear that a negotiated settlement of the issue of Iraqs occupation of Kuwait

George Bush Senior was the casting agent who discovered this
useful new nemesis of America, and who unleashed the Gulf War, during which
Baghdad was showered with bombs and Saddams hapless recruits were
slaughtered in the desert. The road to the Iraqi capital lay wide-open, but the
Marines triumphant entry into Baghdad was suddenly scrapped.
However, with only a considerably chastened Saddam as bogeyman, Washington
found it expedient also to look elsewhere for new enemies and threats. Somalia
temporarily looked promising, but in due course another new Hitler was identified in the Balkan Peninsula in the
person of the Serbian leader, Milosevic. During much of the nineties, then, conflicts in the former
Yugoslavia provided the required pretexts for military interventions , large-scale
bombing operations, and the purchase of more and newer weapons. The warfare
economy could thus continue to run on all cylinders also after the Gulf War
Bush and Rumsfeld and company could have wished for nothing more convenient
than the events of September 11, 2001; it is extremely likely that they were aware
of the preparations for these monstrous attacks, but that they did nothing to
prevent them because they knew that they would be able to benefit from them . In any
event, they did take full advantage of this opportunity in order to militarize America
more than ever before, to shower bombs on people who had nothing to do with
9/11, to wage war to their hearts content, and thus for corporations that do
business with the Pentagon to ring up unprecedented sales. Bush declared war not
on a country but on terrorism, an abstract concept against which one cannot really
wage war and against which a definitive victory can never be achieved. However, in
practice the slogan war against terrorism meant that Washington now
reserves the right to wage war worldwide and permanently against whomever
the White House defines as a terrorist. And so the problem of the end of the Cold War was definitively
was not out of the question.

Saddam Hussein was left in power so that the threat he was supposed to form might be invoked again in order to justify keeping America in arms. After all, the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union had shown how

inconvenient it can be when one loses a useful foe. And so Mars could remain the patron saint of the American economy or, more accurately, the godfather of the corporate Mafia that manipulates this war-driv en economy and reaps its huge profits without bearing its costs. The despised project of a peace div idend could be unceremoniously buried, and milit ary expendit ures could remain the dynamo of the economy and the wellspring of sufficient ly high profits. Those expenditures increased relentlessly during the 1990s. In 1996, for exam ple, they amounted to no less than 265 billion dollars, but when one adds the unofficial and/or indirect military expenditures, such as the interests paid on loans used to finance past wars, the 1996 total came to approxim ately 494 billion dollar, amounting to an outlay of 1.3 billion dollar per day!

. However, in view of occasional public pressure such as the demand for a peace div idend, it is

not easy to keep this system going. (The media present no problem, as newspapers, magazines, TV stations, etc. are either owned by big corporations or rely on them for advertising rev enue.) As ment ioned earlier, the state has to cooperate, so in Washington one needs men and women one can count upon, preferably individuals from the very own corporate ranks, individuals totally committed to use the instrument of military expenditures in order to prov ide the high profit s that are needed to make the very rich of America even richer. In this respect, Bill C linton had fallen short of expectat ions, and corporate America could nev er forgive his original sin, namely, that he had managed to have himself elected by promising the American people a peace div idend in the form of a system of healt h insurance. On account of this, in 2000 it was arranged that not the Clinton-clone Al Gore moved into the White House but a team
of milit arist hardliners, virtually without except ion represent atives of wealthy, corporate America, such as C heney, Rumsfeld, and Rice, and of course George W. Bush himself, son of the man who had shown with his Gulf War how it could be done; the Pentagon, too, was directly represented in the Bush Cabinet in the person of the allegedly peace- loving Powell, in reality yet another angel of death. Rambo moved into the White House, and it did not take long for the results to show. After Bush Junior had been catapult ed into the presidency, it looked for some t ime as if he was going to proclaim C hina as the new nemesis of America. However, a conflict with that giant loomed somewhat risky; furtherm ore, all too many big corporat ions make good money by trading with the Peoples Republic. Another threat, preferably less dangerous and more credible, was required to keep the military ex penditures at a sufficient ly high level.

For this purpose,

resolved, as there was henceforth a justification for ever-increasing military expenditures .

The statistics speak for

themselves. The 1996 total of 265 billion dollar in military expenditures had already
been astronomical, but thanks to Bush Junior the Pentagon was allowed to spend
350 billion in 2002, and for 2003 the President has promised approximately 390
billion; however, it is now virtually certain that the cape of 400 billion dollar will be rounded this year. (In order to finance this
military spending orgy, money has to be saved elsewhere, for example by cancelling free lunches for poor children; every little bit
helps.) No wonder that George W. struts around beaming with happiness and pride, for he essentially a spoiled rich kid of very
limited talent and intellect has surpassed the boldest expectations not only of his wealthy family and friends but of corporate

9/11 provided Bush with carte blanche to wage war

wherever and against whomever he chose, and as this essay has purported to make clear, it does not
matter all that much who happens to be fingered as enemy du jour. Last year, Bush showered
America as a whole, to which he owes his job.

bombs on Afghanistan, presumably because the leaders of that country sheltered Bin Laden, but recently the latter went out of

cannot deal here in detail

with the specific reasons why Bushs America absolutely wanted war with the Iraq of
Saddam Hussein and not with, say, North Korea. A major reason for fighting this
particular war was that Iraqs large reserves of oil are lusted after by the US oil
trusts with whom the Bushes themselves and Bushites such as Cheney and Rice,
after whom an oil tanker happens to be named are so intimately linked. The war in
Iraq is also useful as a lesson to other Third World countries who fail to dance to
Washingtons tune, and as an instrument for emasculating domestic opposition and
ramming the extreme right-wing program of an unelected president down the
throats of Americans themselves.
fashion and it was once again Saddam Hussein who allegedly threatened America. We

Root Cause

Capitalism is foundation that grinded womens role in society
family-household system emerged as the resolution to the
effective reproduction to meet labor needs
Copland 15, Simon Copland, writer specialising in sex, culture and politics, Sex and Society: Capitalism
and Gay Oppression, Simoncopland, June 19, 2015,

In the early stages of industrialised capitalism men, women, and

children all ended up in the factory. However, as people moved to the cities, the
infant mortality rate shot through the roof. In Manchester, for example, there were a
recorded 26,125 deaths per 100,000 thousand children under the age of one. This was
three times the rate of mortality rater of non-industrial areas. With the rise of industrialised
capitalism workers were robbed of control of production process, and in turn robbed
of their capacity to incorporate reproduction into the needs of production. In simpler
terms, being forced to work long hours in unsanitary factories made it much more
difficult for workers to properly look after their children. And, as Tad Tietze argues, this
created severe problems for the systems ability to ensure the reproduction of the
working class. Capitalists were watching as their next swathe of workers died in
front of their eyes. Brenner and Ramas argue the creation of the family-household system
emerged as the resolution to this crisis. The idea of the family-household system was introduced
Here was the problem.

by Michle Barrett in her book Womens Oppression Today, described as a structure in which a number of people,
usually biologically related, depend on the wages of a few adult members, primarily those of the husband/father,
and in

which all depend primarily on the unpaid labour of the wife/ mother for
cleaning, food preparation, child care, and so forth. The ideology of the family is
one that defines family life as naturally based on close kinship, as properly
organized through a male bread- winner with a financially dependent wife and
children, and as a haven of privacy beyond the public realm of commerce and
industry. As capitalists were not willing, nor able, to provide services for parents to nurture their children (paid
maternity leave, childcare centres, etc.) and with household services (maids, cleaning services, etc.) being too
expensive for the working class,

women were forced back into the home to look after

children and complete domestic duties. As Tietze argues: The capitalist family thus had
to be consciously constructed, with all the coercive and consensual elements of
that process a process involving significant state and extra state mobilisation in
terms of ideologies, laws, policies, regulations, work reorganisation, and industrial
relations strategies, including settlements around the family wage, etc. The familyhousehold structure had to be developed in order to ensure the survival of the
capitalist system. That doesnt mean women stopped working, but when they did they faced particular
disadvantages. Brenner and Ramas argue there were particular classes of women who were working at this time;
those with children, who were widows and those married to men with unstable incomes. These women constituted

With domestic responsibilities

making it difficult to organise in unions and a lack of mobility making it difficult to
find better jobs, women were stuck in lowing paying, often part-time work. Hence
we see the development of the gender wage-gap a gap that continues until this
day. Herein lies the roots of female oppression under capitalism roots we still see
today. While some women have broken through the glass ceiling the majority still
suffer both because of a historical disadvantage they have faced in the labour
market, but also due to a capitalist class that is unwilling to provide the resources
a particularly defenceless and desperate labour pool, they write.

required to nurture children (which is still largely seen as a womans job). Paid maternity leave has been
a huge fight, while services such as childcare are expensive and hard to come by. This leaves women still at a

Capitalism is the root cause of queer oppressionhistory
provesan institution based on a need for labor resources
depended on the nuclear familys ability to produce workers
***FYI, the nuclear family is a normative couple and their dependent children,
regarded as a basic social unit.

Copland 15,

Simon Copland, writer specialising in sex, culture and politics, Sex and Society: Capitalism
and Gay Oppression, Simoncopland, June 19, 2015,

Where does queer oppression originate?

Modern perceptions of anti-queer feelings a based primarily on the idea they are based in fear. Hence the terms

homophobia, transphobia or queerphobia. Patrick Strudwick argues that fear underpins the majority of anti-gay sentiment: Being anti-gay is, without exception, at least partly fuelled by fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of
unwanted sexual attention, fear of gender roles being flouted, fear of humanity being wiped out by widespread bumming, fear of a plague of homosexuals dismantling marriage, the family, the church and any other institution held
vaguely dear. And, of course, never forget: fear of what lurks repressed and unacknowledged in the homophobe. Irrational fear. Its a phobia, people. In mainstream debate this fear is boiled down to narrative of an inherent

Much like the story of

the patriarchy, queer oppression, we have been told, is as old as society itself.
Unlike the story of the patriarchy however it is much easier to look back in history
and find multiple examples that disprove this idea. The most commonly used
example is Ancient Greece a society in which homosexual sex was elevated, seen
as the most praise-worthy, substantive and Godly forms of love. Yet it is not just in
Greece where we find this we see varied and more progressive approaches to gay
and lesbian activity in places varying from Russia to Africa. why did gays and
lesbians suffer oppression in some societies and not others? To answer this it is
worth looking at queer oppression before the rise of industrialised capitalism. Britain
for example has seen a long history of repression of homosexual activities . King
Henry VIII introduced the Buggery Act, which mandated death for anyone
convicted of buggery a term used for any non-procreative sex, which was
considered a crime against nature.
What was the reason for
this? The answer connects largely to the source of the nuclear family as it existed
prior to the rise of industrial capitalism an institution developed based on a need
for labour resources to create economic surplus and wealth
sex and activities presented a threat to this norm, and in turn, in particular during
times of economic need, these activities were actively repressed.
The need for labor in the colonies fuelled efforts by New England
churches and courts to outlaw and punish adultery, sodomy, incest, and rape.
Extramarital sex by women, who were considered incapable of controlling their
passions, was punished more severely than extramarital sex by men. How has this
translated during the rise of industrial capitalism?
conservatism within our society, based primarily in religious teachings. Hence a teaching of queer history that largely ignores anything prior to the Stonewall Riots of 1969.




This sort of oppression lasted well into the 1900s.

(primarily in this time to provide labour for farms).

Sherry Wolf describes this when discussing the

North American colonies of New England:

Just as industrialised capitalism had the potential to break the bonds of the patriarchy, John

DEmilio notes it also had the capacity to lead to greater freedoms for gays and lesbians. As noted in previous blogs capitalism weakened the foundation of family life as it brought people away from rural family life into more
autonomous lives in the city. This is why Engels predicted capitalism would lead to the end of the proletarian family. This breakdown of the traditional family also allowed for greater autonomy for gays and lesbians. Yet, with this

While industrial capitalism opened the potential for the breakdown in the
family unit, capitalists required families to stay together more than ever
primarily so they could reproduce the next lot of workers. This remains a
fundamental contradiction of capitalism. This contradiction created a very unique
situation for gays and lesbians.
First sex and our sexual desires shifted from something we simply do into something
that reveals a fundamental truth about who we are, and second, with this, we have
developed an obligation to see out that truth and express it.
within this
framework, sex isnt just something you do. Instead, the kind of sex you have (or
came a problem.

In The History of Sexuality Michel Foucault argues there have been two significant changes in the way our society approaches sexuality.

As Jesi Egan argues,

want to have) becomes a symptom of something else: your sexuality . As

industrialised capitalism developed sex shifted from something you just did, to
something that formed a core part of your identity . In doing so our capitalist society
was able to identify and target people who connected to this identity. Its worth
noting that this is an interesting, and largely positive step forward in society.
Industrial capitalism allowed for the development of individuality that was not
possible in previous social organisations.
Despite attempts to oppress this individuality, as occurred with those with divergent sexualities this is largely a

positive step forward.


Aff Cant Solve the K

The aff will never solve if it fails to address Marxismin fact,
the aff has detrimental effects on Left theory and practice.
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale and McLauren 03, V. and Peter McLaren, The Strategic
Centrality of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, UCLA, 2003,
We stubbornly believe that the insights of Marx and those working within the broad parameters of that tradition still

one of the most taken-forgranted features of contemporary social theory (especially the variety that purports
to be radical) is the ritualistically dismissive and increasingly generic critique of
Marxism in terms of its alleged failure to address forms of oppression other than
that of class. Marxism is considered to be theoretically bankrupt and intellectually pass, and class analysis
have something to say despite proclamations to the contrary. Indeed, perhaps

is often savagely lampooned as a rusty weapon wielded clumsily by those mind locked in the jejune factories of the
19th and 20th centuries.

When Marxist class analysis has not been distorted or equated

with some crude version of economic determinism, teleology or essentialism, it
has been attacked for diverting attention away from the categories of difference
including race (Gimenez, 2001). 1 To overcome the presumed inadequacies of Marxism, an entire discursive
apparatus sometimes called post-Marxism has arisen to fill the void. Regardless of Marxs enduring relevance (cf.
Greider, 1998) and despite the fact that much of post-Marxism is actually an outlandish caricature of Marx and
the entire Marxist tradition, it has eaten through the left like a cancer and has established itself as the new
common sense (Johnson, 2002, p. 129).

Eager to take a wide detour around political

economy, post-Marxists (who often go by other names such as postmodernists, poststructuralists, radical
multiculturalists, etc.) tend to assume that the principal political points of departure must
necessarily be cultural. Many but not all post-Marxists have gravitated toward a politics of difference
that is largely premised on uncovering relations of power that reside in a variety of cultural and ideological
practices (cf. Jordan & Weedon, 1995). Advocates of difference politics posit their ideas as bold steps forward in
advancing the interests of those historically marginalized by dominant social and cultural narratives. Various
strands of post-Marxism have undoubtedly advanced our knowledge of the hidden trajectories of power and their
fetishizing instrumentalities within the processes of representation, and they remain somewhat useful in discerning
the relationships between difference, language, and cultural configurations. At the same time ,

however, the
rhetorical excesses of post-Marxistsenamored with the cultural and seemingly
blind to the economichave been woefully remiss in addressing the constitution of
class formations and the stark reality of contemporary conditions under global
capitalism. In some instances, capitalism and 150 Cultural StudiesCritical
MethodologiesMay 2003 by guest on July 30, 2015 Downloaded from class relations
have been thoroughly otherized; in others, class is reduced to classism and
summoned only as part of the triumvirate of race, class, and gender in which class
is portrayed as merely another form of difference. As we hope to show, the radical
displacement of class analysis in contemporary theoretical narratives and the
concomitant decentering of capitalism, the anointing of difference as a primary
explanatory construct, and the culturalization of politics have had detrimental
effects on Left theory and practice.

Alt Solves the Aff

Alt is key to solve the affthe aff fails to mobilize forces
against capitalism; however, a discussion of class relations is a
comprehensive theorization of culture
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale and McLauren 03, V. and Peter McLaren, The Strategic
Centrality of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, UCLA, 2003,
Hence, we would not discount the salience of such concerns, but nor should progressives be straightjacketed by

approaches have
sometimes tended to redefine politics as a signifying activity generally confined to
the realm of representation while displacing a politics grounded in the mobilization
of forces against the material sources of political and economic marginalization. In
this regard, textual/discursive politics have their limitations for they fail to
guarantee the material power necessary for social flourishing and living freely
(Goldberg, 1994, p. 13). 5 In their rush to avoid the capital sin of economism , far too many post-al
theorists (who often ignore their own class privilege) have fallen prey to an ahistorical form of
culturalism that holds, among other things, that cultural antagonism external to
class analysis and struggle provide the cutting edge of emancipatory politics. In many
respects, this posturing has yielded an intellectual pseudopolitics that has served to
empower the theorist while explicitly disempowering real citizens (Turner, 1994, p.
410).Although space limitations prevent us from elaborating this point further, we contend tha t such positions
are deeply problematic in terms of their penchant for de-emphasizing the totalizing
(yes totalizing!) power and function of capital and for their attempts to employ culture
as a construct that would diminish the centrality of class. 6 In a proper historical
materialist account, culture is not the other of class but rather constitutes part
of a more comprehensive theorization of class relations in different contexts (cf.
struggles that fail to move beyond the discursive/cultural/textual realms. Such

Scatamburlo-DAnnibale & Langman, 2002).

Efforts to solve racism and sexism will fail unless they confront
class domination first
Marsh 95 (James, Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University, Critique, Action,
and Liberation, p. 286-287)
Racism and sexism, then, with their own separate dialectics function as a pregiven
basis for capital to create three fractions of labor, the independent primary, dependent primary,
and secondary sectors. These in mm enhance and reinforce racism and sexism, giving rise to a fragmented

Labor unions in
the United States have contributed to this process by engaging over the last 100 years in
their own practices of racism and sexism. All of this is not to deny the real
inequities of a systematic, institutionalized racism or sexism, but only to argue
that these also operate ideologically and functionally to reinforce, express,
legitimize, and disguise class domination : nor do I mean to imply that on the most concrete level
culture and politics in the United States that fail to unite against a common class enemy.

of praxis or social movements, a politics or economics organized around the working class is more significant or
even as significant as a politics organized around issues relating to quality of life, including not only militarism
and ecological devastation but also racism and sexism. Indeed, because of the role of the welfare state
discussed in this chapter and in the next, working-class organization and movements can be in certain contexts

All such movements,

however, to the extent that they try to address and change our socioeconomic
system in the deepest and most comprehensive manner, must confront the issue
of class domination, tyranny, and colonization. If full economic, social, and political democracy,
less important and significant than civil rights or woman's rights movements.

democratic socialism, is the way to go. then economic domination, tyranny, and colonization must be confronted

Otherwise, the very legitimate ends of all social movements will be

compromised, limited, and frustrated. I will deal with this issue of social movements and their
and overcome.

relationship to class domination more fully in the last chapter.

AT Perm

AT: Perm Do Both (Generic)

Any discussion of cultural identity distorts Marxian class
analysisthat means the perm cant solve
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale and McLauren 03, V. and Peter McLaren, The Strategic
Centrality of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, UCLA, 2003,

contemporary narratives have stressed the cultural dimensions of

difference while marginalizing and, in some cases, ignoring its economic and
material dimensions. This posturing has been quite evident in many post-al theories
of race and in the realm of ludic cultural studies that have valorized accounts of difference
in almost exclusively superstructuralist terms (Sahay, 1998). But this treatment of difference and
claims about the relative autonomy of race have been enabled by a reduction
and distortion of Marxian class analysis that involves equating class analysis
with some version of economic determinism (Meyerson, 2000). The key move in this
distorting gesture depends on the view that the economic is the base, the
cultural/political/ ideological the superstructure. It is then relatively easy to show
that the (presumably non-political) economic bases does not cause the political/cultural/
ideological superstructure, that the latter is/are not epiphenomenal but relatively
autonomous or autonomous causal categories (Meyerson, 2000, p. 2). In such formulations, the
cultural is treated as a separate and autonomous sphere, severed from its
embeddedness within sociopolitical and economic arrangements . As a result,
culturalist narratives have produced autonomist and reified conceptualizations of
difference that far from enabling those subjects most marginalized by racial
difference have in effect reduced difference to a question of knowledge/power
relations that can presumably be dealt with (negotiated) on a discursive level
without a fundamental change in the relations of production (Sahay, 1998, p. 10).
For the most part,

AT: Perm Do Both (Queer)

The perm is a solvency deficitcurrent forms of queer
resistance has come a long way, but their struggles have
focused on gaining acceptance within the system instead of
against it
Copland 15, Simon Copland, writer specialising in sex, culture and politics, Sex and Society: Capitalism
and Gay Oppression, Simoncopland, June 19, 2015,
This is how anti-gay sentiment manifested in the modern capitalist state .

Capitalism created the very

foundations of the homosexual identity, but also required that identity to be
squashed so it did not mess with the norm of the nuclear family, which the state
promoted because the breakdown of family structures caused by capitalism
threatened wider social breakdown. Hence a process of scientific identification and treatment
treatment designed to bring those with deviant identities back into the fold. So how does this all relate today? If
queer identities are diametrically opposed to the modern state, why are we seeing conservatives such as David
Cameron embracing gay marriage?

It is certainly true that equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual,

trans* and intersex people has come a long way in the last 40 to 50 years. In the
early days of the gay liberation movement this emancipation was connected to
challenging the nuclear family, and in turn the state which promoted and defended
it. Queer people demanded liberation from (rather than within) capitalism. Yet, Camerons statement indicates a
major shift in this view over the past decades. In recent years gay and lesbian activists have
become more focused on gaining acceptance within capitalist structures, rather
than fighting them, and capitalists have slowly begun to welcome us with open arms not least of all
because queer communities have been increasingly identified as a locus of accumulation. This has occurred through
a range of different means from campaigns for same-sex marriage, to the promotion of gay and lesbian

Gays and lesbians have gone through a process of normalisation, one in

which they have become part of the capitalist family instead of standing from the
outside opposing it.

AT: Perm Do Both (Race)

Discussion of race and class along with class struggles fails
bring light a truly Marxian approachunder the perm, the alt
is gutted of its practical and social dimension
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale and McLauren 03, V. and Peter McLaren, The Strategic
Centrality of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, UCLA, 2003,

We need to include an important caveat that differentiates our approach from those
who invoke the hackneyed race/class/gender triplet that can sound, to the
uninitiated, both radical and vaguely Marxian. It is not. Although race, class, and
gender invariably intersect, they are not coprimary. On the surface, the triplet may be
convincingsome people are oppressed because of their race, some as a result of their gender, and others because

this is grossly misleading and approximates what philosophers call a

category mistake. For it is not that some individuals manifest certain
characteristics 156 Cultural StudiesCritical MethodologiesMay 2003 by guest on July 30, 2015 Downloaded from known as class which then results in their oppression;
on the contrary, to be a member of a social class justisto be oppressed, and in this
regard, class is a wholly social category (Eagleton, 1998, p. 289). Furthermore, even when
class is invoked as part of the aforementioned triptych, it is usually
gutted of its practical, social dimension or treated solely as a cultural
phenomenon or categoryas just another form of difference. In these
instances, class is transformed from an economic and, indeed, social
category to an exclusively cultural or discursive one or one in which class
merely signifies a subject position. Class is therefore cut off from the political
economy of capitalism, and class power is severed from exploitation and a power
structure in which those who control collectively produced resources only do so
because of the value generated by those who do not (Hennessy & Ingraham, 1997, p. 2).
This has had the effect of replacing a historical materialist class analysis with a
cultural analysis of class. As a result, many post-Marxists have also stripped the concept of class of
of their classbut

precisely that element which, for Marx, made it radical namely, its status as a universal form of exploitation
whose abolition required (and was also central to) the abolition of all manifestations of oppression (Marx, 1978, p.
60). With regard to this issue, Kovel (2002) was particularly insightful for he explicitly tackled the priority given to
different categories (i.e., gender, class, race, ethnic, and national exclusion) of what he called dominative
splitting. Kovel argued that we need to ask the question: Priority with respect to what? He noted that if we mean
priority with respect to time, then the category of gender would have priority because there are traces of gender
oppression in all other forms of oppression. If we were to prioritize in terms of existential significance, Kovel
suggested that we would have to depend on the immediate historical forces that bear down on distinct groups of
peoplehe offered examples of Jews in 1930s Germany who suffered from brutal forms of anti-Semitism and

The question of what has

political priority, however, would depend on which transformation of relations of
oppression is practically more urgent, and although this would certainly depend on
the preceding categories, it would also depend on the fashion in which all the forces
acting in a concrete situation are deployed. As to the question of which split sets
into motion all the others, the priority would have to be given to class because class
relations entail the state as an instrument of enforcement and control, and it is the
state that shapes and organizes the splits that appear in human ecosystems. Thus
class is both logically and historically distinct from other forms of exclusion (hence
we should not talk of classism to go along with sexism and racism and
Palestinians today who experience anti-Arab racism under Israeli domination.

speciesism). This is, first of all, because class is an essentially man-made category, without root in even a
mystified biology. We cannot imagine a human world without gender distinctionsalthough we can imagine a world
without domination by gender. But a world without class is eminently imaginableindeed, such was the human
world for the great majority of our species time on earth, during all of from which considerable fuss was made over

the differences arise because class signifies one side of a larger

figure that includes a state apparatus whose conquests and regulations create races
and shape gender relations. Thus there will be no resolution of racism so long as
class society stands, inasmuch as a racially oppressed society implies the activities
of a class-defending state. Nor can gender inequality be enacted away so long as
class society, with its state, demands the super-exploitation of womens labor. (pp.
123-124) Kovels remarks raise questions about the primacy given to class analysis
and class strugglea debate that continues unabated in most leftist circles. Contrary
gender. Historically,

to what many have claimed, not all Marxian forms of class analysis relegate categories of difference to the
conceptual mausoleum. In fact, recent Marxist theory has sought to reanimate them by interrogating how they are
refracted through material relations of power and privilege and linked to relations of production. Marx himself made
clear how constructions of race and ethnicity are implicated in the circulation process of variable of capital. To the
extent that gender, race, and ethnicity are all understood as social constructions rather than as essentialist

the effect of exploring their insertion into the circulation of variable

capital (including positioning within the internal heterogeneity of collective labor
and hence, within the division of labor and the class system) must be interpreted
as a powerful force reconstructing them in distinctly capitalist ways (Harvey, 2000, p.
106). Unlike contemporary narratives that tend to focus on one or another form of
oppression, the irrefragable power of historical materialism resides in its ability to
reveal (a) how forms of oppression based on categories of difference do not possess
relative autonomy from class relations but rather constitute the ways in which
oppression is lived/experienced within a class-based system and (b) how all forms of
social oppression function within an overarching capitalist system.

AT: Lens Perm

Using class secondarily or as a base essentializes and reifies
cultural difference as something that can be solved in a
separate, legalized sphere
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale and McLauren 03, V. and Peter McLaren, The Strategic
Centrality of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, UCLA, 2003,

contemporary narratives have stressed the cultural dimensions of

difference while marginalizing and, in some cases, ignoring its economic and material
dimensions. This posturing has been quite evident in many post-al theories of race and in the realm
of ludic cultural studies that have valorized accounts of difference in almost exclusively
superstructuralist terms (Sahay, 1998). But this treatment of difference and claims
about the relative autonomy of race have been enabled by a reduction and
distortion of Marxian class analysis that involves equating class analysis with
some version of economic determinism (Meyerson, 2000). The key move in this distorting
gesture depends on the view that the economic is the base, the cultural /political/
ideological the superstructure. It is then relatively easy to show that the (presumably nonpolitical) economic bases does not cause the political/cultural/ ideological
superstructure, that the latter is/are not epiphenomenal but relatively autonomous or
autonomous causal categories (Meyerson, 2000, p. 2). In such formulations, the cultural is
treated as a separate and autonomous sphere, severed from its embeddedness within
sociopolitical and economic arrangements. As a result, culturalist narratives have produced
autonomist and reified conceptualizations of difference that far from enabling those
subjects most marginalized by racial difference have in effect reduced difference
to a question of knowledge/power relations that can presumably be dealt with
(negotiated) on a discursive level without a fundamental change in the relations of
production (Sahay, 1998, p. 10).
For the most part,

Aff Answers

Historical Materialism Fails

Historical materialism fails, we cant know everything
Sciabarra 2000 (Chris Mathew, PhD in Political Philosophy, Theory and Methodology, Total Freedom:
Toward A Dialectical Libertarianism
Despite this commonality, Hayek and Marx part company in their assessments of the future. Although Hayek's
approach has its inherent problems, his work provides an effective indictment of Marxism, not only as a statist

Marx recognized what I have called the "epistemic

limitations on human knowledge -- that utopians face. But he historicized
these limitations, suggesting that history itself would resolve the problem of human
ignorance. This Marxian vision of communism has two essential flaws: (1) It presumes godlike planning and control, and a mastery of the many sophisticated nuances, tacit
practices, and unintended consequences of social action. But no human being and
no group of human beings can possibly triumph over these spontaneous factors;
they are partially constitutive of what we mean by "sociality." Those who attempt to build a
road from earth to heaven are more likely to wind up in hell. (2) It presumes a total grasp of history.
Everything that is has a past and contains within it the seeds of many possible futures. While Marxists are
political ideology, but also as a theoretical project.
strictures" -- or

correct to acknowledge that studying what is must necessarily entail an understanding of how it came to be, they

study the present as if from an imagined future . When Marxists suggest that
history itself can lead to a triumph over human ignorance, they actually imply privileged access to
total knowledge of future social conditions. This is not merely illegitimate; it is
inherently utopian and profoundly undialectical insofar as it is unbounded by the context that
exists. It is this kind of totalism that a dialectical method repudiates. At root, the desire for such
omniscience is a distortion of the genuinely human need for efficacy. It is based on what
Hayek calls a "synoptic delusion," a belief that one can live in a world in which every action
produces consistent and predictable outcomes. Such a quest for total knowledge is
equally a quest for totalitarian control. To the extent that Marxism has been a beacon for those trying
to actualize such an impossibility, it has fueled a reactionary, rather than a
progressive, social agenda -- the aggrandizement of the state, the oppression of
individual rights, and the fragmentation of groups in pursuit of political power.
often attempt to

Perm do bothMarxs understanding of capitalism calls for an
examination and analysis of culture and other ideologies
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale and McLauren 03, V. and Peter McLaren, The Strategic
Centrality of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, UCLA, 2003,

To suggest that culture is generally conditioned/shaped by material forces and social

relations linked to production does not reinscribe the sim- plistic and presumably
deterministic base/superstructure metaphor, which has plagued some strands of
Marxist theory. Rather, such a formulation draws on Marx's own writings from both the Grundrisse (Marx,
1858/1973) and Cap- ital (Marx, 1867/1967) in which he contended that there is a consolidating logic in the
relations of production that permeates society in the complex vari- ety of its "empirical" reality. 4

emphasizes Marx's understanding of capital- ism and capital as a "social" relation
one that stresses the interpenetration of these categories and one that
offers a unified and dialectical analysis of history, ideology, culture,
politics, economics, and society (see Marx, 1863/1972, 1867/1976a, 1866/1976b, 1865/ 1977a,
1844/1977b). Moreover, fore- grounding the limitations of "difference" and
"representational" politics does not suggest a disavowal of the importance of
cultural and/or discursive arena(s) as sites of contestation . We readily acknowledge
the significance of theorizations that have sought to valorize precisely those forms
of difference that have historically been denigrated. They have helped to uncover
the geneal- ogy of terror hidden within the drama of Western democratic life. This
has been an important development that has enabled subordinated groups to
reconstruct their own histories and give voice to their individual and collective
identities (Bannerji, 1995; Scatamburlo-D'Annibale & Langman, 2002). Contemporary theorists have also
contributed to our understanding of issues Contemporary theorists have also contributed to our
understanding of issues of "otherness" and "race" as hegemonic articulations (Hall,
1980, 1987, 1988), the cultural politics of race and racism and the implications of
raciology (Gilroy, 1990, 2000), as well as the epistemological violence perpetrated by
Western theories of knowledge (Goldberg, 1990, 1993). Miron and Indas (2000) work, drawing on Judith
Butlers theory of performativity, has been insightful in showing how race works to constitute the racial subject
through a reiterative discursive practice that achieves its effect through the act of naming and the practice of

We shouldnt shy away from embracing particular struggles

which are linked to more universal struggle- we need a
dialectic between micro and macro struggles
Marsh 95 (James L., Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University, Critique,
Action, and Liberation p. 256-257)
Clearly, then, full liberation in the university should become liberation of the
university from the thrall of capital and capitalist values. Such liberation implies a
theoretical and practical praxis on the part of students and faculty to become
really what they are essentially, the center of the university. Such a movement
involves a movement from powerlessness to power, hierarchy to equality,
patriarchy to feminism, passivity to activity, ressentiment to critique. Being a
radical academic means, first of all. to do what I can. according to my own

talents, needs, and available time, to aid such a struggle. We become in

Foucault's words "specific intellectuals." engaging the socioeconomic
system where it impinges on our own professional lives. Such
specificity, however, should be linked as much as possible to a
systematic, universal comprehension of the socioeconomic system in
which we live. Otherwise, we run a danger of misunderstanding the meaning of
the struggle and the causes of the evil against which we struggle, racist, sexist
capitalist domination, tyranny, and colonization in this university. We note here
a necessary dialectic between micro and macro struggles. Perhaps more
adequate as a model than "universal" or "specific" intellectual is
Gramsci's notion of organic intellectual: the intellectual as related to.
emerging from, and connected to particular groups and struggles but
able and willing to relate these specific struggles to the universal in
different senses, phenomenological. ethical, hermeneutical-explanatory.
critical, programmatic.

The perm is key because the alt alone cannot solvea focus on
class struggle cannot ever replace cultural politics because
they are ontologically distinct
Scatamburlo-DAnnibale and McLauren 03, V. and Peter McLaren, The Strategic
Centrality of Class in the Politics of Race and Difference, UCLA, 2003,
This implies that to abolish racism in any substantive sense, a serious challenge to capitalism must be launched.11

It does not mean that racism will simply disappear if democratic socialism
is established, but we agree with Callinicos (1993, p. 68) that the struggles for socialism and
Black liberation are inseparable something well understood by Black revolutionaries in the past and
something seemingly forgotten by contemporary champions of difference politics (Fletcher, 1999). As Bannerji

a politics based on differencesbe it in the form of cultural/racial

nationalism or religious fundamentalismis far more tolerable to those in power
than would be class based social movements among minority populations (pp. 7(2000) has noted,

8).12 Remarkably, much contemporary social theory, particularly those theories ostensibly concerned with race and
difference, has failed to acknowledge that struggles based on class are fundamentally different from others for such
struggles are aimed at the very foundations of capitalist societyincluding its racist, exploitative underpinnings.

Class struggle, rooted as it is in the objective structures of capital itself, is

ontologically distinct (Harvey, 1998, p. 7) from those forms of oppression that motivate
the various agendas of difference and cultural politics. Multiple forms of oppression
do exist, but these are best understood within the overarching system of class domination and the variable
discriminating mechanisms central to capitalism as a system. This position is emphasized by Foster (2002) when he
insisted that it is a serious mistake to view the working class, except as an artificial abstraction, as cut off from
issues of race, gender, culture and community. In the United States the vast majority of the working class consists
of women and people of color.

The power to upend and reshape society in decisive ways will

come not primarily through single-issue movements for reform, but rather through
forms of organization and popular alliance that will establish feminists, opponents of
racism, advocates of gay rights, defenders of the environment, etc. as the more
advanced sectors of a unified, class-based, revolutionary political and economic
movement. (p. 45)

Root Cause

Capitalism is not the root causeracism came first, and the
conflation of capitalism with racism leads nowhere
Mudede 15, Charles Mudede, writer for The Stranger, Apr 2, 2015, Racism Has
Nothing to Do with Capitalism, The Stranger,
I have to make this as clear as possible. Racism and capitalism are not the same
thing, in the way capitalism and democracy are not identical. Racism and
democracy are in fact much older than capitalism, which , in my opinion, began with the
founding of the Bank of England (1694), an institution that coupled one form of the
market (finance, moneylending) with one of the main functions of the state (war). Capitalism is
above all about state debt, which is why we find that the most significant developments in its history almost always
coincide with major wars. The formation of the Bank of England (the Battle of Beachy Head); the Bretton Woods
monetary system (World War Two); Nixon closing the gold window in 1971 and the global shift to floating currencies
(the Vietnam War).

The conflation of capitalism (state finance) with racism always leaves the
structure of capitalism free to reproduce itself in different cultural or social
conditions. To understand this is to understand why all 20th-century liberation movements in black Africa ended
in failure, ended with blacks economically oppressing blacks. Also, and more directly, this is why Nelson
George, an important critic of American popular culture, is correct to point out that
black Americans can easily be the beneficiaries of gentrificationa process by
which surplus capital shapes and reshapes urban spaces for the storage and
extraction of monetary value.

Capitalism cannot explain all of sexismcannot explain
violence towards women
Copland 15, Simon Copland, writer specialising in sex, culture and politics, Sex and Society: Capitalism
and Gay Oppression, Simoncopland, June 19, 2015,

While these roots are economic, however, that cannot explain sexism in its whole. These
economic roots have also created cultural realities. There are a number of examples of this, but lets
just look at one: the perception of female sexuality. The repression of sexuality (through ideas that
women have low libidos to the medicalisation of female sexuality through the
illness nymphomania) is perhaps the greatest form of the ideological oppression
of women. We (men in particular) are all taught early on in our lives that female sexuality is
erratic and therefore the right of men to control. This has been ingrained culturally,
and is probably most graphically expressed through continued high levels of sexual
and physical violence targeted at women. Yet, if we think about it, this has a material foundation.
When women are required to be monogamous the collective oppression of their sexuality is logical (although not
moral). This is just another way to ensure women complete their economic roles.

Commodification Addendum

I think these cards would be best read as turns on case or
solvency deficits on case, not as an entire off-case position.

Suffering Narratives

Causes Oppression
Stories of suffering are become spectacles and that
perpetuates oppressionreaders seek out spectacles of
suffering and often identify with perpetrators
Kay and Smith 04, Schaffer, Kay, Emerita Professor in Gender Studies and Social Inquiry; Smith,
Sidonie, Mary Fair Croushore Professor of the Humanities. Biography, Conjunctions: Life Narratives in the Field of
Human Rights, Project Muse, Biography, Volume 27, Number 1, Winter 2004, pp. 1-24 (Article) l 4 Published by
University of Hawai'i Press '77:): DOI: 10.1353/bio.2004.0039

sensationalized stories of suffering feed the darker passions of what Kirby

Farrell labels the post-traumatic wound cultures of postmodernity. Farrell describes posttraumatic culture as a culture desensitized to suffering, a world in which power and
authority seem staggeringly out of balance, in which personal responsibility and
helplessness seem crushing, and in which cultural meanings no longer seem to
transcend death (7). In a post-traumatic environment, some readers seek out spectacles of
suffering and trauma to fuel sadomasochistic fantasies and voyeuristic pleasures.
Identifying with perpetrators rather than victims, such readers may turn to another
persons potential violence to both experience and exorcize their own posttraumatic demons (Farrell 7). Others may turn to narratives of suffering and trauma to
feed their needs to feel something, anything, any sensation, to experience some
concatenation of affects and pleasures. This recourse to traumatic narratives,
argues Ball, paradoxically serves simultaneously to defer, to organize, and to
reproduce the low-grade angst (19).
For other readers,

Discourse of suffering upholds existing powersresponses and

solutions to suffering are always controlled by those in power,
and that just reinforces the divide between those who suffer
and those who do not
Mohr 10, Richard Mohr, at Legal Intersections Research Center, Responsibility and the Representation of
Suffering: Australian law in black and white,, 2010,

suffering is reconstructed from an experience of pain or

deprivation into a relationship, and this is notably a relationship between those who
suffer and those who do not. Renault (2008: 376) reports on Veena Dass analysis of reactions to the
Bhopal disaster in India, which found that legitimating tropes of legal discourse detached
suffering from the victims. The discourse of suffering was used to reduce those who
suffered to silence, while the negotiations and construction of events, including
that of the suffering itself, were commandeered by politicians and lawyers . The
In political and legal discourse

emphasis here 131 is on the victims of suffering, while the legal mechanisms are shown to have deprived them of a

Images of suffering typically portray the sufferer as the other, as distanced

from us the responsible, the actively viewing subject. In a series of photographs
by Pierre Gonnord reproduced in El Pas under the heading El silencio de los
marginados (Garca,2008), the mute, closed faces of the marginalised are in
contrast to the outgoing, engaging presence of the photographer himself, depicted
by a newspaper photographer. The representation of suffering forms an essential

component in that political economy of suffering that involves domination , ds

affiliation and dispossession. On one hand, suffering is constituted as a salient political phenomenon by artistic,
media and political representations. On the other hand, responses to suffering are framed by representations of the

Where suffering is represented as

silence, the role of those responsible becomes to represent, to speak for, and,
finally, to act for the sufferers. The media, politicians and lawyers play these roles
with professional zeal. In the meantime, responsibility for ones own actions and
legal liability for specific injustices and the spoils of dispossession are washed away
by the tide of a reimagined history, dispersal of collective responsibilities and the representation of suffering embodied in those who suffer. The allocation of responsibility and
suffering subject and its converse, the responsible subject.

suffering among Indigenous and settler Australians provides an illuminating instance of these processes. It tests
and illustrates the theoretical framework developed above. At the same time, the concepts developed there should
also be expected to suggest an evaluative framework and a way forward in improving the relations between the two
groups, and in addressing the objective conditions of suffering. The following sections describe two relevant recent
developments in law and policy relating to Australian Indigenous peoples (comprising two broad distinct groups
known as Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, respectively).

Solvency Deficit
Personal stories obscure the underlying racial problems that
created the sufferingthe narrative is always lifted outside of
the historical context in order to evoke universal inspiration
proven by Zlata and Anne Franks diary
Pratt and Rosner 13, Geraldine Pratt, she develops the implications and output of a twenty-year
collaboration with the Philippine Women Centre of BC by working with Migrante International in Manila on a devised
theatre process at the community level. Victoria Rosner, interests include gender studies, The Global and the
Intimate: Feminism in Our Time, Columbia University Press, Aug 13, 2013

As a text commanding response and responsible action, Zlatas Diary is represented

and marketed in ways that sentimentalize the suffering Bosnian-Croat subject by
lifting that subject outside history and politics. The commodification of stories of
ethnic suffering obscures the complex politics of historical events, stylizes the story
to suit an educated international audience familiar with narratives of individual
triumph over adversity, evokes emotive responses trained on the feel-good qualities
of successful resolution, and often universalizes the story of suffering so as to erase
incommensurable differences operative amidst the horror of violence . The
commodification of the young girls diary gives us a version of the story of Anne
Frankbut with a happy ending. Yet there is more to the relationship established between the contemporary
Zlata and the 1940s Anne Frank. The forces of commodification have framed the earlier diary
as well. In successive decades since its initial publication, The Diary of Anne Frank
has been edited and interpreted, reedited and reinterpreted, marketed and
circulated to give some of its audience an Americanized Anne Frank situated not
in a determinative ethnicity but situated as an adolescent subject inspiring hope
and promise for everyone. As an early reviewer of the stage version of the Diary wrote in 1955, Anne
Frank is a Little Orphan Annie brought to vibrant life. Alvin H. Rosenfield suggests that the early
version of the diary, and the 1955 stage play based on the diary as adapted by
Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, present an image of Anne Frank that would
be widely acceptable to large number of people in the post war periodone
characterized by such irrepressible hope and tenacious optimism as the overcome
any final sense of a cruel end. He further elaborates how the play and its reviews
erase the haunting marks of ethnic difference, eliding references to the Jewishness
of the Frank family and playing up the figure of the universal teenager struggling
in adolescence and hopeful about the future. The Jewish particularities of the Anne
Frank who lived in the attic and died in Bergen Belsen are suppressed in order to
broadcast a story of universal inspiration. Made into a story that speaks to
everyone about what Hanno Loewy describes as the personalized world of family
experience, the diary of Anne Frank becomes a story that can no longer speak of
ethnic difference. The iconic Anne Frank becomes an abstract universal detached
from her vivid sense of herself as a Jew. Rosenfeld defines Anne Frank as a contemporary cultural
icon whose name is so well known that to the world at large the 1.5 million children who perished in the
Holocaust all bear one namethat of Anne Frank. Anne Frank has become the child that died in the genocidal
Holocaust. Decades later,

the production, circulation, and reception of Zlatas story of

ethnicity under assault as the deepest truth about the Bosnia situation had the
effect of leech[ing], according to David Rieff, the Bosnian tragedy of its
complexity. If the category of the ethnic, and the global visibility and saliency of particular ethnic

identifications, are historical effects of a modernity founded on the articulation of universal categories of abstract
equality, then the trackings of ethnicities enfolded in own another at once create a superfluity of the particularites
of difference and cancel differences through the abstract equality (or universalism) of those who share suffering.

The figure of the child commodified in the global flows of rights activism and its
management of ethnicity becomes the sentimental public face of ethnic trauma and
the violence of ethnic nationalism, the essentialized figure of the communitys
victim and its victimization. To put it another way, Zlata, with her invocation of
Anne Frank, becomes, for some readers, the universalized figure of ethnicitys
besieged child.

Narratives are co-opted by Western-dominated circuits

circulation of these stories always end up being commodified
and de-personalizedthats a solvency deficit
Pratt and Rosner 13, Geraldine Pratt, she develops the implications and output of a twenty-year
collaboration with the Philippine Women Centre of BC by working with Migrante International in Manila on a devised
theatre process at the community level. Victoria Rosner, interests include gender studies, The Global and the
Intimate: Feminism in Our Time, Columbia University Press, Aug 13, 2013
Through their stories of ethnic suffering, witnesses expose the violence inflicted by those pursuing the project of
ethnic nationalism as a goal of state formation. They also reveal the complexities and conundrums involved in
telling stories of ethnic difference and grievance through frameworks and institutions founded on the concept of
abstract universality. For many witnesses, the embeddedness of stories of ethic suffering in the discourses,
institutions, and practices of human rights provides the previously unheard and invisible a narrative framework, a

in order to
circulate their stories within the global circuits of human-rights activism and brings
crises of violence and suffering to a larger public, witnesses give their stories over
to journalists, publishers, publicity agents, marketers, and rights activists whose
framings of personal narratives participate in the commodification of suffering, the
reification of the universalized subject position of innocent victim, and the erasure
of historical context and complexity through recourse to the feel-good opportunities
of empathetic identification. Personal storytelling in the context of rights activism is
animated by and contributes to a paradox at the heart of human-rights discourse
and practice: the uneasy enfolding of the universality the ethnic particular. Elicited,
framed, produced, circulated, and received within the contexts of human-rights
activism, the life story of ethnic suffering at once ennobles an authentic (and
sentimentalized) voice of suffering and depersonalizes that voice. Emerging from a
local site of ethnically based struggle, the story enters Western-dominated global
circuits, through which it may lose its local specificity. It reaches global audiences
far from its point of origin, there to be interpreted and reproduced in unpredictable
ways, some of which may elide difference as they universalize suffering and
context and occasion, an audience, and a subject position from which one make claims. And yet,

Representations of pain fail to produce social changethree

reasonscreates doubt of solvency, reinforce homogeneity,
and creates confusion
Sarat and Kearns 99, AUSTIN SARAT, Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, THOMAS R.
KEARNS, Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, "Cultural Pluralism,
Identity Politics, and the Law," The University of Michigan Press, 1999,,

Yet, since these very sources of protectionthe

state, the law, patriotic ideologyhave

traditionally buttressed traditional matrices of cultural hierarchy , and since their
historic job has been to protect universal subject/citizens from feeling their cultural
and corporeal specificity as a political vulnerability, the imagined capacity of these
institutions to assimilate to the affective tactics of subaltern counterpolitics
suggests some weaknesses, or misrecognitions, in these tactics. For one thing, it
may be that the sharp specificity of the traumatic model of pain implicitly
mischaracterizes what a person is as what a person becomes in the experience of
social negation; this model also falsely promises a sharp picture of structural
violences source and scope, in turn promoting a dubious optimism that law and
other visible sources of inequality, for example, can provide the best remedies for their
own taxonornizing harms. it is also possible that counterhegemonic deployments of
pain as the measure of structural injustice actually sustain the utopian image of a
homogeneous national metaculture, which can look like a healed or healthy body in
contrast to the scarred and exhausted ones. Finally, it might be that the tactical use
of trauma to describe the effects of social inequality so overidentifies the
eradication of pain with the achievement of justice that it enables various
confusions: for instance, the equation of pleasure with freedom or the sense that changes in feeling, even on a
mass scale, amount to substantial social change. Sentimental politics makes these confusions
credible and these violences bearable, as its cultural power confirms the centrality
of inter-personal identification and empathy to the vitality and viability of collective
life. This gives citizens something to do in response to overwhelming structural violence. Meanwhile, by equating
mass society with that thing called "national culture ," these important transpersonal linkages and
intimacies all too frequently serve as proleptic shields, as ethically uncontestable
legitimating devices for sustaining the hegemonic field.

Narratives of oppression are inevitably re-contextualized

their original meaning is changed and that kills solvency
Kay and Smith 04, Schaffer, Kay, Emerita Professor in Gender Studies and Social Inquiry; Smith,
Sidonie, Mary Fair Croushore Professor of the Humanities. Biography, Conjunctions: Life Narratives in the Field of
Human Rights, Project Muse, Biography, Volume 27, Number 1, Winter 2004, pp. 1-24 (Article) l 4 Published by
University of Hawai'i Press '77:): DOI: 10.1353/bio.2004.0039

The circulation and reception of Menchs narrative demonstrates the contested

and unpredictable impact such stories can have. In some contexts, as Attwood and Magowan
suggest, published stories can become a form of cultural and political capital for oppositional groups (xi), and the
knowledge they represent can generate proprietary claims within communities that distinguish insiders from
outsiders. In others,

readers and audiences can impose competing demands and tools of

interpretation through what Leigh Gilmore terms extrajudicial trials or forums of
judgment that provoke engagements around the evidentiary status of narrative
meanings. Through these contradictory channels of circulation and reception a
levering forward of ethics, truth telling, and scandal unfolds, setting in motion
many potential outcomes (Gilmore, Jurisdictions 69596). The history of reception of I, Rigoberta
Mench suggests that those who publish their stories of oppression, abuse, trauma,
degradation, and loss can neither know nor control how that story will be received
and interpreted. A story can generate recognition, empathy, critical awareness, advocacy, and activism
elsewhere that helps to empower people struggling locally in Guatemala to extend their campaigns for human


The same story can become a commodity, and the teller a celebrity on a world
stage, as the narrative is dispersed through book clubs, radio and television
interviews and talk shows, classrooms and living rooms, picked up by independent
documentary filmmakers, and distributed internationally. The same story can
become a scandal overseas that produces resistance within and beyond the
boundaries of Guatemala as it generates, as did I, Rigoberta Mench,controversy
that turns international attention to claims and counterclaims having to do with
issues of juridical veracity. Through the rise in publication of minority life stories, the literature of
trauma, and hybrid forms of life writing, storytelling has become a potent and yet highly
problematic form of cultural production,

critical to the international order of human rights and movements on behalf of social change. 18 Biography 27.1 (Winter

2004) Personal narratives in all their generic variety and locational specificity reveal the effects of the traumatic past whether the past be one of radical dislocation, terrorism, physical torture, profound loss, forced assimilation,
discrimination, oppression, or sexual abuse. The very aesthetics of form, the very forms of narrative address to the reader, enable victims to speak truth to power. As meta-sites for social critique, published narratives sometimes
unsettle received conceptions of personal and national identity, sometimes dismantle the foundational fictions through which nations and imagined communities construct and reconstruct their histories, sometimes promote new
platforms for and forms of political action, and sometimes produce a backlash of actions that forestall recognition and redress. In local communities and through global flows, stories sometimes enable the re-constitution of lost
subjectivities, call forth new narratives of affiliation and belonging, and open up new international debates on the practical means through which to achieve justice with respect for the historical, national, religious, and philosophic

their efficacy remains severely

limited. The personal voice, as it is picked up, edited, translated, published, and
disseminated by dispersed media, institutions, and advocacy groups around the
world becomes at once reified as the authentic voice of suffering and
depersonalized through various forms of recontextualization . The narrative reaches
broader audiences beyond the local community, but those audiences subject the
narrative to different and unpredictable readings, put the narrative to different and
unpredictable uses. At any historical moment, only certain stories are tellable and
intelligible to a broader audience. Ultimately, historical contingencies also bring
historical occlusions.
traditions both consonant with and different from those foundational to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At other times, however,

A2 Commodification

Narratives solve
Personal storytelling is key to spur rights movementsproven
empirically by movements in the 20th century
Kay and Smith 04, Schaffer, Kay, Emerita Professor in Gender Studies and Social Inquiry; Smith,
Sidonie, Mary Fair Croushore Professor of the Humanities. Biography, Conjunctions: Life Narratives in the Field of
Human Rights, Project Muse, Biography, Volume 27, Number 1, Winter 2004, pp. 1-24 (Article) l 4 Published by
University of Hawai'i Press '77:): DOI: 10.1353/bio.2004.0039
By the last decades of the century, the modernist language of rights had become a lingua franca for extending
sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitlythe reach of human rights norms, not everywhere, but across an
increasingly broad swath of the globe.

Post-World War II struggles for national selfdetermination and equality for women, indigenous peoples, and minorities within
nation-states led to the rise of local and transnational political movements and
affiliationsmovements for Black and Chicano civil rights, womens rights, gay
rights, workers rights, refugee rights, disability rights, and indigenous rights among
themall of which have created new contexts and motivations for pursuing
personal protections under international law. In each instance, personal storytelling
motivated the rights movement. These collective movements have gained momentum and clarified
agendas for action through attachment to the goals of the Universal Declaration and attendant discourses, events,

The collective movements have also argued for new claims, pressing
for reinterpretations of rights frameworks, and lobbying for Covenants and
Declarations that expand the kinds of rights that require recognition and protection.
In the 1960s, group action and advocacy led to the adoption of the Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1969). In the 1970s, womens
and feminist activism led to the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women (1981). In the 1990s, trade union and
indigenous advocacy led to the adoption of the International Labor Organization
Convention 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (1991) and the Draft
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (1993). Together, these latter two instruments, if
and mechanisms.

and where ratified, could significantly alter the parameters of rights discourse in that they acknowledge and support
group rather than individual rights, encompassing the aspirations of indigenous and minority peoples for selfdetermination and their claims to culture, language, religion, and land rights, sometimes in opposition to states
claims of sovereignty.

In the early 1990s, rights activists lobbied for the Convention on

the Rights of the Child. In this evolving culture of rights, personal witnessing plays a
central role in the formulation of new rights protections, as people come forward to
tell their stories in the contexts of tribunals and national inquiries. In its role as an
advocate for peaceful forms of civic engagement within nations and across nations,
the United Nations itself has generated audiences for local stories muted within the
dominant cultures of member states through its decade strategy; that is, through
the targeting of a particular group and the concentration of attention on its issues
for a decade, as in the International Decade for Women (19751984) and the
International Decade of Indigenous Peoples (19952004).

Published life narratives have spurred human rights

movementsempirics provestories of women, war violence,
and indigenous persecution
Kay and Smith 04, Schaffer, Kay, Emerita Professor in Gender Studies and Social Inquiry; Smith,
Sidonie, Mary Fair Croushore Professor of the Humanities. Biography, Conjunctions: Life Narratives in the Field of

Human Rights, Project Muse, Biography, Volume 27, Number 1, Winter 2004, pp. 1-24 (Article) l 4 Published by
University of Hawai'i Press '77:): DOI: 10.1353/bio.2004.0039

Published life narratives have contributed directly and indirectly to

campaigns for human rights. Although this article addresses the conjunction of narrated lives and
human rights discourses and activism in the last twenty years , this linkage between stories and
actions extends back to the earliest discussions of an international rights
movement. As David Rieff notes, it was a memoir that spurred the adoption of the Geneva
Convention of 1864. In A Memoir of Solferino (1859), Swiss humanitarian Henri
Dunant witnessed the carnage of the decisive battle of the Franco-Austrian war. The
memoir provided an affective springboard for subsequent debates about just and
unjust wars, leading to the founding of the International Committee of the Red Cross
and the adoption of the Geneva Convention .10 Rieff goes so far as to suggest that the conference
at Geneva succeeded in translating the reaction to the book into a body of law (6869). In the last decades of the

countless numbers of published narratives have fuelled and been

fuelled by campaigns for human rights. Told from diverse locations by diverse
people, many of whom have been previously silenced, they offer hybrid modes of
telling stories, and hybrid modes of mediating political, ethical, and aesthetic
imperatives. Latin American testimonio, the recorded and transcribed testimony of
indigenous and/or poor peoples, bears witness to collective struggles against
massive state violence and oppression. Postcolonial bildungsroman, the story of education into and
twentieth century,

for national citizenship, explores the possibilities for and constraints limiting the decolonization of subjectivity in
postcolonial worlds.

Survivor narratives tell stories of abuse through which narrators turn

themselves from victims to survivors through acts of speaking out that shift
attention to systemic causes of violation. Coming-out stories have played a critical
role in campaigns to achieve human rights legislation for lesbians and gay men.
Personal narratives of displacement and cultural marginalization, such as those
written by ethnic Turks in Germany, bring stories of second-class citizenship to the
bar of public opinion around the world. Narratives of disability claim that the failure
of the state to address the particular needs of the disabled is a denial of basic
human rights. Stolen Generation narratives in Australia collectively reframe wellintentioned policies of assimilation as forms of cultural genocide. Narratives by
former comfort women such as Jan Ruff-OHernes 50 Years of Silence force
attention on military rape cultures through which womens rights to life and bodily
integrity are violated, bringing to the fore recognition of the importance of womens
rights and human rights. Prison narratives of political dissidents, like the letters from prison by Chinas
champion of democracy Wei Jingsheng, while often banned in their country of origin, find publishers elsewhere, and
thereby exert continued international pressure on non-compliant nations to address, justify, and modify their human
rights record.

Privacy K Addendum

Fem Link
Privacy is meaningless to the feminine body and is actually a
space of oppressionthere, women are objects of male
subjectivity and are in captivity
MacKinnon 09, Catherine A. MacKinnon, American feminist, scholar, lawyer, teacher and activist,
Reflections on Law in the Everyday life of Women, Law in Everyday Life, University of Michigan Press, Nov 10,
2009, p. 117-18.

Women in everyday life have no privacy in private. In private, women are objects of
male subjectivity and male power. The private is that place where men can do
whatever they want because women reside there . The consent that supposedly demarcates this
private surrounds women and follows us everywhere we go. Men reside in public, where laws against
harm existsreal harm, harm to men and whoever has the privilege to be hurt like
menand follow them wherever they go. Having arranged the law against rape and
battering and sexual abuse of children so virtually nothing is done about them, and
having supported male power in the home as a virtual absolute, the law then
proclaims its profoundest self-restrain, its guarantee of liberty where it matters
most, in the right to be let alone. This home is the place Andrea Dworkin has described from
battered womens perspective as that open grave where so many women lie waiting to die.
As a legal doctrine, privacy has become the affirmative triumph of the states abdication
of women. Sanctified by the absolution of law, the private is the everyday domain of
women in captivity, abandoned to their isolation and told it is what freedom really