Friday, October 24, 2014

Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 7

Thank you for enslaving us so good.
In this series we have been taking a look at the American race matrix.

A list of major references is included @ Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 3.

Yesterday we considered another aspect of the American matrix (What If There Was No Heaven Matrix?).

The structure of the American matrix is quite complex, so it takes lots of scientific papers, blog posts, and books to cover the subject (cf. the Series Posts tab at the top of any Dredd Blog post).

Anyway, speaking of books, there is one on point that has shaken up the symbolic racism discussion, so I wanted to point some of that out:
1) Slavery was a key driver of the formation of American wealth.

2) In its heyday, slavery was more efficient than free labor, contrary to the arguments made by some northerners at the time.

3) Slavery didn't just enrich the South, but also drove the industrial boom in the North.

4) Slavery wasn't showing any signs of slowing down economically by the time the Civil War came around.

5) The South seceded to guarantee the expansion of slavery.
(Huffington Post, book review excerpt). The Huffington Post book review is supplemented by the overview at the Barnes & Noble website as follows:
Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation’s original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America’s later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy.

As historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a
modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence.

Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. It forces readers to reckon with the violence at the root of American supremacy, but also with the survival and resistance that brought about slavery’s end—and created a culture that sustains America’s deepest dreams of freedom.
(The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery And The Making Of American Capitalism). Our cultural amygdala, like others, rewrites history to create a matrix of illusion so that we do not know history as well as we could.

Thus, we may become susceptible to repeating the wrongs in our history, and from time to time we can see those wrongs emerge once again to plague us.

The war on voting through errant voter id laws matrix is a current example (Justice Ginsburg).

The warification of the police forces is another matrix hidden in plain sight (Will The Military Become The Police? - 10).

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

1 comment:

  1. Daily Kos has a post about lynchings and their counterpart in today's U.S. society: link