Socialism

  • 01.01.07

    Towards A Socialist Theory Of Racism

    In the 1970s, Dr. Cornell West wrote a pamphlet on democratic socialism and why and how it could address racism. He did this by looking at various Marxist theories of racism, and then applying them to modern day America. These theories look at racism as a result of establishing and maintaining differences in the ...

    In the 1970s, Dr. Cornell West wrote a pamphlet on democratic socialism and why and how it could address racism. He did this by looking at various Marxist theories of racism, and then applying them to modern day America. 

    These theories look at racism as a result of establishing and maintaining differences in the workplace to xenophobic attitudes. 

    Dr. West then presents a theory of racism that goes beyond the Marxist theories. Marxist theories look at racism as a result of capitalism, when history shows that racism exists far beyond capitalistic countries - Dr. West states "Racism is as much a product of the interaction of cultural ways of life as it is of modern capitalism. A more adequate conception of racism should reflect this twofold context of cultural and economic realities in which racism has flourished."

    He concludes by talking about democratic socialism as a way to address racism in this country: "We must frankly acknowledge that a democratic socialist society will not necessarily eradicate racism. Yet a democratic socialist society is the best hope for alleviating and minimizing racism, particularly institutional forms of racism."