The Family Tree Revisited: The Mythology of 'Race'Richard Posner I Race & Ethnicity I Analysis I January 22nd, 2014
"There is only one race - the human race" - Mahatma Gandhi
While Gandhi was prone to indulge in more than a little "magical thinking," he nevertheless said a lot of things that make sense.
There are not separate races within the species Homo sapiens. There are only various ethnic groups that present some slight differences in appearance as a result of adaption to the diverse environments in which they developed. All the peoples of Earth are essentially, biologically and genetically the same. We are a single family.
The only "race" of people on Earth is the Human Race; one world, one species, one family. Whether you "believe" that family was "created" in the fabled garden of eden or conclude that it evolved on the plains of prehistoric Africa is irrelevant.
The existence of any ostensible "races" in the minds of any people, of any nation, in any language, is merely the result of propaganda, memes and disinformation, the mythology of racism, created and perpetuated by a parasitic minority; the pathological ruling class of the dominant culture.
The myth of racism is just one more weapon being used in the vain attempt to perpetuate an unsustainable and irredeemable "civilization" that, by its very nature, is irreparably self-destructive. It is a culture that not only consumes non-renewable resources with reckless abandon but devours and destroys renewables, like arable land, potable water, trees and natural food sources at a rate far surpassing that of their recovery. Any culture that depends for its very existence upon such a system cannot endure.
The mythology of racism was created expressly as a justification for the enslavement of specific ethnic groups. The seemingly authoritative but fallacious assignment of a variety of negative traits to the members of any given "race" makes it easier to dehumanize them and thereby rationalize the inhuman abuse they will be subjected to as property. While even today it is still used for that purpose, racism is also employed exhaustively as a "wedge issue," a source of discord, divisiveness and conflict that further enables the processes of oppression and subjugation, which support the perpetuation of civilization.
Even modern-language dictionaries seem to perpetuate the myth of racism.
Oxford English Dictionary (online) (source)
1. the belief that there are characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to each race
2. discrimination against or antagonism towards other races
- DERIVATIVES racist noun & adjective (emphasis added)
The above definition seems to presuppose that there are in fact separate and unique races within the human species. Irrefutably, there are not.
The Fact Of The Matter
The modern species of humans, the only extant species of the primate family Hominidae
All humans now living belong to the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens. (emphasis added)
In genetic terms, there is only one race, said King in a phone interview. "All humans are Africans." - Harvard University Gazette - Cancer researcher, geneticist, and social activist Mary-Claire King (source)
"Three fossil skulls from Ethiopia have been revealed as the oldest human remains yet discovered. The 160,000-year-old finds plug an important gap in the fossil record around the time our species first appeared and provides strong new evidence that Homo sapiens originated only in Africa..." (source)
"Scientists today announced the discovery of the oldest fossil skeleton of a human ancestor. The find reveals that our forebears underwent a previously unknown stage of evolution more than a million years before Lucy, the iconic early human ancestor specimen that walked the Earth 3.2 million years ago." (source)
"Human beings have very low genetic variability. Probably the entire species is descended from a single family that lived about 200,000 years ago." (emphasis added) (source)
"Using the latest molecular biology techniques, Templeton has analyzed millions of genetic sequences found in three distinct types of human DNA and concludes that, in the scientific sense, the world is colourblind. That is, it should be.
Race is a real cultural, political and economic concept in society, but it is not a biological concept, and that unfortunately is what many people wrongfully consider to be the essence of race in humans -- genetic differences," says Templeton. "Evolutionary history is the key to understanding race, and new molecular biology techniques offer so much on recent evolutionary history. I wanted to bring some objectivity to the topic. This very objective analysis shows the outcome is not even a close call: There's nothing even like a really distinct subdivision of humanity." - Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts and Sciences at Washington University (source)
"Evolution isn't making people in different parts of the world more distinct. There are no human races, just the one species: homo sapiens.
Race is one of the most misunderstood terms in modern science, misused by seasoned scientists and laymen alike. Put simply, there are no human races, just the one species: homo sapiens." (source)
"In the late 19th century, the 'Science of Race' was established. This was basically a "scientifically determined" list of all the different cultures in the world, listed in order of intelligence. Of course, following the path of historical bigotry, the Northern Europeans were placed at the top, and South Africans (native to the area) were at the bottom. This heinous list was used as justification for the inhumane suppression of slaves originally from the western coast of Africa. It was also used in defense of discrimination against Asians, South Americans, and any number of non Anglo-Saxon peoples. Therefore, the term 'racism' carries the excess baggage of centuries of outright crimes against humanity (i.e. the enslavement of Western and Central Africans for work in the Americas), not to mention xenophobia." (source)
"However, "races" as imagined by the public do not actually exist. Any definition of race that we attempt produces more exceptions than sound classifications. No matter what system we use, most people don't fit." - Original (source): The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 17, 1998, Page B4-B5 (source)
The mountain of peer-reviewed scientific evidence establishing incontrovertibly that homo sapiens is a single family and is comprised of only one race could fill an encyclopedia, perhaps a small library, dedicated to that subject alone. Nonetheless, there is no sign of abatement in the perpetuation of racism by the dominant culture of civilization. It is still used, albeit a bit more subtly in some places, to perpetrate obscenely vicious crimes against humanity.
America and, to be fair, most of the world have not yet resolved the problem of racism by any stretch of the imagination. It is not an exaggeration to say that slavery - which, it's worth repeating, racism was invented to justify - is still certainly extant in America. In fact most, if not all, of the former American middle class has been enslaved, regardless of ethnicity, through the processes of debt bondage and wage slavery.
Wage slavery and debt bondage are established when capitalist slave masters provide labor with the barest minimum subsistence wage and leave them to pay for their own sustenance and maintenance. Forcing laborers to "work for a living" is more profitable, more cost effective, than providing shelter, food, clothing and medical care for them. It also compels the wage slaves to buy said shelter, food, clothing and medical care and virtually everything else they need, from the very system that has enslaved them.
Not only are capitalist slavers spared the expenses of maintaining their slaves. To cut costs and increase profit they have built into their "system" the ability to control the availability and pricing of Life's "necessities". Since the ruling class "owns" just about everything, they can "sell" it at whatever price suits them. Ultimately, buy or die are the choices the wage/debt slave is forced to make. By inculcating them with the belief that their worth is measured by the things they "own" and keeping the "cost of living" relatively higher than the wages paid, the slave masters are able to coerce workers into burdening themselves with "credit", which keeps them perpetually indebted, hence debt bondage.
So not only does wage slavery save costs but, combined with debt bondage, it allows the slavers to recoup the wages paid to labor, plus "interest" on the "credit" the workers are manipulated into using. This scenario plays out across virtually our entire civilization. Where there are no slaves in the traditional sense, there are wage/debt slaves in their stead.
These Are the Good Old Days?
As criminal and inhuman as all this certainly is, I fear what is yet to come will make it seem highly desirable by comparison. In the relatively near future, when the pathocracy finally achieves its long sought dystopian goal of a global, totalitarian plutocracy, the extreme overpopulation of Earth will provide a vast ocean of traditional slave labor for many decades if not centuries. It will no longer be necessary to avoid working the slaves to death as long as enough are kept alive and just healthy enough to do their jobs and reproduce.
If industrial civilization manages to stand a bit longer, perhaps fifty years, I foresee the creation of labor camps, monstrous both in size and nature. Think numerous Auschwitz-Birkenau-type camps the size of a small state like Rhode Island or Connecticut.
The prison gates are closing more swiftly now. The walls and bars of the prison have been abuilding a long while. Our final incarceration is imminent. When the gates slam shut and the lock-bolt is driven home, we will look around in stunned disbelief and ask each other, "how can this be?"
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Johan Goethe
The Wheel Keeps Turning
I have reached a conclusion regarding the cycle of empire that has constantly repeated itself throughout the relatively short span of human history. And please keep in mind that the word "conclusion" is completely interchangeable with "opinion."
It seems clear to me that, since the event known as the Neolithic Revolution, the driving force behind the machinery of human history has been a very simple and fundamental thing. It can be stated quite clearly in only a few sentences.
- There is and seemingly has been for around ten to twelve thousand years, a small, psychopathic, subset of the species Homo sapiens who, being non-productive and unable or unwilling to provide for their own needs, have turned for their survival to deceit, contrivance, manipulation and all manner of mendacious behavior in order to exploit those who are productive contributors to the general welfare.
- These parasites have exploited their fellows in every possible way, taking unearned benefits from their labor but returning nothing to the group, clan, tribe or society.
- These individuals, usually essential psychopaths, also consider themselves vastly superior to those who unwittingly support them.
- Consequently, for millennia, through the process of ponerogenesis, they and their descendants have pursued an utterly ruthless and inhuman agenda with the goal of subjugating and enslaving the rest of humanity, whom they consider to be inferior.
Yes, in my humble opinion, it really is that simple.
And now, in the technologically small world of the 21st century, the pathocrats stand on the verge of fulfilling their quest for their long sought, dystopian dreamworld.
"In the psychopath, a dream emerges like some Utopia of a "happy" world and a social system which does not reject them or force them to submit to laws and customs whose meaning is incomprehensible to them.
They dream of a world in which their simple and radical way of experiencing and perceiving reality would dominate; where they would, of course, be assured safety and prosperity.
In this Utopian dream, they imagine that those "others", different, but also more technically skillful than they are, should be put to work to achieve this goal for the psychopaths and others of their kin. "We", they say, "after all, will create a new government, one of justice".
They are prepared to fight and to suffer for the sake of such a brave new world, and also, of course, to inflict suffering upon others.
Such a vision justifies killing people, whose suffering does not move them to compassion because "they" are not quite conspecific.
They do not realize that they will consequently meet with opposition which can last for generations."
("Political Ponerology" by Andrew M. Lobaczewski, IV, PONEROLOGY, INHERITED DEVIATIONS, page 139)
From this seemingly interminable quest for total worldly dominance has arisen our destructive and unsustainable modern industrial civilization; a fatal disease that is now near rendering the only world we have to live upon uninhabitable.
And so there is an ancient cycle of Pathocracy that has accompanied the implacable march of civilization, with its attendant male-dominated hierarchies, for at least ten thousand years:
- Concentrated accumulation of wealth by a small, pathological, subset of a population, in whatever form was current, along with the ensuant power it conveys
- Oppression and exploitation of the majority by this pathological "aristocracy" in its attempt to establish totalitarian dominance
- Unrestrained growth that inevitably exceeds the carrying capacity of the occupied landbase, which leads to widespread, deepening poverty and suffering combined with failing infrastructure and dwindling resources
- Imperial overreach in wars of conquest, colonization and occupation waged in the effort to acquire ever more essential resources
- Failure of the societal system due to the unrelenting, irrational, draconian measures of psychopathic rulers possessed by a pathological lust for power
- Popular anger reaches "critical mass" resulting in bloody rebellion; or the empire collapses under its own weight; or the empire is conquered by another, younger and/or more powerful
- The "victors" take over but inevitably retain the patriarchal hierarchic structure of civilization and said hierarchy is inevitably infiltrated and dominated by new or surviving essential psychopaths and another parasitic ruling class brings the next pathocracy to power
This theme and its variations are human history since the Neolithic Revolution. There is always the common denominator of a small group of pathological individuals who, driven beyond all reason by greed and addiction to power, without conscience or remorse, oppress, exploit and enslave the majority of the general population in an irrational quest for absolute supremacy. As history has repeatedly proven, this is an endeavor that, by its very nature, can only fail.
So, What's the Point?
What has all this to do with racism? Simply this; the mythology of racism has long been an important and very effective weapon in the arsenal of the ruling class, the pathocracy.
The supremacists, members of the pathocracy, are well aware that race has nothing to do with reality. The superficial physical differences between people from diverse environments provide a convenient means by which false dichotomies of "us and them" are created. This, in turn, gives manufactured substance to fallacious claims of the inferior nature of the "other".
When one "race" can be defined as "inferior" and dehumanized through a campaign of disinformation and slander, their enslavement can be profitably justified. This tactic can be used to rationalize everything from slavery to colonization and even genocide. It makes it "OK" to steal the resources of less deserving, inferior, uncivilized indigenous peoples or even those of "civilized" cultures that are "different" or simply weaker. It also makes it acceptable or even desirable to slaughter an "inferior race" in the process.
By the time the indoctrination machine of civilization is done, an entire culture of peaceful, intelligent and sustainably productive indigenous people, living harmoniously with their landbase, can be transformed into a population of filthy, ignorant, primitive savages that are an existential threat to the civilized. What right do such inferior heathens have to hoard natural resources to which civilization is naturally entitled?
The false concept of race also represents a potent "wedge issue" that can be used within the "empire" to manufacture discord and incite conflict among its diverse subjects. It focuses attention on irrelevant visible variations between ethnic groups; superficial differences that have evolved due to distinct environmental conditions. It's always easier to instill fear of or contempt for the "other" when there are visible dissimilarities from the established norm of the dominant culture. They are observable "evidence" of difference, things that can be seen and are therefore real and "true". When these visual cues are well established in the general "normal" population, they form a base upon which a campaign of disinformation and propaganda can be built.
This ability to divide, to create baseless conflict among the subjugated, is one of the most powerful weapons in the arsenal of any ruling class. Assuring that the huddled masses are kept busy fighting amongst themselves goes a very long way toward keeping them from recognizing and turning upon the actual source of their misery.
Racism, Capitalism & Slavery
"However, historical references indicate that class society before capitalism was able, on the whole, to do without this particular form of oppression [racism]. Bad as the society of classical Greece and Rome were it is historically reasonably well documented that the ancient Greeks and Romans knew nothing about race. Slaves were both black and white and in fact the majority of slaves were white. The first clear evidence of racism occurred at the end of the 16th century with the start of the slave trade from Africa to Britain and to America. " (emphasis added)
"Racism is a product of capitalism. It grew out of early capitalism's use of slaves for the plantations of the New World, it was consolidated in order to justify western and white domination of the rest of the world and it flourishes today as a means of dividing the working class between white and Muslim or black, and native and immigrants or asylum seekers." (emphasis added) (source)
Lo and behold! The emergence of capitalism is evidently synchronous with the origins of racism! Fascinating! What an elegant bit of historical obscurity this is! I wonder why we were never taught this minor lesson in our history classes.
I say again, racism is not about ethnic dissimilarities. It is, in fact, about establishing a rationale for slavery and keeping people divided. As is shown by ancient history, people who enslaved others were actually not always particular about skin color. As long as slaves were productive and subservient, they might just as well have been any color of the rainbow. It was only with the emergence of capitalism that racism reared its ugly head.
It is very clear that, scientifically, practically, pragmatically, rationally, obviously and without doubt, racism is a fabrication in its entirety. The supremacist element has woven this racism myth into the fabric of history, a web of hatred and discord spun from nothing more than the pathological lust for total domination of the human race by a small parasitic pathocracy.
Racism & Fascism
A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism
American Heritage Dictionary, 1983 (source)
According to the second edition (1989) of the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest known usage of the word "racism" in English occurred in a 1936 book by the American fascist, Lawrence Dennis, "The Coming American Fascism".
From the book;
"If, in this discussion, it be assumed that one of our values should be a type of racism which excludes certain races from citizenship, then the plan of execution should provide for the annihilation, deportation, or sterilization of the excluded races ." Page 80, chapter 9
It's no surprise that we find "racism" and "fascism" linked from the start. What other ism is closely associated with fascism?
Fascism & Corporatism
Corporatism and capitalism go hand in hand and benefit greatly from slavery, either traditional or wage. They are two sides of the same coin.
Noun1. control of a state or organization by large interest groups… (emphasis added)
"Corporatism, or corporate fascism, is the American form of this disease. It has thrived here unchallenged for several decades. And it has rewritten our language of social discourse at the same time it has taken half the wealth of this nation and concentrated it in the hands of a few." (source)
"How can this be? This can be because the United States of America is being run by powerful politicians and corporate CEOs who care not one whit about America or the American people in their quest for control of the global economy. Such a public/private partnership is known as fascism." (source)
"Fascism came about essentially as a result of the economic and political crisis of the years after World War I. Units called fasci di combattimento (combat groups), from the Latin fasces, were originally established to oppose communism. The fascist party, the Partitio Nazionale Fascista, controlled Italy 1922-43.
Fascism protected the existing social order by suppressing the working-class movement by force and by providing scapegoats for popular anger such as minority groups: Jews, foreigners, or blacks; it also prepared the citizenry for the economic and psychological mobilization of war." (emphasis added) (source)
What has long been the bane of capitalism? Communism
What has long been one of the favorite means of causing discord and conflict within the general population? Scapegoats for popular anger; race, religion, foreigners = prejudice/bigotry = racism.
Hatred Out Of Whole Cloth
"Racism first arose out of the white desire to exploit black people economically - and it is maintained today for much the same reasons." (emphasis added) (source)
The belief in separate human races, once considered a "scientific" reality is in fact a groundless fabrication. Supremacists keep the deception alive for the purposes of promoting discord in a quest for their obscene version of Utopia and to rationalize a world with only two classes; masters and slaves.
Note that, for the purpose of sowing discontent and justifying slavery and other abuse, there is equal promotion of discrimination based upon factors other than race. Bigotry is certainly not confined to racism alone.
Sexual discrimination is still rampant in the modern world. Animosity between men and women is encouraged by the male-dominated hierarchy through unequal treatment in every facet of life.
Women are still treated as second class citizens at best and exploited as "property" at worst. Pornography, prostitution and, in some cases, marriage are all forms of enslavement.
Those who are not genetically predisposed toward the "normal" of heterosexuality are stigmatised and subject to ostracism or worse.
Class discrimination becomes starker every day. The poorest of people are constantly reminded and kept ever aware that there are those who have more, giving them a convenient target for their anger and resentment. Those who work to "make a living" are kept in constant fear of the masses of poor "others" waiting to "steal" their jobs and/or possessions if given half a chance.
The color of one's' skin, a person's religion, sexual orientation, nationality, age or social station; anything that can be called "different" can and will be turned into a wedge to be driven between us.
The ruling class will take any opportunity to emphasize and escalate even the slightest disparity to a burning issue of contention and hence into conflict. People engaged and distracted by emotionally debilitating, artificially induced disharmony are far easier to exploit and manipulate.
That Was Then…What About Now?
In ages past, pathocracy consumed villages, towns, cities, states and eventually even nations, creating short-lived empires. But these empires were local or regional phenomena. Their coming and passing had little if any affect elsewhere. Other societies, particularly those indigenous cultures not yet "civilized", went on with Life blissfully unaware of the great dramas that might be playing out on the other side of the world.
Today the emergence of a truly global pathocracy puts the entire planet at very real risk. In this age of high technology, the "free market" and capitalist globalization/privatization, no corner of the planet is immune to the ravages of civilization and its culture of economic colonialism, the spreading cancer of its corporate fascism and the usurious privately owned banking cartel that controls it all. There is little chance to avoid global feudalism as long as the ruling class is able to keep humanity conflicted.
Eradicating the myth of "racism" would be a major step toward halting the historic cycle of oppression, war and death that always accompanies civilization and its empires. It would also bring us that much closer to putting an end to the diseases of "nationalism" and "patriotism" that are fostered by the pathological ruling class.
We are a global family, community, tribe, clan; whatever descriptor you pick, we are all fundamentally the same, bound together by Life. It's time to recognize that this is an asset, embrace it and use it in the creation of a culture of resistance and to bring a calculated and controlled end to industrial civilization for the sake of all Life. Failure to do so greatly increases the likelihood of near term human extinction.
The culture that created racism is the culture of the "civilized" and civilization, especially industrial variety, is unsustainable, irredeemable and will inevitably collapse. The longer it takes for civilization to crash or the longer we wait to dismantle it rationally, the greater the suffering and death for whatever Life survives through and after it.
In order to survive, the human family must return to Nature, find its proper place there and accept it with humility.