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Science: No Such Thing as Race!

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posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 01:37 AM
a reply to: ABNARTY

So Marx never divided society up into social classes? Current have and have-nots? Those oppressed and such?

You are putting words into my mouth (keyboard). Of course Marx talked about people in different economic categories, categories that he defined.

You say he was a racist to discuss the tension between the "haves" and "have-nots"? Are there not all (supposed) races in both those categories? Rich Jews and poor Jews? Rich blacks and poor blacks? Rich whites and poor whites?

Isn't it a fact that in the middle of the nineteenth century, when Marx was publishing his philosophy, the most highly oppressed people on the planet were the enslaved workers in America?. Was he not speaking in defense of the oppressed workers of the world? Did he at any time say that, 'of course I'm not including the savage hordes of Africa in my philosophy'? No he didn't. What he did was distinguish between wage slavery and racialized slavery and showed how they derived from the same Capitalist methodology of dividing the labor classes in order to exploit them.

Until we are all abolitionists: Marx on slavery, race, and class

Contrary to the pseudo-scientific racist justifications of slavery prevalent throughout the nineteenth century, Karl Marx understood that slave status was a condition branded from without rather than a predisposition existing within. In the period of anthropology and ethnology’s rise, Marx was far ahead of his time in asserting that slave status was not a natural phenomenon biologically proscribed by one’s race. Marx took great care to intricately unravel the strands of how racialized slavery contrasted with wage slavery, how it came to be, and why its racialization was another form of similar kinds of weapons used against the unification of the working class.
“The present struggle between the South and the North is therefore nothing but a conflict between two social systems, the system of slavery and the system of free labor. The struggle broke out because the two systems can no longer live peacefully side-by-side on the North American continent. It can end only with the victory of one system or the other.”[13]

In this statement, Marx was calling for an end of the assigning of Blacks to the lowest labor caste as fixed capital. He stressed that in order to even fathom a class-wide revolution in the United States, Whites must fight for the emancipation of Blacks from slavery into equals, to form a larger, unified working class, rather than attempt to perpetuate racial castes within the working class.

(my emphasis in bold)

As to Marx's terminology in "On the Jewish Question", the underlying meaning has been argued by better philosophers than you or I since it was published in 1844.

The arguments pretty much boil down to this (as summarized by Wikipedia):

(Karl Marx: On the Jewish Question)

The political-scientist Professor Iain Hamphsher-Monk wrote in his textbook: "This work ["On The Jewish Question"] has been cited as evidence for Marx's supposed antisemitism, but only the most superficial reading of it could sustain such an interpretation."[12] Also, McLellan and Francis Wheen argue readers should interpret "On the Jewish Question" in the deeper context of Marx's debates with Bruno Bauer, author of The Jewish Question, about Jewish emancipation in Germany. Francis Wheen says: "Those critics, who see this as a foretaste of 'Mein Kampf', overlook one, essential point: in spite of the clumsy phraseology and crude stereotyping, the essay was actually written as a defense of the Jews. It was a retort to Bruno Bauer, who had argued that Jews should not be granted full civic rights and freedoms unless they were baptised as Christians". Although he claimed to be an atheist, Bruno Bauer viewed Judaism as an inferior civilization.[35]

To connect the dots:

  • Marx was himself a Jew who didn't like the Jewish religion, or any religion for that matter.
  • Jews were not able to fully participate in German civil society but had built a solid reputation for capitalist money making in spite of that.
  • Bruno Bauer thought that Jews should cease being Jews and embrace the Christian religion in order to gain those civil rights (emancipation).
  • Marx refuted Bauer, saying that religion didn't have anything to do with it, that it was perfectly possible to have civil emancipation with religious conformity - for example as in the secular American system.
  • Marx didn't like the religion he was born into, but that doesn't mean he was an antisemite. Why would he hate himself?
  • Marx saw some of the most egregious European practitioners of the economic system he didn't like in the Jewish community that he was a part of, and also knew that his fellow Europeans resented this.
  • Marx purposely used the word 'class' to indicate the groups to avoid limiting the discussion to 'downtrodden blacks', or 'rich Jews taking advantage of whites'.


Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, regards application of the term "antisemitism" to Marx as an anachronism because when Marx wrote "On the Jewish Question", virtually all major philosophers had expressed similar views, and the word "antisemitism" had not yet been coined, let alone developed a racial component, and little awareness existed of the depths of European prejudice against Jews. Marx thus simply expressed the commonplace thinking of his era, according to Sacks.

Thus what I meant that he was a 'man of his times'. He was expressing himself in terms that his reader would understand, and we have to read them with that knowledge in the background of our mind if we are going to understand what he was talking about.

edit on 20/10/2017 by rnaa because: incomplete sentence completed

edit on 20/10/2017 by rnaa because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 04:57 PM
a reply to: rnaa

You sound like a fan and I have no quarrel with that. I fully accept much of what Marx wrote and what he "meant" is open for interpretation.

However, the bone of contention was and still is putting people into groups/class. Without that, there is no Marxism. I am not sure how many words anybody can write to avoid that reality. I do not agree with it as it disregards the individual.

The OP discussed race. I said I do not believe in the concept as it has no scientific backing. Putting people into artificial groups and then basing your world view on those groups and the tension between them is akin to what supports what we call Marxism.

You say he was a racist to discuss the tension between the "haves" and "have-nots"?

No. I did not say that. Tension between haves and have-nots (for lack of better terms) underlies much of what Marx wrote about. Much of his theories. Without that tension, what is there really to pontificate on? These guys own the means of production and those guys don't but they're all cool with it. End of book.

posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 08:11 PM
a reply to: yuppa

Nothing low about calling out the genocide of the Israelites - there in black and white.

posted on Oct, 20 2017 @ 10:30 PM
a reply to: ABNARTY

You sound like a fan and I have no quarrel with that.

No, I am not anything close to being a fan of Karl Marx (a different story when it comes to Groucho though
). But neither do I blindly dismiss his philosophy. He was probably the greatest economic philosopher of the 19th century, you can't just dismiss him. What was done in the 20th century in his name (Soviet Russia, China) is hardly his fault, any more than what was done in Darwin's name (in Nazi Germany) was his fault .

I have a lot of problem with people completely misunderstanding, or even worse purposely misrepresenting, philosophical discussions and rejecting complex lines of thought 'just because'. "Marx was a 'commie'! Therefore Hate Hate Hate!"

What a dumb way to live and what a dumb way to try to make a point in a discussion.

The fact is that Marx went out of his way to take race out of his discussion. Marx did NOT, as you say, divide the world into classes, the haves and have-nots and he was not the first philosopher to address the economic systems and exploitation that those systems implied. Have you never heard of the feudal system? At least serfs and the landlords had mutual responsibilities to each other, but the class system was entrenched forever. Industrialization upset the mutual responsibility balance that existed and that is what Marx and others were noticing and trying to address. You may not have noticed that Russia and China were the last major feudal societies left and they had both completely eliminated the balanced responsibility that allowed such feudalist societies to exist.

Marx didn't 'invent' the class system so he could talk about it; he talked about the class system as he saw it operating in the Europe that he saw in front of his eyes and pointed out its inherent problems.

Some of his solutions may be unpalatable, but to deny that the imbalance existed and still exists is to walk around with your eyes closed and your brain turned off.
edit on 20/10/2017 by rnaa because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 21 2017 @ 09:36 AM
a reply to: rnaa

I do not hate Marx nor do I dismiss him.

I fully accept he commented on what he saw, not that he invented what he saw.

My problem is the lack of attention to the individual in his philosophy. If he had an issue with what he witnessed, then why does his "solution" (for lack of a better term) simply change horses? It does nothing to address the attacks on Individualism.

When I see folks today claiming oppression by this or that group and "our" group needs to be given whatever it is they seek, it sounds like they are just taking bits and pieces from Marx's play book.

Where is the emphasis on the individuals responsibility? The concept of race (pseudo-social, not demonstrative) and racial inequality (OP) never gets off the ground this way.

posted on Oct, 21 2017 @ 12:14 PM
I have a question for you ATS:

Much of what we call racial differences are cultural differences. Culture is in many ways informed by language. In the US we have some large differences between Whites and Blacks even though we share the same language. Although we all use English the forms of language between groups have some vast differences.

Those Blacks who succeed financially (outside of sports/entertainment) use English that is much closer to the forms spoken by most Whites and are labelled as "Uncle Toms". Poor Whites lack wide vocabulary and their writing and speaking is generally crude and grammatically incorrect. I think there is a definite correlation between the level of linguistic skill and income level.

So ATS, do you think that using "hood" slang is a major reason for both income differences and also a barrier to eliminating racism? Would Obama have been elected without his oratorical abilities? I don't think he would have. What I am saying is that language is just as important as genetics in defining racial stereotypes and race relations.

posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 04:09 PM
a reply to: rnaa

Regardless, I appreciate the opportunity for discussion and your civility.

Probably not the first two to disagree on Marx and what it means 100 years later but I enjoyed it anyway.


posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 05:45 PM
a reply to: TheConstruKctionofLight

Not funny no. Just picking random nationalities to make a point. Take the nationalities away.

If two HUMANS mate another HUMAN is born.

People are mean to each other for all sorts of reasons. People discriminate against weight, nationality, gender, finances, classes etc etc etc...

The point of this thread is about race and how there is no scientific basis for the concept of race.

“Race is a construct. First off: Sociology 101. In biology, there is no race,” says host Trace Dominguez in the video below. “You can’t look at the DNA of someone and be like 'That person is this race.' Because race doesn’t really exist.”

Why is there Still Racism if there is No such thing as Race?
This presidential address is keyed to the exhibition "All of Us Are Related, Each of Us Is Unique." It reveals that there are no biological barriers between the 5.7 billion human beings that today inhabit the earth. We all have the same ancestors and the genetic diversity of contemporary human populations reflects the paths followed by our ancestors in the course of human migrations over the past 100,000 years. I assert that there is simply no such thing as "white people", "black people", "yellow people", or the like, except as social constructs. In a world in which intergroup hostility has long been based on erroneous beliefs in biologically determined characteristics of so-called "races", our habitual way of thinking about how we relate to each other needs seriously to be re-examined.

We are one species. And one race. The Human Race...

This concept was made as a method of divide, confuse and control. And my golly it works a treat.

posted on Oct, 23 2017 @ 05:53 PM
Saying there are no racial characteristcs smacks of dishonesty to me.
Some African peoples are less prone to skin cancer than Northern Europeans, have shallower sinuses and a lower ability to process Vit D from sunlight among other things.

Northern Europeans have deeper sinuses, paler skin that makes them more prone to skin cancer but also more able to synthesize Vit D from lower levels of sunlight.

I am sure there are other environmental adaptations, which we come to regard as racial characteristics which are in turn denied by people trying desperately to stop idiots being mean to each other.

We are not one homogenous mess, we are different and, if we really are going to enjoy diversity, we should celebrate our differences, rather than deny them.

posted on Oct, 25 2017 @ 01:40 PM
a reply to: Asktheanimals

That's a very good point. I firmly believe that communication is key. The way you speak is the company you keep. I can't stand to sit in a conversation where the grammar is thugged out. Granted, I fall into slang now and then among friends but around certain higher standing people, my vocabulary is strict.

I understand cultures will have an effect on how we speak as well. Being from a Cajun culture, my vocabulary changes drastically when I'm around family but back at work, I return to a more proper way of speaking. I would say it's more akin speaking another language.

So yes, I agree with your response. I would further add...

How would you think about a person if they were speaking slang to you vs proper english? Would you treat them differently? Would you give either or both of them change if they were asking for it on the street corner the same?

I believe in most cases, and sad to say when I look at it... I would probably look at them differently in some situations, depending on the situation. Rich Banker vs street bumb vs regular joe.

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