Robin D. G. Kelley-What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does it Matter?

All the while they are doing this, they are using the surplus they were able to extract to create a whites only welfare state. (Wow!) Much of the surplus was used for subsidizing housing for white workers and white people, a massive police state to maintain order and suppress non-white opposition, etc.

Today we associate racial capitalism with Cedric Robinson. He wanted to show how European racialism and nationalism preceded capitalism. Capitalism evolved from the old feudal order to produce a modern world system of racialism that depended on slavery, violence, imperialism and genocide. Racialism had already permeated western feudal society. The first European proletariates were racial subjects. They weren’t just africans, they were Irish, Jews, Romans gypsies, Slavs; victims of dispossession, inclosure, colonialism, and slavery within Europe. Racialization within Europe was a colonial process involving invasion, settlement, expropriation, and racial hierarchy. The term “herrenvolk,” which means master race, is used by Germans to presume racial superiority over other European nations. The history of colonialism begins in Europe. Nazis talked about “living room” meaning colonial domination of lands they once occupied. It’s the principal feature of both world wars. This all contributed to the shifting and violent nature of English colonization in the late 16th and early 17th Century. The disposed Irish, who were not killed, were often dispersed and ended up on ships as indentured servants. Race began in Europe.

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