Tag Archives: race

Against Ideology

P U R E  I D E O L O G Y  is the name of the game and everyone wants in on it, and if you’re a Žižekian, you’re ahead of the curve. If you’re an internally consistent Žižekian, congratulations! According to some interpretations of Žižek — indeed, he espouses this in various places –, while we may think that we live in a post-ideological era, ideology is still constantly around us. We critique dominate hegemonies in the hopes of creating counter-narratives, but all that ends up happening is that we replicate the dominate ideologies of the past; capitalism is persistent. The following quotation from Žižek is especially salient:

Ideology is not simply imposed on ourselves, ideologies are spontaneous relationships to our social world, how we perceive it’s meaning, and so on and so on. We, in a way, enjoy our ideology.1)Slavoj Žižek, “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology – What is Ideology?” Excerpt from The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology2012: 5:00-5:20

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Part 4: The Races of Humanity or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Socially Constructed Divisions – Part 2

In part 2 of my [IDEOLOGY IN PROGRESS] series, I argued that the concept of race is not a social construction like the left claims, but rather is a biological reality due to genotypical and phenotypical differences amongst populations.

Those who claim X as being a social construction assume the negativity of social constructionism. – Unknown

While I still think that is the case, I ended part 2 with the following statement: “Finally, stay tuned for part two of this post (it will come sometime in the “Ideology in Progress” series) where I ignore everything I wrote above and assume race is a social construct and then explain why division is good! *Basically an “even if it’s a social construct that creates division, that division is good and not discriminatory” argument*”.

And that brings us to this post. I am going to ignore everything I said in the previous post and jump on the liberal bandwagon yelling “race is a social construct!”. However, as the opening quotation points out, even if race (or anything) is a social construct, that doesn’t inherently mean that it’s a bad thing. Rather, just that it might create divisions amongst people. I shall argue after the jump that even if the concept of race is a purely social construction, it, and the divisions amongst people that it creates, are a good thing.

So, let’s begin.

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Part 2: The Races of Humanity or: In Defense of the Biological Reality of Race and Towards a New Understanding of Diversity – Part 1

There’s been an interesting trend in critical theory as of late, saying the concept of race is a “social construct”. Critical theorists and writers posting from The Atlantic to St. Catherine University to other accredited institutions all seem to be writing about how race amongst humans is not something that is biologically rooted, rather it is created based upon social contexts under which people live.

Writer and theorist for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates, explains this view best when he says:

Our notion of what constitutes “white” and what constitutes “black” is a product of social context. It is utterly impossible to look at the delineation of a “Southern race” and not see the Civil War, the creation of an “Irish race” and not think of Cromwell’s ethnic cleansing, the creation of a “Jewish race” and not see anti-Semitism. There is no fixed sense of “whiteness” or “blackness,” not even today…When the liberal says “race is a social construct,” he is not being a soft-headed dolt; he is speaking an historical truth (Coates).

While there is a lot of truth in the argument that humans construct views of people around us based on the context we’re in, claiming that race is solely a social construction or, as Mr. Coates says, “is no more dependent on skin color today than it was on “Frankishness” in Emerson’s day [he’s referencing Ralph Wald Emerson talking about Race]”(Coates), denies fundamental genetic differences amongst humans.

In what follows, I will lay out my argument that race is not merely a social construct, but rather the claim that race has biological roots and that there are clear and demonstratable genetic differences amongst different races.

Now all that being said, I feel like I must include this note: I do not believe any race is inherently superior, rather that there are differences in abilities between races and these differences, coupled with social context (here is where the social construction comes in), breeds feelings of superiority.

So, join me after the jump and all will be explained in depth!

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