The self-congratulatory arrogance of @EdwardGLuce is never a surprise! Old Socialist comments.

Headline: America’s growing fixation on race

Sub-headline: Conservatives and liberals increasingly view the world through the lens of group identity

https://www.ft.com/content/0f5845e7-2e10-4f22-916f-c1c970131d34

The reader has to wonder about how long Mr. Luce has been ‘the US national editor and columnist at the Financial Times‘ such is his political myopia on the American ‘fixation on race’ as he frames it. The comments section of this essay have ‘not been enabled’ ,in Financial Times jargon!

The beginning of the American Story: the treatment of Native Peoples, by the settler colonialists and ‘The Peculiar Institution’ a respectable bourgeois history of slavery by Kenneth M. Stampp of 1956, might be starting points for the inquirer? If an actual historical inquiry was what Luce’s latest column was about. Such is Mr. Luce’s arrogance, wedded to a cultivated ignorance of American history.

What Mr. Luce writes is propaganda, which in this case uses, Martin Luther King as its starting point. Which is perfectly legitimate, if it were not an opportunity for an Oxbridger, to set right the errors of America, in the very narrowest, most advantageous, not to ignore its unctious moralizing tone. This is Mr. Luce’s maladroit commentary on,‘ killing of 10 people in Boulder, Colorado‘…

What might the reader consider when constructing a reply to Luce’s hectoring essay? Should the reader look to the long history of the British Empire’s looting of the natural resources and human labor of its Colonies? The case of of India is paradigmatic:

Headline: The Great Loot: How Britain stole $45 trillion from India

The Great Loot: How Britain stole $45 trillion from India

Or the notion ‘The White Man’s Burden’ as articulated by Rudyard Kipling’s 1899 poem, urging America to colonize the Philippines:

https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/kipling.asp

Take up the White Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another’s profit,
And work another’s gain.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
The savage wars of peace–
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper–
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard–
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:–
“Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?”

Take up the White Man’s burden–
Ye dare not stoop to less–
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man’s burden–
Have done with childish days–
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

Mr. Luce’s shames the fixation on race of Americans, but he saves the final weak salvo for the Left, the perennial enemy of the self-proclaimed Political Center:

At the same time, the US left needs to recognise that whites will be the majority for decades to come — not least as many Hispanics define themselves as white. No side ever wins in an endless feud. The only beneficiaries are the elites directing events, far away from most people’s reality.

This was predictable as Luce is of the Political Center: that can be defined in Atlantacist terms, as the alliance between the Neo-Cons,The New Democrats and New Labour.

The reader of Mr. Luce’s essay would be wise to read Identity And Violence: The Illusion Of Destiny’ by Amartya Sen that argues that ‘identity’ is not an expression of ‘singularity’, but of ‘multiplicity’ of adopting various identities, as a response to the life situations: e.g. one adopts the identity of mother,daughter,wife, husband, father,son within the shifting parameters of a life lived, with and through other significant persons: as the unfolding of life in the ever renewing present!

Old Socialist

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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