On July 27, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) platform committee voted on the idea of Medicare for All. The policy was defeated 125 votes to 36. In response, Anand Giridharadas tweeted: “The Democratic Party has once again chosen to be the party of woke oligarchy, of rainbow plutocracy.”
We think that Giridharadas has a point. Generals often wage the last war. People who fight “racial capitalism” are combating a system that played an important role in human history but is already on the way out.
From our perspective, woke capitalism, not racial capitalism, is the future, though it will not necessarily be any better for most people of color than its earlier, cruder version.
Cedric Robinson’s “Black Marxism” opens one’s eyes to how race and class have intertwined through history. Medieval Europe was racist, so when it transitioned from feudalism to capitalism, European capitalism relied upon race to structure the economy. A recent article in the New York Review of Books on the slave trade in the West Indies brings this point home. Greatly outnumbered, whites in the Caribbean tortured and killed huge numbers of Blacks in order to maintain their wealth and power.