A Response to Satnam Virdee's The Longue Durée of Racialized Capitalism – Brooklyn Rail

I want to thank Satnam Virdee for his serious and comradely response that engaged the arguments in “Beyond ‘Racial Capitalism’: Toward a Unified Theory of Capitalism and Racial Oppression.” We both seek to transcend the sterile debate between class reductionist and neo-liberal identitarian analyses of race and capitalism, where both sides share the notion that the relationship between capitalism and racism is “historically contingent,” rather than “structurally necessary.” We both seek to forge a politics that is simultaneously anti-capitalist and anti-racist. We differ, however, on the utility of the notion of “racial capitalism.” Some of these differences reflect substantive disagreements, others may be misunderstandings of our respective positions. Specifically, Virdee raises four objections to my critique of theories of racial capitalism. First, Virdee argues that these theories play a positive political and theoretical role in centering race in the analysis of the origins and development of capital. Second, he claims

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