Discrimination and Oppression

In short; racialist science is properly not an act of aggression or a cover for oppression of one group over another, but, on the contrary, an operation in defense of private property against assaults by aggressors. [Source]

Oppression is a result of the class system, which is a result of private property, i.e., the right of individuals to exclude other individuals from access to usage rights. Whether the controlling minority is a managerial caste using the price mechanism to allocate goods or a bureaucratic caste rationing “public” goods, oppression is based on exclusivity.

The word “discrimination” only means “to make a clear distinction,” whether this distinction has any material effects or not.  (Usually it does.) Oppression occurs when discrimination is coupled with the power to allocate goods. Oppression requires an economic power relationship, discrimination does not.

When speaking about racism or sexism, we can also distinguish between “oppression” and “discrimination.” An individual’s ability to choose whom to engage with is also discriminatory; in the idealized case, two or more people discriminate all other potential partners to choose each other. Relationships are oppressive when people’s ability to leave their partners is violently restricted, even if the formal right exists.

Someone without a partner might be discriminated or discriminating, but not oppressed. Hence, in a society where laws and economic opportunities make marriage optional, although it is still upheld as an ideal, many people choose freedom over oppression and do not marry until their tax accountant or immigration lawyer advise them to.

When we say “racism” we usually mean “racist oppression.” So why should be distinguish between “racist discrimination” and “racist oppression”? Is not all discrimination just a result of oppression, prejudiced ignorance stemming from internalized inequality and any distinction futile? However, this distinction might be important when you explain to privileged people (also non-whites) why they should stop whining about “discrimination” from disadvantaged members of society. Even under a Christian-Conservative government, an “Aryan” bus driver can discriminate against me, but he can’t legally oppress me.

I would also prefer we stop qualifying oppression as “racist,” “sexist,” etc., thereby fragmenting the class struggle into various individual “struggles,” some of which hardly deserve the name, such as the “struggle” of “creative” professionals for the 35-hour week and more family allowance. The major conflict of interest, after all, is not between men and women, blacks and whites, believers and atheists, but between people who control resources and people who don’t.

This conflict permeates each imaginatory collective, but is fought between nations, states, clans or religions. Each of these affinity groups is a vehicle for yet another self-proclaimed “vanguard” to ride the backs of their followers and replace the old elite with a new one.

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3 responses to “Discrimination and Oppression”

  1. an organism says :

    good one

  2. ViolinEater says :

    This is old – and rather simplistic – Hauptwiderspruchsdiscourse. So you say: all ye persons who are opressed by patriarchy, racist structures etc., I, the enlightened, now share my wisdom with you: you are plainly mistaken, what really is your problem is ownership? And just a few entries before you were promoting an author who was all into private property? Woohah, protect ya deck!
    Never heard of the term “articulation”, and how different social relations of oppression get intertwined and -twixed, without being reducible to one of these relations?
    But still, take care of ye.

    • Emal Ghamsharick says :

      I’m against monopoly. It’s the root of all inequality: monopolies on currency and violence, on knowledge, Patriarchy, professional licensing, “free trade,” division of labor, state religion, Definitionsmacht, normativity…
      It’s important to be aware whence derives the global supremacy (let’s do call it that) of white male NATO citizens: exclusive ownership.

      From people unaware of this causality I’ve heard white power ascribed to genes in a sort of “affirmative racism.” It’s not the melanin.
      More importantly, “minority” people so privileged regularly proclaim to side with the wretched, to “struggle” for a few privileges they still lack, but as soon as their student scholarship is in danger jump back into place.

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