Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities [Etienne Balibar, Immanuel Wallerstein] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Forty years after the. Published alongside the symposium Dangerous Conjunctures. Resituating Balibar/Wallerstein’s “Race, Nation, Class” the contributions to this publication reflect. Despite their productive disagreements, Balibar and Wallerstein both Historical Capitalism, and, cowritten with Etienne Balibar, Race, Nation, Class.
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Balibar is uniformly the moretheoretical and complex thinker, Wallerstein themorepredictable andobvious proponent offashionablepositioning. Bothessayists, however, shouldgiveCanadian historians something to think aboutin termsof nationalism, nationstates, the relationship ofclass asanobjective presence anda subjective identity, and’race’asa socially constructed category deeplyembedded in the structures and consciousness of powerand social place.
Wallerstein offers persistent reminders thatthecapitalist worldeconomy constantly generates bothan overriding universalism and a hierarchically orderedset of chauvinisms and racisms, rootedin and restructuring all relations of power betheypatriarchal, class, or national. The objective of progressive analysis, he says, isto chartanalytic pathsoutof theseoppositions ,to rescuethe fruitful Marxistconcernwith globalprocesses of class polarization which Wallerstein reads, metaphorically atleast, asconfirmation that capitalismis a systemof immiserationand to rejectthe ostensible unhelpfultendencies in Marx to seehistoryasa ‘lawed’process of advance.
As proof of capitalism’s historicallyunprogressive meaning, Wallerstein depicts thebourgeoisie asultimately backward-looking, striving, oncefattened on the surplusvalueof the exploited,for the statusof landed aristocrats.
Mostof thisargumentisassertion, and someof it quitequestionable asin theaggressive contention that’thelarge Balibar’s contribution issimultaneously moresubtle, moresophisticated in its engagementwith Marxist theory, and more profoundin its potential destabilization andextension of the projectof radicalsocial transformation.
If Balibar’s constant returntothepractical presence ofaninvigorated racism in the modernworldoftenseems overdetermined by the politics of a France obviously caughtin the viseof waningsocial democracy andresurgent neoNazismhis comments and contributions are never as blunt as those of Wallerstein.
Amidstthe proliferating historical concernwithnationalidentities ,Balibaroffersa ba,ibar reminderoftheartificiality of ‘nation’andits not-so-distant cousin,’race.
That, of course,existed,and continues to exist,but sotoodoestheactivemakingof working-class racismwhich,howevermuch it isa product ofstructural forces always conducive tobourgeois hegemony, alsoinvolves theagency ofsegments ofaproletariat whose boundaries, within economies and consciousness, are constantly redrawnby capital’srelentless transformative capacities.
Etienne Balibar & Immanuel Wallerstein, Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities – PhilPapers
Finally,Balibaroffersa uniqueperspective on the wayin which asocialist ideology ofclass andclass struggle, supposedly pitted againstnationalism, hastendedto mimicthe totalizingexcesses always presentin the articulationof nationalism. This textisby no meansthebestplaceto beginthe projectof reformulatingour understanding ofrace, nation, andclass, butit isthekindofstarting pointthatwouldbenefitmanyin Canada, regardless of theirparticular niche. Yet it isunlikelyto bereadby manyCanadian historians, whowill continue to pursuethe nationalquestion asa setof competing regionalisms, a socalledhistorical duality,or a matterof continental subordination, all empiricallyverifiablein the documents of nationhoodand the constitutional construction of peoplehood, andall equallyinnocent of the complexlayering thatrests’the’nationontheshifting boundaries of gender,race,andclass.
FarmLabour Migration toCanada since Whatever onemaythinkof thisfact,it represents a remarkable transformation in Canadian immigration policythathasoccurred in thepastquartercentury.
Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities
It awllerstein that the federalgovernment rewrotethe immigration act to eliminateracial quotas, anddiscrimination didnotin factenduntilsome yearslater. Canada hassince become a muchmoreracially diverse country thanit waspriorto the s.
As recent inddents in Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax indicate, however,the transition is not always withoutdifficulty. Paralleling the Canadian experience istherising tension andincreasingly violent racism reemergingin Europe.
In thiscontext, thisisatimely book. It isalso aninteresting one- despite itsturgid,jargonistic prosestyle – because thereisno extensive literatureon thehistory ofCanadian immigration policy.
Mostof whatthereistakes the traditional formof examining theimmigrants themselves – whotheywere andwhytheycame- or analysing officialpolicy. Thisbookseeks to makea differentkindof contribution by examining Canadian immigration policy since,withparticular reference toCaribbean migrantfarmworkers in Ontario, within the Marxist theoretical framework.
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