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Social Relations of Power: Privileged Equilibriums

A sanitized synchronic discourse of difference and conflicts-of-difference sanctifies privileged equilibriums of power (status quos). By ‘sanctify’, it is meant here that experiences of difference and conflicts-of-difference are inoculated against the histories (past experiences of difference) from which they unfold into the present experiences of difference. Sanctifying a status quo in social relations of power, renders challenges to privileged […]

A sanitized synchronic discourse of difference and conflicts-of-difference sanctifies privileged equilibriums of power (status quos).

By ‘sanctify’, it is meant here that experiences of difference and conflicts-of-difference are inoculated against the histories (past experiences of difference) from which they unfold into the present experiences of difference. Sanctifying a status quo in social relations of power, renders challenges to privileged equilibriums in various sets of social relations unholy and undue.

From this (ad)vantage point, resistance is not substantiated by the sanitized histories of difference and conflicts-of-difference. This process of sanitizing and sanctifying explains in-part the use of the word tautology in this blog when pointing to and out circular reasoning viz., the ‘cul-de-sacs’ in which dominate discourses of difference and conflicts-of-difference take place.

From the vantage point of ‘difference’, eRacism is a constant process of configuring social relations of power such that difference is not a socially valid experience or reality in relations of power.  eRaced, difference only matters when it is not a factor in expressing or realizing social, economic or political interest of people whose lives are coloured by the ways in which they are and experience difference.

Preening Social Relations of Power:

“I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”  MLK – 16 April 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail

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Curriculum Vitae

Tom L. States PhD Candidate

Fields of Interest: Political Theory, International Relations, Marxist Political Economy

Research Topic: eRacism - Conflicts of Difference

Education History: Williams College, BA Political Science; New York University, MA Politics; York University PhD Candidate

Languages: English, German

Hometown: Greenwood, Mississippi

Words of Wisdom: “IT” is what you are when you are young. Your youth mistakes certainty of the few things that you think you know for knowledge of things that it takes a life time to understand. With time and a few life experiences “IT” becomes the thing you pursue to give your life meaning. Somewhere along the way of having or getting “IT” you ask yourself, ‘Is this “IT”? Panic sets in when you realize that “IT” is your life. Fear and insecurity is that feeling you get when “IT” has not been worth a life time.

Bookshelf

Harvey, David. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. New York: Longman, 1996.

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin White Masks. Trans. Charles Lam Markmann. New York: Grove Press. 1967.

Cancian, Francesca M. Gender Politics: Love and Power in the Private and Public Spheres. Gender and the Life Course. Ed. Alice S. Rossi. New York: Aldine, 1985.

Sand, Shlomo. The Invention of the Jewish People. New York: Verso, 2009.

Lay, Shawn. The Invisible Empire In The West: Toward a New Historical Appraisal of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Journal

Carothers, Thomas. Think Again: Civil Society. Foreign Policy Date, (Winter: 1999-2000).

Ober, Josiah. The original meaning of "democracy": Capacity to do things, not majority rule. Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics. American Political Science Association meetings, Philadelphia, (2006).