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Humanity beyond the Regime of Labor: Antiblackness, Indigeneity, and the Legacies of Colonialism in the Caribbean

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Thank you for sharing this. This is exactly the problem I had with Marxism but was unable to effectively articulate. My less effective than this explanation was that both capitalism and Marxism define the problem or central important thing in life as production and who controls the means of production. I believe that is in error because the central important thing in life is LIFE. Living beings and the actual moment to moment process and experience of living is of far greater importance than producing things. As a species we lived at least 2million years quite free of factories, industrialism and the noxious results both physically and experientially, of them. I love the way this author has pulled apart the fibers of colonized worldview to show the process by which we are all colonized. Even though she is discussing specifically the experience of African indigenous peoples who were transported to the Caribbean, this process of trading our truth and reality in for a seat at the colonized table is, I think, consistent from ancient times to the very current colonization of just born minds today.


In 1970, the late Caribbean historian Elsa Goveia wrote that what unifies Caribbean society and culture is the subordination of blacks. It is a claim that has been roundly ignored within contemporary political and cultural work that seeks to frame Caribbean cultures in terms of survival, continuity, transformation, and the embrace of blackness. Goveia’s words, however, are as true today as they were then. Blacks were brought in to work on Dutch, French, British and other plantations because they were seen as the absolute lowest point of humanity. They could not be redeemed, even as Gentiles, as the Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas strove to do for Indigenous peoples within the Spanish territories in the 16th century. This anti-blackness became foundational for the societies that ultimately emerged from colonialism.

However, this anti-blackness cannot be understood apart from the subordination of Indigenous peoples in early Empire, under colonialism, and ultimately…

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Author: ohnwentsya

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