Anarchy and the Abolition of Whiteness


Fifth Estate # 363, Winter, 2003/2004

“[America] would be a fine country if only every Irishman would kill a Negro and be hanged for it.”
— Edward A. Freeman (1881)

To learn how to take a state apart we study how a state was put together.

The United States is a purely artificial creation; an experiment in nation-building that was engineered by European colonists. The Old World societies from which these colonists descended were solid caste systems with many centuries of history. The elite strata among these colonists attempted to replicate the Old World societies in the New World of wilderness.

The new society established by these colonists was entirely artificial. On a continent populated by indigenous people, they brought their own pre-modern capital. They imported Celts to perform semi-skilled labor and introduced Africans as chattel slaves. From the very beginning Western capital understood the complexities of class struggle management.

The English experience in Ireland had been instructive for everyone. On that small island, the native Irish had escaped genocide on the scale of the North American indigenous only because the British colonists in Ireland represented a “hostage population” and because Irish arms meant the empire did not possess a technological advantage.

When ethnic cleansing proved unworkable, the English successfully imported Scotch colonists to act as a buffer between themselves and the native Irish. Although the “wild Irish” were never entirely tamed, this system of social control worked well for the imperial power.

“Whiteness,” as it is known today is entirely the invention of Colonial America. As an ethnic category it did not exist before the 17th century. The artifice of civilization applied to the New World would require artificial ethnicities to be invented as well. To allow order to be maintained and spread across the continent, divisions in the laboring classes would have to be exploited. The concept of “whiteness” served these purposes. A few key privileges would motivate the laboring European (in serfdom or tenancy) to subordinate their own self-interest (and that of their class) to the considerations of social control. This blind burden of class traitorism fell heaviest on the Scotch-Irish. As early as the 1600s, the British discovered these Celts to be natural frontiersmen, “ideal material for populating a frontier.” As the foot soldiers of empire, they would eventually cut throats from the Green Isle to the Black Hills of South Dakota for their masters. Comforted by the marginal gain of whiteness, they would form a wall of class traitorism lasting centuries.

The government of the United States is the absolute enemy. The state is a mechanism to mitigate the disparate factions of an ongoing class war. Government at all levels is dedicated to this task. A state cannot exist in a classless society and a class society must be governed by a state. Therefore, to terminate the absolute enemy, the American state, the ongoing class war must be brought into the open and made unmanageable.

How can this be done in the American context? The dilemma must be attacked at the root, at the tie that binds the American state. That concept, whiteness, which makes the management of the ongoing class war possible must be abolished. Class war, thus freed from its straightjacket (the state), can then run unchecked and consume government and capital.