An enquiry into the origins of British racism
Race is defined in terms of hegemonic ruling principles by means of an analytic contrast with caste and feudal hierarchy. Hierarchical, hieratic and, hegemonic colonial empire are compared in the Americas. The first two (Portuguese and Spanish) types of rule are shown to converge historically and to become racially attenuated. Both diverge increasingly from British hegemonic rule which is identified as raciogenic and potentially rank-disjunctive. The hegemonic conditions of race formation and ranking are, however, identified as post-colonial and are shown to derive from crises in capitalist-democracy. Intensifying crisis-successions are examined in the Deep South and South Africa. In the First Racist formation race precedes racism, but in the Second Racist formation, it is argued, race succeeds racism. Racial dynamics are explained by hegemonic developments, not by prior ruling ideas or rank formations. A structural theory of conflict transformation accounts for the critical construction of racist rule by means of ranking realignment, and is applied systematically .to the cases of Nazi Germany and post-imperial Britain. Contemporary metropolitan base-ranking is examined by comparing models of migrant labour control. British contraction is found to produce greatest contradiction in this respect. Brltish racist ranking is interpreted as an indigenous product of ruling crisis, not as an attribute of colonised migrant-settlers. The processes of minority formation and denigration are illustrated by an investigation into the position of British citizens of Asian extraction. The structural origins and transformation of British metropolitan crisis are explained substantively in terms of decolonisation, conflict accumulation and critical displacement. To investigate how racist resolution engenders ranking debasement, the social agents who mediate racification are examined. These are identified as the mainstream, parliamentary, not extremist forces in political democracy; and also the national press. In conclusion, an overall theory of hegemonic decline is formulated which synthesises previous case-findings and proposes a class-analysis of racial dynamics. The intensification of British metropolitan racism is finally assessed, both comparatively and immediately, as a continuing process.