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11-Aug-2020 23:15

The academic ‘discourse’ about white privilege acknowledges rhetorically the reality of class differences amongst whites, but in practice this issue never realizes itself in any actionable manner.In the 19th century this was something that non-elite whites might have viewed positively, as the bracketing of all whites together as one political nation which excluded all non-whites, irrespective of the latter’s ‘respectability’ in specific cases, redounded to their benefit.Though one can quibble with the magnitude of Cannadine’s argument, I think one must grant that it is part of the picture, if not the whole picture.The importance of class in England, and more or less in Europe as a whole, is contrasted with its relatively lower salience in the United States. One can make a classic materialist argument that in a labor scarcity-land surplus regime which characterized the early American republic the ossified class systems of the Old World simply could not develop.Substitute “Scots-Irish” for “Pashtun”, “Hmong” or “Berber” and you will see what I mean.

But this reality can easily be mitigated by a Marxist explanation of their relative lack of economic privilege.How many people would guess that the poorest county in America is 99% non-Hispanic white?