Democracies of Unfreedom: The United States and India

By Brij Mohan | Go to book overview

2
Race, Gender, and Class: An Encounter with Reality

Henceforth the majority of the inhabitants of the earth, who happen for the most part to be colored, must be regarded as having the right and the capacity to share in human progress and to become copartners in that democracy which alone can ensure peace among men, by the abolition of poverty, the education of the masses, protection from disease, and the scientific treatment of crime . . . [as long as] the majority of men can be regarded mainly as sources of profit for Europe and North America . . . we are planning not peace but war, not democracy but the continued oligarchical control of civilization by the white race. W. E. B. Du Bois ( 1975: v)

A culture that chants the mantra of efficiency--in the name of functional logic--inbreeds injustice. Racism, sexism, and poverty are manifestations of the violence of social injustice that an unjust system perpetrates against its powerless people. This chapter is dedicated to the victims of violence oppressed by the vectors of injustice. A critical examination of social reality calls for a new consciousness in the theory and practice of emancipatory knowledge. Democracy as a potential human liberator is the premise of an ongoing quest for universal equality and freedom. 1

The overriding social forces of our time--liberal and conservatives alike--have failed to see the human reality as a unified whole. The post-Cold War triumph has deluded the neoconservatives about the end of equality. Since justice demands diversity, they argue, the dream of economic equality for all does not work. There are many different roads to democracy. "Democracy is not a thing," observes Marable, "it is a process of expanding opportunities for all citizens, and the ability to control decision-making from the bottom up" ( 1992:239). Thoughtless pragmatism rationalized by a cultish creed of effectiveness has produced faltering

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Democracies of Unfreedom: The United States and India
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • Part I - THE CHIMERA OF THE AMERICAN DREAM 1
  • 1 - The Politics of Being 19
  • 2 - Race, Gender, and Class: An Encounter with Reality 21
  • 3 - Beyond the New Tribalism 35
  • 4 - The End of a Great Society 53
  • Part II - THE MANTRAS OF DENIAL 71
  • 5 - The Remains of Democracy 73
  • 6 - A New Caste War: The End of a Tradition 89
  • 7 - Toward the United States of India 101
  • 8 - Rediscovery of India 119
  • Epilogue - A Tale of Two Titans 135
  • Notes 143
  • Bibliography 145
  • Index 159
  • About the Author 169
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