Discrimination And Criticism In Charles Mills's The Racial Contract

Decent Essays
“The Racial Contract” depicts Charles Mills’ radical perspective on racism as the foundation of the social contract. The core of Locke’s political thought is exposed, heavily linked to domination and exploitation. Racial roots of the social contract evoke global division and the existence of full/sub-persons. Mills rejects and challenges Locke’s conventional contract theory by acknowledging racism as the linchpin of the social contract, rather than an unintended consequence of imperfect man. His critique recognizes covert power roots of racism within the political system that, formally and informally dictate socioeconomic privileges. Historical events depict a continued nature of exploitation as Mills utilizes the racial contract to place racial …show more content…
He claims, “the racial contract is a historical actuality,” (19), with evidence revealing a plethora of exploitation in a continuing white supremacist state. The racial contract investigates the paradoxical foundations of Locke where nonwhite tacit consent to white privileges inhibit natural and civic equality. The core of Locke’s social contract is rooted in racism that facilitates domination. Interpreting his own outlook on contract theory, Locke focuses on the contract as a theoretical construct of political philosophy. While Locke depicts origins and legitimacy of agreement into civil society, Mills counters the Lockean principles of universal equality, labeling it as white-inclusive. To a great extent this tarnishes the utopian aurora that follows previous interpretations of contract theory and establishes no grounds of justification in the deprivation of liberties to …show more content…
However these pale in comparison to the effectiveness of actual historical truths in imperialism, colonialism, and other atrocities that expose Locke for relations of domination and exploitation. He extends past liberty and equality, providing a framework of how economic foundations in the current economy are rooted in racist social contract ideals. Global historical reoccurrences reinforce his claim that these lead to mass discourse, and the presence of domination roots in Locke’s political theory. Mills surpasses the core of Locke’s thought by discussing racism as an ideology. While, “the social contract requires that all citizens and persons learn to respect themselves,” (72), the racial contract acknowledges epistemologies of ignorance and political domination within the social contract. Racially motivated ignorance is proven to drive the social contract and foundation of John Locke. Mills attests how most state of natures involve savages or a, “garden gone to a seed,” (46), with imperfect men. Instead of suggesting race as a construction and a regrettable deviation, Mills appropriately identifies inherent racism in Locke, detailing cases of downplayed and neglected nonwhite achievements. Mills provides a unique perspective that tarnishes Locke’s legacy. To a fair extent, Locke still holds value through

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Class racism she asserts is connected to a political and economic problem that is crucial for the institution of the nation-state. Furthermore, She contends how the state has the power to exclude by force properties and deny citizenships and certain societal privileges to individuals who 's class seemed ' ' dangerous ' ' and pose a threat to the establishment with social order. Often time, individuals who fall victims into such are non-white racial identities. Being that it is acknowledgeable to assert, as Wacquant would conclude, that race has been constituted by white people ( wacquant ). As Micheal Ignatieff would convey, the idea of ' 'white race ' ' or rather ' 'whiteness ' ' does not just signify a set of genetic characteristic but rather an expression of race privilege and power.…

    • 899 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Emperor Jones

    • 1832 Words
    • 7 Pages

    I create a sense of racism i.e. the white and the black: one being superior while the other inferior. Fanon, in his book “Black Skin White Mask” writes “The feeling of inferiority of the colonized is correlative to the European’s feeling of superiority. Let us have the courage to say it outright: it is the racist who creates his inferior”(69). This makes it clear that the racist has the power to manipulate the existing conditions to his own interest.…

    • 1832 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Institutional racism and affirmative action One can not deny the existence of oppression based on race. While the pseudo-scientific concept of race is at best a myth and, at worst, a convenient lie, but social oppression based on what is generally called the race is as real as the sunrise . If you do not believe in the existence of such oppression, then it is better that you stop right now to read this article because the existence of racism is one of the basic assumptions of this text. Racism exists in the United States as well as. Apart from its history, or the analysis of its sociological and psychological causes, the question we all face, whether we are victims or beneficiaries of racism, is simple: what must we do to combat it?…

    • 577 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    152). In the same volume, Fredrickson quoted the sociologist Loic Wacquant as advocating “forsaking once and for all the inflammatory and exceedingly ductile category of ‘racism’ save as a descriptive term referring to the empirically analyzable doctrines and beliefs about race” (pp. 152–153). This is why for the sake of this paper, racism will simply be defined as the belief that all members of a purported race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or other races. Now that both white privilege and racism have both been defined, there are powerful implications in which they interact with each other.…

    • 1478 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The belief system ideology of racism was created by elite white supremacists to hold the inferior minorities/blacks group in check and rule them in whichever way they see fit to. An example of this would be slavery, the holocaust Etc...The…

    • 1145 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    By documenting the follies of the white characters, Twain unveils their racism and solidifies the assertion that subordination of blacks was undeniably unjustifiable. Not only do the authors detail the depravity of slavery, but also they delineate how it leads to a morale decline of the oppressors and the contrasting morality and intellect of the oppressed. Similarly interesting, Huck Finn was written following the Civil war, and Benito Cereno preceding it. As a result, Mark Twain tackles slavery following its end, but in doing so highlights the continuous struggle of blacks even in the absence of slavery – truly, racism continues to be an issue in the present…

    • 1266 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Racism In Ir Theory

    • 808 Words
    • 4 Pages

    This rationality or rather irrationality was later applied to IR theory. Henderson argues that the relationship between racism and IR theory is evident in the study of anarchy. Conceptions of anarchy in IR borrow heavily from social contract theorists such as Hobbes, Locke Rousseau, and Kant. Borrowing from Mills, Henderson argues that social contract theorists often conceptualize the state of nature in racist terms. Further, social contact theorists heavily influence realist,…

    • 808 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Racism And Profiling

    • 1294 Words
    • 6 Pages

    They advocate racial self-preservation and claim that culture is a product of race” (Chaney 492). Advocating expectations and assumptions for each race can start either a virtuous circle or a vicious one. Therefore, racial profiling is demonstrating and harming those of this race…

    • 1294 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This shortcoming opposes the political ideology of black nationalism, in which proponents such as Malcolm X embodied strength and power for the Black Power Movement, and problematically promotes the naïve notion of colorblindness in colorblind ideologies. Dawson, in Black Visions, defines black nationalism to “include support for African-American autonomy and various degrees of cultural, social, economic, and political separation from white America. Race is seen as the fundamental category for analyzing society, and America is seen as fundamentally racist.” Depicted as an opponent of this black political thought, Obama emphasizes America’s unity and oneness in a variety of his speeches. For example, at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama confidently asserts, “Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and a white America and a Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” Obama resurfaces the nation’s unanimity in his 2008 Yes We Can speech when he says, “In this country, we rise and fall as a nation, as one people.” Beautifully crafted, both speeches inspired nationalistic pride; however, Obama’s repetitive parallel of Americans, white and black individuals in particular, problematically ignores the…

    • 2206 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Douglass makes a clear case that slavery is not sustained through the natural superiority of Americans, but through education and strategies that will hold power over Americans. Douglas provides evidence to show how slavery corrupts its slave owners to…

    • 1492 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays