History[ edit ] Ancient and medieval[ edit ] The use of prisons can be traced back to the rise of the state as a form of social organization. Corresponding with the advent of the state was the development of written languagewhich enabled the creation of formalized legal codes as official guidelines for society. The best known of these early legal codes is the Code of Hammurabiwritten in Babylon around BC. This notion of punishment as vengeance or retaliation can also be found in many other legal codes from early civilizations, including the ancient Sumerian codes, the Indian Manama Dharma Astrathe Hermes Trismegistus of Egypt, and the Israelite Mosaic Law.
Du Bois prophetically stated: I read this as an invitation to take a global and historical view of the forces that have drawn and redrawn the color line, which Du Bois understood as a global system of exploitation, an evolving mechanism of human sorting that accompanied the development of Western national economies and empires.
The color line sorts the free from the unfree, the owners from the dispossessed, discerning who belongs and who does not belong within the nation-state or within humanity itself. Du Bois was an early forecaster of how the relationship between race, nation, and empire would drive major conflicts like anticolonial struggle and racial integration, and how it would inspire expansive freedom dreams.
A consistent, yet commonly overlooked, mainstay of black radical politics has been the demand not simply to be included in the nation but to transform its very meaning by contesting capitalism and empire. That Reconstruction was left unfinished meant that this transformation never took place, and the rapacious logic of capitalism and Western empire continued to brutalize black bodies in ever-evolving systems of exclusion and exploitation.
We, the living, have the advantage of hindsight in assessing the principal problem of humanity in this last century. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the speech by Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. It is my favorite King speech. He knowingly risks alienating significant portions of his base by denouncing not just domestic racism but also militarism and capitalism.
That he was killed exactly one year later has always haunted me.
It is as if silencing his radicalism was a prerequisite for declaring the freedom dreams of black Americans achieved, for entirely swallowing up all arguments for dismantling the color line by denying its existence, driving its workings underground through new narratives of the deserving versus the undeserving of humanity.
Arash Yaghmaian The Violence of Belonging The political utility of stories lies in their ability to shape how we see each other, and ourselves, as part of a shared national community.
But to paraphrase historian Howard Zinn, nations have never been communities. American holidays, advertising, and textbooks make up a national mythology about multiculturalism that masks the realities of unresolved conflict. This idea of the gift-giving Indian helping to establish and enrich the development of the United States is an insidious smoke screen meant to obscure the fact that the very existence of the country is a result of the looting of an entire continent and its resources.
Settler colonialism, as an institution or system, requires violence or the threat of violence to attain its goals. People do not hand over their land, resources, children, and futures without a fight, and that fight is met with violence.
In employing the force necessary to accomplish its expansionist goals, a colonizing regime institutionalizes violence. An example from is typical, with General William T. Yet given the brutality of the current economic and political system, of the nation, something feels missing in both the problem statement and the solution.
The violence of nationalism is built on the logic of belonging.Excerpt from Essay: Introduction As Ruth Wilson Gilmore points out in Golden Gulag, prisons have become “catchall solutions to social problems.”[footnoteRef:2] Those problems can be rooted in drug issues stemming from the abuse of opioids that have proliferated on the black market thanks to the pharmaceutical industry’s expertise in developing highly addictive substances that filtered.
Golden Gulag— Ruth Wilson Gilmore (30%) and ﬁnal short 10 page essay (30%.), due May 11 at 3 pm by email.
In order to aid stimulating and critical reading and discussion each student will submit one QAQC each week. QAQCs are tools for discussion and. He was inspired by the book Golden Gulag, in which author Ruth Gilmore examines the remarkable growth of the California system through the lens of state-sanctioned racism and socioeconomic.
Gilmore was already known as an activist and an intellectual when she came to the Graduate Center from the University of Southern California in Fall In her first book, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (), which ASA recognized with its Lora Romero First Book Award, she examined how.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Director (on sabbatical ) Email: [email protected] Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, and American Studies at the Graduate Center. She has many honors and awards, and has delivered invited lectures at universities and cultural institutions around the world.
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