Racial Capitalism

Document Type




Format of Original

10 p.

Publication Date

Spring 2015


University of Minnesota Press

Source Publication

Critical Ethnic Studies

Source ISSN



Accumulation under capitalism is necessarily the expropriation of labor, land, and resources. But it is also something else: we need a more apposite language to think about capital as a system of expropriating violence on collective life itself. To this end, one way to strengthen racial capitalism as an activist hermeneutic is to use it to name and analyze the production of social separateness—the disjoining or deactiving of relations between human beings (and humans and nature)—needed for capitalist expropriation to work. Considering racial capitalism as a technology of antirelationality reveals its weakness as much as its strength; for acts of racialized violence that would partition people from other senses and practices of social being (noncapitalist, nonstate) are as futile as they are constant.


Critical Ethnic Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 2015): 76-85. DOI.