Culture as 'Ways of Life' or a Mask of Racism? Culturalisation and the Decline of Universalist Views
MetadataShow full item record
I begin and conclude the article by arguing that culturalisation has contributed significantly to the decline of the Left and its universal ideals. In the current climate of public opinion, 'race' is no longer used, at least openly, as a scientific truth to justify racism. Instead, 'culture' has become the mysterious term that has made the perpetuation of racist discourse possible. 'Culture', in this newracist worldview, is the unquestioned set of traits continually attributed to the non-White Other, essentially to de-world her Being and de-individualise her personhood. In other words, 'culture', as it is used in the old anthropological sense, is the magic incantation with which the Other is demonised, mystified, and/or ridiculously oversimplified. I focus on the phenomenon of 'culturalisation' as a common new-racist method of de-politicising the Other's affairs and surrounding socio-political phenomena. The article is an attempt to discredit the paradigm of 'culture' as a pseudo-concept used commonly in cultural racism. This cultural racism routinely assumes 'culture' to be a natural given almost exactly as the pseudo-scientific paradigm 'race' was (and is still) used in some discourses of biological racism. If mentality X attributes categorical differences to different groups of people based on A and A is assumed to be natural, ahistorical, and/or metaphysical, then X is a racist mentality. Obviously, A does not have to be skin-colour or 'blood' in order for X to be racist.