On Racism and the Law of Value

Lukas Egger
race and capital Egger


This piece is being made available as a preprint edition of the Race and Capital special issue of Historical Materialism. The final published version of this text will be made available on the Brill website in the coming months, we ask that citations refer to the Brill edition.

Issue 32(2&3): Race and Capital

Since the financial collapse of 2008 and the unfolding struggles in its aftermath, one can observe a rising interest in Marxist theories on race and racism. In this context some efforts were made to make use of Marx’s value theory for explaining the emergence and persistence of anti-black racism.[i] Some of the most promising approaches within this theoretical tendency make use of Moishe Postones work on antisemitism and the value-form, which is indeed a good place to start.[ii] Nevertheless, these recent theoretical investigations ignore, to no fault of their own, an already existing elaborate attempt that tried to bring together a theory of racism and Marx’s value-form analysis – namely the work of Peter Schmitt-Egner from the 1970s.

At the same time when Postone was studying in Frankfurt, where he was partaking in the debates around the reconstruction of Marx’s critique of political economy, now usually called the new reading of Marx (Neue Marx-Lektüre), Schmitt-Egner attempted to investigate colonial racism through a systematic-dialectic method owing much to the contemporary Hegelian reading of Capital established in Germany by scholars such as Alfred Schmidt, Hans-Georg Backhaus and Helmut Reichelt.[iii] Around this time, a public discussion unfolded, which was triggered by the Namibian independence movement against the occupation by South Africa, which brought the questions of apartheid and Germanys genocidal history during its colonial ventures in Africa into focus. Schmitt-Egner tried, as he put it in an article from 1980, to counter the tendency in Germany at the time to overcome this colonial past by ignoring its continuities and its importance for the present.[iv] In his dissertation Kolonialismus und Faschismus (‚Colonialism and Fascism‘) from 1975 as well as in an article from the following year called Wertgesetz und Rassismus (‚Racism and the Law of Value‘) for the Gesellschaft-book series, which was initiated by Hans Georg Backhaus, Schmitt-Egner tried to conceptually derive racism from the functioning of the law of value under conditions of a world market constituted through colonial violence. To that effect, he was obviously inspired by the German world-market debate, which was happening at around the same time. Just like this debate, which revolved around the question if there was a modification of the law of value on the world market and how Marx’s critique of political economy can be used to explain modern imperialism, Schmitt-Egners work can be designated as almost forgotten.[v] Even within German anti-racist theory, his work is almost never mentioned.[vi] While some important texts within the German new reading of Marx have been made accessible to English-speaking audiences,[vii] Schmitt-Egner’s, as well as many other important works, are not among them. Therefore, this paper aims to make the outline of his main argument accessible to the ongoing international debate on racism and capitalism. While, as I am going to show, Schmitt-Egners theoretical endeavour has some serious flaws, it nevertheless constitutes one of the most developed theoretical investigations of racism from a Marxian point of view. Its weaknesses notwithstanding, it can bring important insights to current discussions.

Historical and Theoretical Preliminaries

In his dissertation, which was the basis of his article on racism and the law of value from 1976, Schmitt-Egner situates his work within the debates around the relation of racism, colonialism and fascism. He approvingly cites Arendt, Césaire and Fanon who argued for an understanding of colonial domination in the periphery as deeply connected with the emergence of fascism in the metropoles. While he commends these thinkers for looking at colonialism and fascism as related forms of unmediated domination, he also thinks that they lack an investigation of the economic substance of these forms.[viii] According to him, this theoretical desideratum also led to a ‘confusion of the scientific debate’ around the question of racism and how it relates to both colonialism and fascism.[ix] The only way out of this conceptual perplexity, as stated by Schmitt-Egner, would be a proper Marxian conceptual development of racist ideology, that starts ‘from the contradictions of the economic form’.[x]

But even within the Marxist tradition such a theoretical derivation, he contends, was not yet developed. The two most prominent approaches to the theorisation of racist ideology within historical materialism, the social-psychological tradition in the aftermath of Wilhelm Reichs Mass Psychology of Fascism, as well as the orthodox Marxist approach, that developed out of the Second and Third Internationals are deemed deficient by Schmitt-Egner.[xi] Reich, who is mentioned explicitly by Schmitt-Egner, and the proponents of the Frankfurt School like Erich Fromm, who are only hinted at, are criticised for essentially bypassing the economic form-nexus in their socio-psychological accounts of prejudices. All of them, he adds, would adhere to a rather orthodox Marxist view of the economy as becoming objectively more and more socialised, while the subjective consciousness of the proletariat in Germany and other industrialised nations wouldn’t follow suit. Reich and others thought that this discrepancy could only be explained by looking at the agents of psychological socialisation which are deemed to produce authoritarian personality-types, vulnerable to be lured in by racist and other chauvinist ideologies. According to Schmitt-Egner, this kind of argumentation lacks a thorough investigation of the internal relation between matter and mind, artificially seperates economic and psycho-cultural instances and remains trapped in a somewhat modified base-superstructure-model.[xii]

Nevertheless, he lauds the social-psychological approach for at least attempting to explain the genesis of racism. The Marxist traditions of the Second and Third International are criticised by him for having not even tried to explain the structural emergence of racism, but rather reducing it to its function in the preservation of imperialist domination. This approach couldn‘t relate the function of racism – as a means of legitimation, ideological distortion and social cohesion – to its form-determination and therefore failed to establish a relation of necessity between racism and capitalism. This mistake is grounded, according to Schmitt-Egner, in the orthodox Marxists inability ‘to grasp racism as a socially necessary form of consciousness of the commodity-producing and -exchanging society’.[xiii]

Before I lay out Schmitt-Egners argument, some methodological comments are in order. When Schmitt-Egner talks of genesis it shouldn’t be understood as refering to the historical genealogy of racism. Rather it refers to ‘a conceptual relationship of development’, that has to be established via a theoretical reconstruction of the relation of racism to the capitalist mode of production ‘in its ideal average’.[xiv] Schmitt-Egner explicitly states that this kind of conceptual investigation has to forego any kind of historical exposition of the origins of racism – which of course doesn’t mean that one should engage in abstract model-building before engaging with actual history, but that the internal relations between the object under investigation, which were already conceptually reproduced through theoretical and empirical inquiry, should be at the beginning and the center of the theoretical presentation.[xv] In this Schmitt-Egner is a very orthodox follower of Marx’s notes on the method of political economy in his Introduction of 1857.[xvi]

Additionally, another preliminary remark is necessary on Schmitt-Egners conception of ideology. It has become quite ubiquitous for Marxists and non-Marxists alike, to reject any conception of racism as primarily an ideology and to discuss it as a question of power and domination instead. This has the reasonable and most welcome aspect to it, that it highlights the excessive violence, suffering and oppression that was and still is the consequence of racism. To the effect that focusing on the practical, structural and institutional sides of racism emphasises these morally and politically most important dimensions it was a necessary corrective. At times however, the emphasis on ‘power’ contrary to ‘prejudice’ in my eyes tends to reproduce the questionable separation of being and consciousness and conveys an understanding of ideologies as ‚mere ideas‘.[xvii] But the term ideology, in a Marxian sense, denotes not only cognitive processes, but stresses the unity and relative autonomy of forms of consciousness as parts of the totality of social practices. Therefore, when Schmitt-Egner talks of racism as an ideology, he sees it as a conceptual reflection (and distortion) of social actions and social power relations mediated by capitalist forms of wealth (commodities, value, money, capital). These relations can be empirically observed by agents only in their inverted phenomenal forms which conceal their real origin. In contrast to Althusserian accounts of ideology, the distinction between essential relations and phenomenal forms is paramount here.  Ideologies seem only plausible to actors, because they are anchored in social practices, which are in turn co-constituted by these forms of consciousness.[xviii] They are therefore never ‘merely’ ideas.

The Commodity-Form, Human Rights and their Negation

In his theoretical derivation of racism Schmitt-Egner differentiates between three successive levels of abstraction. First, it needed to be established how racism is even possible in a capitalist society in which the idea of human equality ‘already aquired the permanance’, according to Marx, of a ‘popular prejudice’ (Volksvorurteil).[xix] Second, it has to be investigated how the possibility of racism becomes an actuality, that means under which outer circumstances the contradictions of abstract equality encountered on level one develops into actual racism. And finally, it had to be shown under which conditions racism becomes not only a possible and actual but the dominant form of consciousness.[xx]

Schmitt-Egner‘s point of departure is Marx’s analysis of bourgeois rights and the sphere of commodity circulation. He does not try to extrapolate a theory of racism from Marx’s scattered comments on the race-question, such as his now well-known remarks on the hostility between Irish and English workers, but rather he situates it in the conceptual architecture of the critique of the political economy, where supposedly it was left out by Marx. Therefore, he proceeds in a similar way as for instance Pashukanis did regarding the law or as Marxist-Feminists did with reproductive labour.[xxi]

Schmitt-Egners starting point – the sphere of simple commodity circulation – seemed to be a reasonable place to start his endeavour from, because it is where abstract freedom and equality (together with Bentham) have their natural habitat.[xxii] Commodity circulation as the real material basis of the normative orientations of the bourgeois subject is therefore also the level of abstraction where the possibility of racism has to be established:

If we want to follow the genesis of colonial ideology, whose central forms of appearance are racism and chauvinism, it should be possible on this level of abstraction to derive why the bourgeois society casts off its ‚own‘ ideology and chooses, in denial of the bourgeois revolution, the inequality of human beings as its new ideology.[xxiii]

Marx already in his early philosophical writings developed a well-known critique of human rights as the rights of the egoistic, isolated, bourgeois man.[xxiv] He arrived at this argument through an engagement with Hegels Philosophy of Right and took over his notion of the duplication (Verdopplung) of the individual within capitalist society into bourgeois and citoyen – which is the reflection of the seperation of the economic and political spheres within society as a whole under capitalism. But while he already postulates from very early on a nexus between capitalism and the idea of an inborn equality of men, he, according to Schmitt-Egner, couldn’t yet conceptualise the real material basis of this idea. Only decades later, through the analysis of the commodity-form in Capital and its preparatory works was this achieved.[xxv]

In his mature writings on the critique of political economy Marx found out that the equality of men could only become a plausible and generalizable notion in a society where the products of social labour have turned into commodities, which are exchanged as equivalents by their owners. In this social act, that mediates the whole metabolism of capitalist societies, individuals encounter each other as equal subjects. Buyer and seller of a commodity both are active subjects, both ideally give and receive an equal amount of value and the act of exchange constitutes a contractual relationship both of them enter at their (formally) free choosing.[xxvi]

If therefore the economic form, the act of exchange, on all sides precludes the equality of the subjects, the content, the substance, individually as well as objectively, which drives the exchange precludes freedom. Equality and freedom are not only respected in exchange based on exchange values, but the exchange of exchange values is the productive, real base of all equality and freedom. As pure ideas they are merely idealised manifestations of it.[xxvii]

But this sphere of abstract freedom and equality already presupposes universal commodity exchange and therefore the commodification of labour power. Circulation, according to Marx, is a ‘haze, hiding a whole world beneath it.’[xxviii] It presupposes a sphere of production based on the exploitation of wage labour. In other words, the existence of commodity-exchange as a social act of free and equal individuals is only the appearance of unfreedom and inequality, of class and exploitation which reigns in the sphere of production.

Freedom and equality remain insubstantial as long as they are based on the appropriation of surplus labour. This contradiction between the determinations of circulation and of production, who are parts of an integrated whole, only find a modus vivendi in which they can simultaneously exist through the mystification of the wage form. As it appears that the all hours of the workday were paid by the capitalist, it seems that there was no exploitation happening at all, which is, according to Marx, the basis for a range of illusions that are spreading also within the working class.[xxix]

One of the most important of these illusions, is that the rights conveyed by the sphere of circulation to the owners of commodities are not seen as socially determined and historically specific products of a class society, but as conveyed by nature. Reified as natural rights, the legal form of mediation of commodity exchange appears as a consequence of the nature of the exchanging homo oeconomicus. Human equality seems natural through exchange value and those who are socially inferiorised accordingly seem to be naturally inferior. This is ultimately the point, according to Schmitt-Egner, from where it is possible to make sense of racism. Once we established the contradictions of bourgeois equality, which are determined by the internal relation of exploitation and commodity-exchange, we see that we have to look for the racist negation of this equality in the sphere of production and how this is naturalized through circulation. We have to look at labour not only as a commodity, but as a form of capital. Then we see racism as anchored in the difference between only formally subsumed labour processes in the colonies and really subsumed labour processes in the metropoles.[xxx]

The Genesis of Racism in the Colonial Labour Regime

According to Schmitt-Egner racism was not a product of slavery per se. As is well known, slavery didn’t need racial classifications to be a feasible form of exploitation for a very long time.[xxxi] Even during the age of revolutions in the late 17th and 18th century, which also marked the climax of the transatlantic slave trade, slavery, for the most part, needed no justification apart from its utility. As chattel slavery and plantation production more and more became incorporated into a system of industrial capitalism based on free wage labour, this contradiction was solved by subsuming the slave under the rubric of property, thereby using the ideological hegemony of private property against the emerged radical notions of human liberty as a vindication of the slave system.[xxxii]

As Barbara Fields notes, ‘in the [U.S.] South, the heyday of scientific racism … came after, not during, slavery.’[xxxiii] Schmitt-Egner explains this apparent aberration by relating it to the dominance of merchant capital. As long as it was dominating, he contends, the sanctity of property ranked above everything else and ‘there was no need for slave-trading nations to solve this contradiction through a “theory”, as the person of the slave merged into property.’[xxxiv] As a chattel the slave was not partaking in circulation as a subject, but was treated as a passive object. Exploitation in production was out in the open without a mystification of the wage form in effect. No contradiction emerged between the slaves appearance in circulation and production – they were treated as tools, as fixed capital in both spheres. As long as merchants capital and slave labour was dominating, Schmitt-Egner writes, there was no objective basis for a theory of radical, unbridgable, natural inequality between ‚races‘ to emerge.[xxxv]

This only changes when industrial capital spreads out into the colonies, a process Schmitt-Egner dates to the 19th century, with the expansion of the British empire in Asia and the colonisation of large parts of sub-saharan Africa. In this process the colonies‘ insertion into ‘the world market, which was formally subsumed by industrial capital’ didn’t lead to a developmental pattern similar to the process of original accumulation in England that was analysed by Marx.[xxxvi] In comparison with the metropoles, the colonies were integrated through a system based on unequal exchange and unequal relations of production. Unequal quantities of labour were exchanged because of the comparatively labour intensive production in the colonies and the absence of a tendency of profit rates to equalise on a world scale. At the same time – in contrast to the open plunder conducted by merchant capital – this relationship of subordination is veiled, because it rests on formally free exchange of economic magnitudes.[xxxvii]

The real subsumption promoted by industrial capital asserts itself only sectorally, where capital-exports from the metropoles are involved, other labour processes remain only formally subsumed and therefore very labour intensive. The colonised themselves, according to Schmitt-Egner, only participate in local small-scale trade as they were still to a large degree enmeshed in subsistence-oriented production and were therefore excluded from commercial exchange. While at the same time the local traditional forms of interaction and social ties are violently dissolved, so that the colonised ‘indeed appears cultureless”, as he is neither part of bourgeois society nor of any old traditional organisation’.[xxxviii] This lack of integration through social ties or meaningful participation in the market requires, according to Schmitt-Egner, the application of sheer force as the primary means of social cohesion.

Schmitt-Egner sees the alignment of the economy according to the requirements of production in the metropoles as the basis of the merely formal subsumption of labour under capital in the colonies. This relation of dependence brings with it that the state of labour productivity is not determined by the necessary average labour time. Instead, what kind of machinery is used is determined be the wants of individual and productive consumption in the colonizing countries. Those made use of the colonies, according to Schmitt-Egner, almost exclusively for extractive purposes, that is, as producers of raw material through agrarian production or mining. Expenditures for constant capital were artificially held down to guarantee a labour intensive form of production, which was further cheapened by violently pressing down the price of labour power and the lenghtening of the work day, that is through the increase of absolute surplus value. The relative displacement of direct coercion as a stimulus for extracting labour, which was achieved in the metropoles, wasn’t allowed to happen in the colonial mode of production:

The depressed unfolding of the productive power of labour necessitates the form of a master-servant-relationship [eines Herr-Knecht-Verhältnisses]. In this surplus-value-yielding production also an unmediated relation of violence is mediated through exchange value. This form of production therefore is in no way feudal (as it was sometimes claimed in the dependency-debate), but commodified and directed by capital through its world-market based mediation, which is at the same time the constituting element of this relation of production.[xxxix]

Therefore, while the development of capitalism and the struggles of the workers movement in Western Europe produced a variety of capitalism which allowed for a historical and moral element as part of the value-determination of labour power, this wasn’t the case for the colonised labourer. According to Marx, the lower limit of the value of labour power is set by the wage being sufficient to buy the ‘physically indispensable provisions’ without which the worker cannot reproduce her labour power in full. If this minimum is undercut by the capitalist, the labourer can only reproduce her labour power ‘in stunted form’.[xl]

In the case of the colonies, where production is built around extraction for the economies of the metropoles and is based on a low organic composition of capital, it becomes the primary motive of the colonising capitalist to extent surplus value ‘in contrast to the metropole primarily through the lenghtening of the work day and the permanent depression of the commodity of labour power under its value.’[xli] Here we find, according to Schmitt-Egner, the condition for the emergence of racist ideology. The colonised labourer is seen as inferior and subhuman, because her labour power is under-valued compared to that of the white worker. She is seen as a human being of lesser value, because that’s how she appears within circulation.

‘[T]hat is to say, if the colonial worker is not able anymore to sell his labour power on the surface according to its value, then his exchange value doesn’t represent an equivalent anymore, therefore he also can’t be recognised as an equal within the sphere of circulation.’[xlii] Racism, Schmitt-Egner writes, translates the differences in the value-determination of labour power between black and white workers into natural differences of human ‚races‘. Those, who are compelled to work for wages under the value of their labour power are seen as not fully human, because they are de-valued not only in the sphere of production – as is the case with wage workers in general – but they are also de-valued in circulation. The colonised worker, according to Schmitt-Egner, ‘is reduced to brutish nature’,[xliii] because the historical and moral element of the value of labour power, which is missing in the case of this kind of worker, in bourgeois society became the badge of being fully human.[xliv]

While racism is seen by Schmitt-Egner as an ideology that was only possible to emerge under the condition of the commodification of colonised labour power, he nevertheless finds that slavery ‘lives on in ideological form within race ideology’, because the colonised worker is seen within circulation and production similar to a slave, only as a tool or an object. At the same time her labour power is her own property, not that of some master. This contradiction, according to Schmitt-Egner, could only be ‚solved‘ through the mystification of race, which is re-enforced within the production process, where, for instance in South Africa, the black workers were relegated by law to simple, manual labour. Dequalification therefore is another feature these workers become associated with. Even when there is no formal barrier, the dull compulsion of economic relations reproduces this relegation by itself, as Schmitt-Egner explains, pointing to the U.S. after abolition.[xlv]

In summary, the objective precondition of racism is to be found in the contradictions of bourgeois equality, which has its base in commodity circulation and the exploitation of wage labour. This uneasy synchronicity of formal equality and material inequality holds the possibility – but only the possibility – of racism. Solely through the historical tracing of this contradiction in the constitution of a world-market through colonialism, can it be said, that racism became a necessary form of consciousness under capitalism. Therefore, Schmitt-Egner‘s argument echoes that of Patrick Wolfe, according to whom ‘the emergence of the ideology of race accords with the shift from mercantilism to an industrial economy which transformed colonial social organisation’ in a way that ‘production and consumption were reconstituted to suit the requirements of metropolitan factories.’[xlvi] The specific form under which capital subsumed labour in the colonies destroyed traditional social ties without integrating the colonised into bourgeois society. Therefore they were seen as beings without culture. They were relegated to hard and unskilled manual labour, which was the basis for their construction as human tools by nature. At the same time they were still proprietors of their own labour power, even if it was strongly coerced wage labour. But it was a labour power whose price was permanently depressed under the social average: ‘The notion of necessary labour time is stripped in the colonies of its social necessity, the historical-moral element disappears; the worker in this case is reduced to mere nature, mere physical subsistence.’[xlvii]

The colonial violence which lead to this extraordinary position within capitalist circulation and production was hidden by the mystifications of the commodity form. Circulation, according to Marx, as was already mentioned, is a haze hiding a whole world beneath it. What it hides is the violence that produced the racialised worker. Through the ideology of racism the features with which she enters the labour market are seen as established not by brute force, but by her own deficient biology. ‘The intermediate steps of the process vanish in the result and leave no trace behind.’[xlviii] Because human equality seems to be a self-evident fact of nature for the bourgeois commodity-exchanging subject, those who can participate in this exchange only with an under-valued embodied commodity – their racialised labour power – seem with the same self-evidence as being deficient by nature. And the reason for said inferiority is accordingly seen as an inner trait of the carrier of said labour power.

Hylton Whites‘ ambitious theoretical derivation of anti-black racism comes quite close to Schmitt-Egners approach, but suffers from the mistake of theorising it as a result of an identification of the black body with abstract labour. White defines abstract labour as labour which ‘by coercion or by technology and corporate organisation … becomes a social force abstracted from individual or willful action.’[xlix] But this is a definition of alienated labour in accordance with the definition given in Marx’s early Paris Manuscripts.[l] Abstract labour on the contrary is not ‘amassed biological energy’,[li] but the purely social character of labour. Value is ‘a relation of social validation’, in which concrete labours are recognised ‘as a particular quantum of value-constituting abstract labour’ through the exchange of commodities.

White is right, that through the history of slavery and other forms of unfree labour black people are seen as bearers of unbridled, ‚raw‘ labour power and are identified with unskilled, simple and manual labour – but this means they are identified with a specific kind of concrete labour. While anti-semitism indeed affirms the concrete against the abstract, affirming blood and nation against the jew as the symbol of abstract modernity, the fetishistic dualism of (good) concreteness and (bad) abstraction can’t explain anti-black racism.[lii] This racism sees its victims as beeing too concrete, meaning too close to the simplicity of nature, rather than as completely remote from nature as the ‚rootless‘ jews are seen by antisemites. This ‘strongly polarised pair’ of anti-black racism and antisemitism has at its root the projection of the all too concrete, use-value side of capitalism onto the black body as inanimate nature, while projecting its abstract and impersonal dimension onto the jew as the personification of impersonal power.[liii] Fanon was one of the first authors who also recognized the social-psychological aspect of this, which results in identifying ‘the intellectual and the sexual’ in the former case with the jews and in the latter with black people.[liv] This dichotomy can be observed best by looking at racist propagandistic imagery, where African men are usually depicted as musculous brutes, who lure in defenseless women through the force of their sheer unlimited sexual potency, while jewish men are depicted as ugly old leechers, who nevertheless lure in the nation-signifying women by virtue of their manipulative capabilities.[lv]

‘Chauvinism’ and the Pre-History of Race

At this point, readers of this article may have already spotted some of the weaknesses in Schmitt-Egners theory. His derivation remains very speculative and is situated at an extremely high level of abstraction, while at the same time it is filled with sweeping statements intended to capture the essence of social processes which unfolded over vast periods of time and geographical space. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if they were backed up by a sufficient amount of historical material. But when it comes to the history of colonialism and racism, Schmitt-Egners sources are extremely scarce, even for the mid-1970s.

For instance, he ignored large parts of the debate on the origins of racial slavery in Virginia, which was in full swing by the time he was writing. This made it possible for him to argue that the fact that ‘the first labour struggles in the New England colonies were fought out together by blacks and whites’[lvi] was evidence for the absence of racism. Not only were those struggles situated not in the New England but in the Southern Colonies, they were also not fought out by ‚blacks and whites‘, but by slaves and indentured servants who were signified not yet as ‚races‘ but for instance as heathenish ‚Negroes‘ and as dissolute ‚rabble‘.[lvii] The category of whiteness was at this point still in its infancy and, at least in Virginia, became formalised as a legal category only at the end of the seventeenth century following the repercussions of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676.[lviii]

If he would have taken notice of this history, he might have recognised that the biologistic racial doctrine he takes for the substance of racism was only the culmination of a process that took off long before the year of 1850, which he understands following Michael Banton as the beginning of the ‘century of racism’.[lix] The idea of race didn’t originate in the colonial context in the 19th century, but in the class struggles and structural transformations within Europe at the time of the formation and dissolution of the states of the type of the Ancièn Regime.[lx] Notions of race were mobilised by nobles to anchor their claims to aristocratic privileges in ideological ideas of unbridgeable natural difference. Aristocrats and bureaucrats of ‚non-noble blood‘ as well as the domestic underclasses were seen by the old elites as inferior by nature.[lxi] In medieval Spain aristocrats made use of already established religious modes of inferiorisation against muslims and jews in the competition for state offices. Conversed ‚New Christians‘ were driven out from such offices (if they weren’t driven out of Spain altogether or killed), whose former religious confessions were seen as having tainted their blood, which resulted in the laws of blood purity.[lxii] But these ascriptive hierarchization were quite different from modern notions of race and were at first not connected to skin colour at all.

Only at the beginning of the 17th century, with thinkers such as Francois Bernier in France and William Petty in England, was it, that the notion of race was mobilised to sort and hierarchise populations on a global scale. Even later, against the background of the plantation systems in the ‚New World‘, the ‚Negroes‘ ultimately became racialised, while Europeans became white, Indigenous Americans – whose skin was considered to be olive or even white before – suddenly were deemed red, and Asians, in some cases formerly known for their pale skin, became the yellow race. Indigenous Americans and Asians were therefore integrated in a colour-coded taxonomy, which was built around African slavery in the 18th century and which was used in later colonial ventures into Asia and Africa as a system of ascriptive hierarchy as well.[lxiii]

One has to take notice of this history to understand why Africans were racialised differently in modern scientific racism than for example Native Americans were, even though both were colonised and racialised and are therefore thrown together by Schmitt-Egner under one category. Even if one wants to look at racism from a form-theoretical angle, as Schmitt-Egner does, without the intention to write a history of racism, he nevertheless has to make a detour to the history of colonialism, because his purely conceptual derivation finds its limits as soon as he leaves the sphere of commodity circulation. ‘The dialectical mode of presentation’ as was clear for Marx ‘is only correct, when it is aware of its limits.’[lxiv] Beyond these limits actual history has to enter – and concerning racism, the writing of its history simply cannot begin with the colonial expansion of capitalism in the 19th century, but has to start much earlier. If one agrees with Schmitt-Egner that modern racism is a reflection of the way different colonised and enslaved populations were violently integrated into a capitalist economy based on formal freedom and equality, one still has to look at the history of this integration in its structural and ideological dimensions to understand why this process took on the form it did. Without recognizing the pre-history of 19th century colonial subjugation and racist inferiorisation one simply cannot grasp the shape and the function of modern racial taxonomies.

At one point in his article, Schmitt-Egner recognises this pre-history of modern racial doctrine. He postulates an ideology he calls ‚chauvinism‘, which he says was also based on inferiorising the colonised, but not along the lines of race but along the lines of peoples and nations. Chauvinism, he contends, was the fitting ideology for colonial expansion, while racism was a form of consciousness geared to already established colonial domination.[lxv] He seems to understand as chauvinism the ideologies that legitimised land grab, dispossession and displacement of native peoples, who were signified as ‚savages‘ and ‚barbarians‘. The objective basis for these ideologies, according to Schmitt-Egner, was the difference between colonising societies, who already produced for exchange value, which was equated with progressiveness, and indigenous peoples who engaged in subsistence-oriented small scale agriculture. Therefore, the export of capitalism into the colonies was seen as the export of civilisation.[lxvi]

While he acknowledges this pre-history of scientific racism, he makes the mistake to understand what he calls chauvinism as a simple precursor to racism, which was later replaced.[lxvii] But ‚chauvinism‘ – the signification of natives as idle savages, who are not able to productively improve land through their labour – was not just a precursor, but the beginning of an ongoing process, which was later justified via race theory. This becomes most obvious, when one looks at the signification of indigenous peoples in the U.S., who were dispossessed as unproductive ‚savages‘, as were Aboriginal people in Australia, but at the same time were seen as ‚red‘ in contrast to ‚black‘ and were racialised in many ways dissimilar to African-Americans. Accordingly, black Americans were not seen as a ‚dying race‘ and were not forcefully assimilated but kept separate, in contrast to indigenous peoples, because the reason for their subjugation was not the appropriation of land, but the appropriation of labour.[lxviii] Both forms of appropriation weren’t successive stages but simultaneously existing forms of colonial violence, which led to different forms of inferiorisation. These differences escape Schmitt-Egner due to his cursory and flawed reconstruction of history.

No State in Sight

Another severe weakness in Schmitt-Egners theoretical derivation is his almost complete disregard for the role of the state in the emergence of racism. This is even more surprising, because Schmitt-Egner was writing at the climax of the German state-derivation debate, which had as its goal the conceptual development of the political form of capitalism proceeding from Marx’s Capital.[lxix] The debate often made reference to the works of Pashukanis, who argued as early as the 1930s, that freedom and equality in the capitalist exchange relation had as their necessary corollary a political force that guarantees legally that both parties in the economic transaction respect each other as private proprietors.[lxx]

Therefore, it is also within colonial law and colonial state power that we find the reason why colonised subjects could only appear in circulation as debased participants in commodity exchange. It was above all through law and state power that racism became a material force that differentiated populations and endowed them with different rights, capabilities and liabilities. It is not racist legal coding that follows economic relations, but because of the unity of economic and political power in the colonies, racism was primarily established through the violence of the state, not the compulsion of the market. Schmitt-Egner hints at this fact, but doesn’t further elaborate on it, when he argues that the ‘political implementation’ of the colonial mode of production presupposes that ‘all organs‘ like trade unions and so on ‘are liquidated which ensure in the metropoles that labour power is sold according to its value.’[lxxi]

Understanding the role of the state is also important for two other issues Schmitt-Egner is weak on: the attraction of racism to its subjects and the transformation of racism after the formal end of colonialism and what George Frederickson called ‘overtly racist regimes’.[lxxii] On the first matter, Schmitt-Egner designates the ‚poor whites‘ and the small planters in the colonies as well as the pressured petty bourgeoisie in the metropoles as the most obvious subjects of racism. The unskilled white worker in the colonies, according to Schmitt-Egner, has nothing which sets himself apart from the racialised worker, so he has to cultivate the colour line in order not to sink to the level of inferiority the colonised is already placed at. The small planter, on the other hand, had the objective interest to remain competitive through ruthless over-exploitation of colonised labour, which is reinforced by his dependency on credit to acquire the means of production. Therefore, although for different reasons, he also had a vital interest in the cultivation of racist degradation.[lxxiii] In the metropoles, it would be the moribund petty bourgeoisie, which cultivates antisemitism and a ‚blood-and-soil‘-world view as a mystified way to make sense of its material position in competition with industrial capital and stifled by finance capital.[lxxiv]

What Schmitt-Egner overlooks is that, especially in settler colonies but also in nation states more generally, racism is tightly bound up with national belonging and the legitimacy of the state. As Balibar formulated it, racism is an inner supplement and an exaggeration of nationalism.[lxxv] The entanglement of race and nation makes it look like the state is grounded in nature, something even deeper than common culture and history. But in the eyes of his subjects the state has to continually give proof of serving the racialised nation by modes of inclusion and exclusion along the lines of race, nationality, religion and so on. Also workers can, if they act as racists, demand from the state to act as a facilitator of social closure: privileging the dominant fraction of workers in certain ways over the demeaned ‚others‘.

But because racism might overdetermine but never cancels out class, the state actions almost never seem enough for the racist, because they can never do away with the existential insecurities capitalism produces. Racism is therefore, again with Balibar, ‘a conflictual relationship to the state which is ‘lived’ distortedly and ‘projected’ as a relationship to the Other.’[lxxvi] Because of the entanglement of racism and nationalism, the ‚others‘ are not only the potential enemies of specific class elements in the colonies and metropoles – like Schmitt-Egners poor whites, small farmers and the petty bourgeoisie – but they can be seen by all classes as contaminants of the nation as a whole. All of them, in theory, can try to assert their interests, at least to a certain extent, vis-à-vis the state through racist exclusion – which of course makes more sense to some class fractions rather than others and also yields very different ‘wages of whiteness’ according to their respective material position.

Under-valued Labour Power and Inferiorisation Today

Seeing the state as fundamentally imbricated in the inferiorisation of racialised populations in production and circulation also allows one to transplant Schmitt-Egners rudiments of a value-form-theory of racism to the question of how racism articulates itself today, which I will try to do in the following admittedly very cursory remarks.

The allocation of demeaned, manual and unskilled labour to racialised populations through legal means was not only characteristic of colonial production, but also a defining feature of for instance European guest worker schemes.[lxxvii] These workers from poorer economies, in some cases from former colonies, came to the metropoles in order to supplement metropolitan labour as a cheap and semi-unfree work force, which could be payed below the social average value of labour power. This led again to the appearance of a fraction of the working class, whose labour power was already under-valued and unequal in comparison to their metropolitan counter parts. At the same time, racist and culturalist tropes were mobilised by political parties, intellectuals and even parts of organised labour to signify them as ‚other‘, brutish and dangerous.[lxxviii]

Even in other Western countries such as Britain, where there was no comparable guest worker program, the migration from former colonies led to analogous outcomes. The migrants until 1962 were formally deemed as British subjects and held full citizenship, but were allocated through formal and informal mechanisms of discrimination as well as through the identity-blind workings of the market to the lower end of the division of labour.[lxxix] These formal and informal disadvantages for migrants in Europe closed them off from many of the opportunities for advancement granted to the working class during the decades of the economic boom after the end of the Second World War. When anti-racist struggles finally did away with many of the formal discriminatory mechanisms the trente glorieuses were already coming to an end, leaving the majority within those groups with unfavorable requisites for the neoliberal onslaught to come.

Likewise, black Americans after the epochal successes of the Civil Rights Movement for the first time entered capitalist markets as formal equals, but it was an economy that was already entering a period of a long downturn.[lxxx] African-Americans were, as Clegg and Usmani recently put it, ‘bypassed by America’s industrial boom.’[lxxxi] The dull compulsion of economic relations enacted through competition for jobs, housing and public resources reproduces and even exaggerates this detrimental position for black workers, leading to persistent racialised disparities, even if there would be no formal or informal discriminations in place.[lxxxii]

Furthermore, laws regarding ‚aliens‘ put additional pressures on migrants to take jobs even if they are over-qualified, threatening them with deportation in case of non-compliance. In areas near borders to poorer countries, industrialised nations over-exploit semi-unfree migrant workers for harvest and other manual and underpaid work. Even, in some cases, full citizens who are descendents of migrants in the second or even third generation are highly overrepresented among the unemployed and inside labour-intensive lines of work. All of these state sanctioned or informally induced regimes of differentiation produce fractions within the working class who are under-valued, concentrated in and therefore affiliated with unskilled work and are at the same time seen as ethnic, ‚racial‘ or religious ‚others‘.

This, one could argue with Schmitt-Egner, has its structural precondition in the politically mediated and economically reproduced inequality of the exchange value of labour power that produces inequalities within circulation, which is ideologically rationalised via old racist and (not so) new culturalist ideologies of essential difference between populations. Following this line of thought, the return of long-lost quasi-racialised underclass ideologies, which some authors have identified, can be explained as a consequence of the breakdown of the dividing line, which kept ‚racially‘ dominant groups of workers in an over-valued position in comparison to racialised stratas of the labouring classes. German Marxist Wolfgang Fritz-Haug has defined one of the major staples of the racism he was seeing on the horizon in the 1990es in that it tendentially doesn’t postulate the inferiority of specific ‚races‘ as a whole, but that it designates inferiors through all cultures.[lxxxiii] This led to the confusion of the colour line and the resurgence of racialised underclasses and the ascent of privileged strata within the (former) migrant populations in Europe or within the black population in the U.S. – a situation, which lead to the embittered intellectual and political struggles around identity and race we are witnessing today.

The post-colonial, globalised world we inhabit reproduces in many ways comparable structural conditions as those analysed by Schmitt-Egner in respect to the relationship between metropoles and periphery. Developing nations are still often used as sources of under-valued and disenfranchised labour, while labour processes in the same countries, because of the cheapness of variable capital, are labour-intensive and display a low organic composition of capital. Tendentially, the dualism of under-valued and adequately-valued labour power, respectively of only formally and really subsumed labour processes, is still existent within the world economy, even though the lines are more blurry today. Additionally, the antagonism between an integrated working class and a globally existing surplus population may now have eclipsed the antagonism of exploitation and over-exploitation as the central structural carrier of racism.

Also, as is ignored by Schmitt-Egner, even within the metropoles competition within industries leads to persistent inequalities in wages and therefore to differences in the position of workers on the labour market.[lxxxiv] Through discrimination and also through the identity-blind workings of capitalist competition the lower class positions in low-wage lines of work are allocated to already vulnerable often racialised groups within the working class. If it is true, that ‘circulation carries racism’,[lxxxv] we have to recognise these wage and profit differentials within advanced economies as important elements of ‘the social matrix’ that produces and reproduces ‘race and racism’ as Charles Post recently argued.[lxxxvi]


Even as there are plenty of weaknesses in his speculative approach, Schmitt-Egners theory can help to make sense of how race ideas are related to the capitalist mode of production. While it definitely needs a more history-conscious re-working and further theoretical elaboration, it is an elaborate attempt to explain the structurally induced plausibility and some central features of racist ideologies directed against colonised and other ‘under-valued’ populations from a value-form-theoretical perspective. This approach could play an important, ideology-critical part in a larger historical-materialist framework for the analysis of racisms. According to Schmitt-Egner the ‚inferiority‘ attributed to some groups can be deciphered as their inferior position on the labour market and the interrelated de-valuation of their labour power with contradicts the bourgeois ideal of equality within commodity circulation and therefore serves as the basis for the racist negation of human rights which are seen by the bourgeois subject as a self-evident fact of nature. The ‚brutishness‘ and ‚simpleness‘ which is especially attributed to black people can be related to their insertion into capitalism via unfree labour regimes, the connected depression of their standard of life and the tendency to still be allocated into lines of work based on unskilled labour – a social relation that is reproduced with different subjects and a different objective through intra-metropolitan competition and the migratory regimes which were established in the past decades. Schmitt-Egners conceptual derivations help to make sense of some aspects of these ongoing processes and of the way racism functions as an ideological mystification of a history of economically motivated violence, whose long-running effects are hidden under the haze of abstract freedom and equality within capitalist markets.

Nevertheless, as is the case with value-form-theoretical approaches in general, they are no surrogate for more empirically oriented scholarship. In my eyes, form-theory constitutes a meta-theory of the conditions of possibility of a phenomenon under the totality of capitalist social relations. It rarely helps to fully grasp the specifics of time and space or gives adequate theoretical guidance for political action. The most dangerous handling of value-form-approaches is to take them as a theory that was directly applicable across the board, without having any mid-range theories or empirical studies to mediate between the abstract and the concrete. In that case, form-theory, by nature of its characteristic abstraction from concrete actors and institutions, would turn into a form of structural functionalism, that supplants structure for agency as Heide Gerstenberger has argued correctly.[lxxxvii] The limits of form-derivations and the importance of concrete history, both of whom were obvious to Marx, therefore should always be kept in mind.

Nevertheless, form-theory is also no abstract ideal model-building, but has at its core the deduction of form determinations, that is macro-explanations of internally related structures and mechanism which are in place as long as capitalism is. And as long as capitalism is in place, we need to understand how these form-determinations work. Schmitt-Egners theory, as I tried to show in this article, can help us to a certain extent to make sense of how these forms are bound up with race-ideology. But in the end, a rigorous Marxist framework for the analysis of racism has to go way beyond value-form theory.


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[i] Preston 2010; Chen 2013; Bhandar/Toscano 2015; White 2020.

[ii] Postone 1980. The works of Day 2016 and White 2020 are particularly closely based on Postone.

[iii] For an overview of the development of the new reading of Marx in Germany see Elbe 2013 and Hoff 2016. Postone and Schmitt-Egner together with other scholars such as Dan Diner, Barbara Brick and Helmut Reinicke belonged to the same discussion circle in Frankfurt in the 1970s (Van der Linden 1997, p. 449).

[iv] Schmitt-Egner 1980. On the Namibia-conflict and its importance for German politics of memory, see Brenke 1989.

[v] Ten Brink and Nachtwey (2008, p. 37) call the German world market debate in their introduction to it an ‘almost forgotten debate’.

[vi] The neo-Marxist debates on racism that were in full swing in France and Great Britain in the late 1970s were conducted only belatedly in Germany after reunification. The nationalist waves and racist rampages in the former GDR in 1991 and 1992 sparked a theoretical import of works by scholars such as Étienne Balibar, Stuart Hall or Robert Miles to try to make sense of what was happening (see Terkessidis 2018). Schmitt-Egner got some honorable mentions in these discussions by Althusserian and Foucauldian scholars such as Jost Müller (1995, pp. 91-93) and Mark Terkessidis (2004, p. 78), but his work was only engaged with superficially.

[vii] See for instance Heinrich 2004 or the translations of works by Backhaus and Reichelt in Bonefeld/Gunn et al. 1992 and 1995.

[viii] Schmitt-Egner 1975, pp. 5-8. All quotes by Schmitt-Egner and Marx in this article are my own translations.

[ix] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 350.

[x] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 351.

[xi] Ibid. – This is of course an observation that only applies to the German debates of the 1970s, especially around the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt where Schmitt-Egner was situated. The Freudo-Marxist tradition developed by Reich and the Frankfurt School was to my knowledge nowhere else as widespread in leftist circles.

[xii] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 351.

[xiii] Ibid.

[xiv] Heinrich 2012, p. 56; Marx 1964, p. 839.

[xv] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 364.

[xvi] Marx 1983, pp. 34-42.

[xvii] Some examples of power-centered understandings of racism and a defense of an understanding of racism as ideology can be found in Miles/Brown 2003, pp. 66-72.

[xviii] The best introduction to this understanding of ideology in German language, which is also quoted by Schmitt-Egner, is still Herbert Schnädelbach 1968. In my eyes, the Marxian understanding of ideology used in these German debates is very similar to the conception developed by Derek Sayer 1979.

[xix] Marx 1962, p. 74.

[xx] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p.

[xxi] Pashukanis 2003; Gonzalez 2013.

[xxii] Marx 1962, pp. 189-91.

[xxiii] Schmitt-Egner, 1976, p. 363. I will come back to Schmitt-Egners distinction between racism and what he calls ‚chauvinism‘ further below.

[xxiv] Marx 1981, p. 364.

[xxv] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 358.

[xxvi] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 359.

[xxvii] Marx 1983, p. 170.

[xxviii] Marx 1983, p. 539.

[xxix] Schmitt-Egner 1976, pp. 362-3.; Marx 1962, p. 562.

[xxx] Schmitt-Egner 1976, pp. 370-1.

[xxxi] Fields/Fields 2012, p. 123.

[xxxii] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 366. On this see also Malik 1996, pp. 61-68.

[xxxiii] Fields/Fields 2012, p. 144.

[xxxiv] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 369.

[xxxv] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 367. As I will discuss further below, Schmitt-Egner uses a very narrow definition of the term racism, under which he only understands the ‚scientific‘ racial doctrines that were formulated from the 19th century onwards.

[xxxvi] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 372.

[xxxvii] Schmitt-Egner is not referring here to the notion of ‚unequal exchange‘ put forward by dependency theory, but he is referring to the critique of this notion developed within the German world market debate. There it was argued, that there was no unequal exchange of values but only of magnitudes of labour between metropoles and peripheral countries, because there was no equalisation of profit rates on a world scale, as was asserted by dependency theorists. See Nachtwey/ten Brink 2008, p. 52-4.

[xxxviii] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 373.

[xxxix] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 375. – Later in the text Schmitt-Egner formulates the same point differently, when he argues that it was ‘the exchange value who gives itself a feudal form, while its essence remains determined by capital (formal subsumption).’ (Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 386)

[xl] Marx 1962, p. 187.

[xli] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 377. It is one of the major weaknesses of his text, that it is almost never clear which geographical spaces and time periods are actually addressed when Schmitt-Egner talks about ‚the colonies‘. In his dissertation he mostly analyses the German colonial ventures in Africa, while at some points in both his dissertation and the article he is obviously talking about South Africa. The huge differences of these colonial trajectories are glossed over. This imprecision shows up with even more severe consequences, when he uses ‚colonised‘ and ‚black‘ as well as ‚coloniser‘ and ‚white‘ as synonymous terms, not accounting for class differences within those populations or the differing colour-coded ascriptions imposed on colonised peoples.

[xlii] Ibid.

[xliii] Ibid.

[xliv] He sees this idea anticipated in Hobbes‘ argument according to which, ‘[t]he value, or WORTH of a man, is as of all other things, his Price; that is to say, so much as would be given for the use of his Power: and therefore is not absolute; but a thing dependent on the need and judgement of another.’ (Hobbes 1996, p. 59). Marx already referred to this passage in Value, Price and Profit, see Marx 1962a, p. 130.

[xlv] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 379.

[xlvi] Wolfe 2016, p. 8.

[xlvii] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 390.

[xlviii] Marx 1972, p. 107. Schmitt-Egners argument is therefore comparable to that of Barbara and Karen Fields who have described as racecraft as the repression of racist violence and the transplantation of its effects onto its victims, whose inner traits then seem to have caused their pernicious situation in the first place, see Fields/Fields 2012.

[xlix] White 2020, p. 31.

[l] Marx 1968, pp. 510-22.

[li] White 2020, p. 32; Heinrich 2012, p. 50. Even in places, where Marx falls back on a – in my eyes mistaken – physiological definition of abstract labour as ‘the productive expenditure of human brain, muscle, nerve, hand etc.’ (Marx 1962, p. 58) this still wouldn’t fit Whites theory, because through racism black people may be seen as storages of muscle, nerve and hand, but not of brain, which explains why according to racists they needed a master to direct the expenditure of their unbridled labour power.

[lii] Bonefeld 2014, pp. 199-200. A similar critique could be made of Iyko Days work on anti-Asian racism. She understands the racialization of Asians in the sense that their bodies are seen as the “temporal embodiment of abstract labor”, i.e. as machine-like, see Day 2016, p. 56. This also seems to be an identification of abstract labour with a specific form of concrete labour.

[liii] White 2020, p. 30.

[liv] Fanon 2008, p. 127. The longing for a lost concreteness by workers who were absorbed into industrial capitalism, which is repressed and therefore projected onto black people, who are seen as still closer to nature, to indulgence and unrestrained sexuality, was for the US-case also recognised by Roediger 2007, pp. 95-7.

[lv] Grigat 2007, p. 314.

[lvi] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 366.

[lvii] Virdee 2021.

[lviii] Even if Edmund Morgans (2003) seminal study on the colonial history of Virginia, which firmly established the centrality of Bacon’s Rebellion, was only released shortly before Schmitt-Egners article was published, he still could have learned about the event and its significance for instance through Timothy Breens work from 1972, who already highlighted the importance of the rebellion for the emergence of colour-coded oppression in Virginia.

[lix] Banton cited in Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 364.

[lx] Miles 1993, pp. 88-97; also more recently Virdee 2021. On the definition and theorisation of so called ‚absolutist‘ states as ‘states of the type of Ancien Regime’, see Gerstenberger 2007, pp. 645-62.

[lxi] Hund 2010, p. 65.

[lxii] Martinez 2008.

[lxiii] Demel 2016. The reification of blackness as the substance of slavery has completely escaped Schmitt-Egners attention, which lead him to view the existence of black and white ‚races‘ as self-evident. It would therefore be worthwhile to rectify his approach by incorporating Harry Changs ingenious short notes on the reification and fetishization of blackness through slavery, see Chang 1985.

[lxiv] Marx 1980, p. 91.

[lxv] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 387.

[lxvi] Schmitt-Egner 1976, pp. 388-89.

[lxvii] A somehow comparable argument was made more recently by Grant 2015, who sees a dualism between civilisation and savagery as an intermediary step between religious and racial status hierarchies as politico-ideological safeguards of the slave system in eighteenth century South Carolina.

[lxviii] Wolfe 2016.

[lxix] For translations of some of the most important works of this debate see Holloway/Picciotto 1978.

[lxx] Pashukanis 2003.

[lxxi] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 383.

[lxxii] Fredrickson 2002, pp. 100.

[lxxiii] Schmitt-Egner 1976, pp. 379-83.

[lxxiv] Schmitt-Egner, pp. 396-97.

[lxxv] Balibar 1991b, p. 54.

[lxxvi] Balibar 1991c, p. 15.

[lxxvii] Miles 1987, pp.143-67.

[lxxviii] Miles 1993, p. 187.

[lxxix] Miles 1993, pp. 162-73.

[lxxx] Brenner 2006.

[lxxxi] Clegg/Usmani 2019, p. 51.

[lxxxii] McCarthy 2016.

[lxxxiii] Haug 2000, p. 91; Balibar 1991a. Although I would disagree with the idea that culturalism and class-racism are in any way a new phenomenon. Rather neoliberal capitalism in this case marks a return to older dividing lines between the ‚deserving and undeserving poor‘. On this see Shilliam 2018.

[lxxxiv] Botwinick 2017.

[lxxxv] Schmitt-Egner 1976, p. 395.

[lxxxvi] Post 2020.

[lxxxvii] Gerstenberger 2007, p. 7-8.