Post-Racism & Other Misuses of Utopian Thought Experiments

Two recent online essays strike me as useful to read together– they reveal how seemingly neutral social analyses can be quite misleading, because of underlying assumptions about “universal” experiences.  Color-blindness is not a positive anti-racist strategy, but is instead a flawed basis for engineering a more democratic, “better” future for all peoples.

The Singularity of Fools:  A Special Report from the Utopian Future – By David Rieff | Foreign Policy.  My summary:  this article offers an overview and critique of recent “techno-utopian” predictions that presume technological innovation will ensure that liberal free market capitalism continues to reign supreme, ultimately liberating us all.

The Great Divide:  How Social Networks Drive Black Unemployment – By Nancy Ditomaso |New York Times  My summary:  this article concludes that securing employment does not happen via a true meritocracy but, instead, that favoritism has a strong racial component, because white Americans tend to help other whites and because social resources are concentrated among whites.

Writer:  anupama jain


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