[Air-L] racist comments by James Watson?

William Bain willronb at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 23 00:08:37 PDT 2007

"I've heard it said that race is a political delineation, not a scientific one."
  But don't we then come up against the quantum that everything is political? And what happens when the scientific solution leads to undesirable ends? Obviously, it all boils down to interpretation, which I think links up with what we were talking about a few months ago in regard to whether all action is commercial. You'll probably recall that there's an interesting point in Marx's *The German Ideology* where Marx seems to me to take a "wrong" fork. He says (essay 1, section (a), p. 19 of new world paperbacks) "... Language is as old as consciousness ... [and] language, like consciousness, only arises from the need, the necessity of intercourse with other men (sic). Where there exists a relationship, it exists for me: the animal has no 'relations' with anything, cannot have any...." But then, (the "wrong turn") Marx goes in a sense away from language. Somebody else, or many somebody elses, had to take the other fork away from the exceissive fascination with ontology and
 perhaps a fetishisation of "work".
  of course there are many Marxes and I'm no expert on this but I do try to work around it. or include the parts of his particular takes that are applicable or seem interesting. My point (obviously I hope, but possibly not) is that while race is not a satisfactory category for our analyses there are still racisms. So I agree with you but.
  Best regards again, Will

William Bain
PhD Student
Comparative Literature
Department of Spanish Philology
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
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