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Resistance to racism: continuation of Wallerstein

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2.18. Resistance to racism: continuation of Wallerstein

In the recent article, I.Wallerstein raised the problem of resistance to new racism in connection with the famous incident: 1999 electoral victory in Austria of a pro-fascist party, Freedom Party, and its leader's, Joerg Haider's, taking a seat in the country's government, which caused the EU to break with Austria[1]. Wallerstein writes that the West, though liquidating after 1945 such a form of racism as Nazism, "resuscitated a purified racism" of superiority over, arrogance and inequality regarding immigrants flooding the West. Along with it, "more or less racist parties are springing back into life." The symbol of racism, a dead albatross, "is hanging o­n our (the West's - LS) neck." "The racism of the Pan-European world," the world considering itself the sole outpost of modern civilisation, rests o­n world's universal values, o­n the world-wide capitalist economy, o­n the middle class' superiority over the immigrant lower class, o­n a persisting ethnic violence. Wallerstein sees the general cause of racism and all its forms in "increase of deep inequality" within the world system, which emerged after 1945 and resuscitated racism's deep historical roots.

Wallerstein writes about his regrets about compartmentalisation and weakness of social science, unable to explain the essence of racism and to confront it not o­nly outside, but inside itself as well. From Wallerstein's viewpoint, such a social science like this is unable to even minimally resist the new racism, lacking a new vision of world system needed for this, because the old world system is collapsing and getting chaotically transformed. The author admonishes to fight racism in people's minds and souls, to expiate it, to combine quest for truth with quest for the good, and to create a world system that would "surpass racism." Wallerstein combines all this in the notion of "resistance to racism"[2]. To economic, political, and scientific racism we should probably add linguistic, religious, and cultural racisms, which, too, are hanging o­n humankind's neck as a dead albatross.

If the essence, and deep roots of new racism, just as those of the old o­ne, lie in social inequality, then the task for social science, sociology first of all, consists in identifying the social inequality's causes and forces to it resisting. Where there is inequality, there are superiority, intolerance, incompatibility, leading to violence or smouldering in mutual alienation of the peoples. o­ne of the profound causes of September 11 terrorist attacks at the U.S. lies in the Western culture's new racism and corresponding mentality, which Wallerstein vividly portrayed. Both terrorism and its profound roots are incarnations of the same: racism. If racism as a belief in the West's fundamental superiority characterises Western pluralistic mentality, then this mentality is akin to monism. Although acknowledging plurality and diversity of cultures, traditional pluralism has not yet gone as far as acknowledging parity of all the world's cultures, religions, and languages. Monism is a racism by definition, because it affirms someone's superiority and cultivates the relevant kind of domination. Its bloodiest examples are Fascist and Communist totalitarian regimes in the XXth century, which brought racism to the most brutal extreme. It is a "brutal" racism. Traditional pluralism disowns it and does nothing to support it in the open. However, as Wallerstein shows, traditional pluralism implicitly condones a weaker kind racism, which we can call "mild" or "new" and which pre-supposes the West's "fundamental" superiority. But mild racism can turn into the harsh o­ne, while the latter, initially, pretends to be mild. It is traditional, dimensionless pluralism that helped such harsh racists as the Nazi to legally take power in Germany in 1933. Thus, traditional pluralism is but a step to real pluralism or postpluralism as the recognition of equality of the values cherished by different cultures, religions, languages. Each culture has supreme values, while also having aspects that other cultures may abhor. These differences, however, shouldn't serve as a basis for asserting o­ne culture's superiority over another (Catholics/Protestants, Israelis/Arabs struggle) or for "holy wars against the impure o­nes".

Traditional pluralism and social science have a defect preventing them from resisting racism. This defect is the lack of understanding of social equality and its global foundations. Without understanding equality foundations, social science and pluralistic thinking cannot resist racism. But raising awareness of equality foundations requires a global theoretical model of the social world. The monistic models were racist and premised o­n ideologies of inequality. Only the pluralistic models can serve as the basis for understanding and cultivating social equality. Among these models, however, only the definite-dimensional, postpluralistic o­nes can fulfil this function, rather than the traditional dimensionless models. TetraSociology is o­ne of the definite-dimensional models. Recognising social equality of global sphere classes and equal society's necessity for them, TetraSociology builds up a resistance to racism as powerful as can be. As a "four-dimensional" pluralism, TetraSociology finds in each culture and civilisation the common denominator consisting in socially equal sphere classes, who create special coordinates and constants for their respective social space-time. Certainly, sphere classes as the common denominator look very differently in the different cultures and civilisations. Instead of the old principle of cultural superiority, exclusivity and domination, TetraSociology uses the principle of equality and inter-supplementality of all cultures o­n the basis of equality of global sphere classes.

Thus, TetraSociology moves from racism to resistance o­n the basis of recognition of global sphere classes' equality; it proposes the following courses of action for the sociocultural renovation of traditional pluralistic mentality and the social sciences. These courses of action are presented in the appropriate projects (listed below) designed to achieve harmony using sociocultural technology.

  1. Sphere classes and groups are sources of all persons', countries', nations', cultures' and civilizations' equality; they are actors for overcoming racism in all its forms and for resisting it; they are creators of social harmony and prosperity.
  2. Esperanto is the classes' and groups' common language, which, acceptable and accessible for all cultures, supplements, rather than eliminates ethnic languages. Rejecting English as a universal language means repudiating linguistic racism, while adopting Esperanto as the language for international communication is a resistance to linguistic racism and an instrument for achieving of linguistic harmony.
  3. Sphere classes' common religion is plurotheism, which, acceptable and accessible for all cultures, supplements religions already existing, rather than eliminates them; it is built o­n mutual tolerance and synthesis of the religions' foundations. Plurotheism is a resistance to religious racism and an instrument for achieving of religious harmony.
  4. The global type of sphere classes democracy is sphere social democracy, acceptable and accessible for all social groups; it pre-suppose equal representation of four sphere classes in all branches of political power. Sphere democracy is a resistance to political and gender racism and an instrument for achieving of political harmony.
  5. Wealth distribution pattern common for different market systems is a sphere o­ne, which pre-supposes an approximately equal property distribution among sphere classes, and a balance of sphere markets, and eliminates the outlandish, inordinate and unfair disparities between the poor and the rich. Sphere distribution of material wealth is a resistance to economic racism and an instrument for achieving of economic harmony.
  6. New form of family - tetragamy (two wives, two husbands), which supplements, rather than eliminates, traditional forms of mono- and polygamous family. Tetragamy is a resistance to all manifestations of family racism and an instrument for achieving of the family harmony and harmonious rearing of children in families.
  7. New form of personality's development: tetraharmonious, which, acceptable and available for all cultures, supplements, rather than eliminates, traditional forms of a personality's development. TetraHarmonious development of a personality is a resistance to her o­ne-sided development, to "one-dimensionality racism" and an instrument for achieving of personal harmony.
  8. A common instrument for an all-round monitoring of all kinds of negative social deviations, first of all terrorism - sphere statistics and appropriate information technology. Sphere statistics is a resistance to the branches' statistical, informational racism, and to terrorism and crime; it is also an instrument for informational harmony. Sociocultural prevention of terrorism through neutralisation of racism as the terrorism cause does not rule out appropriate military methods of struggle; resting all the hopes with them, however, is inefficient. As September 11 terrorist attacks show, the U.S. military and intelligence machine couldn't investigate them nor prevent. Terrorism and the danger of it represent the most dangerous and fast growing challenge to the world today. It is an AIDS of the humankind grown from racism and it calls for immediate and large-scale global actions, both sociocultural and military o­nes. First of all, it needs a systemic analysis and pluralistic sociocultural technology for anti-terrorism. Resisting racism is resisting terrorism and vice versa. This resistance is multi-dimensional and needs an adequate multi-dimensional theory and technology, versions of which TetraSociology offers.

All eight aspects of appropriate sociocultural technology outlined above are courses of action and instruments for multi-dimensional pluralistic resistance. Below they are presented as abstracts describing sociocultural projects submitted to the XVth World Congress of Sociology (WCS). So we should regard them as a problem raised and to be solved, rather than as a finished product.

[1] Wallerstein I. Albatross of racism: a social science, Joerg Haider and resistance // Sociological studies, 2001, № 10, p.36-46.

[2] Ibid.

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