White Supremacy and Colonialism

White supremacy and colonialism have historically developed intertwined with capitalism and are reproduced in all social relationships and practised by all institutions to differing degrees. Capitalism in Australia was built using methods of racial domination to displace, enslave, oppress and colonise non-European peoples. This manifests today throughout Australian society as a system of complex oppressive social relationships. Whiteness, itself, was developed through this long history of oppression as a tool to justify the widespread theft of land and resources, the dehumanising hyper exploitation of labour and destruction of the societies from which they were violently uprooted. Racist ideologies and policies are continually developed not only to rationalise the injustices and horrors perpetrated; but also as an attempt to undermine the potential of inter-racial solidarity among the popular classes against the common domination and exploitation that they face. This historically constructed and socially-maintained cross-class alliance of the white working classes and white elites is a key factor in upholding white supremacy and preventing the entire working class from collectively organising to advance their larger interests and those of humanity.

Colonialism in Australia is rooted in the ongoing genocide of First Nations People, with white supremacy being an informal or even formal policy since the first fleet arrived. Australia hides behind a facade of equal opportunity and freedom while perpetuating racism. As a nation we will rightfully condemn Holocaust deniers, then turn around and angrily deny our own ongoing genocide. A revolution cannot be successful until these wrongs are righted, and racist mindsets overcome. We cannot demand the right of labour to its creations if the land remains stolen – true liberation cannot be achieved with such a contradiction. The importance of decolonisation must be recognised – if the results of colonialism are left ignored and not thoroughly abolished they will undoubtedly metastasise into a new class system and oppression and exploitation will continue.

We reject a class reductionist position that ignores the specific ways that racial oppression distinguishes the experiences of racially-oppressed peoples from whites regardless of other commonalities. The idea that anti-racist struggles are a diversion is thoroughly incorrect. Because racism and capitalism are so intertwined, anti-racism and anti-colonialism must be at the centre of our activity. We also reject the race reductionist position that ignores the ways that class, gender, sexuality and other forms of oppression distinguish experiences, and the many forms of racial oppression manifest in people’s daily lives. While the larger structure and reality of white supremacy remains, we also see the emergence of an increasingly globalised and multiracial ruling class. In the face of this we see the need for new and deeper thinking and work from a revolutionary perspective which moves beyond the traditional black-white binary of race. We recognise the significant insights and contributions of identity-based theories and movements. However, we reject the individualistic, guilt-based interpretations and tendencies often found within liberal anti-racist work. Rather, we recognise the need for complete dismantling of the capitalist social structures upon which white supremacy is based.

The long history of betrayal, disrespect, hostility and conscious oppression by working class whites against racially-oppressed peoples reaffirms our respect and support for people of colour who desire to struggle autonomously. This support should be based on common struggles and principles tied to respect, humility and degree of deference in areas in which one is not directly affected. We believe that experimentation is needed to develop tools and practices which will aid in the development of a genuine multi-racial, working class movement in Australia. We believe that building such a movement is the task of all serious anti-racist, anti-statist, and anti-capitalist revolutionaries.

Anarchist Communists Meanjin organise on the occupied lands of the Jagera, Yugara, Yugarapul, and Turrbal Nations. We pay our respects to elders past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded.