Monday, February 05, 2018


Between Genocide and Racial Cleansing

Racism is the Trump-Card to Genocide


Anthropometry and physical anthropology
Address: CLE B421
Department of Greek and Roman Studies,
University of Victoria,
PO Box 3045,
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 3P4

Geoffrey Kron has published three draft papers on dealing with the problem of slavery and its present – and future – consequences and subsequent discrimination, segregation, lynching and nowadays perverse legal procedures and political decisions and actions to perpetuate that kind of practice forever if they can, if they could. Let’s be clear: the only white stuff they do not like in the USA is nowadays Canadian white milk they try to reject into some segregative tariffed international ghetto. Otherwise all that is white, particularly Scandinavian white is welcome in the USA by the President himself.

But Geoffrey’s three papers require and deserve a lot more interest than they actually get. I must have written commentaries on all three but here is the latest commentary I wrote on the last and most recent one.

« We will never get to the end of this crime against humanity known as slavery, segregation, discrimination and KKK against the blacks - essentially - in the USA.

« But for me now, today, in modern times and for the future, the objective is to find a way to solve the problem to cure the Blacks AND the Whites of their respective PTSlaverySS. It is just as bad on one side as on the other of this racial divide that should not exist.

« The worst form of white PTSlaverySS is the colorblindness that is still the rule in so many places and particularly in all arts that are not visual, like literature, particularly for teenagers. That's the great quality of people like Stephen King and Anne Rice and a few others: their characters can be black and when they are black, they are black all the way, clearly said, etc.

« The worst form of this colorblindness is when some black characters who would never speak standard mid-Atlantic English in real life start speaking Queen's English in such novels. And when I dare write that in a review, at least one author from Canada protested and pretended that they never spoke any black dialect in her family (that was Jamaican originally). That is, of course, colorblindness within a black family about their own blackness.

« This author, who is a woman pianist professionally, published an article in the Huffington Press rebutting what I had said, that Jamaican characters in Toronto and New York would certainly not speak Queen's English, or if you prefer standard academic American English.

« But, just to conclude, in Europe the traditional social divide was essentially a class divide up to the 1950s and working-class people would protest the same way if you pretended to make them speak working-class language in a novel. I have heard so often the remark that "It's not because we are working-class underlings that we do not speak properly." Working-class language is not improper. It is just a respectable linguistic practice, just like Black American English, or Latino American English, or whatever.

« Human society has been based on such social divides since the development of agriculture some 17,000 years ago. Slavery is only one form of this unequal social divide and social exploitation. The elite is locally determined (in race, political side, education, economic status, etc) and all other groups seen as inferior are overexploited in all possible ways. The USA, and this is still true, have turned one discrimination into a legal form of slavery (prisons for young black males) and of lynching (police killings of young black males).

« There is still a lot to do in the world, and in the USA in particular, to get a zip line that could lead the down-trodden up to the top of the social scale. Look how difficult it is to just bring justice and equality to women. »

J. Geoffrey KronContactOffice: Clearihue B421

Interests and Areas of Graduate Supervision:
My research focuses on Greek and Roman social, economic, and political history, most notably democracy and oligarchy; economic development, particularly agriculture, living standards, nutrition, housing, and trade; social inequality, social welfare, slavery and labour exploitation; and ideologies of social inequality, most notably capitalism, racism, and colonialism.  I pursue and encourage inter-disciplinary and comparative approaches, with my economic and social research into Greco-Roman antiquity carefully informed by evidence from other, better documented societies, most notably Medieval and Early Modern Europe and the Mediterranean, and, most recently, the United States. 
Noteworthy M.A. theses, which I have supervised, include a book length account of Roman veterinarians, and a study entitled “Athenian and American Slaving Ideologies and Slave Stereotypes in Comparative Perspective.”

Recent publications:
“Anthropometry, Physical Anthropology, and the Reconstruction of Ancient Health, Nutrition, and Living Standards,” Historia 54 (2005), 68-83.
“The Augustan Census and the Population of Italy,” Athenaeum 92 (2005), 441-95.
“The Much Maligned Peasant.  Comparative Perspectives on the Productivity of the Small Farmer in Classical Antiquity,” in L. De Ligt, S. Northwood (edd.), People, Land and Politics. Demographic Developments and the Transformation of Roman Italy, 300 BC-AD14, 71-119. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2008.
 “The Distribution of Wealth at Athens in Comparative Perspective,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 179 (2011), 129-38.
“Food Production,” in W. Scheidel (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Economic History of the Roman World, 156-174. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
“Nutrition, hygiene, and mortality.  Setting parameters for Roman health and life expectancy consistent with our comparative evidence,” in E. Lo Cascio (ed.), L’impatto della “peste antonina,” 193-252. Bari: Edipuglia, 2012.
“Fleshing out the demography of Etruria,” in J. M. Turfa (ed.), The Etruscan World, 56-78. London: Routledge, 2013.
“Comparative evidence and the reconstruction of the ancient economy: Greco-Roman housing and the level and distribution of wealth and income,” in F. de Callataÿ (ed.), Quantifying the Greco-Roman Economy and Beyond, 123-46. Bari: Edipuglia, 2014.
“Classical Athenian trade in comparative perspective: Literary and archaeological evidence,” in E.M. Harris, D. Lewis (eds.), The Ancient Greek Economy: Markets, Households, and City-states, 356-80. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Forthcoming Publications:
“The Diversification and intensification of Roman agriculture: the complementary roles of the small and wealthy farmer,” in T. de Haas, G. Tol (eds.), Rural communities in a globalizing economy: new perspectives on the economic integration of Roman Italy. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
“Comparative Perspectives on Nutrition and Social Inequality in the Roman World,” in P. Erdkamp, C. Holleran, (eds.), Diet and Nutrition in the Roman World. Oxford: Ashgate.
“The population of Northern Italy and the debate over the Augustan census figures: weighing the documentary, literary, and archaeological evidence,” in Elio Lo Cascio, Marco Maiuro (eds.), Popolazione e risorse nell’Italia settentrionale dall’età preromana ai Longobardi. Bari: Edipuglia.
“Palladius and the Achievements of Roman Agronomy in late Antiquity,” review of Marco Johannes Bartoldus, Palladius Rutilius Taurus Aemilianus. Welt und Wert spätrömischer Landwirtschaft (Wißner Verlag, Augsburg, 2012), Journal of Roman Archaeology 29 (2016) (in press) 17 pages.
“Alleged anti-trade prejudice and Roman society: The evidence of recent prosopographical research and a comparison with the European ancien régime,” Greece and Rome (accepted) 13 pages.

Current Projects:

I am working on two book projects, a collection of my published articles, along with several new essays, examining ancient agriculture in a broad comparative perspective, and a comparative analysis of the relationship between democracy, social equality, and economic development in Greco-Roman antiquity and the Medieval and Modern world.  In connection with the latter, I am currently working on a project entitled “Exploring the Comparative History of Democracy, Oligarchy and Social Inequality in Greco-Roman antiquity and the United States.”

The Slaver's Mentality: White Supremacy and the U.S. Plutocracy's Global War on Labour (ppt)

In this unfinished rough powerpoint for a series of lectures I explore why the United States is markedly different from other representative democracies and welfare states.  I trace the tradition of using a combination of bribery and corruption of the Congress and Judiciary, and violence and racist terror as a means of marginalizing organized labour and frustrating democratic control.  I explore how the contemporary crisis of social inequality, political corruption and racist authoritarian government long predates Trump, first emerging after Reconstruction in the Kleptocracy of the Gilded Age, receding somewhat under Roosevelt's leadership and with the Bretton Woods consensus, only to re-emerge with the Reagan revolution and the political triumph of the racist reaction to the Civil Rights and Feminist Movements, and the radicalism of the 1960s.  On the foreign policy side, the resurgent power of the oligarchy within the country and the brutal repression of the poor and marginalization of labour and the voices of the black radical tradition, symbolized by the ruins of Detroit and the South Bronx, would be matched by the consolidation of the policies of the so-called Washington Consensus.  This policy approach, enforced by the IMF, World Bank, and American military force and paramilitary violence, is often sold as Globalization, critiqued as Neo-liberalism, but might more accurately be described as a return to racist colonialism of the filibusters, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson.  The talk, which is intended to engage non-academic audiences and avoid jargon and theory, ought to be read in conjunction with Richard Iton's Solidarity Blues, and WIlkinson and Pickett's The Spirit Level.

Research Interests: 
Black Studies Or African American StudiesChicano StudiesLabor EconomicsIndigenous StudiesDevelopment StudiesGlobalizationHistory Of EugenicsHuman Rights LawHuman RightsWelfare StateBlack/African DiasporaSegregationColombiaRace and RacismFBI domestic covert action programs, COINTELPROCOINTELPRO: FBI domestic covert action programsGenocide StudiesPolitical ScienceSustainable DevelopmentCritical Race TheoryInternational Human Rights LawLiberation TheologyRace and EthnicityPolitical Violence and TerrorismLand tenureFascismHistory of SlaveryColonialismInternational Criminal CourtHistory of CapitalismIndonesiaHate SpeechHate CrimesInsurgency/Counterinsurgency(COIN)CapitalismTortureWhiteness StudiesRacismNeoliberalismUndocumented ImmigrationPolitical CorruptionWorld BankCivil Rights MovementMigration StudiesSupreme CourtThe Moros Of Mindanao In Southern PhilippinesWhite SupremacyIMFDemocracyEl SalvadorGilded Age and Progressive Era American HistorySocialismNational SocialismHaitian HistoryBlack MarxismsBusiness in the Third Reich and in WWIIFinancial Crisis of 2008/2009Eugenics (History)Labor unionsSocial InequalitiesHistory of Social Policy and the Welfare StateLangston HughesChild LaborChicago School of EconomicsSocial DemocracyNoam ChomskyThe Third ReichJames Baldwinundocumented latino immigrants in the U.S.Nazi GermanyMexicoSocial InequalityAccumulation by DispossessionTrade unionsCornel WestLand reformOrganic FarmingImperialismMass IncarcerationChicano HistoryMonsantoNazismGuatemalaMilton FriedmanIraq WarBlack PanthersEugenicsNicaraguaMilitary DictatorshipLynchingHondurasMubarakThird ReichPoor relief; health care, welfare systemsNAFTARobin D. G. KelleyAdolf HitlerAusterityHindutvaHindutva TerrorismJim Crow SegregationPoverty and InequalityCentral Intelligence AgencyBriberyImpunityChild LabourWashington consensusTruman DoctrineCasteNazi PropagandaDeath SquadsJournalism And Mass communicationStokely CarmichaelBlack radical traditionJudenratEric WolfRonald ReaganMcCarthyismHealth, inequality and povertyHistory of Eugenics in North AmericaKu Klux KlanLand GrabbingGhettoMigration and undocumented migrantsCIAAmerican Reconstruction EraPinkertonsSuhartoAgricultural labourHistory of U.S. Supreme CourtPolice BrutalityCesar ChavezBrown vs. Board of EducationJamaican historyEduardo GaleanoPierre Bourdieu and symbolic violenceCitizens UnitedSchool of the AmericasClarence ThomasReconstruction (American History)OligarchyUnderclasscritiques on role of IMF and world Bank in AfricaW.E.B. Du BoisProject for the New American CenturyMaquiladoraTransnational labour exploitationSukarnoUS Occupation of HaitiFemicidesCiudad JuárezNuremberg TrialsRacism and the LawMaquiladorasThe New Jim CrowForced LabourParamilitary groupsCLR JamesCarceral stateBlack Radical ThoughtNeo-ConservatismLand DispossessionMichelle AlexanderLand GrabsStetson KennedyScientific RacismUN Convention against tortureAbdel Gamal NasserPolitics of AusterityHistory of the PhilippinesForeign Direct Investment and Land-GrabbingAl Caponerole of World Bank and IMF in international politicsWhite Supremacist GroupsThe DisappearedJoão GoulartRacial capitalismAtrocities Against Scheduled CastesJohn D. Rockefeller Sr.John D. Rockefeller Jr.Criminalization / the Carceral StateMigrant Farm WorkersFarm LaborAmerican Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the UnderclassRace and Mass IncarcerationWilliam Julius WilsonBlack MarxismIran-Contra AffairGuatemalan GenocideAugusto PinochetOligarchsMubarak eraColonialism and ImperialismPostbellum PeonageJuicio Contra Ríos MonttAmerican Occupation of HaitiFred HamptonUS Colonial History and EconomicsArbenz GovernmentBadr OrganizationLabour ExploitationEnding Culture of ImpunityPinkerton DetectivesUnited Fruit CompanyNeoliberal politics, military dictatorshipsPlantation AgricultureMilitary coups d'EtatWEB Du BoisBlack Lives MatterJuan José ArévaloWhitecappingBlacklistingEfraín Ríos MonttPolice brutality against african americansDeath Squad Dossier GuatemalaUnited Farm WorkersJustice Clarence ThomasMadison GrantPolice ShootingsCedric J. RobinsonTa-Nehisi CoatesAnastasio SomozaUnited States Army School of the Americas (SOA)Bryan StevensonParamilitary ViolencePlessy vs. Ferguson et Police-Involved Shootings

Up from slavery: attitudes towards economic and social mobility on the part of slaves and freedmen in Greco-Roman antiquity and the American South (expanded version with discussion of US and Nazi measures to ensure racial purity)

In this expanded version of a previously posted talk, I explore the ways in which the restrictions on social mobility and acceptance for African American slaves continued after emancipation and the end of Radical Reconstruction, and were grounded in racist theories of biological inferiority, leading to efforts to create and maintain distinct and 'pure' racial groups through bans on miscegenation.  Moreover, I discuss the ways in which the tactics used to force or intimidate the general public into accepting these racist theories and practices inspired the Nazis to make similar restrictions on sex and marriage between 'Aryans' and Jews and racialized minorities.

The original abstract of the paper follows:
A number of scholars (Patterson 1982; Bradley 1987; Bradley 1994; Del Lago & Katsari 2008; Scheidel 2008; 2012) have considered the potential value of evidence from America's ante-bellum South for the understanding of Greco-Roman slavery, yet it is fair to say that this rich vein of comparative evidence has only just begun to be exploited.  It is widely, and surely correctly, observed that there are some profound historical differences between these two slave systems, most notably in the absence of an ideology asserting the innate superiority of master over slave in ancient world, radical differences in rates of manumission, and very significant contrasts in the relative size of the slave population.  Nevertheless, the experience of slaves and freedmen in the American South, both in the ante-bellum period, as well as after emancipation (Myrdal 1944; Woodward 1974; Schweniger 1990; Blackmon 2008), offers significant insights for our reconstruction of ancient slavery, not only because of the mass of documentary and econometric evidence available (Fogel & Engerman 1974; Fogel et al. 1992), but also because both societies were forced to confront, in a way more avowedly hierarchical and undemocratic slave-owning societies were not, the problem of maintaining control, by law and by force, of an un-free population in a society of free citizens. 
I propose to concentrate on one specific issue, comparing and contrasting the opportunities for economic and social mobility on the part of the freed slave in Greco-Roman antiquity and the American South, and the ways in which legal restrictions, broader social attitudes and ideologies either encouraged or constrained these opportunities.  The striking wealth and political, cultural and social influence attained by certain prominent Greek and Roman freedmen has long attracted considerable attention from modern scholars (Treggiari 1969; Christes 1979; Kudlien 1986; Mouritsen 2011), and their thorough integration into ancient society has elicited some sharp disapproval from the more conservative (Frank 1916; Duff 1928; cf. McKeown 2007: 11-29), but in the absence of reliable statistics, it can be difficult to interpret our evidence.  A much fuller picture, both personal and statistical, can be drawn for the lives of manumitted slaves and free blacks in the American South, however, and clearly shows that a number of freedmen, despite facing much lower prospects of manumission, significantly harsher legal restrictions, less access to education, and persistent hostility, discrimination and racist violence, succeeded in achieving a measure of economic independence and even wealth (Franklin 1943; Sterkx 1972; Berlin 1975; Coger 1985; Johnson & Roark 1986; Schweniger 1990).  I intend to explore how a detailed comparison of the structural impediments, social prejudices and legal disabilities faced by freedmen in each society, and of the opportunities held out to freedmen for acceptance in the mainstream can permit us to explain the level of social mobility attested in the American South, and to estimate, however crudely, what realistic prospects of higher socio-economic status Greco-Roman freedmen are likely to have enjoyed.

Research Interests: 
Black Studies Or African American StudiesLabor EconomicsRoman HistoryMulticulturalismMedia StudiesTerrorismBlack/African DiasporaRace and RacismPolish HistoryCritical Race TheorySlaveryPolitical Violence and TerrorismHistory of SlaveryColonialismHistory of Political ViolenceAnti-slaveryRacismPostcolonial FeminismAnti-SemitismBritish Imperial and Colonial History (1600 - )Work and LabourAntisemitism/RacismsWhite SupremacyBritish ImperialismNational SocialismAncient Greek HistoryCritical Mixed Race StudiesSocial MobilityThe Third ReichNazi GermanyLouisiana historyImperialismNazismMiscegenationLynchingThird ReichAdolf HitlerFranz BoasHindutva TerrorismJim Crow SegregationAncient SlaveryCasteNazi PropagandaNew Orleans HistoryJournalism And Mass communicationConvict laborFreedmenLouisiana Creole CultureMiscegentationImperial FreedmenVolksgemeinschaftW.E.B. Du BoisInter-Racial RelationshipsRoman SlaveryManumissionAnti-LynchingBonded LabourForced LabourAmerican Slaverynazi occupation of Central EuropeNaming and ShamingIda B. WellsCritical Mixed-Race/Multiracial StudiesAnti-miscegenationNuremberg Racial LawsSpectacular Lynching and ShamingBooker T. WashingtonSturmabteilungInter Racial FamiliesGender Violence and the Construction of White SupremacyColonialism and ImperialismPostbellum PeonageSlut ShamingMulti-racial identity, multicultural IdentityHistorical Anti-miscegenation PoliciesLynchingsLabour ExploitationManumission of Slaves In AntiquityThe Nuremberg LawsBlacks in AntiquityRassenschandeDebt PeonageDismantling White SupremacyIda B. Wells-BarnettJulius StreicherDer Stürmer et Prangeraktionen

The impact of chattel slavery and other modes of exploitation of labour on social inequality: comparing the United States and Greco-Roman antiquity

Although the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery and extended citizenship and the right to vote to millions of African-Americans, long held as slaves, in the aftermath of the Civil War, chattel slavery is, as Moses Finley observed, only one technique of exploiting labour and perpetuating poverty and social injustice. As has long been well-documented, but is rarely acknowledged by the general public, disenfranchisement, lynching, torture, forced labour, peonage, debt-slavery, and the exploitation of legal and undocumented immigrant labour persisted in the United States, particularly the States of the former Confederacy, through much of the 20th century, and most modern representative democracies today arguably acquiesce, to a lesser or greater extent, in the exploitation of refugees, visible minorities, guest workers and the foreign workforces of their multi-national corporations. While the slave system of the United States, and what Douglas Blackmon calls the neo-slavery of the late 19th and 20th century, differs in many ways from that of Greco-Roman antiquity, in the numbers of slaves or peons involved, as a proportion of the population, the difficulty of manumission or escape, and in the central importance of capitalist and white supremacist ideologies in assuaging any guilt over the cruelty and injustice of the system, the rich 'cliometric' and historical literature on American slavery and the continuing challenges of segregation, discrimination, voting rights abuses and mass incarceration faced by African Americans and other minorities offers considerable resources for comparative study. Although scholars such as Walter Scheidel, Konstantina Katsari, Paul Cartledge, and Keith Bradley, among others, have used this comparative evidence to considerable effect, they have paid little attention to the evidence for the persistence, and in some cases, intensification of exploitation after the formal abolition of chattel slavery in the United States, and in the Americas. I intend, therefore, to broaden the focus from the traditional concern with chattel slavery, to examine some of the values, customs and laws regulating or influencing the exploitation of labour in the United States, in order to prepare the groundwork for examining the impact these practices had on the level of inequality in the society, and how they might inform our reading of the likely effect of chattel slavery in the Greco-Roman world.

Research Interests: 
Black Studies Or African American StudiesBlack/African DiasporaRace and RacismLabour historyCritical Race TheorySlaveryRace and EthnicityPolitical Violence and TerrorismLabour LawHistory of SlaveryColonialismRacismWork and LabourWhite SupremacyLabour EconomicsLynchingForced LaborBonded Labour et Colonialism and Imperialism

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