Charles W Mills' 'The Racial Contract 1997'

2060 Words Jan 11th, 2018 8 Pages
Mills asserted that racism and white supremacy have been the real basis for the social, political and economic that has existed in the world over the last 400 years rather than the ideas of John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Jean Jacques Rousseau or even Thomas Hobbes. Few blacks have ever been social or political philosophers, and this fact alone explains why these disciplines tend to ignore racism, colonialism, slavery, genocide and segregation far more than history or political science. This Racial Contract is political, moral and economic in that it assumes that nonwhites are naturally inferior in all of these categories, and were even when they were living in a state of nature in Africa and the Americas. Contemporary social contract theories like John Rawls use this theory as a metaphor or normative standard, although Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau that state of nature was literally true. Indeed they believed it was historically valid because they could observe societies in their own time that they considered to be in a state of nature, such as those of the Native Americans and Pacific islanders. They had very different views about how human beings behaved in this condition, with Hobbes being the most pessimistic. He would have agreed with Mills that all human beings were equal in the state of nature, but all equally bad greedy, violent, vengeful and brutal. As described in Leviathan, though, this was a universal trait of humanity, not a…
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