Unit 1 Assignment 3 – Jordan Satch

Davis – Recognizing Racism in an Era of Neoliberalism

“This results in pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health  care, education, and social security all by themselves – then blaming them if they fail, as ‘lazy’”

This sentence particularly resonated with me as Davis was speaking more generally about the poor, rather than explicitly the link to racism. This caused me, as the reader, to think about the connection between poverty and race. The mention of public expenditures and government intervention in the private sphere, and ‘individual responsibility’ makes me question the involvement the state has in supposedly private matters, and further, the involvement they should have. The notion of blaming the poor for their own conditions reminded me of Marx’s ideas on indoctrination of the working classes to accept their exploitation. Therefore, I would like to place Marx on the panel with Davis, along with Locke for his ideas of ‘human freedom’ and its link to labour, and furthermore of private ownership.

The three questions I ask would be:

  • To what extent can we use history to explain present conditions?
  • What are the effects of wage labour on different groups in society?
  • Where is the line between the public and the private sphere, and where does the state fit into this?

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