The Ends of Whiteness

A book review of Gerald Horne's White Supremacy Confronted and The Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century

Thirty years ago this month I was preparing for what would be a three-month tour of the Republic of South Africa. The original research objective—conceived in 1990—had been to visit mission stations and other properties and operations of Christian churches in South Africa and to collect data on their role and function in the system of statutory segregation known as apartheid. By the time I had made my travel arrangements, I was forced to modify an initial assumption of the doctoral dissertation for which this trip was to form the empirical basis—namely the end of apartheid rather than its continuance. In February 1991, I arrived in Johannesburg. Nelson Mandela had been released from Robbin Island/Polsmoor and the recently legalised African National Congress had joined the ruling National Party to negotiate the terms of transition to majority rule and an end to the racial segregation regime that had defined South Africa from 1948, reinforced by Hendrik Verwoerd when he declared independence from the British Empire in 1961. That research was published in 1997 as Church Clothes. ((Church Clothes: Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa, Maisonneuve Press (2004).))

During the year past, I have tried repeatedly to find the appropriate context in which to review the two most recent books published by historian Gerald Horne, White Supremacy Confronted and the Dawning of the Apocalypse: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and Capitalism in the Long Sixteenth Century. Professor Horne’s White Supremacy Confronted describes the origins of opposition to the Anglo-Dutch race regime in the African sub-continent and continues until the final end of NP rule in 1994. Horne’s prolific historical research, more than 30 books published, established him as a historian. However, his South Africa book is not only scholarship but also first hand reporting, even autobiographical in quality. Before becoming a professor of history, Gerald Horne was a lawyer and political activist personally involved in the US side of the struggles for African independence and against racialist regimes installed under colonialism and, as in the case of Southern Rhodesia and South Africa, maintained in post-colonial regimes.

This particular experience gives White Supremacy Confronted a personal quality, almost like a memoir. Horne does not have to confine his examination to documentary evidence. He is in a position to have witnessed many of the events and activities he studies personally. Professor Horne also says so repeatedly in the text. Sometimes tongue-in-cheek, these confessions also make clear that the confrontation about which he writes was always personally relevant and not academic. At the same time his observations permit him to add an assessment of the personalities involved in the struggles and how those persons shaped the history he describes.

As the struggle focuses on ending apartheid, the crescendo comes with the collapse of the German Democratic Republic and its annexation by the Federal Republic, followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its emasculation under Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin was accompanied by the infamous “shock therapy” squad under Jeffrey Sachs. While not deprecating the years of struggle in South Africa itself and among the African diaspora, Horne is quite clear that South Africa’s future was cast by the end of the “bipolar” world and the triumph of the USA as the sole superpower and its resilient regime of white supremacy.

At this moment my experience and Horne’s overlapped since I witnessed in Berlin the first manifestations of the collapse on that fateful weekend in November 1989. During the first half of 1991 I would discuss the future of South Africa with members of the ANC who until that time had debated the socialist options for a new dispensation. Although the constitution of post-apartheid South Africa was only adopted in 1994, I was able to listen to those whose views would be marginalised or modified as the African National Congress under Mandela and Mbeki steered the country away from the principles of land reform upon which it had been founded and into the great parasite-infested swamp of neo-liberalism where it would be bled of all the resources needed to raise its majority to decent living standards. The last of the explicitly race-based regimes was dismantled with hardly a trace of change to the society it had created. In that sense South Africa had reached the stage of ideological development achieved by the United States in 1954. Horne’s book is a unique history of all the interlocking confrontations. It links personalities and movements and shows the complex relationships between the US and Africa throughout the 20th century, both for Africans and African-Americans

The Dawn of the Apocalypse is a step back from his The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism (2018). Whereas in the latter Horne asserts, following an argument he made in the previous study The Counter-Revolution of 1776 (2014), that the essential qualities that made the United States “exceptional” were a product of the demographic and political developments in Europe in the “long Sixteenth Century”. In the Counter-Revolution Horne says that the war of independence that led to the creation of the US was driven primarily by the fear among the colonial elite that the British government would sacrifice the slave trade and chattel slave regime upon which the North American elite had built its wealth for opportunistic reasons—the effective pacification of its Caribbean island colonies. To avoid what was seen then as potential expropriation of colonial assets, the landowners in the South and merchants in the North agreed to expel the British and preserve the settler regime they had built on the trade in, and exploitation of, bonded labour.

In The Apocalypse he goes on to argue that the regime of white supremacy, beyond merely the concept of “whiteness”, developed first in the Caribbean as a means of overcoming the fratricidal relationships that predominated among the tribes of the Western peninsula (aka as Europe). These comprised violent religious bigotry, ethnic antagonisms, imperial competition, and rival banditry. The inability to recruit or impress sufficient numbers of labourers from Europe to exploit the “New World” plantations induced their owners to import African slaves. However, these slave populations invariably multiplied beyond the capacity of plantation management to control them. In the course of imperial competition, African populations soon realised that they could use their numerical superiority to advantage by selective alliance with competitors; e.g., siding with the Spanish against the English or the English against the French, etc.

In order to discourage this labour resistance, a system of privilege evolved in the colonies calculated to reduce antagonisms between ordinary Europeans. For example, disabilities and discrimination against Jews, Catholics, or Protestants were reduced or eliminated. Thus the antagonists in the Thirty Years War were at least partially reconciled in the New World in favour of pan-Europeanism, otherwise known as whiteness. This religious freedom, largely unavailable in the Old World until the 20th century, formed the core of what would become the exceptional “freedom” in the exceptional nation born in 1776.

In The Dawning, the milestones of social transformation are the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the ascendancy of the Christian monarchies, the shift in control over the slave trade to Britain and its emergent naval and commercial superiority. This is by no means an uninterrupted success story. Nor does Horne ignore domestic events beyond obvious human control. By the time Britain becomes the premier maritime power, converting its state-sponsored piracy into that majestic force that would “rule the waves” and the trade in slaves, two more centuries would pass. However, it was the marginal position that Britain occupied in the Sixteenth Century that would allow it to exploit the conflicts between Catholic Europe and the Ottoman Empire as well as the great rivalry between Spain and France. Thus opportunism yielded tolerance and Albion’s perfidy enabled it to capture the assets and wealth of dissolving realms. The gradual accumulation of these resources gave Britain the capacity to overwhelm its European rivals. The British crown avoided most of the land wars that would deplete Spain’s population, treasury and military strength. Its splendid isolation and the seas surrounding proved insurmountable obstacles to its principal rivals. Religious intolerance and severe persecution forced much of the talented and wealthy commercial class to flee Catholic bigotry to the Protestant states; e.g., the Netherlands and England, further weakening Spain’s competitive position. In essence, settler colonialism—the principal characteristic of the British Empire and the cornerstone of the United States—was catalysed by the decline of Catholic Spain. As Horne asks provocatively, was the US born in 1588 with the defeat of the Spanish Armada off the shores of Great Britain?

Both The Apocalypse and The Dawning bracket the term of the 45th POTUS, Donald J. Trump. In fact, Professor Horne makes explicit reference to the real estate magnate and one-term US President.

Still, Republicans could boast about their retreat from the poison of St. Bartholomew 1572. In 2018, the US president, Donald J. Trump, was perplexed to find that there were no Protestants on the highest court of the land: all were either Catholic or Jewish. ‘You had all Protestants’, he remarked in a burst of bafflement, ‘and then in a few years none. Doesn’t that seem strange… you should be able to have the main religion in this country represented on the Supreme Court.’ Apparently, he did not fully comprehend the construction of “whiteness” and the gigantic step toward building the Republic over which he presided. Yet the continuing persistence of racism continued to bear the seeds of a pernicious bigotry that in the longer term—like a loose thread on a well-sewn suit—could unravel the finely wrought ‘whiteness’ leading to a recrudescence of, for example, anti-Jewish fervor, suggested by a number of troubling incidents, including murderous attacks on synagogues and pro-Nazi marches.  ((Gerald Horne, The Dawning of the Apocalypse, p. 213.))

While Gerald Horne makes a strong case for the origins of white supremacy in the settler colonial strategy of the British Empire, particularly in its sister the US American Empire, the interpretation of contemporary America suggested in his conclusion does not do justice to his otherwise convincing arguments.

The unprecedented attacks on a reigning POTUS over the past four years beg for explanation. Even at the height of the Watergate hearings, Richard Nixon, with an unpopular war raging, was never visited with the vitriol rained upon Mr Trump even before he had served a day in office. William J. Clinton was never attacked so viciously during his impeachment trial and his acquittal was accepted with equanimity. As I have written elsewhere, Donald Trump has been accused of threatening the very existence of the capitalist economic order, all manner of corruption, collaboration with foreign powers, failure to support the foreign policy of his predecessors (or more exactly the foreign policy establishment), all manner of sedition and yes, racism. For four years he has been called the worst US president ever, not only in the US media but also in media and by governments in foreign countries. ((“To the Halls of Montezuma from the Shores of Tripoli: Trump as Anti-Wilson”, Dissident Voice, (2017).))

Aside from the fact that racism is endemic in the US ruling class, Donald Trump’s behaviour has certainly been no worse than that of any other POTUS of “European descent”. Where this is grudgingly admitted the legions of his opponents have claimed that he animates the racist and white supremacist elements in the population and lends them moral support—because he does not follow the official language of his predecessor. These claims, like those which assert that the POTUS is bound to follow the foreign policy dictated by senior civil servants or external consultants of the Establishment, have been formulated uniquely to justify the rejection of Donald Trump because he is the first POTUS chosen since 1980 who is not the personal choice of the Bush dynasty and the first POTUS in at least a century who was neither a civil servant, military officer, nor professional politician prior to his nomination and election. In other words, Donald J. Trump was the first genuine outsider to be elected US president in anyone’s living memory and possibly in the recorded history of the United States. Those are the principal and true reasons for the constant attacks on him and his administration—regardless of substantive failures or disagreements one could have over policies associated with Mr Trump.

That said, Gerald Horne’s analysis offers an analysis of the Trump phenomenon, which can be derived from his theory—although he refrains from any such derivation.

The ideology of settler colonialism, “whiteness” or “pan-Europeanism” developed and was anchored in US legislation and jurisprudence in two phases. The first phase, its inception, not only creates the “white man” from all those religious antagonists, it gives birth to the British form of the Enlightenment and its ideas of liberty—only added to US Constitution as an afterthought, but fundamental for securing the support of the yeomanry which would still need to slaughter indigenous for the next century in the name of Manifest Destiny. These particularly British Enlightenment liberties were, with the exception of religion, tied to property qualifications. Freedom was the freedom to own things (including people) and owners were endowed with inalienable rights (to property). All liberty was essentially derived from property and with an expanding continental empire the chance to acquire property become somewhat more democratic. As in England, liberty and property were understood as a unit. Settler colonialism permitted liberty to be expanded as long as the supply of property was unlimited. The contradictions between liberty as property and property in bonded labour led to civil war in 1860.

With the passage of the 13th amendment bonded labour as a class was abolished. Instead it was converted into a judicial condition. The destruction of the Civil War gave rise to the first generation of the military-industrial complex in the US. The heavy industry engendered by the federal war machine needed labour and that labour came from Europe. However, for the new waves of settlers there was very little in the way of property to offer. By the end of the 19th century these immigrants were beginning to pose a threat to the nation’s owners, its ruling class. The liberty demanded was freedom in the cities, in the workplaces—factories and mines. Free labour demanded those rights (in fact, privileges) that had been inscribed in the Constitution as citizens and workers, not as property owners. The legal construction of whiteness again served to integrate the European labourers. Their “whiteness” made the Americans and their numbers majorities, especially in urban concentrations and the rural towns of the South. By the time the US entered World War I, pan-Europeans constituted a majority throughout most of the United States. The political and labour movements of the late 19th century had succeeded in extending the franchise to all male adult citizens, while effectively depriving African-Americans of the vote or effective representation.

This was the “white” majority that would become synonymous with American for most of the 20th century.  It was the majority to which the ruling class appealed in two world wars. It was the majority that was disciplined by the anti-communist purges. It was the “silent majority” that Nixon rightly believed supported his Vietnam War policy. This was the majority, which was led to believe that the ruling oligarchy governed in its interest too.

The war against Korea, in fact, a continuation of the US war to dominate China, was the first real crisis for the regime of white supremacy and its dogma of whiteness. The US sent a segregated military force to the Korean peninsula where it was being badly beaten by armies of “yellow” people. Segregationist POTUS Harry Truman was forced to order the integration of the US military not only to improve the fighting morale in a war the US is still fighting (albeit with a fragile ceasefire on the battlefront) but to stabilise domestic conditions where Black American opposition to segregation was escalating. No sooner had the Korean ceasefire stopped overt military action, and then the covert military action that would explode in Vietnam began. Although US military forces were integrated, it was mainly poor whites and blacks who were deployed to the rice paddies and jungle to kill “gooks”. This not only added political tension, with recurring mutinies in the field, but to the number of potential dissidents in the military. The Black Panther Party expressed the consciousness that Black Americans were an “occupied” population. Malcolm X and Mohammed Ali both attacked the use of Blacks as soldiers to fight wars abroad ostensibly for rights they did not even enjoy at home. ((“Moderate Extremism and Extremist Moderation”, Dissident Voice (17 October 2015).))

The Establishment waged a vicious covert war against Black Americans who demanded that they too were endowed with inalienable rights, the same ones supposedly pronounced in 1776. By 1975, when the great independence struggles in those countries that had been European colonies had ended, the most radical leaders of Black America were dead. Their organisations decimated by FBI and CIA “counter-intelligence programs” (COINTELPRO).  Although not prohibited, members were assassinated, jailed, or driven into exile. Since the US regime has historically applied both carrots and sticks with great success, many of the junior or potential leadership were offered and accepted positions in compatible career tracks allowing them to advocate change “within the system”.

Money poured in from corporate tax dodges and government cutouts to promote “cultural” approaches. Culture focussed on history and identity. Imitating the theodicy of the American Dream, Black History became a story of the inevitable progress of the African slave, regrettably kidnapped and worked to death building the US, through his or her equally inevitable survivors (unlike indigenous peoples, slaves were assets too valuable to kill without amortisation) to participation in the divine mission of the United States of America to save the world. In this story, most prosaically told in the 1970 TV mini-series Roots, the mission of every Black American is to find his or her identity. That identity may include the recreation of some African genealogy or the consolation of being a descendant of Thomas Jefferson. Just as every “ethnic” European was to revel in Italian, German, Bulgarian, or other national heritage, Black American was elevated to its own ethnic pedigree.

“Whiteness” did not disappear. Instead a parallel universe was created called “Blackness”. However, while “Whiteness” was protected by centuries of law and institutional power, “Blackness” had none. As Malcolm X for one had argued, if someone abuses an Italian or a German in America, that person can claim a national government as protection. A Black American only has America and it does not protect its black citizens. In a dishonest attempt to manipulate public opinion and retain control of the political terrain, the policy of “affirmative action” was instituted. Since rights in the American system are still based essentially on property or wealth, the argument was made that Black Americans had been deprived of their opportunity to accumulate wealth and property by virtue of discriminatory laws and practices as well as vulgar racism. Therefore laws and practices had to be adopted to compensate for that lack of opportunity by creating opportunities for Black Americans (later for other groups so designated; e.g., women). This was rightly perceived as institutional favouritism. On its own there are good reasons for remedying a wrong by compensating the wronged person(s) with advantages they did not enjoy because of the wrong. However, the compensation was demanded from people who could not see themselves as the tortfeasor. The remedy for discrimination against Black Americans was not to be paid by those who had profited en masse from the wrong but by those whose participation in the wrong was incidental or collateral to that done by the State or the commanding heights of society and economy.

The response of those who had been promoted through this and other policies intended to recruit compatible careerists was at first confused. While there was still something resembling a social justice movement in the US there were still some beneficiaries who argued that more resources had to be committed to levelling the playing field. However, this was far too much like “socialism” or a class approach—both heresies in the US.

By 1980, however, the last remnants of socialist-light, New Deal-type activism had been overwhelmed by the so-called Reagan Revolution that promised to “get government off your back”. Radical expansion of war expenditures coincided with cuts in every kind of budget that had been dedicated to modest equal opportunity policies. From 1980 until 2008 the Bush dynasty with its Clinton cadet branch would strip the meagre social welfare and social development operations of the federal government and with an unending succession of wars induce the greatest transfers of wealth to the super-rich in the 20th century. At the same time the US Empire was faced with the need, both at home and abroad, to pacify competitors and opposition. The international discontent evoked by George W. Bush dictated a rebranding. Even the US advertising trade association named the Obama campaign “brand of the year”—without the least irony. From 1989-1991, the Bush regime profited from the collapse of the Soviet Union and with it the only competitive example for social and economic policy. Only Yugoslavia appeared resistant to the “market forces”. William J. Clinton promoted the first NATO war started by the expanded Germany who joined its legacy fascists in Croatia, delivering bombs to Belgrade and China (via its embassy) to destroy the country and blame its failure on the Slavic Serbian government, assassinating the country’s leader in the process. This war against governments that pursued state policies of social and economic equity has continued unabated to this day. It was called the Global War on Terror.

While class struggle was effectively outlawed in the US in 1908 with the formation of what became the American Gestapo—the FBI—it was the Bush dynasty that destroyed its last remnants. ((See also Cynthia Chung, “The Origins of America’s Secret Police” Dissident Voice (12 January 2021).))  The conditions of permanent global war rendered class models of social justice struggle permanently obsolete. However, ideological innovation did not stop. In the US system, ideas are products to be marketed and sold like soap powder. Ivory Snow or rap, it makes no difference. The Clintons (together with Joe Biden, then in the US Senate) had restored the judicial slavery system through the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, with its notorious discrimination between misdemeanour “powder cocaine” and felonious “crack cocaine” as well as numerous provisions to assure that felony convictions would disenfranchise or otherwise deprive people of their civil (and human) rights. At the same time, however, the careerist generation that had benefitted from affirmative action and collaboration with the still mainly pan-European ruling class were competing in the second generation with the “middle class” members of that “white majority” that had been cultivated since the Republic’s founding. The children of the recruited generation with no ideology of their own except that inherited from the Reagan Revolution needed a new myth. That myth was drawn from the cultural identity movement and the theoretical analysis that became known as “post-modernism”.

Cultural identity had already been harnessed to sell commodities in the 1970s. Now it was to be harnessed as a political ideology. History having been ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the possessive individual became the sole subject of human action and that action was to be fulfilled by the creation of identity or identities. The roles that previously were understood as contextualised in social action and organised human behaviour were converted into essences. Whereas until the 1970s feminism was based on the argument that women were equal to men and that their subjugation was based on the roles they were forced to play or the status those roles had in society, identity politics asserted that there is no woman or man, no sex since these are arbitrary. Instead one chooses gender and the roles are a natural consequence of the gender choice. Classical feminism was based on universal humanism. ((Although objections can be made that any classification of feminism is arbitrary, the canonical—if not definitive—expression of mid-20th century feminism may be found in Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949). Naturally there has been a wide range of theories proposed since, especially critical of de Beauvoir. However, there is no disputing the book’s significance for feminism at least until the emergence of what became known as the “New Left” after 1968.))  Gender identity denies that there is any universal human species with two sexes based on reproduction. The logical extension of this argument is that “whiteness” or “blackness” is an individual choice and the consequences of choosing to be “white” or to be “black” are natural once that choice has been made.

Ironically identity politics exposes the legal fiction of “whiteness” that was used to create a fictive pan-European majority, even including the “deplorables” and “ugly” (the terms Clinton and Biden use to denote the poor and working class in the US). However, the legal fiction is not exposed as the foundation of white supremacy and capitalism. It is formulated as initial choice, along with sex or sexuality, from which all other life results follow. Hence the very social conditions and historical development which led to what has been called “the New Jim Crow” and which have elevated a small percentage of the “non-white” population to membership in the ruling class, or at least as servants to the servants of Capital, are denied. ((Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness (2010).))

Since there are very few visible persons and audible voices from ordinary Black America in the corporate media, the challenges to this negation of historical and contemporary reality are seldom heard. After all Blackness has never been allowed to constitute itself as a political movement protected by the State. However, the plundering of the United States by its ruling class has not gone unnoticed by that mass of people, mainly working class and poor, who have been told for a whole century that they are the “majority” and that in a democracy the majority has claims that cannot be ignored. This majority of “deplorables” and “ugly” were always a constructive majority maintained in the illusion of their status in order to suppress class conflict. That was after all the entire function of the second phase of “whiteness”, Wilson’s “American Dream”—to keep the immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe in their place but also on the side of the Anglo elite that has ruled the country since its inception. The New Deal was devised to keep them on the side of the ruling class. That was why Franklin Roosevelt traded his social programs for continued Jim Crow in the South.

This “white majority” watched their standard of living stagnate in the 1970s and decline steadily while their Hollywood heroes told them that America was great. They watched their taxes go up, their wages go down and wars without end for which they had sacrificed sons and daughters and even their jobs. They watched the US government give trillions away and surrendered their homes to credit card usury. Because they were “white” they expected to be heard. Because they were “white” the regime promoted their prejudices but ignored their complaints. When Barack Obama was elected he made the biggest present to banks on record his first act of office. There was no relief for those ruined by the 2008 crash. He was then reviled for introducing what reactionaries called “Obamacare” and condemned as some form of “socialised medicine” but what was, in fact, a huge grant to the insurance cartel with almost no gain in health care or coverage for ordinary citizens. It essentially raised taxes on an already overtaxed working class.

In the US context—meanwhile the only context available in the West—it had become impossible to assert the claims that had justified the New Deal. It had become impossible to attack the economic system, never well understood. The only expression available to this “majority” without any class or other distinguishing characteristic was the traditional outlet—populism. Populism derives its legitimacy foremost from the claim to majority support. There is no theory of history or other doctrine to drive it. Populism is the raised voice of the masses screaming their grievances and demanding whatever remedies they can imagine under such mass conditions.

Populism is by definition without ideology and usually leaderless. That explains why the people who have become leaders of populist movements rarely have anything in common besides their ability to put themselves at the head of a majority. Donald J. Trump was not the first person in US history to exploit a populist opportunity. However, he is the first one to be elected POTUS on a populist wave. This is the essence of the attack on Trump by the Establishment—that he emboldened the deplorable and ugly. The Establishment, represented by the Bush-Clinton gang, could never imagine a New York real estate mogul unafraid to stand in front of a huge crowd in Alabama and shout that the Bible was his favourite reading. They could never imagine that Donald Trump could win a “white majority”. The possibility that he had won a majority beyond merely those deplorable and ugly working class folks was a thought too horrible to contemplate.

Now it was time for the ruling class to call in its chits. When Mr Trump won the electoral college vote in 2017, despite all efforts by Hillary Rodham in the states with the most delegates, there were vindictive reasons for attacking him. However, the far greater danger posed by Mr Trump was that he had been elected by the very “white majority” upon whom the ruling class had relied for legitimacy. The Democratic Party, the oldest and most clientelistic of the two private companies that operate the US regime, had relied for over a century on the docility of the “white majority” and now they were clearly in revolt. It was necessary therefore to break up that “white majority”, to deprive it of its democratic claims to representation. This was the most important objective of the campaign to discredit, impeach and defeat Trump utterly.  ((The same strategy was followed successfully in the French presidential elections that promoted Rothschild banker Emmanuel Macron to the Elysée Palace in May 2017. Francois Hollande had torpedoed his own PSF.  Thus the only alternative was Marie Le Pen from the Rassemblement National. The French establishment media promoted a campaign like the one used unsuccessfully to defeat Donald Trump by claiming that Le Pen was just a copy of her far-right father, Jean-Marie. The populist issues would emerge again with the so-called “Yellow Vests” (Mouvement des Gilets jaune) whose protests were then effectively muted by the constructive pandemic declared at the beginning of 2020. In Germany, the amorphous but clearly populist Allianz für Deutschland (AfD) has also been the target of the German establishment and the mass media, which claims that it is just a stalking horse for the far right. Ironically the German far right, especially so-called neo-Nazis, have all been tied to covert operations by the secret police and intelligence agencies—wholly establishment in other words. Conspicuous among all these populist groups is their suspicion of neo-liberal monetary and economic policies as well as the states of emergency and other authoritarian measures adopted by their governments in conjunction with the constructive pandemic in 2020.”  If they could change something they would be prohibited…” Dissident Voice (9 May 2017).))

While there is no indication that either Trump or those loyal to him had any analysis of the political terrain in which they were fighting or the stakes involved, it is clear that such tactics as accusing him of fascism, dictatorship or racism were, in fact, aimed at his electoral base. The identity cadres in the media and academia amplified these accusations. In addition the “Mockingbird” tactic was used by having all these accusations echoed in Europe for rebroadcast within the US.  ((Operation “Mockingbird” is the name given to a CIA program whereby material the agency generated would be planted through friendly journalists or editors in media abroad so that it could be cited in the US from an ostensibly independent, foreign source.))  Although state violence against Black Americans has been a mainstay of US regime power, suddenly every incident was attributed to Donald Trump personally. His supporters were all denounced as racists or white supremacists—as if they were the only ones in the country.

The point here is not whether Mr Trump or any of his followers are racist or not. Rather the Establishment’s objective was to stigmatise the traditional “majority” and force them to defend themselves or distance themselves from the person they had elected or be declared anathema. Identity cadres, especially the company known as Black Lives Matter, vastly funded by corporate tax dodges, together with other identity groups began a campaign to label all of this “white majority”—but conspicuously not the sources of their funds—as racists and white supremacists. Spectacles were created and staged, the templates for which can be found in the works of Gene Sharp and virtually identical to actions sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy in Kiev and elsewhere. ((A complete selection of the works of Gene Sharp and his collaborators can be found at the website of the Albert Einstein Institution.))

This campaign aimed to turn the discovery of “whiteness” into an argument for dissolving the pan-European majority. By asserting—correctly—that “whiteness” is a fiction and that the US was founded also to preserve chattel slavery (and annihilation of the indigenous, although that got almost no attention), not only was the claim of whiteness rejected but the constitution of any majority with majority claims on the political system and its allocation of resources. However, this move to delegitimise the majority constituted by a fictive whiteness did not propose any other majority. Instead it promoted diversity and inclusion. Diversity can be satisfied in many ways without addressing majority needs. Inclusion is not the same as participation or self-determination. There was no proposal that would constitute majorities not based on “whiteness” for one simple reason. To do so would require asking what common qualities such a majority would have? If the attack on “whiteness” were really an attack on white supremacy, it would have to go to the root of white supremacy as a dogmatic system for maintaining Capitalism and the oligarchy that rules the Anglo-American Empire.

In fact, the strategic purpose of BLM and all of the other corporate armed propaganda elements is to destroy the concept of majority and with it the foundation of any democratic system, whether electorally-based or not. The central reason for the unprecedented attack on the Trump presidency lies in nothing Mr Trump or his administration have said or done. The Establishment wants to crush the only element of the US society that still had a claim based on numerical strength for a share of the country’s wealth and participation in its governance.

With at least 20 per cent of Black Americans subject to some kind of penal surveillance, they constitute no threat. No one would be so foolish as to believe that Black Americans could constitute a majority or even a plurality in the United States. The only other demographic group that could be constituted in serious numerical strength is women. Not only is there no historical precedence for a female electoral or political majority, the identity ideology of trans-genderism nullifies the claims of the pre-1980s feminism.

The process Gerald Horne describes as beginning in the Sixteenth Century, leading to the creation of “whiteness”, has also led to its disintegration. Having served its purpose, it is no longer a necessary part of white supremacy and capitalism, both of which flourish independent of skin pigmentation.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..