Domination Politics by Suzanne PharrIn an article In the Time of the Right: Reflections on Liberation by Suzanne Pharr, a chapter entitled Domination Politics was reviewed. Within this chapter Ms. Pharr stated that she believed there are two kinds of politics: the politics of domination and the politics of liberation. I am going to explain these and then discuss reasons why domination politics specifically, has emerged so strongly in American political circles.
We need to keep in mind that both of these politics operate on the individual and public institution level.Ms. Pharr explains the politics of domination as few seeking to have power over the lives of many, gaining it through systems of oppression and exploitation. The politics of liberation, the goal is for the many to share decision-making, resources and responsibilities for the good of the group as well as the individual (pg. 11).
Domination politics is based on the belief of meritocracy. Meritocracy is the belief that a culture already provides the?dream yet to come true (pg. 11).
Everyone in this politic is thought to have equal access to success or failure in their own society and therefore, a belief of superiority emerges among the rich, white, Christian, heterosexual, and able-bodied men. Domination politics survives so strongly because it thrives on economic injustice, oppression and moral insolvency. Economic injustice and oppression occur because someone benefits from them. It is in the interest of someone to create and perpetuate oppressions (pg. 17).
If these groups of people that are oppressed were not pitted against one another, an uprising of phenomenal proportions could occur. This is exactly what the rich, white, male, Christian, heterosexual able-bodied society (a.k.a.: The Norm) does not want to happen! Racism, sexism, and classism are necessities for the survival of The Norm.
As stated in the first paragraph, these politics control both the institutions and the workplaces of modern America, and therefore intersect in the development of policy and laws. For example, The Norm controls financial institutions, government, religion, schools, human services, healthcare, criminal justice, corporations, factories, and large businesses thereby creating a vicious circle of power, privilege, exploitation, and domination. Ms. Pharr stated as the last lines in the last paragraph of this chapter the following, ?An emphasis on individual effort alone ignores structures of oppression and leaves them intact. We then fail to recognize that there is a conscious and deliberate system of oppression and exploitation affecting the economy and social welfare of our people-and that is a system that can be changed (pg.
38).I totally agree with Ms. Pharr?s interpretation of society. Race is necessary in a capitalist nation, is also a political necessity, and is socially constructed.
Race is informed by social, cultural and political values that are based on socially constructed information. Who creates this ?information?? The rich, white, Christian, heterosexual, and able-bodied men, that?s who; and everyone else shallows it whole.Bibliography: