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Black Rights/White WrongsThe Critique of Racial Liberalism$
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Charles W. Mills

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190245412

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190245412.001.0001

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Epilogue (as Prologue): Toward a Black Radical Liberalism

Epilogue (as Prologue): Toward a Black Radical Liberalism

(p.201) Epilogue (as Prologue): Toward a Black Radical Liberalism
Black Rights/White Wrongs

Charles W. Mills

Oxford University Press

The epilogue (which is also a prologue) offers some tentative suggestions for the development of what it calls a “black radical liberalism.” Such a liberalism would draw on crucial elements of the black radical tradition (i.e., black Marxism, black nationalism), seeking to combine the insights of Immanuel Kant (liberalism), Karl Marx (socialism), and W. E. B. Du Bois (race). It suggests that recent historical work on the link between capitalism and slavery vindicates the analyses offered decades ago by thinkers in this tradition, like Du Bois and Eric Williams. After listing various possible objections and replies to them, the chapter ends with a sketch of how such a liberalism would require the rethinking of Rawlsianism. Rather than a thought-experiment to come up with the principles for a well-ordered society, its focus would instead be the principles of corrective justice for an ill-ordered white supremacist society.

Keywords:   liberalism, black radicalism, African slavery, W. E. B. Du Bois, Marxism, Immanuel Kant, corrective justice

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