Faculty Writing: Private Property and White Supremacy, NYC’s Downtown Scene, and Marxist Theories of State

In Business Insider, Patrick Blanchfield analyzes the gun-toting McCloskeys and what they reveal, however unwittingly, about racial capitalism: “The order of private property which they, like so many, seek to ‘defend’ today is also one that fully accommodated owning other people as property. The traumatic legacies of these inconvenient truths—the building blocks and origin story of racial capitalism—do not go away just because many would rather not see them.”

For The Gotham Center for New York City History, Jeffrey Escoffier and co-author Jeffrey Colgan take the occasion of the publication of artist Peter McGough’s memoir, I’ve Seen the Future and I’m Not Going, to discuss the end of New York City’s “Downtown” scene. For Escoffier and Colgan, the reasons for the scene’s terminal decline are “many”: “increases in real estate prices and the cost of living, expansion of previously diminished systems of maintenance and surveillance that existed in the 1970s, the effects of drugs and mental illness, the staggering toll of the AIDS epidemic, and the grief that resulted from such tragedies.”

In Critical Legal Thinking, Rafael Khachaturian presents a primer on Marxist theories of the state, confronting the many historical and theoretical obstacles to a unified theory. Khachaturian writes, “Marx’s analysis of the state thus spanned two related but nevertheless distinct standpoints: the philosophical perspective of his earlier writing, where the state is a juridical fiction that masks the class interests openly expressed in civil society, and a historical-political perspective where it is a social relation that reproduces a specific balance of forces in society.”

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