Racism will disappear when it’s no longer profitable, and no longer psychologically useful. And when that happens, it’ll be gone. But at the moment, people make a lot of money off of it.

Toni Morrison

Slavery was not born of racism; rather, racism was the consequence of slavery.

Eric Williams


Systemic oppression is a fundamental part of a political economic system based on private property ownership. For thousands of years rulers have used the strategy of divide and conquer to maintain power. Liberal "democracy" was designed by slave owners to manage their property rights. We won't have an inclusive society until we create an inclusive decision making process: Democracy From Below.

Injustice is not naturally accepted by humans, in fact it’s been shown that many primates have the same intolerance for it. So, for us as 'a society' to accept conditions of extreme inequality has required a very powerful story to overcome our ancient desire for fairness. That story is that by nature, humans are selfish and greedy. This is not true but the idea has served to justify a class system which allows abuse of power by property owners. 

In a system based on private property it is inevitable that some will become large property owners while others will be left with none. With property comes privilege. Those without property face oppression and exploitation. Thousands of years ago some men of property decided that in order to ensure that their property would be left to their own offspring they would have to control women. Thus began women's oppression. Hundreds of years ago some white men of property decided to enslave African people as their property. To justify this, they created racism.

Humans have incredibly adaptive minds. Children discover very quickly how to survive in society—we learn from an early age about competition and property ownership. While most parents and religious communities teach children about the value of sharing and cooperation, the world around us contradicts that message. We’re all conditioned to believe that competition and hierarchy are natural and we must participate in order to get by. “Survival of the fittest”, a phrase falsely attributed to Charles Darwin is often repeated to justify the status quo. Modern liberal democracy generally values the rights of the individual above that of the community. As long as we don’t hurt anyone else, we should be free to do anything we want. We are entitled (sometimes expected) to vote in elections and it is our right to keep that vote secret. This seems like a perfectly rational way of organizing society and appears to be fairly egalitarian except that it ignores both the way that humans actually relate to one another, and the effects of economic power on the outcome of elections.