American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland by Robert O. Self

By Robert O. Self

Because the birthplace of the Black Panthers and a national tax rebel, California embodied a vital motif of the postwar usa: the increase of suburbs and the decline of towns, a approach within which black and white histories inextricably joined. American Babylon tells this tale via Oakland and its close by suburbs, tracing either the historical past of civil rights and black strength politics in addition to the historical past of suburbanization and house owner politics. Robert Self indicates that racial inequities in either New Deal and nice Society liberalism caused neighborhood struggles over land, jobs, taxes, and race inside postwar metropolitan improvement. Black energy and the tax insurrection developed jointly, in tension.

American Babylon demonstrates that the heritage of civil rights and black liberation politics in California didn't stick to a southern version, yet represented a long term fight for monetary rights that all started through the international warfare II years and persisted during the upward push of the Black Panthers within the past due Nineteen Sixties. This fight yielded a wide-ranging and profound critique of postwar metropolitan improvement and its beginning of sophistication and racial segregation. Self strains the roots of the 1978 tax insurrection to the Nineteen Forties, whilst property owners, actual property agents, and the government used racial segregation and commercial estate taxes to forge a middle-class way of life based on estate ownership.

Using the East Bay as a kick off point, Robert Self provides us a richly exact, enticing narrative that uniquely integrates crucial racial liberation struggles and sophistication politics of postwar the United States.

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Extra resources for American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland

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It may not be easy to do this, and will admittedly require the greatest intellec­ tual sophistication, but if we give our best to this important task, no impene­ trable secrets necessarily need remain. In this sense almost all of political theory and contemporary political science is 'naive', as this term is under­ stood by Schiller. For on all occasions one is convinced that a point of view, a discourse, a system, or whatever you have, can be found in terms of which the whole of political reality will become transparent t o our ratio and our argument.

We have now left the 'egocentricity' of the naive self that is still so much urged on us by ethics, by Cartesian and Kantian philosophy of mind and all its modern successors (think, for example, of the highly char­ acteristic 'egocentricity ' of the Cartesian cogito) . Now we no longer project ourselves on the world, but reach self-reflection and/or self-awareness via the other. We see ourselves as the other will see us (as we ours elves may become aware of the style of our previous behaviour only at a later phase in our life and, hence, from the perspective of that later alter ego) .

One of the major problems of contemporary Western demo­ cracy is that because of all the clutter of socio-scientific data - of statistics, bureaucracy and so on - the electorate and the state simply are no longer able to recognise and understand each other. Only style can guarantee this mutual recognition and understanding - and give us access to 'the other' again. Just as either the right hand or the left hand may be the main contributor to the development of this political innere Stimme, so it will also be possible 34 ' DEMOCRACY S INNER VOICE: POLITICAL STYLE AS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE OF POLITICAL ACTION to indicate, on the basis of the foregoing, what must be the primary or elementary political styles in representative democracy (though I hasten to add that this does not as yet imply anything with regard to their relative merits) .

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