-- black American folk aphorism
White supremacy is the unnamed political system that has made the modern world what it is today. You will not nd this term in introductory, or even advanced, texts in political theory. A standard under graduate philosophy course will start off with plato and Aris totle, perhaps say something about Augustine, Aquinas, and Machiavelli, move on to Hobbes, Locke, Mill, and Marx, and then wind up with Rawls and Nozick. It will introduce you to notions of aristocracy, democracy, absolutism, liberalism, representative government, socialism, welfare capitalism, and libertarianism. But though it covers more than two thousand years of Western political thought and runs the ostensible gamut of political systems, there will be no mention of the basic political system that has shaped the world for the past several hundred years. And this omission is not accidental. Rather, it reflects the fact that standard textbooks and courses have for the most part been written and designed by whites, who take their racial privilege so much for granted that they do not even see it as political, as a form of domination. Ironically, the most important political system of recent global history -- the system of domination by which white people have historically ruled over and, in certain important ways, continue to rule over nonwhite people -- is not seen as a political system at all. It is just taken for granted; it is the background against which other systems, which we are to see as politic, are highlighted. This book is an attempt to redirect your vision, to make you see what, in a sense, has been there all along.
C. Wright Mills. The Racial Contract