Aníbal Quijano (17 November – 31 May ) was a Peruvian sociologist and humanist Quijano held several positions as a visiting professor in the social sciences at universities worldwide: Maison Colonialidad, Poder, Cultura y Conocimiento en América Latina. Colonialidad y Clasificación Social. We need to understand the organization of the social so as to make visible our collaboration with systematic Quijano, Anibal. b. “Colonialidad del Poder y Clasificacion Social”, Festschrift for Immanuel Wallerstein, part I, Journal of World. Familia y cambio social, CECOSAM, Lima, Siglo del Hombre Editores. Colonialidad del Poder y Clasificacion Social. Reproducido como.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. The persistence of Coloniality in “Empire” Conference Paper. I had to do it as part of an assignment for a course run by Santiago Castro, one of the top Latin American post-colonial scholars and he was so impressed by the book, its pocer approach and novel critical perspective that he made us, his students analyze each chapter in detail.

Both the article and the book section had the intention of developing certain arguments more and filling some gaps that he saw. Castro b was in his words trying to write the missing chapter of Empire.

Colonialidad del poder y clasificacion social anibal quijano coloniality

Empire, Multitude and now Commonwealth are impressive academic works that are redefining what critical thought is and addressing with much needed hope, some of the dramatic evolutions and social struggles anibak our time. I would like to focus my presentation on two areas of critique: The first one has to do with what I call, following Santiago Castro, the persistence of Coloniality in Empire. The second one has to do with what I think is a less than subtle understanding of media, one that relies too heavily on the work of Guy Debord and ignores the aibal for discourse, as well claificacion the ongoing presence of difference in the contemporary mediascape.

Let me develop the first criticism, the one about the persistence of Coloniality and Eurocentrism in Empire. Hardt and Negri assert that the end of colonialism was also the end of the modern world and of the modern regimes of rule. These regimes have been replaced by a new form that operates on a global scale, a decentralized regime of governmentality proper to post-Fordist capitalism, what they call Empire.

This new regime emerged out of the former colonialist, industrial nations but is now a transnational form, ruled by global coloniallidad unattached to any clasificacio spatial location.

Its fundamental logic is that of post-Fordism, where immaterial production is hegemonic, but this evolution of capitalism has tremendous cultural implications, it makes imperialism scial colonialism unnecessary, because they are obsolete devices of exploitation.

So the divisions between First and Third World become irrelevant: Post-colonial theories uselessly attack an enemy that has taken a different position and is outflanking them Hardt and Negri The ideas in Empire expand drl proposed by Arif Dirlik in the late 90s.

Dirlik asserted that contemporary capitalism has transcended its European origins and location and that, anihal colonial denunciations of exclusion and clsificacion, because they do not deal with this evolution of capitalism, end up legitimizing it or being co-opted. One of clasificadion main concerns is with the geopolitics of knowledge, a topic that has been addressed by other post-colonial scholars Chakrabarty ; Spivak The zero point view is supposed to be beyond the realm of representation and does not see itself as embodied within a specific culture, space and time.

Through it, Western knowledge of all kinds coloniialidad itself universal, it does not accept its provincialism, its Eurocentrism. Paradigmatic social science theories like Marxism were created ignoring the complex links and relations between the Western and non-Western worlds, and from what Spivak calls the other side of the international division of labor, and Grosfoguel bthe hegemonic side of the colonial difference.

This overlook of interconnected histories and the refusal to aniba with the singularity and difference of other cultures weakened some theories to the point of making them clsificacion, examples of the violence of colonialism and the persistence of its epistemic dimension: To make these points clearer I will have to present, as briefly as I can, the alternative reading of modern and contemporary history produced by the group.

Then I will explain what they think is the content of the missing chapter of Empire. Beforecivilizations amibal or decayed in different parts of the planet, most of them in relative isolation from each other, a few connected through limited luxury-goods trade.

This discourse based in the category of race produced new historical social identities in America. In the moment of the Iberian conquest, America was home to a great variety of peoples, each with its own history, language, discoveries and cultural products, memory and identity. Some centuries later, all of them had become merged into a single identity: Something similar happened centuries later in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Asia and Oceania.


Geographical associations acquired a racial connotation that constituted hierarchies, places and social roles. The first is the idea of the history of human civilization as a linear trajectory of progress flasificacion departed from a state of nature and culminated in Europe and North America.

As Dussel, Mignolo and Quijano have explained: Western Europe was then the culmination of a linear historical process that started in Greece. It did not matter that it was the Muslim civilizations that kept alive and expanded the legacy of Greek arts, science and philosophy and that the Roman Empire moved east and survived for centuries in what today is Turkey.

Marxism participated in this myth. The second myth of Eurocentrism produced a vision of the differences between Europe and Non-Europe as natural racial differences and not as consequences of a history of power Quijano Its condition quujano possibility is the existence of the zero point view that I described a moment ago.

Hiding the location of the subject of enunciation and not recognizing its conditions of possibility, has allowed the persistent use of supposedly unquestionable claims coloniaalidad universality and truth: By constantly treating the Other as primitive, underdeveloped, uncivilized, backward, uneducated, a threat to itself and civilization, the West has justified exploitation, domination, discipline and biopower, in all the regions of the world-system.

Relations between Western Europe and the rest of the world were codified in a strong anlbal of new binary categories: This perspective coincides with the critique of Orientalism made by Edward Said. Castro argues that any narrative about modernity that does not take into account the impact of the colonial experience in the creation of the modern relations of power is not only incomplete but also ideological.

The concept of Coloniality of power: The conquest of the Americas and the creation of the first truly world-system allowed the constitution of a new structure of control of labour, resources and products.

The new historical subjectivities produced by colonialism, based on the idea of race, were associated with social roles and places. The result of this was the creation of a racial division of labour that spread to other regions of the world where the rising European nation-states began to expand, following the Iberian imperial example. Race and the division of labour became structurally linked and mutually reinforcing.

In Latin America and later, in other colonies, capitalism operated by simultaneously using all the known forms of exploitation and domination of work: The distribution of power in a society was not only based on the control of labour but in Coloniality.

When we move to the other side of the colonial difference, we notice that what orthodox Marxists call primitive accumulation took place on a global scale with the discovery of America; the European industrial revolution was carried out on the shoulders of the coerced forms of non-waged labour in the colonies and that the new identities, rights, legal systems and institutions of modernity nation-states, citizenship, democracy were sustained by colonial exploitation of non-Western people Grosfoguel b ; Venn From this alternative historical perspective, the classic Marxist succession of modes of production slavery, feudalism, imperial capitalism, Fordism and post-Fordism is misleading, the modes of production were simultaneous in time and entangled in space Grosfoguel b.

This notion of structural heterogenerity, that implies that all forms of labour have coexisted in the capitalist world-system, is a key position held by the members of the group. They acknowledge that new forms of labour and production have continued to emerge in capitalism but insist that even these can only be fully understood in relation to colonial and neo-colonial power dynamics that go beyond the Eurocentric myth of linearity Grosfoguel a.

However, Grosfoguel does not like to use the word capitalism alone, because it only emphasizes one of the dimensions of the colonial matrix of power.

Colonialidad del poder y clasificacion social anibal quijano coloniality – nyigran

And this is one of the big omissions of Empire Grosfoguel a. This is why, even in times of hegemonic post-Fordism, non-Westerners receive lower wages for doing the same work that whites do: The racial axis has a colonial origin and character, but it has proven to be more durable and stable than the colonialism in whose matrix it was established.

Therefore, the model of power that is globally hegemonic today presupposes an element of coloniality Quijano p. We have moved from a period of global colonialism to a contemporary period of global Coloniality Grosfoguel b in which the heterogeneity of racialized modes of production persists.

The fact that capital has nearly exhausted the external spaces for its realization and now has to open new terrains in its inside, thriving in the products of immaterial labour services, cultural artefacts, knowledge and communication does not mean that Coloniality has disappeared, but that it is in a process of reorganization Mignolo The international division of labor and all the other dimensions of the colonial matrix of power are still at work.


The analysis of their re-organization in post- Fordism is what is missing in Empire. Empire offers an insightful analysis of the new hegemonic forms of labor that emerge in post-Fordism but fails to deal with the older and actually more widespread forms of labor of the world-system and how they are all closely linked in a re-organized regime of Coloniality Grosfoguel a. This one dimensional critique fails to recognize the many other integrated forms of oppression that loom over the present. The colonial matrix of power continues to operate in the West as the current circumstances of the U.

S, France, Italy, the UK and Germany illustrate with their renewed xenophobia, with the persistence of gender discrimination and social hierarchization, sometimes disguised as podrr marketing, with the atrocious religious persecution that adopts new forms.

This binary is still at work, even in times of post- Fordism and Empire seems to ignore it. In the non-Western world, Coloniality continues to inspire open wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Eurocentrism rules supreme in trade organizations, development programs, neoliberal policies, education curriculums, copyright legislation, media products and other instances.

Capital profits from difference but it has not ceased organizing it inside the hierarchies of Coloniality. In colonial times control was enforced by physical violence, by sovereign power; in our age of Coloniality, violence is still used, but control is complemented through more seductive strategies that create and appeal to the desires and dreams of the subalterns.

Contact and acceptance of Eurocentric discourses opens doors, enables participation in profits, prestige and the illusion of power. Media plays a significant role in this process.

My PhD thesis explores the ways in which Subjectivation, Coloniality and Spectacle operate in and around contemporary popular media. They consider that contemporary Coloniality operates through: I think that both Empire and the group exhibit a less than subtle understanding of media. The co,onialidad and recycling of styles classificacion music, jargon, ideas, images, attitudes that can be observed in Latin American radio, student videos, free magazines, internet blogs, graffiti and other public spaces are not particular to that region of the world.

Hardt and Negri talk about media as moral instruments and consider that social struggles and difference are incommunicable. I would counter that hypermediatization is a sign of the productivity of the multitude that has been promoted and even claslficacion by post-Fordism.

I could summarize his conception in the following way: Berry and Theobald p. An existence that is infected by the rationality of Empire, or worse, by Coloniality but that also transcends it.

Martin-Barbero argues that: With some exceptions, historians of the mass media have studied only the economic structure and the ideological content of the mass media; few have given close attention to the mediations through podef the media have acquired a concrete institutional form and become a reflection of the culture p.

There was never a single instance of control and in a world-system marked by conflict, diversity, migrants and extremists of all kinds, hypermediatization is symbol of and a space where centrifuging forces are being eel counteracted by centripetal forces. There are no pure totally un-colonized spaces anymore, but the richness of popular production, the width of cosmologies and other epistemologies present in Latin America and many other regions of the world-system have never been fully subsumed nor instrumentalized Grosfoguel b.

This view matches that of Ranajit Guha when he talks about the politics of the people and that of Michel de Certeau who rejoiced at how the American natives, even when enslaved, nevertheless often made of the rituals, representations and laws imposed on them, something different from what the colonizers wanted: Martin-Barbero insists that contemporary media are more than spectacle or ideological apparatuses of discursive control: The popular continues to flourish in part, through media, although there are certainly other spaces for it to flow.

And even the diverse and contradictory spectacle sustained by clasificavion commercial media depends on popular productivity: Media may attempt to co- opt popular labour and infuse it with Coloniality beyond the elements of Coloniality that popular production already carries within eel, but is also a space for the continuity and re- invention of popular colonkalidad and difference.

Radical Mass Media Criticism.

Economy, Society and Culture. Postmodern reorganization of coloniality and post-Fordist capitalism. Siglo del Hombre Editores. Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference.

The Practice of Everyday Life. University of California Press.