Tag Archive: Irami Osei-Frimpong

No Race or Gender Justice Without Class Politics

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By Irami Osei-Frimpong (December 18, 2018) Race IS a deformation of class. As gender IS a deformation of class. So if you keep class politics, but don’t go after race politics, you’ve ignored all of the ways in which class politics comes in as race politics. If you go after gender and don’t go after class, you’ll have created two…
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Labor Justice is THE issue now

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By Irami Osei-Frimpong (October 8, 2018) I’ve read that as a rough rule, political movements initially start out off as free speech movements. In campus life, it makes sense at first blush, especially when you’ve been to Berkeley. But I think it papers over the social question. We still haven’t figured out how political freedom works while you still depend…
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Freedom Depends on Enabling Institutions in Our Communities

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By Irami Osei-Frimpong (May 24, 2018) I study alienation and how freedom comes through well-ordered institutional structures, like marriage, employment, and politics. Our problem isn’t marriage, employment, or politics, the problem is that have a bad culture around institutions like marriage, employment or politics. We have bad marriages, bad jobs, and bad politics. There are such things as a good…
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We Need to Stop Letting White People Off the Hook

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By Irami Osei-Frimpong (April 2, 2018) The number of times I hear some version of, “You can’t expect white people to ever be fair” is astounding. I hear this from white and black people across the education divide. Honestly, the people who are the most smug about this as a truism are white women with lots and lots of degrees….
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We Need to Teach People How to Share Power

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By Irami Osei-Frimpong (March 19, 2018) I think that a whole lot of political problems come from an inability to share power with genuine people you may not necessarily like. This barrier is baked into our political culture, though I will say that there are marked differences between subordinate and dominant groups, for a variety of reasons. Well-ordered democracies concern…
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Good Institutions Are about Helping to Govern, Not Charity

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By Irami Osei-Frimpong (February 23, 2018) I’m serious when I say that institutions should be judged by their capacity to help people govern, both govern themselves and with others. I worry that charity institutions provide services without growing people’s capacity to govern. This breeds accountability problems, and more importantly, since these institutions emerge as a matter of charity, not justice,…
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On the Unfinished Work of Extending Rights to All Americans

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By Irami Osei-Frimpong (February 13, 2018) The basic problem is that our rights were conceived with property owning white men in mind. These rights presupposed economic security and independence. Security and independence came in the form of property. And that’s why the Constitution is primarily concerned with securing property rights. Also the exercise of rights relies on the collegiate fraternity…
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Without Jobs, Our Freedom is Hollow

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By Irami Osei-Frimpong (February 5, 2018) You have to understand that when you have access to property and an independent, above subsistence income, your conception of rights is markedly different from someone without property and depends on a non-contract employer for an income. The Founders conceived of rights for people like themselves. In order to exercise any of the rights…
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Black People Need Good Governance Toward Justice

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By Irami Osei-Frimpong (January 28, 2018) I’ve been thinking about Ann Richards and Obama. Everyone loves Ann Richards. I think she was great. Or at least I think she was fine. She won Texas without teaching people how to govern, so it snapped right back. Obama is similarly blessed. There are no principled Obama Democrats. The Obama coalition is held…
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Philanthropy is Not Justice

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By Irami Osei-Frimpong (January 10, 2018) There is a nice section in Kant’s Toward Perpetual Peace that runs like this: “Both philanthropy and respect for the rights of the human being are duties; but the former is only conditional duty whereas the latter is unconditional duty, commanding absolutely, and whoever wants to give himself up to the sweet feeling of…
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