This essay examines the relationship between African American internal colonialism and democracy, highlighting the complexities of democracy that make it both susceptible to oppressive violence at home and abroad, as well as a potential resource for emancipation and equality. I understand “internal colonialism” here to encompass various terms used by African Americans beginning in the 1830s, including semi-colonialism, domestic colonialism, and a nation within a nation. Much political philosophy assumes that society is “nearly just” or “generally just,” or that oppression and injustice are found in societies that we nonetheless deem legitimate. Centering the complexities and possibilities of democracy instead shifts the focus to how democracy is compatible with violence and injustice, as well as their overcoming. Such a focus leads to a consideration of abolition democracy and the question of what the process of overcoming internal colonialism demands.
Link to Published Version
Burgos, Adam. "Internal Colonialism and Democracy." (2023) : 135-152.