Module 8: Political Theory Today
About this Text
Charles Mills is a philosophy professor at Northwestern University. We have excerpts from his book The Racial Contract (available below as a pdf document; you only need to read pages 9-48). Mills both critiques the social contract tradition as ignoring race and argues that, reinterpreted, the idea of the social contract can be used to understand what Mills calls “the racial contract.” Mills’s claim is that modern society rests upon a more or less explicit agreement to distinguish between whites and non-whites, including the former as full citizens in the political order, while systematically excluding and oppressing the latter.