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The census is a battering ram: Race, tech and the uses of population data.


You have this instrument that tries to figure out what the population is like. Of course it's going to be used as an instrument, but it's not going to be used in this mythological, objective technocratic fashion - it was ideological from the very beginning, it had a point, and it was just an instrument of excusing and rationalizing the American political reality that the elites favored.

Investigative journalist Yasha Levine explores an interlocking century of technology and racism in the US census - from the state's earliest days deriving political power through racial sorting, to the ideological uses of population data throughout the 20th and 21st centuries to enforce ruling class will.

Yasha wrote the article The Racist - and High Tech - Origins of America’s Modern Census for Medium.

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Yasha Levine

Yasha Levine is an author and investigative journalist. His book Surveillance Valley will be out in 2018.


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