Workers Hold the Keys

Chibber, Vivke; Farbman, Jason

Publisher:  Jacobin
Date Written:  23/03/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22811

An interview with Vivek Chibber.



JF: In your ABCs piece, you say capitalism can't deliver the goods. When criticism of capitalism does make it into mainstream discussions, it usually argues "late capitalism" has gone off the rails, or that it isn’t capitalism that’s the problem but neoliberalism -- some variant of capitalism that has gone amok.

What you're saying is that capitalism will inevitably produce injustice, and that as a result it will inevitably generate class conflict.

VC: Two ways to look at this. You're right that the code word for everything now has become neoliberalism. It’s become the stand-in for anything that counts as a genuine analysis of modern society.

That's partly because much of left discourse is overwhelmingly dominated by nonprofits and academics, and capitalism is still a no-no -- you can't bring up capitalism. So you need something else, and it's very useful to say, "Well it's not capitalism as such that we worry about -- it's Reaganism, it's Thatcherism."

There's no doubt that the current variant of capitalism is truly inhumane, certainly more so that the one that proceeded it. That's one reason why you don't see the word capitalism very much. But first, it's important to understand that if you compare today's version to capitalism with its place in history, it's actually not the exception. We're reverting back to capitalism’s pure form. It's a system in which everybody is thrown out onto the market, and they’re told "Sink or swim, man. It's up to you."

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