Capital and Its Discontents: Conversations with Radical Thinkers in a Time of Tumult (Spectre)

Capital and Its Discontents: Conversations with Radical Thinkers in a Time of Tumult (Spectre)

Sasha Lilley

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 160486334X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In an era of profound economic and ecological crisis, this collection unravels the dynamic contradictions at the heart of capitalism and points possible ways forward to a liberatory future. Through a series of incisive conversations with some of the most eminent thinkers and political economists on the Left—including Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, David Harvey, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Mike Davis, and Doug Henwood—Sasha Lilley examines the roots of the global economic meltdown, neoliberalism in the Global South and North, struggles against empire past and present, the eternal pendulum swing of social revolt, and the potentialities of the radical tradition in a time of austerity.

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of Mormonism in Latin America, look at the explosive growth of evangelical and fundamentalist movements. You’ve got to ask yourself, if this diversity is our strength, how come it’s not translating into actual political or social gains? I just find it almost, as I say, a psychosis, and I’m not even kidding. I do think that there is a kind of collective delusion on the left that we can just continue doing what we’re doing and somehow everything will work out. And on the contrary, nothing is

their pretransition life-expectancy levels.” 15 See chapter 10, “Vivek Chibber: National Capitalism in the Third World.” 16 McNally, Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance (Oakland: PM Press, 2011), 51. 17 “We Did It! The Rich World’s Quiet Revolution,” The Economist December 31, 2009. According to the International Labour Organization, “the number of employed women grew by almost 200 million over the last decade, to reach 1.2 billion in 2007 compared to 1.8 billion

to huge swaths of land in Africa and elsewhere, displacing populations whose livelihoods are dependent on agriculture. See Neil MacFarquhar, “African Farmers Displaced as Investors Move In,” New York Times, December 22, 2010, 1. 19 The U.S. state during much of the twentieth century actively exported American grains to the Global South as food aid, which undercut domestic agriculture in those countries and provided a means of keeping food prices—and hence wages—low, further incorporating these

Mexico in the late 1980s. And actually, if you look at the pattern, it’s very rare for there to be a straight imposition of neoliberalizing policies through the IMF or the U.S. It’s nearly alwaysan alliance between an internal elite, as it had been in Chile, and U.S. forces that put this thing together. And it’s the internal elite who are as much to blame for neoliberalization as the international institutions. That point turns on its head many of the assumptions the left tends to make about

help develop the confidence to get these ideas out even more widely. Taken together, these interviews allow the left to think collectively, and that’s the real starting point for building an effective alternative politics, the kind of vision one has for a different kind of society and intermediate steps to get there.” —Leo Panitch, editor, The Socialist Register “This is an extremely important book. It is the most detailed, comprehensive, and best study yet published on the most recent

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