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Against the Grain - February 20, 2013 at 12:00pm

Against the Grain, for February 20, 2013 - 12:00pm

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Against the Grain

A talk by Erik Olin Wright on Progressive Values, Capitalism's Contradictions.

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Essentially, Erik Olin Wright

Essentially, Erik Olin Wright wants us to 'tame' capitalism so as to achieve, 'social justice'. Tame wage-labour? Flourishing life i.e. social justice through 'equal access' as opposed to 'equal opportunity'? This fellow speaks in Idealist philosophic terms without referring to the social relation of wage-labour. Private/public distinctions based on his moral values which are informed by the current set of ruling ideas. "People should control the decisions which affect them." And then, he goes on to speak about a factory owner's decision to move his/her factory as being an injustice. Factory owners in his Idealist society full of his moral values would presumably not move their factories. Erik Olin Wright is a radical liberal. A person of his intellect and position should be calling for common ownership of the collective product of labour, production for use and the abolition of wage labour and commodity production/consumption for sale. Instead, he cajoles his listeners into putting their time and lives into a reformed system of wage labour which would include a guaranteed minimal flow of income. It's little wonder to me that such romantic Idealism appeals to the young workers and students (having been one myself, once upon a time), who then mature into a middle age within an unchanged set of social relations of dominance and submission essential for wage-slavery to function and end up resigned to the atrophied political life of, at best voting every two years for a Green or a Democrat or cynically embracing the Republican option after having achieved comfort tending their own gardens in the 'burbs' while denouncing the 'sheeple' as too stupid and deserving of the government they get.

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