Richard was committed to the rigour necessary for any work of social science worthy of the name. The passing of anyone with such a breadth and depth of knowledge, along with a commitment to social change, is a huge loss to the political left. We will have to make do with the body of work he left behind, which will remain an invaluable resource to Marxists for years to come.
Neo-classical China experts have regularly predicted the collapse of China’s hopelessly inefficient developmental model for the past three decades. And yet there is no significant reassessment of how the neo-classical consensus was so wrong, with only limited acceptance by key players of their own mistakes.
Over the past 40 years, however, a formidable body of literature has challenged the prevailing assumptions about informal workers, asserting that their vulnerability stems not from their lack of integration into the mainstream economy, but rather from their subordinated positions within it.
We are facing something extraordinarily challenging: the rise of a capitalist form of algorithmic regulation. Algorithms - one of the key elements of the digital capitalist system of production - are at the same time the means of production and the legal code enabling worker’s exploitation.