Radical critics have long maligned economists for their role in normalizing capitalist production relations. Marx wrote famously that classical and later “vulgar” economic theories were “more or less conscious” efforts to present capitalist production as “governed by eternal and natural laws which are independent of history.” This theme endures in Marxist literature. Economists are criticized for their ahistoricism as well as their pecuniary interests in ideologically shoring up the system. Rather than viewing value, profit, and wage labor as historically transitory and coterminous with capital, Pilling notes, the classical economists “fetishistically accepted the available concepts as fixed and unalterable.” For Milonakis, mainstream economists have become if anything only more “apologetic” in recent years. The “global economic crisis,” he writes, led to little “self-reflection” by economists, not surprising given the “vested interests” of many academics in the “financial sector.”
Criticism of a theory’s political consequences or authors’ hidden ideological agendas has been a central preoccupation of critical social science. The aim is to unmask how idea systems legitimize relations of domination in society and foreclose opportunities for emancipation. Hence the critical sociologist, as Burawoy notes, always presses the questions: Sociology for what? Sociology for whom? By attacking the ideological […]
What determines which path labor takes will be the degree to which labor mobilization spreads and is tied to a broader political vision. That in turn will depend on the kind of patient, workplace-based organizing that rarely makes headlines.
As neoliberalism pushes us away from finding collective solutions to social problems some turn right towards hate and racism.
The yellow vest movement has displayed a curious mix of modern and pre-modern forms of struggle, some harking back to the French revolution. These old forms might very well become features of twenty first century anti-capitalist protest.
The common problem with the "monopoly capital" and "unequal exchange" perspectives is their reliance on exchange as the foundational concept.