Are services post-capitalist?
Are nurses, teachers and analysts the wave of the future? Are their jobs, and others like them, less suitable to capitalism’s extract-and-monetize model and do they possibly prefigure post-capitalist regimes? Questions like these have transfixed macro social scientists since the mid-twentieth century. Every twenty years or so theorists hem and haw over secular shifts in employment—from farming and extraction to industry and then “services”—asking whether they portend capitalism’s end or have already brought it about. Most recently, offerings such as Gabriel Winant’s The Next Shift, Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism, and Jeremy Rifkin’s Zero Marginal Cost Society renew this perspective, updating it for twenty-first-century realities. But like their predecessors, they refrain from specifying such claims in ways that make them measurable of actual employment data.
My research set out to do that, using a Marxian framework to understand what labor is and is not productive for capital. The key question is whether services, accurately defined, are less exploitable by capital than other jobs and, if so, whether their predominance and growth presage a new economic system – which may or may not be exploitative, even if non-capitalist. Combining insight from Marxian political economy, social reproduction theory and the sociology of […]
The communitarian revolutionary subject in the struggle for alternative social-ecological metabolic configurations
As capital’s social-ecological metabolic configuration moved closer to globality, particularly in the aftermath of the Great Acceleration in the mid-twentieth century, so too have its ecological rifts. These rifts, together with the social crises of the capitalist system, confront humanity in the twenty first century with the imminent threat of potentially unprecedented social-ecological devastation, and possibly even human extinction. Under these circumstances of intensifying crises, the need for a hegemonic alternative to capital’s social metabolic order has become correspondingly urgent.
Can poetry help overthrow capitalism?
Using the arts and humanities to suggest how society – including the economic system of capitalism -- could be transformed to promote health is even less common. German playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht’s works can be excellent resources in efforts to accomplish this goal.
Dying to work: Hawai’i hotel workers organize in the face of autoimmune capitalism
Our research, done in consultation with the hotel workers’ union, reveals on the one hand, a morbid correlation between the reopening of tourism and deaths across the state, and on the other, the life-affirming ethic of collective care, with unionized workers persistently pushing for safe hotels, recall rights, better pay, and the well-being of all hospitality workers, their communities, as well as tourists.
Marxist Sociology Blog Podcast Episode 3: Johnnie Lotesta and Tom VanHeuvelen on Right to Work Laws
After an extended hiatus, we are back with another episode of the Marxist Sociology Blog Podcast! Click above to listen, or find us wherever you get your podcasts. You can find the transcript below.
Hello, and welcome to episode 3 of the Marxist Sociology Blog Podcast. It’s been a while since our last episode, but we decided to give it another try. It’s good to be back! Our hope is to make this more of a regular occurrence, so stay tuned.
I’m your host, Barry Eidlin, Associate Professor of Sociology at McGill University, and a commissioning editor at the Marxist Sociology Blog. We’re the official blog of the Section on Marxist Sociology of the American Sociological Association. You can find us online at www.marxistsociology.org.
Today’s episode is a bit different from previous episodes in that it is motivated more by current events than a current publication. Specifically, it is motivated by something very near and dear to my heart, namely labour law.
Now before you skip ahead, let me just make the case that if you care about power and inequality, if you care about workers’ rights, if you care […]