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The New Prophets of Capital (Jacobin) by…

The New Prophets of Capital (Jacobin)

by Nicole Aschoff

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Excellent summation why capitalism will never be tweaked from above. The author honestly approaches Sandberg (Lean In...), Oprah, Whole Foods CEO Mackey, and the Gates Foundation, and dismisses their ability to improve upon the system that brought them about. A great intro to modern Marxist thought. ( )
  kcshankd | Nov 7, 2016 |
Excellent, approachable examination of how efforts to reform or correct for the problems of capitalism often end up retrenching its worse tendencies. It's no surprise that LEAN IN or CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM can be found in airport bookstores everywhere, since they ultimately pose no threat to the established order: adding rich women to corporate boards doesn't mean policies will become any kinder to poor women, and nods in the direction of social responsibility don't break the cycle of consumption that drives environmental harm. Meanwhile, Gates pours his billions into social change by fiat (giving editorial columnists ever a case of the vapors) while Oprah follows Sandberg's lead by exhorting her followers to focus on self-betterment rather than agitating to change the existing order.

Aschoff critiques all four through a Marxist lens, which is to say one that points out the embedded capitalist ideology in each and how they perpetuate some of the capitalist processes that contribute to the problem in the first place. To crib from crushingbort's great tweet about libertarians, each thinks "the problems are very bad while the causes, the causes are very good". All that's missing is a look at respectability politics, perhaps excluded because it's waning while the others still seem to be waxing.

Highly recommended, and a quick read with excellent resources for diving further. ( )
1 vote gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
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