(Free PDF Download) "When Capitalists Say..."
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For the past few weeks we have heard capitalists talking about “reopening the economy” in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. We’ve seen lots of headlines with economic buzzwords and acronyms like jobs and GDP. Economics, like much of the philosophy and political theory we are taught, is full of white men’s abstractions. But it doesn’t have to be understood from a white and male dominated lens. Just as life is political, and just as politics is always a reflection of our unique and collective experiences, economics is political too ― and it is always a reflection of what kind of life we will live and what kind of society we will cultivate.
Capitalism is just one economic system. It was preceded by different systems, some as terrible as feudalism, but also others which centered interdependence and cooperation. The terminology used by capitalists is meant to hide the true nature of capitalism's inequity. It is meant to mystify the impact of capitalism's inner-workings, to give creative names to oppression and destruction. The terms are meant to feel totalizing or at least mundane and uninteresting because we are not supposed to imagine something else is possible.
Today we offer up some different interpretations for the terms we’ve seen lately. We hope to cut through some of the abstraction.