We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, November 27, 2015

Development From Below

Click here to access an interview by Jacobin a publisher with Vivek Chibber.
In early October, Jacobin publisher Bhaskar Sunkara spoke to Vivek Chibber, a professor of sociology at New York University, about the lessons of past periods of state-led development and what kind of movements could extract real concessions from capital today.
From a working class perspective Chibber offers some very insightful views about economic development experiences of poorer countries in both the nationalistic form of capitalism that was popular in the 20th century and the neoliberalism of the 21st century. Unfortunately he concludes with views about what he sees as the only realistic possibility today: a kind of social democracy. But what else can one expect from a person situated within the comfortable middle class of North American academia?