The irrepressible anticapitalism of movements for social justice, or why every struggle has a Left Wing.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 14:15
Location: Constitution Hall (MTCC NORTH BUILDING)
Oral Presentation
Jeff GOODWIN, New York University, USA
Political conflict almost always involves struggles at the intersection of two or more forms of oppression or injustice. Social movements of many types and constituencies, for example, must necessarily contend with capitalists, including not just labor movements but also democracy movements, women's movements, environmental movements, and movements against racial, ethnic, or national oppression. They do so either because capitalists directly exploit and oppress their constituents (or a large proportion of them) or because capitalists strongly support, if only indirectly, other forms of oppression and exclusion which afflict their constituents. Movements for justice also often seek and even require a fundamental redistribution of resources in society, which invariably pits these movements against the capitalist class, among others. The result of these factors is that movements for social justice invariably give rise to an anticapitalist wing of greater or lesser influence and autonomy, a wing which is sometimes capable, under certain conditions, of leading a particular movement as a whole. At the same time, there are systemic factors which tend to favor strongly the position of opponents of anticapitalists within social movements, especially the resources made available to them by capitalists inside or outside of movements. This talk will attempt to specify the kind of circumstances which favor the position of anticapitalists within movements.