The Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften: EventsThursday, 13 July 2023, 11:00
Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, Am Wingertsberg 4, 61348 Bad Homburg
Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften of Goethe University
Cain Shelley (Justitia Centre for Advanced Studies)
»Capitalist Class Power: Why It Is Dominating«
Central to much Marxist and Socialist thought is the idea that, under capitalism, a capitalist class dominates the working class. But does it still make sense to deploy the terminology of a ›capitalist class‹ today, within post-industrial societies like Great Britain and Germany? And even if it does, can this class really be said to severely dominate others in the ways many Marxists have claimed? In this presentation, I want to offer some (hopefully novel) answers to both these questions. My paper has three main parts. First, it offers a conceptual account of which group of agents within contemporary societies can still accurately be termed ›capitalists.‹ Second, it constructs a social-ontological taxonomy of the forms of power currently possessed by members of this group, both individually and collectively. And finally, it develops a normative argument for why exactly we ought to regard this class’s possession of these powers as an instance of severe and morally unjustifiable domination.
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