Jan 7, 2023
In this episode we welcome J. Moufawad-Paul back to the podcast. Previously we had him along with Alyson Escalante and Devin Zane Shaw to talk about On Necrocapitalism a collectively authored book they all worked on together along with some other authors.
For today’s episode we are focused on J. Moufawad-Paul’s latest book Politics In Command: A Taxonomy of Economism. This book seeks to understand what economism is, how it is deployed through socialist analyses, and the ways in which various categories (economy, politics, class, practice, revolution, etc) are mobilized and classified according to its imaginary.
Today we talk about a range of topics related to this book, including what economism is, ways it manifests, and related issues like workerism, the concept of the labor aristocracy, and arguments around so-called identity politics. We also get into a little discussion around Marx’s model of Capital, what Samir Amin called “actually existing capitalism” vs “imaginary capitalism,” and Cedric Robinson’s idea of racial capitalism. And relatedly we talk about why class is not an identity, but rather as Moufawad-Paul puts it “class comes cloaked in the messiness of social relations.”
Along the way JMP debunks some conspiratorial understandings of how capitalism works and how the ruling class reproduces itself. And we get into discussion of what Moufawad-Paul argues is the role of the vanguard party as an interventionist party that helps the working class understand itself as a combative class struggling for the overthrow of capitalism, rather than just fighting for immediate material gains in order to defend against the ravages of austerity.
As we mention in the show, this book is available through Foreign Languages Press, we will include a link to that in the show notes, as well as to several of Moufawad-Paul’s other books, writings and interventions.
Happy New Year to those of you who live under a Gregorian calendar. We have a goal for January of adding 31 patrons to keep up with attrition and hopefully continue to build a little bit as well. Currently we are 23 patrons away from that goal. So it’s a great time to sign up and support the show if you don’t already. You can do that for as little as $1 a month at patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism