Download Capital and Its Discontents: Conversations with Radical by Sasha Lilley PDF

By Sasha Lilley

In an period of profound monetary and ecological obstacle, this assortment unravels the dynamic contradictions on the middle of capitalism and issues attainable methods ahead to a liberatory destiny. via a sequence of incisive conversations with probably the most eminent thinkers and political economists at the Left—including Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, David Harvey, Ellen Meiksins wooden, Mike Davis, and Doug Henwood—Sasha Lilley examines the roots of the worldwide financial meltdown, neoliberalism within the international South and North, struggles opposed to empire earlier and current, the everlasting pendulum swing of social riot, and the possibilities of the novel culture in a time of austerity.

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But a majority of the latter were working people, and the power they wielded was very real. The ten leading city officials (strategoi) stood for election every year. The Council of Four Hundred (boule), the main deliberative body, was selected by lot. The Popular Assembly (ekklesia), a mass, open-air meeting of all citizens, was the sovereign decision-making body of the state. Justice was administered by jury courts of up to 2,500 ordinary citizens. Ostracism was an election in reverse: anyone who secured 6,000 negative votes was expelled from the city for ten years.

They purport to describe events in the twelfth century bc, but, as they were orally transmitted, they achieved their final form only in the eighth. Sometimes Homer describes the Late Bronze Age, sometimes his own Archaic Age. When he says that ‘a soothsayer, a doctor, a singer, and a craftsman are sure of a welcome everywhere’, he tells us how things were in a post-imperial age, in the ‘Dark Age’ of the eighth century bc, in a world of petty chieftains and itinerant ironsmiths. The new class of free artisans that first emerged in the barbarian north had, by Homer’s time, been long established in the eastern Mediterranean.

They were the royal tombs of god-kings who were expected to live for eternity: monuments to a false ideology by which the ruler was elevated into a figure of awesome and intimidating power. The pyramids were designed to teach people their place. They were ideological weapons in a class war. So the Bronze Age elites did not invest the surplus they controlled in improved technique and higher productivity. Instead they squandered resources on military competition, prestige monuments, and, of course, luxury lifestyles.

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