ABCs of Capitalism: Understanding Capitalism

Start: Monday, July 20, 2020 7:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (US & Canada) (GMT-04:00)

End: Monday, July 20, 2020 9:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time (US & Canada) (GMT-04:00)

This is a virtual event

How can it be that in a society with enormous resources and wealth a thin layer at the top owns nearly everything, while billions upon billions struggle to survive? What role does the government and the state play in maintaining this system? How should socialists organize to win rights and dignity for workers?

In the ABCs of Capitalism, sociologist Vivek Chibber walks us through the basic concepts and questions of how our capitalist economic system works and reproduces itself over time. In pamphlet A, Dr. Chibber focuses on the rules and logic of our capitalist economic order. In this session, we'll consider questions like:
- What is capitalism and how does it work? What is capital?
- What does 'power' consist of under capitalism?
- What differentiates capitalism from other forms of society, like feudalism or socialism?
- What explains economic inequality? Why have wages stagnated while the economy has gotten more and more productive?

These discussions will be reading groups led by a facilitator and the pamphlets are about 30 pages each. They are meant to be at an introductory level but are open to all. And, whether you’re new to Left or still retain vivid memories of arguing with Michael Harrington, anyone who has mastered a subject will tell you that it’s always helpful to return to the basics. The pamphlets are available for free from Jacobin: (

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