Public Communication and Power: Talking Capitalism, Theory and Critique with John McMurtry

Abstract: This interview with globally distinguished Canadian philosopher and author, John McMurtry, presents dialogue discussing capitalism, asymmetrical power relations, life capital, social theory, common life interest, life value, global problems, market theology, media, values of the market and free market ideology today in relation to public education, academia, intellectual fads and the broader intellectual culture in relation to enabling public understanding of meaning-making and power, totalising market culture, climate, dispossession, health, influence, energy, labour, income, slavery, corporate welfare, neo-liberalism, the global ecosystem, and inequalities of class and power.

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A Manifesto

In the capitalist system, the prime directive enshrined in law is to maximize profit for the shareholders, and not to optimize benefits for all stakeholders, inclusive of workers, customers, communities and our planet.  These are treated as externalities so as to privatize the gains and socialize the losses.

In this system, workers are seen as a cost (a liability) and if the capitalists can automate what workers do, and thus bring the cost of “labour” to zero, they would do that readily to maximize profit gains.  Also having a bumper stock of unemployed people keeps the price of labour low (according to market supply-demand principles), hence the manufacturing of poverty and economic refugees, which can be stopped in a heartbeat if there is the local and global political will to end tribal “wars” and destabilizations within and without……

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