Erik Olin Wright: SCORAI Colloquium on Consumption and Social Change

Erik Olin Wright, Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, talks about proposals and models of radical social change, drawing on his Real Utopias Project. The expansion of markets and pressures for endless growth in material consumption are not contingent features of a dynamic capitalist economy; they are intrinsic to an economy rooted in the competitive drive for profits and capital accumulation. Any serious effort to counteract systemic consumerism, therefore, must also attempt to transcend capitalism. But how is this possible? While capitalism has become more destructive both to the lives of people and the health of the environment, it seems to most people either to be an unalterable force of nature or to be backed by unassailably powerful social forces. Professor Wright explores four different routes to move beyond capitalism: smashing capitalism,  taming capitalism, escaping capitalism, and eroding capitalism.

Erik Olin Wright’s Presentation:

Erik Olin Wright Discussion Session:

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