Corbynism’s conveyor belt of ideas: Postcapitalism and the politics of social reproduction

Ana Dinerstein, Frederick Pitts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

In this reflection, we assess the theoretical faultline running through the contested
current of Corbynist thought and politics at present. On one hand, we find a
techno-utopian strand preoccupied with automation and the end of work. On the
other hand, a nascent politics of social reproduction with a foreshortened potential
to realise the promise of a continental-style solidarity economics in the United
Kingdom. Both represent the latest in a series of left attempts to confront the crisis of social democracy that rages across Europe, a crisis to which the British Labour
Party has not been alone in succumbing despite recent appearances otherwise.
Deindustrialisation collapsed labour’s role in everyday life, and a crisis in the
society of work eventually passed over into its representative party’s electoral
decline. Subsequent financial crisis and subsequent austerity have only made
things worse. A poverty of ideas prevails that all sides of social democracy’s
unsteady compromise seek desperately to solve. However, the recent UK General
Election shows evidence that Corbynism has renewed Labour’s fortunes to some
extent. Surveying the competing intellectual currents behind its rise, we suggest
that the politics of social reproduction offer a better route forward for the Labour
Party than the popular siren call of postcapitalism, and reflect on what the recent
general election result suggests for their future development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)423-434
Number of pages13
JournalCapital and Class
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Frederick Harry Pitts joins the School of Economics, Finance and Management at the University of Bristol as Lecturer in Management in August 2017. He holds a PhD in Global Political Economy
from the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath and has held teaching and research posts at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol; the Department of Arts and Cultural Industries, University of the West of England; and the Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam. He is a member of the Foundation for
European Progressive Studies Young Academics Network, as part of working groups on the Basic Income and Labour Futures. A monograph, Critiquing Capitalism Today: New Ways to Read Marx Palgrave 2017

Ana Cecilia Dinerstein is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social and Policy
Sciences at the University of Bath. She has written books, journal articles and book sections for
academic and non-academic audiences on issues of labour, urban, rural and indigenous movements, protest, Marxist theory, autonomy, labour subjectivity, Argentine and Latin American
politics and the uses of Bloch’s philosophy for contemporary understandings of utopia. She is member of associate and advisory boards of Historical Materialism (London), Sociology of Work
(Madrid), Research Partner of the New Politics Project (2016-2020), Transnational Institute (Amsterdam) and member of the Committee of the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS,
UK). Her publications include The Labour Debate (2002), Turkish (2006) and Spanish (2009); The Piqueteros Road (2010); The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope (2015); and Social Sciences for An Other Politics: Women Theorising without Parachutes (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

Keywords

  • accelerationism, Corbynism, Fragment on Machines, Labour party, Marxism, postcapitalism, social democracy, social movements, social reproduction, utopia

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