Why are the old white men still in charge? What's the system build from, and how might be change it? In A History of the World in 7 Cheap things, Raj Patel and his co-author Jason W. Moore argue that the modern world has been shaped by the exploitation of cheap nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives.
"Cheap is a strategy, a practice, a violence that mobilises all kinds of work - human, animal, botanical and geological - for as little compensation as possible.” And it goes back way further than the Industrial Revolution. Think about Columbus "conquering" new frontiers. Centuries later, we're still carrying on the same way - invade, exploit, move on.
Is it really easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism? Could we reform society along more equitable lines and create a brighter future for people and planet?
This week, Clare gets to hang out with Raj Patel, the US-based British writer, speaker, activist, academic and wearer of very nice ethically made jackets. He’s got degrees from Oxford, the London School of Economics and Cornell. And he has worked for the World Bank and World Trade Organisation - but he has also protested against them. Fascinating, provocative and full of ideas and information, this Episode will make you question everything.
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