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With the decline of the left, capitalism’s ability to pit everyone against one another, to increase their sense of insecurity, to reduce people to an animalistic state where all they care about is kith, kin and their material subsistence, this is what we are seeing. It is the first time we’ve seen it in a hundred years and I’ve been saying this for quite some time and I’ll say it again. The only civilising force capitalism has ever known has been the socialist movement. And until that movement gets going again, the forces of religious extremism, of economic anarchy, of these far right grouping, the anxiety, despair, disillusionment, the anomie that we are seeing. It will continue because capitalism knows one and only one thing and that is profit.

Institute for African Alternatives


Zunaid Moolla, New Agenda Deputy Editor spoke to Vivek Chibber while he was on a speaking tour of South Africa. He is a Professor of Sociology at New York University

ZM: You have been to South African several times now. Do you see or hear anything different with this visit?

VC: No. I have been coming to South Africa on and off for about five years and what I hear every time is the same which is an expression of regret, sorrow and disillusionment with the process of liberation and a constant thinking and rethinking of what might have gone wrong. Why such a powerful liberation movement ended up becoming either captured or neutralized or domesticated as easily as it was. I have to say it is disheartening to see it. At the same time what I have seen is enormous commitment, social commitment, political commitment, on the part of…

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