The hidden world

If you are reading this blog then you will probably know that Marx argued that capitalism is very good at hiding its real nature.

Just as  in the performance of a magician our attention is  directed away from the sleights of hand that allow the very mundane tricks to appear as magic. You can write big books about the things that Marx discusses  such as commodity fetishism, alienation and so on.

But you can also try to unravel the day to day practices and processes of capitalism by researching its hidden abodes. I have become increasingly fascinated by this. I like the magicians Penn and Teller (not their politics) because they show how magic is done. And similarly  I want to know how those running capitalism play tricks on us in our every lives. Too few radical ‘theorists’ deal with this.

Once I wrote a paper on what I saw as the corruption of UK higher education in its dealings with Russia in the 1990s. When it was given as a conference paper the audience was big. People wanted to know if they (or those they knew) were in it. When I submitted it to a leading journal the responses were interesting. One was that it was partly libellous. (This was to happen again to me but I leave that aside). The second was that much of it had appeared in the UK investigative magazine Private Eye. This was true (but I had added a lot). Nevertheless, the important thing was the implication that the results of investigative journalism (or investigative research) didn’t really matter compared, I guess, to other  ‘bigger’ and more ‘serious’ issues.

I don’t share that view so  here you will find some links to everyday issues that affect our lives, and those of others, which need to be understood by showing what really goes on in the hidden worlds of capitalism.