The Call Radio
Episode 1.1 — Vivek Chibber on Class
This is the first in a series of three lectures, presented by The Call, on the fundamentals of Marxist politics by Vivek Chibber. Chibber is a Professor of Sociology at NYU and Editor of Catalyst. In this opening lecture, first presented in 2008 at the Brecht Forum, Chibber explains how class works under capitalism. To get there, Chibber first takes a step back and explains how classes were organized under feudalism. He then shows how the capitalist class structure differs from its feudal predecessor. In contrast to the liberal conception of class as a fluid term for people’s income, education, and/or cultural taste, Chibber concludes that it’s far more useful to understand class in terms of people’s relationship to the means of production. Do they own the factories, tools, and raw materials that go into making things? If so, then they’re capitalists, and that ownership that puts them at a structural advantage over their employees, who we call the working class. Please enjoy these lectures, and also be sure to check out The Call at socialistcall.com.