In the last post I linked to my article (in Notes from Below) on how start-ups reproduce capitalism by creating new ventures that split people into an owning class (who lay claim on the firm’s residual income) and a working class (who don’t own the firm, and get paid a rental price for their labour). I pointed out that this social relationship is exploitative, in the very precise sense that the owning class – after a tipping point when their initial capital advances (plus any risk premium) are repaid – steal value created by others. This is institutionalised theft, which operates on a global scale once the venture grows and become successful. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I briefly explained how worker-owned co-operatives are jointly owned by their working members, and (ideally) shun equity capital (which cedes ownership of the firm to non workers) and instead raise loan capital (which avoids that).
Below I’ve uploaded the audio of the accompanying talk, which I presented at the Oxford Communist Corresponding Society. The first 25 minutes are an introductory talk, and the last 15 minutes or so I respond to some of the points raised in the discussion (sadly, not recorded, since I’d need to get permission from the discussants).