Republicanism and domination by capital

In Vesna Stanković Pejnović (ed.), Beyond Neoliberalism and Capitalism. Belgrád, Szerbia: pp. 141-156. (2021)
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This article is a review of the contemporary ‘leftist’ republican project. The project stands on two legs, and we examine them both in turn. The first leg is a novel reading of history. This reading suggests, on the one hand that, contrary to some popular assumptions, republicanism does have a leftist, even a radical stream. But on the other hand, it also suggests that several authors and movements that did not self-identify as republicans actually did, in fact, employ a characteristically republican thinking. The second leg of the project is a normative one. It is essentially an attempt by political philosophers to demonstrate that there is something in republican theory from which all these leftist, even radical streams spring forth. Primarily, it is suggested that it is republicanism’s sensitivity to the freedom-restricting role of great inequalities of power that provides the normative resource for the development of a characteristically republican critique of capital and capitalism. We briefly review the main arguments in favor of these claims, and also, as a conclusion, raise a few challenges that the ‘leftist’ republican project potentially faces.
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