"I Don't Believe You Can Make a Whole Politics Out of Deference" - Olúfẹmi O. Táíwò on Elite Capture

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In this episode we welcome back Olúfẹmi O. Táíwò. Táíwò is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University.

Earlier this year we interviewed him to talk about his book Reconsidering Reparations.

In this episode we talk about his latest book Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else) which hits book stores this week.

In this conversation we talk about elite capture as a concept. We talk about how elite capture has morphed dominant understandings of what folks mean by the term “identity politics” in stark contrast to the version of it put forth in the Combahee River Collective Statement back in 1977.

Femi dispels notions that the ways elites have captured and reappropriated this term are unique to identity politics, and argues persuasively that in fact elite capture is a system behavior that shows up in all kinds of places and ways within our social systems, and that social movements and our radical ideas are not immune to this process.

We also talk about some other examples and versions of elite capture big and small that are occurring all the time, and talk about how we might best fight back against this phenomenon.

In addition we get some discussion of what Táíwò refers to as deference politics, as well as politics that are based around trauma. Including some of the things that he thinks these approaches get right, and some of the things that they get wrong and ways we might differently engage the problems they seek to address.

And we also get into some discussions around the attention economy and Femi touches on privilege discourse as well.

We’ve continued to take some hits to our patronage for the show lately. We just want to say that we know times are tough for everyone financially right now and we just really want to give a shout-out to everyone who is continuing to give what they can to support the show. If you haven’t become a patron yet, it’s the best way you can support our ability to bring these conversations week after week. You can do that at patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism for as little as $1 a month or $10.80 per year.

Now here is our conversation with Olúfẹmi O. Táíwò on Elite Capture

Elite Capture from Haymarket Books

Elite Capture from Pluto Press

Other items referenced in the show:

How We Get Free by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

The conversation between Asad Haider and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on socialism and identity politics.

Our own discussions with Barbara Smith of the Combahee River Collective

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