Feb 17, 2022
This snippet comes from episode EPISODENUMBERJONATHANPART3 of Activist #MMT, which is part three with Jonathan Wilson which is called Historical Context for Real-World Economics (new online course!). It starts at around the 18-minute, 30-second mark of the interview proper.
This snippet documents my first impressions of (the 2001 edition of) Karl Polanyi's 1944 book, The Great Transformation, after having read only the forward, introduction, and first chapter. More importantly, this is before talking about the book with Asad Zaman, who is a PhD with many lectures, papers, and posts on the topic (which we do in episodes 111 and 112).
(Part three with Jonathan is delayed, but the next four episodes of Activist #MMT are dedicated to Polanyi's book.)
The idea that "you can't overthrow capitalism because something that doesn't exist can't be overthrown" is, at best, a highly misguided way to say it. The primary reason is that many potential allies believe passionately that "capitalism" does indeed exist and must be (for lack of a better term) defeated or overthrown. A more accurate and much less inflammatory version of my statement can be found in an upcoming post that will accompany my upcoming episodes with Asad Zaman. It's a full general summary of the book, approved by Professor Zaman.
However, there is another aspect of this argument from a very different point of view, as discussed in the February, 2022 episode of Superstructure (of Money on the Left) entitled, no less, Capitalism Does Not Exist. I am pretty sure our (final, corrected) views are roughly compatible, but I'm not going to be foolish enough to attempt to summarize the precise differences :).