Capitalism is the economic system we live in and powerfully shapes our lives.
Yet too few of us understand how it works or talk about it.
Talking Capitalism is based on the idea that this hiddenness is a problem; when we don't openly discuss such an important aspect of our lives we are less able to think and act meaningfully about this basic part of our lives. We believe that putting capitalism “on the table” and talking about it in ways we can all understand is crucial for our economic and democratic health.
Talking Capitalism is not ideological. We are not interested in promoting a particular interpretation of capitalism, much less political positions. Those of us involved in the project come from a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds. We share a belief in democracy, the importance of engaged citizens, and public discourse about pressing issues.
Talking Capitalism is not about explaining capitalism to people. Although some of us are teachers, we want to stimulate conversations, not give lectures. We believe one of the reasons capitalism gets hidden is because it is so closely associated with economics. Many of us have learned to be intimidated by economics; it seems to be largely about numbers, graphs, and formidable authorities. We believe economics is not just about money, markets and business. It is - fundamentally - about how we interact with each other. We know - because we've seen it happen many times - that all of us are deeply knowledgeable about the economics of our own lives.
Talking Capitalism involves all kinds of people. We think that young people having these conversations is particularly important for our future and we have had capitalism conversations with children in middle school as well as high school and college. But we equally value older people's wisdom and experience! Talking about capitalism doesn't require any special training or degree; we all live in it everyday - we're all experts on our own capitalism. Talking Capitalism is for students, retirees, working people, business owners, elected officials, artists, farmers, soldiers...for all of us!
Talking Capitalism is about sharing. We believe we are all embedded in networks of family, community, business, country and globe. We are sure that sharing our lived experience of capitalism (or anything else!) helps us to be more thoughtful about our own lives, to build bridges between people and to work more effectively together to create better futures.
Talking Capitalism is for all of us. Join the conversation!