Might Overcome Powered Hierarchies

Might Overcome Powered Hierarchies

Write a 5-7 page paper (double spaced, 12 point font, standard margins) on one of the following topics. Please cite all your sources, with an accepted citational standard of your choice. The sources you may use will be:

  • Reading material assigned in class
  • Other material written by the authors assigned or mentioned in class
  • Material about the authors assigned of mentioned in class, and their ideas

Earlier in the course, we looked at theories of capitalism which hold that the exploitation of labor by capitalists is the source of capitalist profits. In this module, we’ve looked at how, by taking advantage of systems of social hierarchy, profit rates can be pushed even higher by superexploitation. First, give two different examples of superexploitation faced by various social groups (e.g. gendered, racialized, and immigrant groups) and describe how these examples are distinct from the concept of exploitation.  Explain which social mechanisms sustain the examples you have given. In addition to capitalists, who else benefits? What does this kind analysis offer us about the relationship between capitalism and social power, and how we might overcome powered hierarchies which inhibit human freedom?


Environmentalists have been accused of being elitist – that being concerned about the environment is a privilege only the rich can afford. Using global climate change as an entry point (Who has caused climate change? Who will bear the brunt of its discontents?) evaluate this claim. Who wins, and who loses when environmentalists are seen as elitists? Does your analysis affect the way you view the viability of climate change solutions and capitalism? Conclude with a thought experiment: if you were the benevolent dictator of the whole wide world, how would you approach solutions to climate change which are both sustainable and equitable?

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