Eight Capitalist Identities — Which one are you?

Inspired by Barnor Hesse’s eight white identities

Put your ‘They Live’ sunglasses on! From left to right: Nancy Pelosi, Kim Kardashian, Bono, Russell Brand, Nick Hanauer, Noam Chomsky, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Luxemburg. Illustrations: Hal Hefner

1. Capitalist Supremacist

Clearly identifies themselves as a capitalist, and actively tries to preserve, name and value a capitalist society.

Nancy Pelosi: “We’re capitalist; that’s just the way it is”.

2. Capitalist Voyeurism

Wouldn’t challenge a capitalist supremacist. May desire non-capitalism because it’s interesting, pleasurable. Seeks to control the consumption and appropriation of non-capitalism. Fascination with the lower classes (ex: consuming ‘poor culture’ without the burden of poverty; middle-class fetishising working-class culture).

Kim Kardashian.
‘Common people’ by Pulp: I want to live like common people, I want to do whatever common people do, I want to sleep with common people, I want to sleep with common people like you…

3. Capitalist Privilege

May critique the excesses of capitalism, but has a deep investment in questions of fairness/equality under the normalisation of capitalist rule.

Bono: “Rock star preaches capitalism, wow! Sometimes I hear myself and I just can’t believe it”.

4. Capitalist Benefit

Sympathetic to a set of issues but only privately. Won’t speak/act in solidarity publicly because benefiting through capitalism in public (some marginalised people in this category as well)

5. Capitalist Confessional

Occasional exposure of capitalism can take place, but as a way of being accountable to marginalised people after. Seeks validation from marginalised people.

Russell Brand: “The price of privilege is poverty.”

6. Capitalist Critical

Takes on board critiques of capitalism and invests in exposing/marking the capitalist regime. Refuses to be complicit with the regime. Capitalists speaking back to capitalists.

Nick Hanauer.

7. Capitalist Traitor

Actively refuses complicity. Names what’s going on. Intent on subverting capitalist authority and tell the truth at whatever cost. Needs them to dismantle capitalist institutions.

8. Capitalist Abolitionist

Changing institutions, dismantling capitalism, and not allowing capitalism to reassert itself.