Thomas Piketty CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY (2013) at 1: ‘Marikana tragedy calls to mind earlier instances of violence. At Haymarket Square in Chicago on May 1, 1886, and then at Fourmies, in northern France, on May 1, 1891, police fired on workers striking for higher wages.’ He then asks whether ‘this kind of violent clash between labor and capital belong to the past, or will it be an integral part of twenty-first-century history?’ Piketty makes an important point that, ‘Symbolically, the inequality of capital and labor is an issue that arouses strong emotions. It clashes with widely held ideas of what is and is not just, and it is hardly surprising if this sometimes leads to physical violence. “For those who own nothing but their labor power and who often live in humble conditions (not to say wretched conditions in the case of eighteenth-century peasants or the Marikana miners), it is difficult to accept that the owners of capital — some of whom have inherited at least part of their wealth — are able to appropriate so much of the wealth produced by their labor.’

Lawyer interested in constitutional law and theory. Son of Baldwin.

Lawyer interested in constitutional law and theory. Son of Baldwin.