The analytical view taken in this website is that through control of a society and its key elements of the society (economy, government, social system) some people/groups in the society obtain income from others. This income is not based on production, but some form of taking away from others. This taking away is typically resisted. So, there are two basic aspects in a social system where harm is important: obtaining income and maintaining control. This is expressed in the principal categories used in the website which can be seen in the right column of each page.
For obtaining income, we have Obtaining income through the government – rent seeking – corruption, Harm through the market, two discrimination areas Discrimination: race – ethnic – religious – class, and Discrimination against women — gender inequality Also included Slavery, Forced Labor. Crime, Control of land and natural resources, which can be considered as important subcategories of one of the above categories. (Specific situations of harm can often fit into more than one of these categories.)
For control we have categories including Staying in power – Struggle for control, Harming People – Keeping People Oppressed and Conflict. Harming people and conflict are part of staying in power/the struggle for control; we have made them separate categories because of their importance.
These are the categories that help us understand the basic organization of a productive plus harmful economic system.
The second major section Topics covers important areas:
- Measuring oppression and exploitation Looks at publications that measure some aspect of harm.
- Books on exploitation New, and some older, books on some aspect of harm.
- Economics (Critiques of) Some coverage of others’ criticism.
- Capitalism and imperialism This section discusses some specific characteristics of capitalism. Secondly this website looks at exploitation and oppression in a different manner than Marxists—this section relates the two.
Finally, discussion of two important issues
- Income Distribution – Inequality
- Poverty and hunger