[Question] What exactly is the system EA’s critics are seeking to change?

In his post about poli­ti­cal cul­ture at the edges of EA, user kbog points out:

Per­haps the most com­mon crit­i­cism of EA is that the move­ment does not col­lec­tively al­ign with rad­i­cal an­ti­cap­i­tal­ist poli­tics.

This is the typ­i­cal crit­i­cism EA doesn’t en­gage enough in “sys­temic change”, the sys­tem usu­ally im­plied to be cap­i­tal­ism. How­ever, it’s been my ex­pe­rience EA’s crit­ics aren’t always ex­plicit about the “sys­tem” they’re refer­ring to. The “sys­tem” of­ten ap­pears to be cap­i­tal­ism, but it’s not self-ev­i­dent to me this is what is meant most of the time. Of course, the so­cial/​poli­ti­cal “sys­tem” in ques­tion usu­ally in­cludes cap­i­tal­ism, but among leftists it ap­pears it also in­cludes some or all of the fol­low­ing:

  • (cishetero-)patriarchy

  • Western chauvinism

  • white supremacy

  • (pre­sum­ably other struc­tures/​sys­tems of op­pres­sion I’ve missed)

In par­tic­u­lar, with the pre­dom­i­nance of in­ter­sec­tion­al­ity in so­cial jus­tice move­ments in re­cent years, it ap­pears the “sys­tem” many leftists seek to change isn’t merely cap­i­tal­ism, or a mat­ter of poli­ti­cal econ­omy, but of in­ter­sect­ing struc­tures of op­pres­sion. For ex­am­ple, aca­demic the­ory in the philos­o­phy of so­cial jus­tice has given rise to the idea of a “kyr­i­archy”, which is a term for de­scribing:

  • how there are struc­tures for op­pres­sion along all axes of per­sonal/​poli­ti­cal iden­tity that cor­re­spond to the role the pa­tri­archy plays in op­pres­sion along lines of sex, gen­der, and sex­u­al­ity.

  • the fact that these struc­tures for op­pres­sion in­ter­sect such that they are part of a sin­gle sys­tem of op­pres­sion.

The sound­ness of the no­tion of a “kyr­i­archy” is dis­puted out­side EA, in­clud­ing within leftist poli­tics it­self, and to set­tle is­sues sur­round­ing that ques­tion isn’t the job of EA. Most leftist crit­ics of EA may not have as ex­plicit a the­ory as that of the kyr­i­archy or similar in­tel­lec­tual ideas when they posit a sin­gle so­ciopoli­ti­cal sys­tem that in­cludes but is not limited to cap­i­tal­ism. Fi­nally, it’s definitely the case at least some leftist crit­ics of EA do in­deed in­tend the “sys­tem” in need of change is the eco­nomic sys­tem of cap­i­tal­ism, with­out com­ment­ing on the re­la­tion­ship of EA to any­thing else in poli­tics.

How­ever, for the sake of be­ing com­pre­hen­sive and ac­cu­rate in re­spond­ing to crit­i­cism, EA should un­der­stand what all kinds of differ­ent leftist crit­ics of EA are ac­tu­ally say­ing.

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