Christopher Herriot


Christopher Herriot Senior Lecturer in Youth Work & Community Development at DMU

Christopher Herriot is a senior lecturer in the youth work & community development programme at De Montfort University. He graduated in political economy from the University of Greenwich (Thames Polytechnic) and has a postgraduate certificate in community education from Moray House Institute of Education (Edinburgh University). He has worked as a community education worker in Edinburgh and Falkirk, as a community development worker in South Lanarkshire, and as an area community education manager in Caerphilly before becoming a youth work manager in Plymouth and then South Gloucestershire (where he was principal youth officer). He is a committed trade unionist, having served as a shop steward and branch officer for the NUM, USDAW, Unite and UCU. He was Chair of Mid & East Lothian TUC in the early 1980's and was victimised by British Coal in the strike of 1984-85.

"The social enterprise: an instrument of super-exploitation or of social change?"

Abstract: Capitalism has adapted to vast technological, cultural and societal changes far more than anticipated by Marx, Smith, Keynes or Hayek. It has emerged from each succeeding crisis changed but intact, embracing ideological and policy shifts previously condemned, to guarantee its continuation on one sole sacred foundation - the pursuit of profit - bringing us to the current neoliberal epoch - the era of super-exploitation. Human beings themselves have become commodities to be bought and sold. In this context, an alleged "nexus" between profit and public good has been identified to mask profiteering at the expense of the sick, the poor and the vulnerable. On the other hand, the "social enterprise" concept could instead become a key element in the building of effective opposition to capital, facilitating the challenge to bourgeois hegemony by providing concrete evidence of the realistic social alternative to exploitation.