Tagged: political economy

Clock strikes ten

The shift from humourless intersectionality to ironic, lifestyle feminism is welcome. Thank you, Ms Dunham.


In the wake of the Greece debacle (for Mr Tsipras and the demagogue Varoufakis), talk of the final days of capitalism is sure to ensue. It’s worth remembering that the end of capitalism was just around the corner. In 1848. The final crisis of capitalism never quite happened. Hence, in its place there arose the “crisis of crisis theory” (Claus Offe). Anyone recall the “falling rate of profit”?

Capitalism is always innovativing, which Marx recognised. Methods of procuring profit are revolutionised constantly; whatever does not work, is abandoned. What Marx failed to recognise was the role that the state would play in extending the shelf life of capitalism well beyond his worst fears. The state is not merely the “executive committee” of the bourgeoisie in its struggle against the working class; it is also an engine of capitalist expansion. Most importantly, the state makes the ethereal, invisible hand quite visible to investors.

The term “postcapitalism” is a fudge on the fact that it’s still capitalism (or “late capitalism” as per Adorno). Mr Graeber is, at best, a theorist of the “last crisis,” not the “next crisis” and certainly not the “final crisis,” which never arrives anyway. My advice: don’t waste time enrolling in Potlatch Economics 101.


What is the half-life of Dasein?

Thomas Piketty’s new book on twenty-first century capitalism is all the rage. Back 2001, it was Hardt and Negri’s Empire that appeared on everyone’s syllabus. Empire was good for networking at conferences at Columbia and CUNY; it was hook up reading material in Upper West Side and West Village cafes. Perhaps this book will serve the same functions. But the economic system rolls on just the same.

In the “red state failure” category: in its rush to kill, Oklahoma botched an execution and had to stay a second execution planned for the same inning.

The same failed state has passed a law mandating the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance once a week by public school students.