Are Thomas Piketty’s analyses of inequality on target? Where should researchers go from here in exploring the ideas he pushed to the forefront of global conversation? In After Piketty, a cast of economists and other social scientists tackle these questions in dialogue with Piketty, in what is sure to be a much-debated book in its own right.
Washington D.C.’s Arena Stage was the first professional regional theatre in the nation’s capital to welcome a racially integrated audience; the first to perform behind the Iron Curtain; and the first to win the Tony Award for best regional theatre. This behind-the-scenes look at one of the leading theatres in the United States shows how key financial and artistic decisions were made, using a range of archival materials such as letters and photographs as well as interviews with artists and administrators. Close-ups of major productions from The Great White Hope to Oklahoma! illustrate how Arena Stage navigated cultural trends.
More than a chronicle, America in the Round is a critical history that reveals how far the theatre could go with its budget and racially liberal politics, and how Arena both disputed and duplicated systems of power. With an innovative “in the round” approach, the narrative simulates sitting in different parts of the arena space to see the theatre through different lenses—economics, racial dynamics, and American identity.
Today people all over the globe invoke the concept of culture to make sense of their world, their social interactions, and themselves. But how did the culture concept become so ubiquitous? In this ambitious study, Andrew Sartori closely examines the history of political and intellectual life in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Bengal to show how the concept can take on a life of its own in different contexts.
Sartori weaves the narrative of Bengal’s embrace of culturalism into a worldwide history of the concept, from its origins in eighteenth-century Germany, through its adoption in England in the early 1800s, to its appearance in distinct local guises across the non-Western world. The impetus for the concept’s dissemination was capitalism, Sartori argues, as its spread across the globe initiated the need to celebrate the local and the communal. Therefore, Sartori concludes, the use of the culture concept in non-Western sites was driven not by slavish imitation of colonizing powers, but by the same problems that repeatedly followed the advance of modern capitalism. This remarkable interdisciplinary study will be of significant interest to historians and anthropologists, as well as scholars of South Asia and colonialism.
A daring collaboration among scholars, Black Sexual Economies challenges thinking that sees black sexualities as a threat to normative ideas about sexuality, the family, and the nation. The essays highlight alternative and deviant gender and sexual identities, performances, and communities, and spotlights the sexual labor, sexual economy, and sexual agency to black social life. Throughout, the writers reveal the lives, everyday negotiations, and cultural or aesthetic interventions of black gender and sexual minorities while analyzing the systems and beliefs that structure the possibilities that exist for all black sexualities. They also confront the mechanisms of domination and subordination attached to the political and socioeconomic forces, cultural productions, and academic work that interact with the energies at the nexus of sexuality and race. Contributors: Marlon M. Bailey, Lia T. Bascomb, Felice Blake, Darius Bost, Ariane Cruz, Adrienne D. Davis, Pierre Dominguez, David B. Green Jr., Jillian Hernandez, Cheryl D. Hicks, Xavier Livermon, Jeffrey McCune, Mireille Miller-Young, Angelique Nixon, Shana L. Redmond, Matt Richardson, L. H. Stallings, Anya M. Wallace, and Erica Lorraine Williams
In Blood and Capital: The Paramilitarization of Colombia, Jasmin Hristov examines the complexities, dynamics, and contradictions of present-day armed conflict in Colombia. She conducts an in-depth inquiry into the restructuring of the state’s coercive apparatus and the phenomenon of paramilitarism by looking at its military, political, and legal dimensions. Hristov demonstrates how various interrelated forms of violence by state forces, paramilitary groups, and organized crime are instrumental to the process of capital accumulation by the local elite as well as the exercise of political power by foreign enterprises. She addresses, as well, issues of forced displacement, proletarianization of peasants, concentration of landownership, growth in urban and rural poverty, and human rights violations in relation to the use of legal means and extralegal armed force by local dominant groups and foreign companies.
Hristov documents the penetration of major state institutions by right-wing armed groups and the persistence of human rights violations against social movements and sectors of the low-income population. Blood and Capital raises crucial questions about the promised dismantling of paramilitarism in Colombia and the validity of the so-called demobilization of paramilitary groups, both of which have been widely considered by North American and some European governments as proof of Colombian president Álvaro Uribe’s advances in the wars on terror and drugs.
Through economic liberalization and the untethering of labor and production markets, masculinity as hegemon has entered a crisis stage. Renegotiated labor and familial orders have triggered a widespread cultural renegotiation of how masculinity operates and is represented. This holds especially true in Latin America.
Addressing this, Vinodh Venkatesh uses contemporary Latin American literature to examine how masculinity is constructed and conceived. The Body as Capital centers socioeconomic and political concerns, anxieties, and paradigms on the male anatomy and on the matrices of masculinities presented in fiction. Developing concepts such as the “market of masculinities” and the “transnational theater of masculinities,” the author explains how contemporary fiction centers the male body and masculine expressions as key components in the relationship between culture, space, and global tensile forces.
Venkatesh includes novels by canonical and newer writers from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Peru, and Chile. He focuses on texts produced after 1990, coinciding with what has popularly been termed the neoliberal experiment. In addition to probing well-known novels such as La fiesta del Chivo and La mujer habitada and their accompanying body of criticism, The Body as Capital defines and examines several masculine tropes that will be of interest to scholars of contemporary Latin American literature and gender studies. Ultimately, Venkatesh argues for a more holistic approximation of discursive gender that will feed into other angles of criticism, forging a new path in the critical debates over gender and sexuality in Latin American writing.
In part a tour of California as a virtual laboratory for refining the circulation of capital, and in part an investigation of how the state's literati, with rare exception, reconceived economy in the name of class, gender, and racial privilege, this study will appeal to all students and scholars of California's—and the American West's—economic, environmental, and cultural past.
Capital and Ideology
Thomas Piketty Harvard University Press, 2020 Library of Congress HM821.P5513 2020 | Dewey Decimal 305
The epic successor to one of the most important books of the century: at once a retelling of global history, a scathing critique of contemporary politics, and a bold proposal for a new and fairer economic system.
Thomas Piketty’s bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century galvanized global debate about inequality. In this audacious follow-up, Piketty challenges us to revolutionize how we think about politics, ideology, and history. He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system.
Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices. Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions. He concludes that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality and education and not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability. The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialization, and our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity.
Once we understand this, we can begin to envision a more balanced approach to economics and politics. Piketty argues for a new “participatory” socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power. Capital and Ideology is destined to be one of the indispensable books of our time, a work that will not only help us understand the world, but that will change it.
Capital and Interest
F. A. Hayek University of Chicago Press, 2015 Library of Congress HB171.H4266 2015 | Dewey Decimal 332.041
Produced throughout the first fifteen years of Hayek’s career, the writings collected in Capital and Interest see Hayek elaborate upon and extend his landmark lectures that were published as Prices and Production and work toward the technically sophisticated line of thought seen in his later Pure Theory of Capital. Illuminating the development of Hayek’s detailed contributions to capital and interest theory, the collection also sheds light on how Hayek’s work related to other influential economists of the time. Highlights include the 1936 article “The Mythology of Capital”—presented here alongside Frank Knight’s criticisms of the Austrian theory of capital that prompted it—and “The Maintenance of Capital,” with subsequent comments by the English economist A. C. Pigou. These and other familiar works are accompanied by lesser-known articles and lectures, including a lecture on technological progress and excess capacity. An introduction by the book’s editor, leading Hayek scholar Lawrence H. White, places Hayek’s contributions in careful historical context, with ample footnotes and citations for further reading, making this a touchstone addition to the University of Chicago Press’s Collected Works of F. A. Hayek series.
Capital in the Nineteenth Century
Robert E. Gallman and Paul W. Rhode University of Chicago Press, 2020 Library of Congress HC105.R56 2019 | Dewey Decimal 332.041097309034
When we think about history, we often think about people, events, ideas, and revolutions, but what about the numbers? What do the data tell us about what was, what is, and how things changed over time? Economist Robert E. Gallman (1926–98) gathered extensive data on US capital stock and created a legacy that has, until now, been difficult for researchers to access and appraise in its entirety.
Gallman measured American capital stock from a range of perspectives, viewing it as the accumulation of income saved and invested, and as an input into the production process. He used the level and change in the capital stock as proxy measures for long-run economic performance. Analyzing data in this way from the end of the US colonial period to the turn of the twentieth century, Gallman placed our knowledge of the long nineteenth century—the period during which the United States began to experience per capita income growth and became a global economic leader—on a strong empirical foundation. Gallman’s research was painstaking and his analysis meticulous, but he did not publish the material backing to his findings in his lifetime. Here Paul W. Rhode completes this project, giving permanence to a great economist’s insights and craftsmanship. Gallman’s data speak to the role of capital in the economy, which lies at the heart of many of the most pressing issues today.
The main driver of inequality--returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth--is again threatening to generate extreme discontent and undermine democratic values. Thomas Piketty's findings in this ambitious, original, rigorous work will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.
The main driver of inequality—returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth—is again threatening to generate extreme discontent and undermine democratic values. Thomas Piketty’s findings in this ambitious, original, rigorous work will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.
The central Gujarat region of western India is home to the entrepreneurial landowning Patel caste who have leveraged their rural dominance to become a powerful global diaspora of merchants, industrialists, and professionals. Investigating the Patels’ intriguing ascent, Vinay Gidwani analyzes its broad implications for the nature of labor and capital worldwide.
With the Patels as his central case, Gidwani interrogates established concepts of value, development, and the relationship between capital and history. Capitalism, he argues, is not a frame of economic organization based on the smooth, consistent operation of a series of laws, but rather an assemblage of contingent and interrupted logics stitched together into the appearance of a deus ex machina. Following this line of thinking, Gidwani points to ways in which political economy might be freed of its lingering Eurocentrism, raises questions about the adequacy of postcolonial studies’ critique of Marx and capitalism, and opens the possibility of situating capitalism as a geographically uneven social formation in which different normative or value-creating practices are imperfectly sutured together in ways that can equally impair and enable profit and accumulation.
Both theoretically astute and empirically informed, Capital, Interrupted unsettles encrusted understandings of staple concepts within the human sciences such as hegemony, governmentality, caste, and agency and, ultimately, does nothing less than rethink the very constitution of capitalism.
Vinay Gidwani is associate professor of geography and global studies at the University of Minnesota.
The celebration of Washington D.C. basketball is long overdue. The D.C. metro area stands second to none in its contributions to the game. Countless figures who have had a significant impact on the sport over the years have roots in the region, including E.B. Henderson, the first African-American certified to teach public school physical education, and Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to take the court in an actual NBA game. The city's Spingarn High School produced two players – Elgin Baylor and Dave Bing – recognized among the NBA’s 50 greatest at the League’s 50th anniversary celebration. No other high school in the country can make that claim.These figures and many others are chronicled in this book, the first-ever comprehensive look at the great high school players, teams and coaches in the D.C. metropolitan area. Based on more than 150 interviews, The Capital of Basketball is first and foremost a book about basketball. But in discussing the trends and evolution of the game, McNamara also uncovers the turmoil in the lives of the players and area residents as they dealt with prejudice, educational inequities, politics, and the ways the area has changed through the years.
Capital of the American Century investigates the remarkable influence that New York City has exercised over the economy, politics, and culture of the nation throughout much of the twentieth century. New York's power base of corporations, banks, law firms, labor unions, artists and intellectuals has played a critical role in shaping areas as varied as American popular culture, the nation's political doctrines, and the international capitalist economy. If the city has lost its unique prominence in recent decades, the decline has been largely—and ironically—a result of the successful dispersion of its cosmopolitan values. The original essays in Capital of the American Century offer objective and intriguing analyses of New York City as a source of innovation in many domains of American life. Postwar liberalism and modernism were advanced by a Jewish and WASP coalition centered in New York's charitable foundations, communications media, and political organizations, while Wall Street lawyers and bankers played a central role in fashioning national security policies. New York's preeminence as a cultural capital was embodied in literary and social criticism by the "New York intellectuals," in the fine arts by the school of Abstract Expressionism, and in popular culture by Broadway musicals. American business was dominated by New York, where the nation's major banks and financial markets and its largest corporations were headquartered. In exploring New York's influence, the contributors also assess the larger social and economic conditions that made it possible for a single city to exert such power. New York's decline in recent decades stems not only from its own fiscal crisis, but also from the increased diffusion of industrial, cultural, and political hubs throughout the nation. Yet the city has taken on vital new roles that, on the eve of the twenty-first century, reflect an increasingly global era: it is the center of U.S. foreign trade and the international art market: The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have emerged as international newspapers; and the city retains a crucial influence in information-intensive sectors such as corporate law, accounting, management consulting, and advertising. Capital of the American Century provides a fresh link between the study of cities and the analysis of national and international affairs. It is a book that enriches our historical sense of contemporary urban issues and our understanding of modern culture, economy, and politics.
The history of the modern social sciences can be seen as a series of attempts to confront the challenges of social disorder and revolution wrought by the international expansion of capitalist social relations. In Capital, the State, and War, Alexander Anievas focuses on one particularly significant aspect of this story: the inter-societal or geo-social origins of the two world wars, and, more broadly, the confluence of factors behind the Thirty Years’ Crisis between 1914 and 1945.
Anievas presents the Thirty Years’ Crisis as a result of the development of global capitalism with all its destabilizing social and geopolitical consequences, particularly the intertwined and co-constitutive nature of imperial rivalries, social revolutions, and anti-colonial struggles. Building on the theory of “uneven and combined development,” he unites geopolitical and sociological explanations into a single framework, thereby circumventing the analytical stalemate between “primacy of domestic politics” and “primacy of foreign policy” approaches.
Anievas opens new avenues for thinking about the relations among security-military interests, the making of foreign policy, political economy and, more generally, the origins of war and the nature of modern international order.
In this sweeping interpretive history of mid-nineteenth-century Chicago, historians John B. Jentz and Richard Schneirov boldly trace the evolution of a modern social order. Combining a mastery of historical and political detail with a sophisticated theoretical frame, Jentz and Schneirov examine the dramatic capitalist transition in Chicago during the critical decades from the 1850s through the 1870s, a period that saw the rise of a permanent wage worker class and the formation of an industrial upper class.
Jentz and Schneirov demonstrate how a new political economy, based on wage labor and capital accumulation in manufacturing, superseded an older mercantile economy that relied on speculative trading and artisan production. The city's leading business interests were unable to stabilize their new system without the participation of the new working class, a German and Irish ethnic mix that included radical ideas transplanted from Europe. Jentz and Schneirov examine how debates over slave labor were transformed into debates over free labor as the city's wage-earning working class developed a distinctive culture and politics.
The new social movements that arose in this era--labor, socialism, urban populism, businessmen's municipal reform, Protestant revivalism, and women's activism--constituted the substance of a new post-bellum democratic politics that took shape in the 1860s and '70s. When the Depression of 1873 brought increased crime and financial panic, Chicago's new upper class developed municipal reform in an attempt to reassert its leadership. Setting local detail against a national canvas of partisan ideology and the seismic structural shifts of Reconstruction, Chicago in the Age of Capital vividly depicts the upheavals integral to building capitalism.
Chinese merchants have traded with Southeast Asia for centuries, sojourning and sometimes settling, during their voyages. These ventures have taken place by land and by sea, over mountains and across deserts, linking China with vast stretches of Southeast Asia in a broad, mercantile embrace. Chinese Circulations provides an unprecedented overview of this trade, its scope, diversity, and complexity. This collection of twenty groundbreaking essays foregrounds the commodities that have linked China and Southeast Asia over the centuries, including fish, jade, metal, textiles, cotton, rice, opium, timber, books, and edible birds’ nests. Human labor, the Bible, and the coins used in regional trade are among the more unexpected commodities considered. In addition to focusing on a certain time period or geographic area, each of the essays explores a particular commodity or class of commodities, following its trajectory from production, through exchange and distribution, to consumption. The first four pieces put Chinese mercantile trade with Southeast Asia in broad historical perspective; the other essays appear in chronologically ordered sections covering the precolonial period to the present. Incorporating research conducted in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Burmese, Malay, Indonesian, and several Western languages, Chinese Circulations is a major contribution not only to Sino-Southeast Asian studies but also to the analysis of globalization past and present.
Contributors. Leonard Blussé, Wen-Chin Chang, Lucille Chia, Bien Chiang, Nola Cooke, Jean DeBernardi, C. Patterson Giersch, Takeshi Hamashita, Kwee Hui Kian, Li Tana, Lin Man-houng, Masuda Erika, Adam McKeown, Anthony Reid , Sun Laichen, Heather Sutherland, Eric Tagliacozzo, Carl A. Trocki, Wang Gungwu, Kevin Woods, Wu Xiao
Peru’s fisheries are in crisis as overfishing and ecological changes produce dramatic fluctuations in fish stocks. To address this crisis, government officials have claimed that fishers need to become responsible producers who create economic advantages by taking better care of the ocean ecologies they exploit.
In Coastal Lives, Maximilian Viatori and Héctor Bombiella argue that this has not made Peru’s fisheries more sustainable. Through a fine-grained ethnographic and historical account of Lima’s fisheries, the authors reveal that new government regimes of entrepreneurial agency have placed overwhelming burdens on the city’s impoverished artisanal fishers to demonstrate that they are responsible producers and have created failures that can be used to justify closing these fishers’ traditional use areas and to deny their historically sanctioned rights. The result is a critical examination of how neoliberalized visions of nature and individual responsibility work to normalize the dispossessions that have enabled ongoing capital accumulation at the cost of growing social dislocations and ecological degradation.
The authors’ innovative approach to the politics of constructing and degrading coastal lives will interest a wide range of scholars in cultural anthropology, environmental humanities, and Latin American studies, as well as policymakers and anyone concerned with inequality, global food systems, and multispecies ecologies.
<P>Between the 1880s and 1920s, a broad coalition of American dissidents, which included rabble-rousing cartoonists, civil liberties lawyers, socialist detectives, union organizers, and revolutionary martyrs, forged a culture of popular radicalism that directly challenged an emergent corporate capitalism. Monopoly capitalists and their allies in government responded by expanding conspiracy laws and promoting conspiracy theories in an effort to destroy this anti-capitalist movement. The result was an escalating class conflict in which each side came to view the other as a criminal conspiracy.</P><P>In this detailed cultural history, Michael Mark Cohen argues that a legal, ideological, and representational politics of conspiracy contributed to the formation of a genuinely revolutionary mass culture in the United States, starting with the 1886 Haymarket bombing. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, The Conspiracy of Capital offers a new history of American radicalism andÂ the alliance between the modern business corporation and national security state through a comprehensive reassessment of the role of conspiracy laws and conspiracy theories in American social movements.</P>
For more than thirty years Nelson Lichtenstein has deployed his scholarship--on labor, politics, and social thought--to chart the history and prospects of a progressive America. A Contest of Ideas collects and updates many of Lichtenstein's most provocative and controversial essays and reviews.
These incisive writings link the fate of the labor movement to the transformations in the shape of world capitalism, to the rise of the civil rights movement, and to the activists and intellectuals who have played such important roles. Tracing broad patterns of political thought, Lichtenstein offers important perspectives on the relationship of labor and the state, the tensions that sometimes exist between a culture of rights and the idea of solidarity, and the rise of conservatism in politics, law, and intellectual life. The volume closes with portraits of five activist intellectuals whose work has been vital to the conflicts that engage the labor movement, public policy, and political culture.
The Displaced of Capital
Anne Winters University of Chicago Press, 2004 Library of Congress PS3573.I539D57 2004 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Winner of the 2005 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.
The long-awaited follow-up to The Key to the City—a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1986—Anne Winters's The Displaced of Capital emanates a quiet and authoritative passion for social justice, embodying the voice of a subtle, sophisticated conscience.
The "displaced" in the book's title refers to the poor, the homeless, and the disenfranchised who populate New York, the city that serves at once as gritty backdrop, city of dreams, and urban nightmare. Winters also addresses the culturally, ethnically, and emotionally excluded and, in these politically sensitive poems, writes without sentimentality of a cityscape of tenements and immigrants, offering her poetry as a testament to the lives of have-nots. In the central poem, Winters witnesses the relationship between two women of disparate social classes whose friendship represents the poet's political convictions. With poems both powerful and musical, The Displaced of Capital marks Anne Winters's triumphant return and assures her standing as an essential New York poet.
Six leading economists examine the financing of corporate capital formation in the U.S. economy. In clear and nontechnical terms, their papers provide valuable information for economists and nonspecialists interested in such questions as why interest rates are so high, why corporate debt has accelerated in recent years, and how government debt affects private financial markets.
Addressing these questions, the contributors focus chiefly on three themes: the actual use of debt and equity financing by corporations in recent years; the factors that drive the financial markets' pricing of debt and equity securities; and the relationship between corporations' real investment decisions and their financial decisions. While some of the papers are primarily expository, others break new ground. Extending his previous work, Robert Taggart finds a closer relationship between corporate and government debt than has been supposed. Zvi Bodie, Alex Kane, and Robert McDonald conclude in their study that the volatility of interest rates under the Volcker regime has led to a rise in real interest rates because of investors' demand for a greater risk premium. All of the papers present empirical findings in a useful analytical framework.
For its new findings and for its expert overview of issues central to an understanding of the U.S. economy, Financing Corporate Capital Formation should be of both historical and practical interest to students of economics and practitioners in the corporate and financial community.
This remarkable book chronicles the ideas of a great teacher, George Doriot, whose decades long career at the Harvard Business School inspired a generation of venture capitalists and Wall Street titans of a bygone era.
George Doriot was a remarkable individual who achieved success as a teacher, a businessman, and a general in the US Army. Some of his students at the Harvard Business School kept their notes from his course in their desk drawer throughout their business careers. Even if they did not go that far, they never forgot the man or his teachings; nor did the employees of the many companies which he launched as the president of American Research & Development Corporation. This is the first book about George Doriot, and it is a perfect first book: it is in the form of a source book, drawing from the many facets of Doriot's career as seen by many different people, and sometimes in Doriot's own words. All the texts are interesting and highly readable.
The Flash of Capital analyzes the links between Japan’s capitalist history and its film history, illuminating what these connections reveal about film culture and everyday life in Japan. Looking at a hundred-year history of film and capitalism, Eric Cazdyn theorizes a cultural history that highlights the spaces where film and the nation transcend their customary borders—where culture and capital crisscross—and, in doing so, develops a new way of understanding historical change and transformation in modern Japan and beyond. Cazdyn focuses on three key moments of historical contradiction: colonialism, post-war reconstruction, and globalization. Considering great classics of Japanese film, documentaries, works of science fiction, animation, and pornography, he brings to light cinematic attempts to come to terms with the tensions inherent in each historical moment—tensions between the colonizer and the colonized, between the individual and the collective, and between the national and the transnational. Paying close attention to political context, Cazdyn shows how formal inventions in the realms of acting, film history and theory, thematics, documentary filmmaking, and adaptation articulate a struggle to solve implacable historical problems. This innovative work of cultural history and criticism offers explanations of historical change that challenge conventional distinctions between the aesthetic and the geopolitical.
Forensics of Capital
Michael Ralph University of Chicago Press, 2015 Library of Congress DT549.62.R35 2015 | Dewey Decimal 332.04109663
As one of Africa’s few democracies, Senegal has long been thought of as a leader of moral, political, and economic development on the continent. We tend to assume that any such nation has achieved favorable international standing due to its own merits. In Forensics of Capital, Michael Ralph upends this kind of conventional thinking, showing how Senegal’s diplomatic standing was strategically forged in the colonial and postcolonial eras at key periods of its history and is today entirely contingent on the consensus of wealthy and influential nations and international lending agencies.
Ralph examines Senegal’s crucial and pragmatic decisions related to its development and how they garnered international favor, decisions such as its opposition to Soviet involvement in African liberation—despite itself being a socialist state—or its support for the US-led war on terror—despite its population being predominately Muslim. He shows how such actions have given Senegal an inflated political and economic position and status as a highly credit-worthy nation even as its domestic economy has faltered. Exploring these and many other aspects of Senegal’s political economy and its interface with the international community, Ralph demonstrates that the international reputation of any nation—not just Senegal—is based on deep structural biases.
With the NASDAQ having lost 70 percent of its value, the giddy, optimistic belief in perpetual growth that accompanied the economic boom of the 1990s had fizzled by 2002. Yet the advances in information and communication technology, management and production techniques, and global integration that spurred the “New Economy” of the 1990s had triggered profound and lasting changes. Frontiers of Capital brings together ethnographies exploring how cultural practices and social relations have been altered by the radical economic and technological innovations of the New Economy. The contributors, most of whom are anthropologists, investigate changes in the practices and interactions of futures traders, Chinese entrepreneurs, residents of French housing projects, women working on Wall Street, cable television programmers, and others.
Some contributors highlight how expedited flows of information allow business professionals to develop new knowledge practices. They analyze dynamics ranging from the decision-making processes of the Federal Reserve Board to the legal maneuvering necessary to buttress a nascent Japanese market in over-the-counter derivatives. Others focus on the social consequences of globalization and new modes of communication, evaluating the introduction of new information technologies into African communities and the collaborative practices of open-source computer programmers. Together the essays suggest that social relations, rather than becoming less relevant in the high-tech age, have become more important than ever. This finding dovetails with the thinking of many corporations, which increasingly employ anthropologists to study and explain the “local” cultural practices of their own workers and consumers. Frontiers of Capital signals the wide-ranging role of anthropology in explaining the social and cultural contours of the New Economy.
Contributors. Jean Comaroff, John L. Comaroff, Greg Downey, Melissa S. Fisher, Douglas R. Holmes, George E. Marcus, Siobhán O’Mahony, Aihwa Ong, Annelise Riles, Saskia Sassen, Paul A. Silverstein, AbdouMaliq Simone, Neil Smith, Caitlin Zaloom
In Identity, Mediation, and the Cunning of Capital, Ani Maitra urgently calls for a reevaluation of identity politics as an aesthetic maneuver regulated by capitalism. A dominant critical trend in the humanities, Maitra argues, is to dismiss or embrace identity through the formal properties of a privileged aesthetic medium such as literature, cinema, or even the performative body. In contrast, he demonstrates that identity politics becomes unavoidably real and material only because the minoritized subject is split between multiple sites of mediation—visual, linguistic, and sonic—while remaining firmly tethered to capitalism’s hierarchical logic of value production. Only in the interstices of media can we track the aesthetic conversion of identitarian difference into value, marked by the inequities of race, class, gender, and sexuality.
Maitra’s archive is transnational and multimodal. Moving from anticolonial polemics to psychoanalysis to diasporic experimental literature to postcolonial feminist and queer media, he lays bare the cunning by which capitalism produces and fragments identity through an intermedial “aesthetic dissonance” with the commodity form. Maitra’s novel contribution to theories of identity and to the concept of mediation will interest a wide range of scholars in media studies, critical race and postcolonial studies, and critical aesthetics.
Winner of the 2001 President’s Award of the Social Science History Association
In the Shadows of State and Capital tells the story of how Ecuadorian peasants gained, and then lost, control of the banana industry. Providing an ethnographic history of the emergence of subcontracting within Latin American agriculture and of the central role played by class conflict in this process, Steve Striffler looks at the quintessential form of twentieth-century U.S. imperialism in the region—the banana industry and, in particular, the United Fruit Company (Chiquita). He argues that, even within this highly stratified industry, popular struggle has contributed greatly to processes of capitalist transformation and historical change. Striffler traces the entrance of United Fruit into Ecuador during the 1930s, its worker-induced departure in the 1960s, the troubled process through which contract farming emerged during the last half of the twentieth century, and the continuing struggles of those involved. To explore the influence of both peasant activism and state power on the withdrawal of multinational corporations from banana production, Striffler draws on state and popular archives, United Fruit documents, and extensive oral testimony from workers, peasants, political activists, plantation owners, United Fruit administrators, and state bureaucrats. Through an innovative melding of history and anthropology, he demonstrates that, although peasant-workers helped dismantle the foreign-owned plantation, they were unable to determine the broad contours through which the subsequent system of production—contract farming—emerged and transformed agrarian landscapes throughout Latin America. By revealing the banana industry’s impact on processes of state formation in Latin America, In the Shadows of State and Capital will interest historians, anthropologists, and political scientists, as well as scholars of globalization and agrarian studies.
Incorporations offers a new way of thinking about issues of race, bodies, and commodity culture. Moving beyond the study of identity and difference in media, Eva Cherniavsky asserts that race can be understood as a sign of the body’s relation to capital. In Incorporations, Cherniavsky interrogates the interplay of nationalism, colonialism, and capitalism in the production of racial embodiment. Testing the links between race and capital, Incorporations examines how media culture transmutes white bodies into commodity-images in such films as Blonde Venus, A Touch of Evil, and Fargo, and in the television series The Simpsons and the fiction of Octavia Butler and Leslie Marmon Silko. Cherniavsky posits an innovative approach to whiteness studies that does not focus on the emancipatory possibilities of cross-racial identification.Working with the tools of critical race theory as well as postcolonial and cultural studies, Cherniavsky demonstrates how representations of racial embodiment have evolved, and suggests that “race” is the condition of exchangeable bodies under capital.Eva Cherniavsky is professor of American literature and culture at the University of Washington. She is the author of That Pale Mother Rising: Sentimental Discourses and the Imitation of Motherhood in Nineteenthth-Century America.
Despite the World Bank’s profound impact on economic, political, and social conditions during the post–World War II era, cultural critics who rigorously theorize other institutions of colonialism and globalization have largely ignored the institution. Working to correct this blind spot, Bret Benjamin’s Invested Interests presents the first extended cultural analysis of the World Bank.
In Invested Interests, Benjamin contends that the World Bank has, from its inception, trafficked in culture. From the political context in which the Bank was chartered to its evolution into an interventionist development agency with vast, unchecked powers, Benjamin explores the Bank’s central role in the global dissemination of Fordist-Keynesianism, its conflicted support for nationalism and the nation-state, and its emerging awareness of the relationships between economics and culture. Benjamin argues that the Bank shapes, and is in turn shaped by, historical pressures of the age—most significantly the rise of third world national liberation movements. Reading a broad array of midcentury archival materials, Benjamin examines not only the Bank’s own growing attentiveness to cultural work but also its prominent place in the thinking of such anti-imperialist intellectuals as Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, and Richard Wright.
Benjamin maps the Bank’s contemporary rhetorical maneuvering in the wake of ever-intensifying protests, offering close readings of the World Bank’s corporate literature, the activities of the antiglobalization World Social Forum, and the writings of prominent Bank critic Arundhati Roy, including her novel The God of Small Things.
Deftly investigating the World Bank’s ideological struggles over six decades, Invested Interests develops a conceptually and politically nuanced critique of the Bank as a cultural institution deeply enmeshed in the last century’s historical transformations of imperial power and anti-imperial struggle.
Bret Benjamin is associate professor of English and director of undergraduate studies at the University of Albany, SUNY.
Owing to Yucatan’s relative isolation, many assume that the history and economy of the peninsula have evolved in a distinctive way, apart from the central government in Mexico City and insulated from world social and economic factors. The essays in this volume suggest that this has not been the case: the process of development in Yucatan has been linked firmly to national and global forces of change over the past two centuries. The essays are by U.S., Mexican, Canadian, and Belizean social scientists representing both well-established and younger scholars. The result is a perspective on Yucatan’s historical development that is at once international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational.
In this volume, all of the contributors are genuinely comfortable with the theories and approaches of several disciplines—economics, history, and anthropology, and sociology. All have used largely untapped, primary, archival sources, and the result is a fascinating offering of new information.
Since its initial publication, Loft Living has become the classic analysis of the emergence of artists as a force of gentrification and the related rise of “creative city” policies around the world. This 25th anniversary edition, with a new introduction, illustrates how loft living has spread around the world and that artists’ districts—trailing the success of SoHo in New York—have become a global tourist attraction. Sharon Zukin reveals the economic shifts and cultural transformations that brought widespread attention to artists as lifestyle models and agents of urban change, and explains their role in attracting investors and developers to the derelict loft districts where they made their home.
Prescient and dramatic, Loft Living shows how a declining downtown Manhattan became a popular “scene,” how loft apartments became hot commodities for the middle class, and how investors, corporations, and rich elites profited from deindustrializing the city’s factory districts and turning them into trendy venues for art galleries, artisanal restaurants, and bars. However, this edition points out that the artists who led the trend are now priced out of the loft market. Even in New York, where the loft living market was born, artists have no legal claim on loft districts, nor do they get any preferential treatment in the harsh real estate market.
From the story of SoHo in Lower Manhattan to SoWa in Boston and SoMa in San Francisco, Zukin explains how once-edgy districts are transformed into high-price neighborhoods, and how no city can restrain the juggernaut of rising property values.
The Matter of Capital
Christopher S. Nealon Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS323.5.N43 2011 | Dewey Decimal 811.54093553
Christopher Nealon’s reexamination of North America’s poetry in English, from Ezra Pound and W. H. Auden to younger poets of the present day, argues persuasively that the central literary project of the past century was to explore the relationship between poetry and capitalism—its impact on individuals, communities, and cultures.
The Measurement of Capital
Edited by Dan Usher University of Chicago Press, 1980 Library of Congress HC106.3.C714 vol. 45 | Dewey Decimal 330.08
How is real capital measured by government statistical agencies? How could this measure be improved to correspond more closely to an economist's ideal measure of capital in economic analysis and prediction? It is possible to construct a single, reliable time series for all capital goods, regardless of differences in vintage, technological complexity, and rates of depreciation? These questions represent the common themes of this collection of papers, originally presented at a 1976 meeting of the Conference on Income and Wealth.
Measuring Capital in the New Economy
Edited by Carol Corrado, John Haltiwanger, and Daniel Sichel University of Chicago Press, 2005 Library of Congress HC106.3.C714 vol. 65 | Dewey Decimal 330
As the accelerated technological advances of the past two decades continue to reshape the United States' economy, intangible assets and high-technology investments are taking larger roles. These developments have raised a number of concerns, such as: how do we measure intangible assets? Are we accurately appraising newer, high-technology capital? The answers to these questions have broad implications for the assessment of the economy's growth over the long term, for the pace of technological advancement in the economy, and for estimates of the nation's wealth.
In Measuring Capital in the New Economy, Carol Corrado, John Haltiwanger, Daniel Sichel, and a host of distinguished collaborators offer new approaches for measuring capital in an economy that is increasingly dominated by high-technology capital and intangible assets. As the contributors show, high-tech capital and intangible assets affect the economy in ways that are notoriously difficult to appraise. In this detailed and thorough analysis of the problem and its solutions, the contributors study the nature of these relationships and provide guidance as to what factors should be included in calculations of different types of capital for economists, policymakers, and the financial and accounting communities alike.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, the US-Mexico border was home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced industrial copper mines. This despite being geographically, culturally, and financially far-removed from traditional urban centers of power. Mining the Borderlands argues that this was only possible because of the emergence of mining engineers—a distinct technocratic class of professionals who connected capital, labor, and expertise.
Mining engineers moved easily between remote mining camps and the upscale parlors of east coast investors. Working as labor managers and technical experts, they were involved in the daily negotiations, which brought private US capital to the southwestern border. The success of the massive capital-intensive mining ventures in the region depended on their ability to construct different networks, serving as intermediaries to groups that rarely coincided.
Grossman argues that this didn’t just lead to bigger and more efficient mines, but served as part of the ongoing project of American territorial and economic expansion. By integrating the history of technical expertise into the history of the transnational mining industry, this in-depth look at borderlands mining explains how American economic hegemony was established in a border region peripheral to the federal governments of both Washington, D.C. and Mexico City.
Mexico City became one of the centers of architectural modernism in the Americas in the first half of the twentieth century. Invigorated by insights drawn from the first published histories of Mexican colonial architecture, which suggested that Mexico possessed a distinctive architecture and culture, beginning in the 1920s a new generation of architects created profoundly visual modern buildings intended to convey Mexico’s unique cultural character. By midcentury these architects and their students had rewritten the country’s architectural history and transformed the capital into a metropolis where new buildings that evoked pre-conquest, colonial, and International Style architecture coexisted.
Through an exploration of schools, a university campus, a government ministry, a workers’ park, and houses for Diego Rivera and Luis Barragán, Kathryn O’Rourke offers a new interpretation of modern architecture in the Mexican capital, showing close links between design, evolving understandings of national architectural history, folk art, and social reform. This book demonstrates why creating a distinctively Mexican architecture captivated architects whose work was formally dissimilar, and how that concern became central to the profession.
1. THE MONETARY POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES AFTER THE RECOVERY FROM THE 1920 CRISIS (1925)
2. SOME REMARKS ON THE PROBLEM OF IMPUTATION (1926)
3. ON THE PROBLEM OF THE THEORY OF INTEREST (1927)
4. INTERTEMPORAL PRICE EQUILIBRIUM AND MOVEMENTS IN THE VALUE OF MONEY (1928)
5. THE FATE OF THE GOLD STANDARD (1932)
6. CAPITAL CONSUMPTION (1932)
7. ON 'NEUTRAL MONEY' (1933)
8. TECHNICAL PROGRESS AND EXCESS CAPACITY (1936)
MARGINAL UTILITY AND ECONOMIC CALCULATION (1925)
THE EXCHANGE VALUE OF MONEY (1929)
Focusing on Japan, France, and the United States, Christopher L. Hill reveals how the writing of national history in the late nineteenth century made the reshaping of the world by capitalism and the nation-state seem natural and inevitable. The three countries, occupying widely different positions in the world, faced similar ideological challenges stemming from the rapidly changing geopolitical order and from domestic political upheavals: the Meiji Restoration in Japan, the Civil War in the United States, and the establishment of the Third Republic in France. Through analysis that is both comparative and transnational, Hill shows that the representations of national history that emerged in response to these changes reflected rhetorical and narrative strategies shared across the globe.
Delving into narrative histories, prose fiction, and social philosophy, Hill analyzes the rhetoric, narrative form, and intellectual genealogy of late-nineteenth-century texts that contributed to the creation of national history in each of the three countries. He discusses the global political economy of the era, the positions of the three countries in it, and the reasons that arguments about history loomed large in debates on political, economic, and social problems. Examining how the writing of national histories in the three countries addressed political transformations and the place of the nation in the world, Hill illuminates the ideological labor national history performed. Its production not only naturalized the division of the world by systems of states and markets, but also asserted the inevitability of the nationalization of human community; displaced dissent to pre-modern, pre-national pasts; and presented the subject’s acceptance of a national identity as an unavoidable part of the passage from youth to adulthood.
Pioneering anthropologist Sherry B. Ortner is renowned for her work on the Sherpas of Nepal. Now she turns her attention homeward to examine how social class is lived in the United States and, specifically, within her own peer group. In New Jersey Dreaming, Ortner returns to her Newark roots to present an in-depth look at Weequahic High School's Class of 1958, of which she was a member. She explores her classmates’ recollected experiences of the neighborhood and the high school, also written about in the novels of Philip Roth, Weequahic High School’s most famous alum. Ortner provides a chronicle of the journey of her classmates from the 1950s into the 1990s, following the movement of a striking number of them from modest working- and middle-class backgrounds into the wealthy upper-middle or professional/managerial class.
Ortner tracked down nearly all 304 of her classmates. She interviewedabout 100 in person and spoke with most of the rest by phone, recording her classmates’ vivid memories of time, place, and identity. Ortner shows how social class affected people’s livesin many hidden and unexamined ways. She also demonstrates that the Class of ‘58’s extreme upward mobility must be understood in relation to the major identity movements of the twentieth century—the campaign against anti-Semitism, the Civil Rights movement, and feminism.
A multisited study combining field research with an interdisciplinary analytical framework, New Jersey Dreaming is a masterly integration of developments at the vanguard of contemporary anthropology. Engaging excerpts from Ortner's field notes are interspersed throughout the book. Whether recording the difficulties and pleasures of studying one's own peer group, the cultures of driving in different parts of the country, or the contrasting experiences of appointment-making in Los Angeles and New York, they provide a rare glimpse into the actual doing of ethnographic research.
Community activists were delighted with the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act, but they came to realize that it would take more than the word of law to bring about real change. This book gives voice to the activists who took it upon themselves to agitate for increased investment by financial institutions in their local communities. They tell of their struggles to get banks, mortgage companies and others to rethink their lending policies. Their stories, drawn from experiences in Chicago, New York, Milwaukee, Boston, Pittsburgh, and other cities around the country, offer insight into the way our political/economic system really works.
How are we to explain the resurgence of customary chiefs in contemporary Africa? Rather than disappearing with the tide of modernity, as many expected, indigenous sovereigns are instead a rising force, often wielding substantial power and legitimacy despite major changes in the workings of the global political economy in the post–Cold War era—changes in which they are themselves deeply implicated.
This pathbreaking volume, edited by anthropologists John L. Comaroff and Jean Comaroff, explores the reasons behind the increasingly assertive politics of custom in many corners of Africa. Chiefs come in countless guises—from university professors through cosmopolitan businessmen to subsistence farmers–but, whatever else they do, they are a critical key to understanding the tenacious hold that “traditional” authority enjoys in the late modern world. Together the contributors explore this counterintuitive chapter in Africa’s history and, in so doing, place it within the broader world-making processes of the twenty-first century.
The Pure Theory of Capital
F. A. Hayek University of Chicago Press, 2007 Library of Congress HB501.H392 2007 | Dewey Decimal 332.041
The Pure Theory of Capital, F. A. Hayek’s long-overlooked, little-understood volume, was his most detailed work in economic theory. Originally published in 1941 when fashionable economic thought had shifted to John Maynard Keynes, Hayek’s manifesto of capital theory is now available again for today’s students and economists to discover.
With a new introduction by Hayek expert Lawrence H. White, who firmly situates the book not only in historical and theoretical context but within Hayek’s own life and his struggle to complete the manuscript, this edition commemorates the celebrated scholar’s last major work in economics. Offering a detailed account of the equilibrium relationships between inputs and outputs in an economy, Hayek’s stated objective was to make capital theory—which had previously been devoted almost entirely to the explanation of interest rates—“useful for the analysis of the monetary phenomena of the real world.” His ambitious goal was nothing less than to develop a capital theory that could be fully integrated into the business cycle theory.
Ranching is as much a part of the West as its wide-open spaces. The mystique of rugged individualism has sustained this activity well past the frontier era and has influenced how we view—and value—those open lands.
Nathan Sayre now takes a close look at how the ranching ideal has come into play in the conversion of a large tract of Arizona rangeland from private ranch to National Wildlife Refuge. He tells how the Buenos Aires Ranch, a working operation for a hundred years, became not only a rallying point for multiple agendas in the "rangeland conflict" after its conversion to a wildlife refuge but also an expression of the larger shift from agricultural to urban economies in the Southwest since World War II.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bought the Buenos Aires Ranch in 1985, removed all livestock, and attempted to restore the land to its "original" grassland in order to protect an endangered species, the masked bobwhite quail. Sayre examines the history of the ranch and the bobwhite together, exploring the interplay of social, economic, and ecological issues to show how ranchers and their cattle altered the land—for better or worse—during a century of ranching and how the masked bobwhite became a symbol for environmentalists who believe that the removal of cattle benefits rangelands and wildlife.
Sayre evaluates both sides of the Buenos Aires controversy—from ranching's impact on the environment to environmentalism's sometimes misguided efforts at restoration—to address the complex and contradictory roles of ranching, endangered species conservation, and urbanization in the social and environmental transformation of the West. He focuses on three dimensions of the Buenos Aires story: the land and its inhabitants, both human and animal; the role of government agencies in shaping range and wildlife management; and the various species of capital—economic, symbolic, and bureaucratic—that have structured the activities of ranchers, environmentalists, and government officials.
The creation of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge has been a symbolic victory for environmentalists, but it comes at the cost of implicitly legitimizing the ongoing fragmentation and suburbanization of Arizona's still-wild rangelands. Sayre reveals how the polarized politics of "the rangeland conflict" have bound the Fish and Wildlife Service to a narrow, ineffectual management strategy on the Buenos Aires, with greater attention paid to increasing tourism from birdwatchers than to the complex challenge of restoring the masked bobwhite and its habitat. His findings show that the urban boom of the late twentieth century echoed the cattle boom of a century before—capitalizing on land rather than grass, humans rather than cattle—in a book that will serve as a model for restoration efforts in any environment.
Rulers and Capital in Historical Perspective explains why modern banking and credit systems emerged in the nineteenth century only in certain countries that then subsequently industrialized and became developed.
Tracing the contemporaneous cases of India and the United States over time, Abhishek Chatterjee identifies the factors that were crucial to the development and regulation of a modern banking and credit system in the United States during the first third of the nineteenth century. He contrasts this situation with India’s, where the state never formally incorporated a sophisticated private credit system, and thus relegated it to the sphere of the informal economy.
Chatterjee identifies certain features in both societies, often—though not always—associated with colonialism, that tended to restrict the formation of modern institutionalized money and credit markets. Rulers and Capital in Historical Perspective demonstrates thatnotwithstanding the many other differences between the North American colonies (prior to independence), and India, the same facets of their relationships with Great Britain prevented the emergence of a modern banking system in the two respective societies.
In Sexual Hegemony Christopher Chitty traces the 500 year history of capitalist sexual relations by excavating the class dynamics of the bourgeoisie's attempts to regulate homosexuality. Tracking the politicization of male homosexuality in Renaissance Florence, Amsterdam, Paris, and London between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, and twentieth-century New York City, Chitty shows how sexuality became a crucial dimension of the accumulation of capital and a technique of bourgeois rule. Whether policing male sodomy during the Medici rule in Florence or accusing the French aristocracy of monstrous sexuality in the wake of the French Revolution, the bourgeoisie weaponized both sexual constraint and sexual freedom in order to produce and control a reliable and regimented labor class and subordinate it to civil society and the state. Only by grasping sexuality as a field of social contention and the site of class conflict, Chitty contends, can we embark on a politics that destroys sexuality as a tool and effect of power, and open a front against the forces that keep us unfree.
This book explores the tradition, impact, and contemporary relevance of two key ideas from Western Marxism: Georg Lukács's concept of reification, in which social aspects of humanity are viewed in objectified terms, and Guy Debord's concept of the spectacle, where the world is packaged and presented to consumers in uniquely mediated ways. Bringing the original, yet now often forgotten, theoretical contexts for these terms back to the fore, Johan Hartle and Samir Gandesha offer a new look at the importance of Western Marxism from its early days to the present moment-and reveal why Marxist cultural critique must continue to play a vital role in any serious sociological analysis of contemporary society.
In Stages of Capital, Ritu Birla brings research on nonwestern capitalisms into conversation with postcolonial studies to illuminate the historical roots of India’s market society. Between 1870 and 1930, the British regime in India implemented a barrage of commercial and contract laws directed at the “free” circulation of capital, including measures regulating companies, income tax, charitable gifting, and pension funds, and procedures distinguishing gambling from speculation and futures trading. Birla argues that this understudied legal infrastructure institutionalized a new object of sovereign management, the market, and along with it, a colonial concept of the public. In jurisprudence, case law, and statutes, colonial market governance enforced an abstract vision of modern society as a public of exchanging, contracting actors free from the anachronistic constraints of indigenous culture.
Birla reveals how the categories of public and private infiltrated colonial commercial law, establishing distinct worlds for economic and cultural practice. This bifurcation was especially apparent in legal dilemmas concerning indigenous or “vernacular” capitalists, crucial engines of credit and production that operated through networks of extended kinship. Focusing on the story of the Marwaris, a powerful business group renowned as a key sector of India’s capitalist class, Birla demonstrates how colonial law governed vernacular capitalists as rarefied cultural actors, so rendering them illegitimate as economic agents. Birla’s innovative attention to the negotiations between vernacular and colonial systems of valuation illustrates how kinship-based commercial groups asserted their legitimacy by challenging and inhabiting the public/private mapping. Highlighting the cultural politics of market governance, Stages of Capital is an unprecedented history of colonial commercial law, its legal fictions, and the formation of the modern economic subject in India.
In this major, paradigm-shifting work, Kojin Karatani systematically re-reads Marx's version of world history, shifting the focus of critique from modes of production to modes of exchange. Karatani seeks to understand both Capital-Nation-State, the interlocking system that is the dominant form of modern global society, and the possibilities for superseding it. In The Structure of World History, he traces different modes of exchange, including the pooling of resources that characterizes nomadic tribes, the gift exchange systems developed after the adoption of fixed-settlement agriculture, the exchange of obedience for protection that arises with the emergence of the state, the commodity exchanges that characterize capitalism, and, finally, a future mode of exchange based on the return of gift exchange, albeit modified for the contemporary moment. He argues that this final stage—marking the overcoming of capital, nation, and state—is best understood in light of Kant's writings on eternal peace. The Structure of World History is in many ways the capstone of Karatani's brilliant career, yet it also signals new directions in his thought.
In The Sublime Perversion of Capital Gavin Walker examines the Japanese debate about capitalism between the 1920s and 1950s, using it as a "prehistory" to consider current discussions of uneven development and contemporary topics in Marxist theory and historiography. Walker locates the debate's culmination in the work of Uno Kōzō, whose investigations into the development of capitalism and the commodification of labor power are essential for rethinking the national question in Marxist theory. Walker's analysis of Uno and the Japanese debate strips Marxist historiography of its Eurocentric focus, showing how Marxist thought was globalized from the start. In analyzing the little-heralded tradition of Japanese Marxist theory alongside Marx himself, Walker not only offers new insights into the transition to capitalism, the rise of globalization, and the relation between capital and the formation of the nation-state; he provides new ways to break Marxist theory's impasse with postcolonial studies and critical theory.
“Over the years Colombian tax officials have received the benefit of first-class advice of leading foreign scholars. In return, these scholars—and indeed everyone concerned with development policy—have gained a great deal both from the unusual willingness of Colombians to consider new ideas in detail and then, after full public discussion, drawing on the work of these experts to design a ‘made-in-Colombia’ solution. “[The book’s] most important contribution, however, is undoubtedly with respect to consumption taxes. No one, anywhere, has thought through with such care just how the so-called ‘simplified alternative tax’ (essentially a direct personal consumption tax combined with a cash-flow corporate tax) might work in the real world. Since such taxes are increasingly being considered—if not adopted—all over the world, in developing and developed countries alike, for this reason alone this book should be high on the reading list of all those concerned with the design and implementation of efficient and equitable direct tax systems.”—From the Foreword by Richard M. Bird
Taxation—both corporate and personal—has been held responsible for the low investment and productivity growth rates experienced in the West during the last decade. This book, a comparative study of the taxation of income from capital in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and West Germany, establishes for the first time a common framework for analysis that permits accurate comparison of tax systems.
Duncan K. FOLEY Harvard University Press, 1986 Library of Congress HB501.F644 1986 | Dewey Decimal 335.41
Understanding Capital is a brilliantly lucid introduction to Marxist economic theory. Duncan Foley builds an understanding of the theory systematically, from first principles through the definition of central concepts to the development of important applications.