The world that was revolutionized by industrialization is being remade
by the information revolution. But this is mostly a revolution from above,
increasingly shaped by a new class of technocrats, experts, and professionals
in the service of corporate capitalism.
Using Marx as a touchstone, Timothy W. Luke warns that if communities
are not to be overwhelmed by new class economic and political agendas,
then the practice of democracy must be reconstituted on a more populist
basis. However, the galvanizing force for this new, more community-centered
populism will not be the proletariat, as Marx predicted, nor contemporary
militant patriotic groups. Rather, Luke argues that many groups unified
by a concern for ecological justice present the strongest potential opposition
Wide-ranging and lucid, Capitalism, Democracy, and Ecology is
essential reading in the age of information.
"Challenging and provocative." -- Robert Holsworth, coauthor
of Affirmative Action and the Stalled Quest for Black Progress
The publication of Reading Capital—by Louis Althusser, Étienne Balibar, Roger Establet, Pierre Macherey, and Jacques Rancière—in 1965 marked a key intervention in Marxist philosophy and critical theory, bringing forth a stunning array of concepts that continue to inspire philosophical reflection of the highest magnitude. The Concept in Crisis reconsiders the volume’s reading of Marx and renews its call for a critique of capitalism and culture for the twenty-first century. The contributors—who include Alain Badiou, Étienne Balibar, and Fernanda Navarro—interrogate Althusser's contributions in particular within the context of what is surely the most famous collective reading of Marx ever undertaken. Among other topics, they offer a symptomatic critique of Althusser; consider his writing as a materialist production of knowledge; analyze the volume’s conceptualization of value and crisis; examine how leftist Latin American leaders like Che Guevara and Subcomandante Marcos engaged with Althusser and Reading Capital; and draw out the volume's implications and use for feminist theory and praxis. Retrieving the inspiration that drove Althusser's reinterpretation of Marx, The Concept in Crisis explains why Reading Capital's revolutionary inflection retains its critical appeal, prompting readers to reconsider Marx's relevance in an era of neoliberal capitalism.
Contributors. Emily Apter, Alain Badiou, Étienne Balibar, Bruno Bosteels, Adrian Johnston, Warren Montag, Fernanda Navarro, Nick Nesbitt, Knox Peden, Nina Power, Robert J. C. Young
Derivatives were responsible for one of the worst financial meltdowns in history, one from which we have not yet fully recovered. However, they are likewise capable of generating some of the most incredible wealth we have ever seen. This book asks how we might ensure the latter while avoiding the former. Looking past the usual arguments for the regulation or abolition of derivative finance, it asks a more probing question: what kinds of social institutions and policies would we need to put in place to both avail ourselves of the derivative’s wealth production and make sure that production benefits all of us?
To answer that question, the contributors to this book draw upon their deep backgrounds in finance, social science, art, and the humanities to create a new way of understanding derivative finance that does justice to its social and cultural dimensions. They offer a two-pronged analysis. First, they develop a social understanding of the derivative that casts it in the light of anthropological concepts such as the gift, ritual, play, dividuality, and performativity. Second, they develop a derivative understanding of the social, using financial concepts such as risk, hedging, optionality, and arbitrage to uncover new dimensions of contemporary social reality. In doing so, they construct a necessary, renewed vision of derivative finance as a deeply embedded aspect not just of our economics but our culture.
A fierce critique of productivity and sovereignty in the world of labor and everyday life, Bruno Gullì’s Earthly Plenitudes asks, can labor exist without sovereignty and without capitalism? He introduces the concept of dignity of individuation to prompt a rethinking of categories of political ontology. Dignity of individuation stresses the notion that the dignity of each and any individual being lies in its being individuated as such; dignity is the irreducible and most essential character of any being. Singularity is a more universal quality.
Gullì first reviews approaches to sovereignty by philosophers as varied as Gottfried Leibniz and Georges Bataille, and then looks at concrete examples where the alliance of sovereignty and capital cracks under the potency of living labor. He examines contingent academic labor as an example of the super-exploitation of labor, which has become a global phenomenon, and as such, a clear threat to the sovereign logic of capital. Gullì also looks at disability to assert that a new measure of humanity can only be found outside the schemes of sovereignty, productivity, efficiency, and independence, through care and caring for others, in solidarity and interdependence.
In the mid-1990s, at the height of academic discussion about the inevitability of capitalist globalization, J. K. Gibson-Graham presented a groundbreaking and controversial argument for envisioning alternative economies. This new edition includes an introduction in which the authors address critical responses to The End of Capitalism and outline the economic research and activism they have been engaged in since the book was first published.
“Paralyzing problems are banished by this dazzlingly lucid, creative, and practical rethinking of class and economic transformation.” —Meaghan Morris, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
“Profoundly imaginative.” —Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, City University of New York “Filled with insights, it is clearly written and well supported with good examples of actual, deconstructive practices.” —International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
J. K. Gibson-Graham is the pen name of Katherine Gibson and Julie Graham, feminist economic geographers who work, respectively, at the Australian National University in Canberra and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Free to Lose
John E. ROEMER Harvard University Press, 1988 Library of Congress HB97.5.R6162 1988 | Dewey Decimal 335.412
John Roemer challenges the morality of an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production. Unless you start with a certain amount of wealth in such a society, you are only "free to lose." This book addresses crucial questions of political philosophy and normative economics in terms understandable by readers with a minimal knowledge of economics.
The neoliberal project in the West has created an increasingly polarized and impoverished world, to the point that the vast majority of its citizens require liberation from their present socioeconomic circumstances. The marxist theorist Kenneth Surin contends that innovation and change at the level of the political must occur in order to achieve this liberation, and for this endeavor marxist theory and philosophy are indispensable. In Freedom Not Yet, Surin analyzes the nature of our current global economic system, particularly with regard to the plight of less developed countries, and he discusses the possibilities of creating new political subjects necessary to establish and sustain a liberated world.
Surin begins by examining the current regime of accumulation—the global domination of financial markets over traditional industrial economies—which is used as an instrument for the subordination and dependency of poorer nations. He then moves to the constitution of subjectivity, or the way humans are produced as social beings, which he casts as the key arena in which struggles against dispossession occur. Surin critically engages with the major philosophical positions that have been posed as models of liberation, including Derrida’s notion of reciprocity between a subject and its other, a reinvigorated militancy in political reorientation based on the thinking of Badiou and Zizek, the nomad politics of Deleuze and Guattari, and the politics of the multitude suggested by Hardt and Negri. Finally, Surin specifies the material conditions needed for liberation from the economic, political, and social failures of our current system. Seeking to illuminate a route to a better life for the world’s poorer populations, Surin investigates the philosophical possibilities for a marxist or neo-marxist concept of liberation from capitalist exploitation and the regimes of power that support it.
Rick Kuhn’s Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism is the definitive study of the life and work of this renowned economist, activist, and intellectual. As a young man, Grossman joined the socialist movement and participated in Jewish workers' strikes and demonstrations, as well as in boycotts against employers and the Austro-Hungarian state. He moved to Vienna, but was driven back to Poland by the Austrian state's racist citizenship policies. A member of the illegal Polish Communist Party, Grossman was frequently arrested and jailed, finally leaving Poland for a post at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, which gave rise to the famous 'Frankfurt School'.
Grossman published his best known work in Frankfurt, including studies of Marx's method in Capital and theories of economic crisis that remain influential today. In tracing Grossman's experiences, from Kraków to New York, and offering a detailed account of his ideas, the biography provides an intimate account of key events in twentieth century history, including the politicization of east European Jewry, the World Wars, the rise of Stalinism and Nazism, and the cold war.
In Labor of Fire, Bruno Gullì offers a timely and much needed re-examination of the concept of labor. Distinguishing between "productive labor" (working for money or subsistence) and "living labor" (working for artistic creation), Gullì convincingly argues for a definition of work that recognizes the importance of artistic and social creativity to our definition of labor and the self.
Gullì lays the groundwork for his book by offering a critique of productive labor, and then maps out his productive/living labor distinction in detail, reviewing the work of Marx and others.
Lenin Reloaded is a rallying call by some of the world’s leading Marxist intellectuals for renewed attention to the significance of Vladimir Lenin. The volume’s editors explain that it was Lenin who made Karl Marx’s thought explicitly political, who extended it beyond the confines of Europe, who put it into practice. They contend that a focus on Lenin is urgently needed now, when global capitalism appears to be the only game in town, the liberal-democratic system seems to have been settled on as the optimal political organization of society, and it has become easier to imagine the end of the world than a modest change in the mode of production. Lenin retooled Marx’s thought for specific historical conditions in 1914, and Lenin Reloaded urges a reinvention of the revolutionary project for the present. Such a project would be Leninist in its commitment to action based on truth and its acceptance of the consequences that follow from action.
These essays, some of which are appearing in English for the first time, bring Lenin face-to-face with the problems of today, including war, imperialism, the imperative to build an intelligentsia of wage earners, the need to embrace the achievements of bourgeois society and modernity, and the widespread failure of social democracy. Lenin Reloaded demonstrates that truth and partisanship are not mutually exclusive as is often suggested. Quite the opposite—in the present, truth can be articulated only from a thoroughly partisan position.
Contributors. Kevin B. Anderson, Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Daniel Bensaïd, Sebastian Budgen, Alex Callinicos, Terry Eagleton, Fredric Jameson, Stathis Kouvelakis, Georges Labica, Sylvain Lazarus, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Lars T. Lih, Domenico Losurdo, Savas Michael-Matsas, Antonio Negri, Alan Shandro, Slavoj Žižek
Re/presenting Class is a collection of essays that develops a poststructuralist Marxian conception of class in order to theorize the complex contemporary economic terrain. Both building upon and reconsidering a tradition that Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff—two of this volume’s editors—began in the late 1980s with their groundbreaking work Knowledge and Class, contributors aim to correct previous research that has largely failed to place class as a central theme in economic analysis. Suggesting the possibility of a new politics of the economy, the collection as a whole focuses on the diversity and contingency of economic relations and processes. Investigating a wide range of cases, the essays illuminate, for instance, the organizational and cultural means by which unmeasured surpluses—labor that occurs outside the formal workplace‚ such as domestic work—are distributed and put to use. Editors Resnick and Wolff, along with J. K. Gibson-Graham, bring theoretical essays together with those that apply their vision to topics ranging from the Iranian Revolution to sharecropping in the Mississippi Delta to the struggle over the ownership of teaching materials at a liberal arts college. Rather than understanding class as an element of an overarching capitalist social structure, the contributors—from radical and cultural economists to social scientists—define class in terms of diverse and ongoing processes of producing, appropriating, and distributing surplus labor and view class identities as multiple, changing, and interacting with other aspects of identity in contingent and unpredictable ways. Re/presenting Class will appeal primarily to scholars of Marxism and political economy.
Contributors. Carole Biewener, Anjan Chakrabarti, Stephen Cullenberg, Fred Curtis, Satyananda Gabriel, J. K. Gibson-Graham, Serap Kayatekin, Bruce Norton, Phillip O’Neill, Stephen Resnick, David Ruccio, Dean Saitta, Andriana Vlachou, Richard Wolff
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.
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.