A critique of Capital (2): The metaphysics of economics

by Sanjay Perera
From the perspective of the Kantian critique the problem with the synthetic idea of general equilibrium is that it fast becomes a transcendent one. Continue reading A critique of Capital (2): The metaphysics of economics

A critique of Capital (1): The problem with economics

by Sanjay Perera
In the introductory lines of a textbook on economics are these words: “Are Marxists correct in arguing that only vast expenditure on arms saves the capitalist countries from a return of mass unemployment? Or have we now learned…how to avoid forever such devastating situations? Why, then, in the late 1970s, did unemployment in Britain, the United States and several other countries reach the highest levels ever attained since the Great Depression of the 1930s?” Continue reading A critique of Capital (1): The problem with economics

Beyond the postmodern “moment”: Utopianism, aestheticism, and the avant-garde

by P.J. Laska The first item of interest for any inquest concerning the status of postmodernism will surely be the fact of continuing post-mortem activity of the sort Dostoevsky described in his grotesque tale “Bobok :”  “Prodolzhayetsya  zhizn’ kak by po inertsii”  [The (conscious) life of (the recently deceased) continues as if by inertia]—a phenomenon D. H. Lawrence commented on later in his Studies in Classic American Literature: “Post mortem effects. Ghosts. A certain ghoulish insistency.”  A contemporary example of this phenomenon was voiced recently by Paul Krugman:  “America’s political landscape is infested with many zombie ideas—beliefs about policy that … Continue reading Beyond the postmodern “moment”: Utopianism, aestheticism, and the avant-garde

The economy of violence: Waste, expenditure and surplus

by Sanjay Perera
We are living in a time when the world is seeing the full effects of the economic violence of capitalism on all life forms and the planet itself. The violent process of capitalism is one of extraction and exploitation as it operates in a framework of polarity that exacerbates the difference between taking and giving, storing and sharing, and the separation between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. Continue reading The economy of violence: Waste, expenditure and surplus

Capitalism and the problem of collective action

by Gavin Kitching The central argument of this article[1] is that humankind is now creating collective action[2] problems of such enormous complexity and scale that it is very difficult for individual people, on the basis of their ordinary everyday experience alone, to even grasp them as problems, let alone see how to solve them. Such problems include: chronic global economic instability, anthropogenic global warming and climate change, increasingly ineffective governments, traffic jams, and rising health care costs. All of these problems are ‘mass’ or ‘collective’ outcomes of individual actions, actions motivated by intentions quite different from those outcomes. In other … Continue reading Capitalism and the problem of collective action

Marxism, the 21st century and social transformation

by Bill Fletcher, Jr. A discussion of the future of socialism and social transformation must be grounded in two realities.  The first reality is the broader economic, environmental and state-legitimacy crises in which humanity finds itself.  In other words, the convergence of these three crises means that the necessity for a genuine Left capable of leading masses of people is more pressing than ever.  It means that while one cannot sit back and wait for the supposed “final” crisis of capitalism to open up doors to freedom — since capitalism is largely defined by its continual crises — it is … Continue reading Marxism, the 21st century and social transformation

A co-revolutionary theory

by David Harvey The historical geography of capitalist development is at a key inflexion point in which the geographical configurations of power are rapidly shifting at the very moment when the temporal dynamic is facing very serious constraints. Three percent compound growth (generally considered the minimum satisfactory growth rate for a healthy capitalist economy) is becoming less and less feasible to sustain without resort to all manner of fictions (such as those that have characterized asset markets and financial affairs over the last two decades). There are good reasons to believe that there is no alternative to a new global … Continue reading A co-revolutionary theory