It seems odd now to recall that up until a few years ago, the concept of capitalism largely had fallen out of favor as a subject of academic inquiry and critique. Most scholars in the humanities and social sciences regarded the term as too broad, too vague, too encumbered by associations with either Marxism or laissez-faire. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, capitalism could be taken for granted, it seemed. No person or nation could escape the discipline of efficient, spontaneous, self-regulating, globalizing markets.
Economists cut economies loose from society, institutions, culture, and history. They repositioned their discipline upon models that assumed that rational, utility-maximizing individual parts represented and explained the behavior of the economy-as-a-whole. Many social scientists -- especially in political science -- embraced these rational-actor models. Others joined historians and humanities scholars in the "cultural turn." ...
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April 12th, 2014
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The need to organize the economic life of humanity better than capitalism does is well established. Capitalism-- by which I mean the buying and selling of labor power-- breeds inequality, as Karl Marx showed and as Thomas Picketty has just re-demonstrated. Capitalism subordinates collective needs, such as our present need to address climate change, to private, short-term and particularistic interests. Capitalism generates large-scale unemployment, especially as technology erodes the need for labor, as is the case today. For any one who has a rational, organizational mentality capitalism is actually a bit of an embarrassment. At the same time, capitalism has marked ...
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Public Seminar Review Volume 1, Issue 1
Inaugural Edition (Fall 2013)
The first trimester of the Public Seminar is over, and the papers are now in, presented in this Inaugural Issue. We started our active publishing with reports and analyses on the Gezi protests in Istanbul; our last feature of the year was a poetic eyewitness report on the Maidan protests in Kiev. In between, many other reports and reflections on pressing issues of the day were published and discussed, as were pieces on enduring problems, from empathy to the social condition to penis envy.
In Volume 1, Issue 1
Capitalism and its Alternatives
Democracy and Media
Identity: Race, Gender, Sexuality and Psychology
The Arts and Literature
Memory and Miscellaneous
With: Andrew Arato, Cinzia Arruzza, Richard J. Bernstein, Jay M. Bernstein, Andriy Bondarenko, Fabián Bosoer, Chiara Bottici, Vince Carducci, Emanuele Castano, Helena Chmielewska-Szlajfer, Simon Critchley, Daniel Dayan, Irit Dekel, Federico Finchelstein, Nancy Fraser, Mark Frazier, Daryl Glaser, Jeffrey Goldfarb, Yana Gorokhovskaia, Glenn Greenwald, Nick Haekkerup, Michael D. Hall, Klaus Bruhn Jensen, Beth Kalikoff, Leslie Kaplan, Siobhan Kattago, Paul A. Kottman, Esther Kreider-Verhalle, Elzbieta Matynia, William Milberg, Virag Molnar, Hugh Raffles, Jeremy Safran, Gema Santamaría, Anwar Shaikh, Iddo Tavory, Ertug Tombus, Jeremy Varon, Robin Wagner-Pacifici, McKenzie Wark, Susan Yelavich, Eli Zaretsky, and Vera Zolberg