CapitalismEssaysIn Depth

Think Outside the Boss

Cooperate alternatives to the sharing economy

Digital labor touches all of us, whether you are browsing Tinder profiles in your spare time, searching for “Jersey Shore” on Google, or ordering an Uber taxi.

In this afternoon’s talk, I will highlight what is and what could be successful about 21st century work and what are some tendencies that are worrisome. Once we gain an understanding of that, we can examine how to work around the concerning dispositions and promote positive trends. In the first five minutes, I will walk you through a few cases that I find troublesome. …

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CapitalismLetters

#Theory21c (part 2)

It is quite scandalous how much theory-talk still retails metaphors based on 19th century worldviews. As if what we can know about the world had not undergone several revolutions since. Hence if one were to look for a #Theory21c it would have to start with people who at least engage with technical scientific languages of our times. One example of which would be Tiziana Terranova’s Network Culture (Pluto Press 2004). I looked back over the bulk of the book in a previous post. This one takes up her engagement with the theories and sciences of biological computing.

 

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CapitalismEssays

Put out the FIRE (in GDP)!

No one can escape discussions about the state of “the economy.” They inform political campaigns in the U.S., debt and austerity battles in the Eurozone, and development efforts in the poorest countries in the world. Our ideas about “the economy” — how it works, what it involves, and how it is measured — provide the departure point for our debates over inequality, unemployment, wages and a host of other hot topics. And no metric for describing and assessing national economic health is used more frequently today than Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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CapitalismLetters

The Place of the Global South in the World Capitalist System

Sanjay Ruparella’s lucid and compelling talk on the global South can help us to clarify what we mean by capitalism. If the “global South” implies a global capitalist system or project, what was that project? We can think of it as unfolding in two waves: the first began with the discovery of America in 1492 and took the form of the great trading empires; the second began with industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century and continues today. In the first wave, specialization, the division of labor and trade are crucial; in the second, the capital labor relation per se. To be sure, we can think of the two waves as continuous, building on one another. In both cases, capitalism implies increased productivity and growth, as well as increasing inequality.

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