Tag: Capital

Sustaining neoliberal capital through socio-economic rights

In a 2013 contribution aimed at influencing the post-2015 development agenda, seventeen UN Special Rapporteurs recommended that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should include a goal on the provision of social protection floors. In April 2015 the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR or the Committee) issued a Statement on ‘Social protection…

On Marx’s Philosophical Methodology in the Grundrisse

There is a considerable debate about the value of Marx’s earlier philosophical works relative to his mature period writing the three volumes of Capital. Some believe that they are of great importance for understanding Marx, while others such as Althusser[1] famously believed that the early works were mere preparation for presenting the full science of…

From the Cybernetic World War towards a Cybernetic Civil War

On an emerging phenomenon in the field of political affairs. On the Road to the Cybernetic World War Energy is essential for the production and movement of “things”. Using an assemblage of machines the industrial revolution exponentially increased the energy available to human society; however, such machinery required human supervision and control to attain its…

Anything but disruptive: blockchain, capital and a case of fourth industrial age enclosure – Part II

Under the aegis of a feverish entrepreneurial spiritualism and redoubled post-crisis capitalism of the fourth industrial age, the radical transparency and openness once promised by blockchain is in retreat.  We are witnessing blockchain-as-enclosure; enclosure through the proliferation of private permissioned ledgers, which are indicative of capitalism’s generalized tendency towards the imposition of property definitions on…

Capitalism and the Production of Difference

The defence of capitalism as a system of economic organization often takes the form of strangely pious declarations about how we have strayed from the path. This could involve over taxation, limiting incentives, government takeovers of industry. Crises, it is claimed, emerge from our failure to allow the market to work its miraculous power divorced…

Wealth inequality denial

While trying to poke holes in Piketty’s inequality thesis, the FT has engaged in all the classical tactics of climate change denial but in turbocharged form.In the week a report established that 97.1% of scientists publishing on the subject have concluded that man-made climate change exists, it seems the right have re-opened an old front in…

Five Theses on Financialisation

Financialisation constitutes an impersonal system. Its aim is not to destroy the communities and ecosystems of the world, but rather to increase their dependency on finance. 1 The dual nature of contemporary capitalism resides in the separation of  ‘politics’ and ‘economics’ on one side, and ‘finance’ and ‘production’ on the other. However, in financialisation ‘politics’…

Critical Finance Law

Key Concept: An outline of a critical approach to conceiving and teaching finance law.Finance and teleology Critical finance law is the study of one of the most significant teloi of the modern era: the settlement of debt. Why is the settlement of debt a telos? Well it is perhaps no surprise that just as the…

What’s “Left” of Communism? Part II of II

In my last article I was looking at the Left’s current return to communism and that, while the thinkers most often associated with this return are adamant that this is a new and more fluid communism than the communist projects of the 20th century, there are three problematic commonalities that most of them share that…

What’s “Left” of Communism? Part I of II

In his 1980 book The Inoperative Community, Jean-Luc Nancy famously claimed that communism is, “… no longer the unsurpassable horizon of our time.” Three years later Benedict Anderson, in his groundbreaking book Imagined Communities, showed us how alliances based on common identity are much stronger bonds that alliances based on ideology. All of this seemed…

Democracy or Capitalism?

The relation between democracy and capital has always been a tense one, of even total contradiction. Capitalism only feels safe it is ruled by whoever owns capital or identifies with its needs, whereas democracy, on the contrary, is the rule of the majorities who have neither capital nor reasons to identify with the needs of…

The Reactionary ‘Freeman-on-the-land’ and a Political Fracture

The Irish Times reports over 100 ‘Freeman’-style arguments used in the Irish courts this year, citing the Law Society Gazette [for the traditional legal response see here and here]. Last Tuesday, Francis Cullen (36) was sentenced to another three months in Mountjoy Prison for refusing to recognise the court’s jurisdiction. He claimed, according to the…

The Bias of Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch’s se­lective and biased ap­plic­a­tion of the human rights norms en­shrined in the UN Declaration not only un­der­mines its cred­ib­ility, it also pro­motes injustice. Over the past thirty years, Human Rights Watch has become one of the most recognized non-governmental organizations in the world due to its global promotion of human rights. But…

Cypriots Discover the Debt Jubilee

Come again? Cypriots discover the debt jubilee? Well yes actually, that is basically how depositors at Cypriot banks have been treated by the Troika, even if the decision to grab up to 9.9% of cash deposits to finance a bail out of the finance sector is being presented as a tax or levy. To understand…

Eco-Technics: Notes on the Thought of Jean-Luc Nancy

Nancy coins the term eco-technics to describe the current global politico-economic conjuncture. Hillis Miller explains: ‘“Eco” comes from the Greek word oikos, the house or home. The prefix “eco-” is used more broadly now to refer to the total environment within which one or another “living” creature “dwells”’ (Hillis Miller 2012, 66). Thus, at stake…