Tag: Capital

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…

Blockupy Frankfurt 2013 – appeal for action this spring

            “Resistance in the heart of Europe’s crisis regime” – under this slogan the Blockupy Alliance is planning renewed international protests in Frankfurt this spring. In a nationwide meeting on Sunday in Frankfurt’s DGB-200 Active House it was agreed to push on with preparations for the days of action and…

On the Right to Peace and the Environment

Peace and the environment are two equally wide-reaching topics, and consequently they could be studied separately and from a variety of perspectives. In this article, we will endeavour to demonstrate the relationship between peace and the environment starting with the idea that the preservation of both is significantly compromised by the current economic system. Our…

The Amazon Archipelago

On Wed­nes­day night prime Ger­man tele­vi­sion chan­nel ARD broad­cast under­cover report­age con­cern­ing the treat­ment of for­eign work­ers at Amazon’s huge dis­tri­bu­tion ware­house near Bad Hersfeld in cent­ral Ger­many. State par­lia­ment­ari­ans called the report “unspeak­able”, “shock­ing”, “bey­ond the pale”, and the Left Party spokes­per­son stated:

“We call on the state gov­ern­ment to carry out promptly and with all at its dis­posal checks of the complainant’s social secur­ity fraud, the use of an appar­ent neo-​Nazi secur­ity com­pany through Amazon and the inhu­mane place­ment in a so-​called ‘resort’”.

Bad Hersfeld backs up against the old bor­der with East Ger­many at the point, the Fulda Gap, which the US determ­ined was the prime stra­tegic entry point for Soviet forces in any inva­sion of Europe. As a con­sequence this wooded up-​country became a back­wa­ter of barbed wire and check­points after the war. It is here that Amazon has had built one of its massive dis­tri­bu­tion centres for Ger­many, and it is here that under­cover report­ers infilt­rated.