late capitalism

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pages: 142 words: 45,733

Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis by Benjamin Kunkel

anti-communist, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, creative destruction, David Graeber, declining real wages, full employment, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, peak oil, price stability, profit motive, savings glut, Slavoj Žižek, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

As a Marxist, Jameson was calmer and more forthright: he simply called the system “late capitalism,” after the book by Ernest Mandel, the Belgian Trotskyist, which provided the base, as it were, to his own cultural superstructure. Mandel’s Late Capitalism (1972) had offered a magnificently confident and pugnacious argument about the nature of postwar capitalism, but he regretted “not being able to propose a better term for this historical era than ‘late capitalism.’ ” In Mandel’s usage, “late” simply meant “recent,” but the term naturally also suggests obsolescence. This implication of an utterly misplaced Marxist triumphalism probably had consequences for the reception of Jameson’s theory (and Mandel’s). Who could believe in 1991, when Jameson published Postmodernism, Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, that capitalism was on its last legs?

Still, the weak point in his strongly Marxist account of recent culture has been his relatively thin description of the economy, the mode of production. It is too easy to read much of his work and conclude that a given film or novel could indeed be read as a blind allegory of “late capitalism,” without late capitalism meaning anything much more distinct than “the economy” or “the system.” In such cases it has been far easier to accept his Marxism in an axiomatic sense—a product of late capitalism will necessarily be about late capitalism too—than to see how the axiom could be embodied in persuasive local analyses of this or that cultural artifact or tendency. And yet it isn’t as if Jameson can’t do that too. Some of his strongest essays, for instance “The Brick and the Balloon” (1998) or “The End of Temporality” (2003)—about, respectively, postmodern architecture and the waning contemporary sense of past and future—analyze these phenomena the more convincingly and illuminatingly for doing so in the context of the bodiless and instantaneous transactions of finance capital.

Despite its Marxist vocabulary, the argument of Ernest Mandel in Late Capitalism (1972) coincides with prevailing views ever since: As soon as expansion led to the dismantling and disappearance of the industrial reserve army [Marx’s term for the unemployed] … the golden years of late capitalism were internationally over. There was no longer any chance of an automatic increase in the rate of profit or its maintenance at a high level. The struggle over the rate of surplus-value [the ratio of profits to wages: in practice, synonymous with the rate of exploitation] now flared up anew. Moreover, in this struggle it was precisely the high level of employment which contributed to a significant increase in the strength of wage-earners … Late capitalism cannot avoid a period of relatively decelerated economic expansion if it fails to break the resistance of wage-earners and so to achieve a new radical increase in the rate of surplus-value.


pages: 320 words: 86,372

Mythology of Work: How Capitalism Persists Despite Itself by Peter Fleming

1960s counterculture, anti-work, call centre, clockwatching, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, David Graeber, Etonian, future of work, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, illegal immigration, Kitchen Debate, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, neoliberal agenda, Parkinson's law, post-industrial society, post-work, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, Results Only Work Environment, shareholder value, social intelligence, The Chicago School, transaction costs, wealth creators, working poor

After a while I started to pretend to be a robot and then … I sort of couldn’t remember if I was a robot or not and so I had to get out of there. Humour aside, this exchange nicely expresses some interesting dynamics concerning the ‘social factory’ of neoliberal capitalism. So-called non-work time is a resource to be used up, especially with the help of mobile technology. This is what gives late capitalism a strange sense of permanence – we are never not at work. Even if we are not being formally paid, that is no longer an excuse for deserting one’s role. The time of labour curves back on itself, with only the happy occasion of a funeral partially exempting you from the injunction always to be on call. Moreover, this relationship to one’s job functions to transform the body into an observable commodity form.

In doing so, creativity and innovation are successfully wedded to self-exploitation. The evidence suggests that this trend has certainly been important, especially regarding self-managing teams, autonomy and so forth. But I would say that the focus on ‘the subject’ actually camouflages a more significant force indicative of capitalism today: namely, rationalization. For all the talk about individuality, difference, personal authenticity and plural identities, late capitalism is extremely one-dimensional, revolving almost singularly around questions of efficiency, utility and input–output effectiveness. And society doesn’t function very well when organized exclusively on these principles: it bends and groans under the pressure as faceless technocrats further rationalize our worlds so that our bodies absorb the costs of an unworkable system. Such rationalization does not contradict my earlier point concerning the primacy of gratuitous obedience over real economic efficiency.

This ideological universalization is a key governance strategy that neoliberal institutions use to keep the frantic pace of useless toil cranking along at breakneck pace. Work has become a virtual portmanteau that weighs upon our shoulders, its negative energy swallowing everything around us like some perfidious black hole. And, as I explore in more depth in Chapter 2, this demented generalization of the will-to-produce that has captured the social imaginary of late capitalism represents first and foremost a class offensive. As Keynes anxiously admitted, what would we do with all that free time? What is striking about the cultural idiom of our workers’ society is the compulsive obsessiveness that it inspires. If its justification has long been emptied of pious assurance, that void has been stopgapped by a certain social sickness: a liturgy of inwardness that is exaggerated by an ‘all or nothing’ attitude towards the empty grammar of labour.


pages: 353 words: 81,436

Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism by Wolfgang Streeck

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, banking crisis, basic income, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial repression, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, means of production, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, profit maximization, risk tolerance, shareholder value, too big to fail, union organizing, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

This is not contradicted by the fact that Adorno introduced ‘late capitalism’ into social theory as a ‘Frankfurt School’ concept, using it in the title he chose for the German Sociological Congress in 1968 and in his opening report ‘Late Capitalism or Industrial Society?’ (T. Adorno, ‘Late Capitalism or Industrial Society?’, in Volker Merja et al., Modern German Sociology, New York: Columbia University Press, 1987). Adorno distinguished ‘late capitalism’ from what he called ‘liberal capitalism’, which, following Pollock, he regarded as a historically prior form of capitalism now superseded by state intervention and organization. Late capitalism was thus essentially identical with what others had been calling ‘organized capitalism’. The possibility of a looming crisis of organized (late) capitalism, or of a return to its liberal past in the shape of a neoliberal future, does not appear anywhere in Adorno’s writings. 23 D.

On looking back at them, one also repeatedly finds a stubborn insistence on minor differences within the same theoretical family, which today appear irrelevant or even incomprehensible. For this reason alone, the point at issue cannot be who then was more right than others. The theoretical endeavours of the Frankfurt years also demonstrate how social-scientific knowledge is unavoidably tied to its time. Nevertheless, it might be possible to link up with 1970s theories of the crisis of ‘late capitalism’ in grappling with present-day events – and not only because we now know again, and are again able to voice, what was forgotten for decades or dismissed as irrelevant: that the economic and social order of the wealthy democracies is still a capitalist order and can be understood, if at all, only with the help of a theory of capitalism. In retrospect, we can also see what was then imperceptible (because it was still self-evident or had already become self-evident) or what people were unwilling to perceive (because it stood in the way of their political projects).

– social trends of development repeatedly come up against counteracting factors that may slow them down or divert, modify or halt them.12 Societies observe the trends at work in them and react to them. In doing so, they display an inventiveness far beyond anything imagined by social scientists, even by those who have correctly identified the (socially contentious) underlying trends. The crisis of late capitalism in the 1970s must have been visible even to those who had no interest in its downfall or self-destruction. They too sensed the tensions more or less accurately diagnosed by crisis theory, and acted in response. From today’s vantage, such reactions appear as successful attempts – stretching over more than four decades – to buy time. While the common expression ‘buying time’ does not necessarily imply an outlay of money, it clearly does in this case – and on a large scale.


pages: 268 words: 112,708

Culture works: the political economy of culture by Richard Maxwell

1960s counterculture, American ideology, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business process, commoditize, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, intermodal, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, Network effects, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, talking drums, telemarketer, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

Propelled by media machinations, sport has risen to replace work, religion, and community as the cultural “glue of collective consciousness in latter twentieth century America,” while simultaneously becoming the “most potent of global ‘idioms.’”4 Hence, this essay focuses on the popular cultural phenomenon variously described as “mediasport,” the “sports/media complex,” the “sport-business-TV nexus,” “sportainment,” or “the high-flying entertainment-media-sports industry.”5 Far from providing a comprehensive overview of the subject, this essay analyzes the relationship between contemporary sport culture and the media industry.6 Despite the growing awareness of what one writer calls the “institutional alignment of sports and media in the context of late capitalism,”7 sport continues to be fetishized by large sections of the general populace as a cultural form somehow removed from the invasive influences of late capitalism. Even the most critical of cultural commentators can slip into a whimsical romanticism whenever sport is mentioned, thereby totally ignoring its broader social and economic derivations or ramifications. Countering such naïveté, and invoking Marshal McLuhan’s dictum “fish don’t know water till beached,”8 this discussion encourages readers to think outside commonsense, uncritical, and myopic understandings of sport by highlighting two exemplars of this most evocative of late-capitalist synergies (that between sport and the commercial media), namely, News Corporation and the Olympic Games; for, the minimum requirement for becoming a productive contributor within the sport industry, an accomplished sport studies scholar, and— perhaps most important—an informed sport consumer, is the ability to discern and dissect the political economic nexus of sport-media-commerce.

A n d r e w s subsequently in the corporatizing economies of Western Europe, Japan, and Australasia, this imperious corporate model transformed sport into big business, undermining once and for all any claim that sport enjoyed a semiautonomous relation to the political economy. Once conclusively appropriated by corporate capitalism, the very constitution and delivery of sport culture became dialectically implicated in subsequent changes in the economic order. Today’s media-driven sport culture can only be understood in relation to what Jameson famously described as the cultural logics of late capitalism that crystallized in the final decades of the twentieth century.19 Before this phase of late capitalism, the political economy had been dominated by mass material manufacturing carried out by large-scale manual workforces, in traditional factory settings, using heavy industrial machinery. During the 1970s, declining industrial productivity rates, and the inflationary effects of global oil crises, incited the gradual unraveling of industrial capitalism after almost a century of relatively stable growth.

Although losing portions of its core male viewership to the media culture phenomenon that is TNT’s WCW Monday Nitro and USA Network’s WWF Raw,38 ABC’s Monday Night Football continues to preoccupy the American male adult gaze to such a degree that it receives a staggering $380,000 for every thirty-second advertising spot.39 Lower down the television sport food chain, despite being expected to garner modest viewing figures, the very fact that approximately 40 percent of the audience for its telecasts is drawn from the cherished eighteen- to thirty-four-year-old male demographic means that ABC’s NHL television coverage commands between $30,000 and $35,000 per thirty-second spot.40 138 Sport In addition to the regular network coverage catering to televised sport’s traditional adult male constituency, sport programming targeted at specific market niches has recently come to the fore. Whereas Monday Night Football’s adult male demographic was once the almost exclusive quarry of sport programmers, now late capitalism’s broadening exploitative reach has brought female, youth, ethnic, and gray markets into the televised sport universe, as evidenced by the presence of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) on NBC and Lifetime; the X Games on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2; Major League Soccer (MLS) on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2; and numerous Senior Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) events on various channels.


pages: 424 words: 115,035

How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open borders, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, post-industrial society, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, Vol. 1, New York: Oxford University Press 2003, pp. 319–325. 8This is reflected in the periodicizations of the history of capitalism typically offered by its theorists. Thus Sombart distinguishes between ‘early’ (merchant), ‘high’ (industrial) and ‘late’ capitalism, the latter referring to the 1920s and 1930s. For Hilferding, the transition he observed during his lifetime from liberal to organized and from industrial to financial capitalism was a transition out of capitalism into something else. Marx and Engels, just as after them Rosa Luxemburg, expected the socialist revolution to take place while they were still alive. Polanyi believed he had seen the end of capitalism, coincident with the end of the Second World War. The ‘Frankfurt School’ located ‘late capitalism’ (Spätkapitalismus) in the 1970s, having taken the place of liberal capitalism or free market capitalism after 1945. Schumpeter was certain already in 1918 that there would come a time when ‘capitalism has done its work and an economy exists which is satiated with capital and thoroughly rationalized by entrepreneurial brains.

The best bet seems to be the 1600s, although modern capitalism, or capitalism as a social system or a society, may only have originated with its marriage with science and technology in early industrialization, i.e., at the end of the eighteenth century. See, among others, Kocka, Geschichte des Kapitalismus. 11To get an idea of the magnitude of the about-face that took place, although only gradually and thus for a long time imperceptibly, see Sombart’s model of the ‘form of economic life’ under ‘late capitalism’: ‘Freedom from external constraint characteristic of the period of full capitalism is superseded in the period of late capitalism by an increase in the number of restrictions until the entire system becomes regulated rather than free. Some of these regulations are self-imposed – the bureaucratization of internal management, the submission to collective decisions of trade associations, exchange boards, cartels and similar organizations. Others are prescribed by the state – factory legislation, social insurance, price regulation.

In the 1970s, however, what had with hindsight been called the ‘post-war settlement’ of social-democratic capitalism began to disintegrate, gradually and imperceptibly at first but increasingly punctuated by successive, ever more severe crises of both the capitalist economy and the social and political institutions embedding, that is, supporting as well as containing it. This was the period of both intensifying crisis and deep transformation when ‘late capitalism’, as impressively described by Werner Sombart in the 1920s,11 gave way to neoliberalism. Crisis Theory Redux Today, after the watershed of the financial crisis of 2008, critical and indeed crisis-theoretical reflection on the prospects of capitalism and its society is again en vogue. Does Capitalism Have a Future? is the title of a book published in 2013 by five outstanding social scientists: Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, Georgi Derluguian and Craig Calhoun.


pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway

Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

Ernst Mandel uses the concept of Kondratieff waves to examine what he calls the era of late capitalism beginning in approximately 1945. “As far as I can see,” writes Fredric Jameson, “the general use of the term late capitalism originated with the Frankfurt School; it is everywhere in Adorno and Horkheimer, sometimes varied with their own synonyms (for example, ‘administered society’).”36 Jameson states that the concept is ultimately Mandel’s: “There have been three fundamental moments in capitalism, each one marking a dialectical expansion over the previous stage. These are market 34. Kittler, Discourse Networks, 1800/1900, pp. 206, 210, 211–212. 35. Kittler, Discourse Networks, 1800/1900, p. 192. 36. Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991), p. xviii. Introduction 23 capitalism, the monopoly stage or the stage of imperialism, and our own, wrongly called postindustrial, but what might be better termed multinational capital,”37 or to use Mandel’s terminology, late capitalism.

Introduction 23 capitalism, the monopoly stage or the stage of imperialism, and our own, wrongly called postindustrial, but what might be better termed multinational capital,”37 or to use Mandel’s terminology, late capitalism. Like other social critics of late-twentieth-century life, Jameson looks to the economic crisis of 1973 as a turning point, a moment that “somehow crystallized”38 these new currents of postmodernity. Jameson admits that Mandel’s work “is what made [his] own thoughts on ‘postmodernism’ possible.”39 Sociologist Manuel Castells has also documented this transformation out of decentralization into new distributed, flexible economies in his threevolume treatise The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Using the term “network society” (rather than Deleuze’s “society of control” or Jameson’s “late capitalism”), Castells shows with extensive quantitative documentation that today’s sociopolitical space is dominated not by robust national economies and core industrial sectors but by “interactive networks” and “flexible accumulation.”

However it does not allow the system to model the real world.”2 Hierarchy may allow for greater efficiency or greater instrumentalism, but as BernersLee points out, it is less faithful to the actual material existence of the real world today. As Deleuze and Guattari put it simply, “We’re tired of trees.”3 Yet the success of protocol today as a management style proves that the ruling elite is tired of trees too. “One essential characteristic that sets late capitalism apart from other political and economic forms,” writes Critical Art Ensemble on the disappearance of hierarchical power, “is its mode of representing power: What was once a sedentary concrete mass has now become a nomadic electronic flow.”4 So the rich and powerful are also profiting from the transition into protocological control. 1. Armand Mattelart, Networking the World, 1794–2000 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), p. 101. 2.


pages: 717 words: 196,908

The Idea of Decline in Western History by Arthur Herman

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, David Attenborough, European colonialism, George Santayana, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, Joan Didion, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile

He was not the first to do so: Freud’s disciple Wilhelm Reich had made the same attempt, much to Freud’s disgust and fury.38 But whereas Reich limited himself to insisting that the end of capitalism would mean the end of neurosis, Fromm and his supporters at the Institute of Social Research gave the merger of Freud and Marx a more analytical thrust. They tried to describe the social psychology of late capitalism by revealing its supposedly distorting effects on the individual and the family, particularly among workers. “The more a society collapses economically, socially and psychologically,” Fromm wrote in 1937, “the greater are the differences in psychic structure in the various classes.” The modern family, like late capitalism itself, was “in crisis,” Fromm and Adorno concluded in their Studies on Authority and the Family. The effects were far-reaching and deadly, particularly on the individual. People emerged from the modern family as psychological cripples, particularly in their capacity to deal with authority and authority figures.

The first was the disappearance of a revolutionary proletariat thanks to mindless bourgeois culture. Marcuse stridently expounded on this theme in his most widely read work, One-Dimensional Man (1964), which is largely an expansion of The Dialectic of Enlightenment’s grim picture of the nature of late capitalism, what others were now referring to as “the affluent society” and “postindustrial civilization.” Soul-destroying Zivilisation had turned into the “consumer society,” which disguises its true repressive nature behind a cornucopia of goods and services. As with Adorno and Horkheimer’s totalizing late capitalism, what seems to be increasing personal freedom is actually the opposite; the middle class and workers often remain blissfully unaware of how unhappy they really are.* However, “the extension of exploitation to a larger part of the population, accompanied by a higher standard of living, is the reality behind the facade of the consumer society.”54 “In the affluent society,” Marcuse wrote, “capitalism has come into its own.”

For a brief period, from 1900 to 1910, Du Bois had evoked the image of a talented tenth of Negro intellectuals and politicians, who would assert a sense of racial pride by building a record of cultural achievements without “bow[ing] a knee to Baal.”71 Then he had turned to Pan-African nationalism and then to black separatism, according to which American blacks would build their own independent economy parallel to that of whites, again with no invidious profit motive. Finally, in the thirties, he turned to Marx and Communism. He had learned a good deal about Marx during his stay in Germany in 1892 to ’94 and visited the Soviet Union in 1924. His own analysis of imperialism had anticipated V.I. Lenin’s Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism, which argued (wrongly) that the scramble for Africa was due to surplus capital, and that late capitalism could only derive its profits from an expanding colonial empire.* For a time after World War II, Du Bois even worried that the capitalist world, in its final death agonies, would crush out the cause of liberation of nonwhite people.72 Then the British granted independence to India, the United States forced the Dutch to leave Indonesia, and the European powers began to shed their colonies—and prospered.


pages: 188 words: 9,226

Collaborative Futures by Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Mushon Zer-Aviv

4chan, AGPL, Benjamin Mako Hill, British Empire, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative economy, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, informal economy, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late capitalism, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Naomi Klein, Network effects, optical character recognition, packet switching, postnationalism / post nation state, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, stealth mode startup, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, WikiLeaks

In her o -referenced essay “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy,” Tiziana Terranova discusses free labor's complex relationship to capitalism. Free labor is a desire of labor immanent to late capitalism, and late capitalism is the field that both sustains free labor and exhausts it. It exhausts it by subtracting selectively but widely the means through which that labor can reproduce itself: from the burnout syndromes of Internet start-ups to underretribution and exploitation in the cultural economy at large. Late capitalism does not appropriate anything: it nurtures, exploits, and exhausts its labor force and its cultural and affective production. In this sense, it is technically impossible to separate neatly the digital economy of the Net from the larger network economy of late capitalism. Especially since 1994, the Internet is always and simultaneously a gi economy and an advanced capitalist economy.


pages: 229 words: 68,426

Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing by Adam Greenfield

augmented reality, business process, defense in depth, demand response, demographic transition, facts on the ground, game design, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, James Dyson, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, profit motive, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method

All that is necessary to begin deriving higher-order information from them is for some real-time coordinating mechanism to allow heterogeneous databases, owned by different entities and maintained in different places, to talk to each other over a network. This way of determining price gets asymptotically close to one of the golden assumptions of classical economics, the frictionlessness of information about a commodity. Consumers could be sure of getting something very close to the best price consistent with the seller's reasonable expectation of profit. In this sense, everyware would appear to be late capitalism's Holy Grail. And where sharing such information was once anathema to business, this is no longer necessarily true. Google and yahoo! already offer open application programming interfaces (APIs) to valuable properties like Google Maps and the Flickr photo-sharing service, and the practice is spreading; business has grown comfortable sharing even information traditionally held much closer to the vest, like current inventory levels, with partners up and down the supply chain.

Whether or not any one of us has asked to live in such a home, or would ever dream of pursuing such a "lifestyle," there are hard-nosed business reasons why everyware looks like a safe bet. Entire sectors of the economy are already looking to the informatic colonization of everyday things, and not merely as part of an enhanced value proposition offered the purchaser of such things. For manufacturers and vendors, the necessary gear represents quite a substantial revenue stream in its own right. The logic of success in late capitalism is, of course, continuous growth. The trouble is that the major entertainment conglomerates and consumerelectronics manufacturers have hit something of a wall these last few years; with a few exceptions (the iPod comes to mind), we're not buying as much of their product as we used to, let alone ever more of it. Whether gaming systems, personal video recorders (PvRs), or video-enabled mobile phones, nothing has yet matched the must-have appeal of the PC, let alone reached anything like television's level of market penetration.

These are ways of thinking about the world that follow in the wake of the mass adoption of information technology, as natural afterward as they would have seemed alien beforehand. For example, designers Ulla-Maaria Mutanen and Jyri EngestrÖm, working with economics student Adam Wern, have proposed something they call a "free product identifier." Their ThingLinks offer an equivalent of the familiar UPC or ISBN codes, specifically designed for the "invisible tail" of short-run, amateur, or folk productions previously denied a place in the grand electronic souk of late capitalism. Anyone, at no charge, can generate a code, associate it with an object, and fill out some basic information relating to it, and forever after that object can be looked up via the net—either the one we enjoy now, or whatever ubiquitous variant comes afterward.* * Each ThingLink is technically a valid Uniform Resource Identifier, albeit one refined down to the "scheme" and "path" semantic elements.


pages: 1,015 words: 170,908

Empire by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri

Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, colonial rule, conceptual framework, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global pandemic, global village, Haight Ashbury, informal economy, invisible hand, late capitalism, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, open borders, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Scramble for Africa, social intelligence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, urban planning

Patsy Vigderman and Jonathan Cloud (Boston: South End Press, 1980); for James O’Connor, see ‘‘Capitalism, Nature, Socialism: A Theoretical Introduction,’’ Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, 1, no. 1 (1989), 11–38. 19. ‘‘Late capitalism thus appears as the period in which all branches ofthe economy are fully industrialized for the first time; to which one could N O T E S T O P A G E S 2 7 2 – 2 7 8 459 further add . . . the increasing mechanization of the superstructure.’’ Ernest Mandel, Late Capitalism, trans. Joris De Bres (London: Verso, 1978), pp. 190–191. 20. ‘‘This purer capitalism ofour own time thus eliminated the enclaves of precapitalist organization it had hitherto tolerated and exploited in a tributary way.’’ Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1990), p. 36. 21. We do not mean to suggest that capital can perpetually through techno- logical advances reconcile its destructive relationship with its (human and nonhuman) environment.

.: Sage, 1996). 24. See Avery Gordon, ‘‘The Work ofCorporate Culture: Diversity Manage- ment,’’ Social Text, 44, vol. 13, no. 3 (Fall/Winter 1995), 3–30. N O T E S T O P A G E S 1 5 3 – 1 6 6 441 25. See Chris Newfield, ‘‘Corporate Pleasures for a Corporate Planet,’’ Social Text, 44, vol. 13, no. 3 (Fall/Winter 1995), 31–44. 26. See Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991); and David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989). 2 . 5 N E T W O R K P O W E R : U . S . S O V E R E I G N T Y A N D T H E N E W E M P I R E 1. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist, ed. Max Beldt (Oxford: Blackwell, 1948), p. 37. This passage is from Federal- ist no. 9, written by Hamilton. 2.

We find versions ofthis spatial configuration ofinside and outside among many ofthe contemporary philosophers we most admire—even writers such as Foucault and Blanchot who move away from the dialectic, and even Derrida, who dwells on that margin between inside and outside that is the most ambiguous and most murky point ofmodern thought. For Foucault and Blanchot, see Foucault’s essay ‘‘Maurice Blanchot: The Thought from Outside,’’ trans. Brian Massumi, in Foucault/Blanchot (New York: Zone Books, 1987). For Derrida, see Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University ofChicago Press, 1982). 6. Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1991), p. ix. 7. We are thinking here primarily ofHannah Arendt’s notion ofthe political articulated in The Human Condition (Chicago: University ofChicago Press, 1958). 8. For Los Angeles, see Mike Davis, City of Quartz (London: Verso, 1990), pp. 221–263. For Sa˜o Paulo, see Teresa Caldeira, ‘‘Fortified Enclaves: The New Urban Segregation,’’ Public Culture, no. 8 (1996); 303–328. 9.


pages: 350 words: 110,764

The Problem With Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries by Kathi Weeks

basic income, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, deskilling, feminist movement, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, late capitalism, low-wage service sector, means of production, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, pink-collar, post-work, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Shoshana Zuboff, social intelligence, two tier labour market, union organizing, universal basic income, wages for housework, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Both, I think, are crucial goals that the demand for shorter hours should articulate and advance: more time to partake of existing possibilities for meaning and fulfillment, and time to invent new ones. It is thus not only about more time for leisure as the term is traditionally conceived. It could instead be articulated as time to explore and expand what Rosemary Hennessy describes as “the human capacity for sensation and affect” that has been corralled within and reified by the logics of commodity production, consumer culture, and identity formation in late capitalism (2000, 217). Contrary to those critics of consumer society who fear that shorter working hours would create only more time for mindless consumption, thereby ensuring our further descent into commodity fetishism, there is reason to expect that if given more time, people will find ways to be creative—even if those ways do not necessarily conform to traditional notions of productive activity. Rather than simply a state of passivity, it is important to recognize the potential social productivity of nonwork.

The pressures of getting by in hard times tend not, as Robin Kelley notes, to be generative of the political imagination; instead, “we are constantly putting out fires, responding to emergencies, finding temporary refuge, all of which make it difficult to see anything other than the present” (2002, 11). Consumed by the here and now, the possibilities of alternatives to the ever more reified structures of late capitalism come to seem more distant in such periods. “The leaner and meaner world of the 1980s and 1990s was,” as Tom Moylan describes it, “marked by anti-utopian deprivation rather than utopian achievement” (2000, 103). These same developments fueled an assault on many of the bases of political movements in the 1960s and 1970s, including feminism. The 1980s backlash against the more robust and radical forms of identity-based politics, including feminism, and the 1990s restoration of some of their elements within tamer affirmations of diversity or multicultural difference raised new questions about the viability of the more utopian elements of these theoretical projects and political movements.

———. 1998. “Reconsidering the ‘Choice’: Do Americans Really Prefer the Workplace over the Home?” Contemporary Sociology 27 (1): 28–32. ———. 2003. Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hemmings, Clare. 2005. “Telling Feminist Stories.” Feminist Theory 6 (2): 115–39. Hennessy, Rosemary. 2000. Profit and Pleasure: Sexual Identities in Late Capitalism. New York: Routledge. Henwood, Doug. 1997. “Talking about Work.” Monthly Review 49 (3): 18–30. Higbie, Toby. 1997. “Crossing Class Boundaries: Tramp Ethnographers and Narratives of Class in Progressive Era America.” Social Science History 21 (4): 559–92. Higgins, Kathleen Marie. 1987. Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Hochschild, Arlie. 1983. The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling.


pages: 243 words: 76,686

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Airbnb, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Burning Man, collective bargaining, Donald Trump, Filter Bubble, full employment, gig economy, Google Earth, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kickstarter, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, means of production, Minecraft, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Port of Oakland, Results Only Work Environment, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, source of truth, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, union organizing, white flight, Works Progress Administration

Working via initiatives like Time Well Spent, an advocacy group that aims to curb the design of addictive technology, former Facebook president Sean Parker and ex-Google employees Tristan Harris and James Williams have become fervent opponents of the attention economy. But Tanner is unimpressed: They fail to attack the attention economy at its roots or challenge the basic building blocks of late capitalism: market fundamentalism, deregulation, and privatization. They reinforce neoliberal ideals, privileging the on-the-move individual whose time needs to be well spent—a neatly consumerist metaphor.62 For my part, I, too, will remain unimpressed until the social media technology we use is noncommercial. But while commercial social networks reign supreme, let’s remember that a real refusal, like Bartleby’s answer, refuses the terms of the question itself

It is also important because in a time of shrinking margins, when not only students but everyone else has “put the pedal to the metal,” and cannot afford other kinds of refusal, attention may be the last resource we have left to withdraw. In a cycle where both financially driven platforms and overall precarity close down the space of attention—the very attention needed to resist this onslaught, which then pushes further—it may be only in the space of our own minds that some of us can begin to pull apart the links. In 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, Jonathan Crary describes sleep as the last vestige of humanity that capitalism cannot appropriate (thus explaining its many assaults on sleep).65 The cultivation of different forms of attention has a similar character, since the true nature of attention is often hidden. What the attention economy takes for granted is the quality of attention, because like all modern capitalist systems, it imagines its currency as uniform and interchangeable.

Grafton Tanner, “Digital Detox: Big Tech’s Phony Crisis of Conscience,” Los Angeles Review of Books, August, 9. 2018: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/digital-detox-big-techs-phony-crisis-of-conscience/#!. 63. Navia, 141. 64. Ibid., 125. Navia notes that the language for “sea of illusion” also translates to “wine-colored sea of fog,” yet another image of typhos. 65. Jonathan Crary, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep (London: Verso Books, 2013), 17. 66. Jacobs and Bass, Tehching Hsieh: An Interview. Chapter 4 1. John Cage, “Four Statements on the Dance,” in Silence: Lectures and Writings by John Cage (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2010), 93. 2. Lawrence Weschler, True to Life: Twenty-Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008), 6. 3.


pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, basic income, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, crony capitalism, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, means of production, performance metric, post-work, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Companies also found novel ways to undercut unions rather than confront them head on, decentralizing and outsourcing production, offering job security for older workers while eliminating jobs for new workers, and increasing technology to replace workers altogether. In the end, they often simply stopped producing things, opting to earn money through the financial markets instead. By the 1990s a different kind of capitalism had emerged, one that scholars have described using various terms: post-Fordism, postmodernism, poststructuralism, late capitalism, and even neoliberalism or globalization. The movements of the 1960s and 1970s persisted, but their radical vision had vastly diminished. People began retelling stories about better times, when people were engaged in a vibrant civil society. As sociologist Francesca Polleta argues, many stories treasured by civil rights activists and progressive scholars—such as those told about the Montgomery bus boycott and Freedom Summer—began to serve a commemorative purpose rather than as a blueprint for changing society.4 Today these stories have even become fodder for the Right: Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin quote Martin Luther King without batting an eyelash.

Sociologist Josée Johnston attributes the popularity of consumption politics, in part, to the fact that it’s really easy. “Exercising consumer choice appears as both a viable and convenient strategy—particularly when compared to the onerous demands of social movement organizing or trade unionism.” Lifestyle politics also provides an extremely wide scope for expressing more general feelings of angst and unhappiness with “late” capitalism. People who are stressed about personal debt, aghast at unfair trade policies, or newly interested in free food movements and global social justice are told they can make a difference by buying better things like organic food and sustainably produced furniture. “By harnessing the power of consumer choice, ethical consumption appears to shape the market in a way that preserves the environment, addresses poverty, and promotes democracy.”


pages: 409 words: 118,448

An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy by Marc Levinson

affirmative action, airline deregulation, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, falling living standards, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, intermodal, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, late capitalism, linear programming, manufacturing employment, new economy, Nixon shock, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

But the odd thing about the ungovernability debate was that it brought together voices from across the political spectrum. Samuel Brittan, who praised many of Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies, predicted that the dominance of liberal representative democracy “is likely to pass away within the lifetime of people now adult.” But then Willy Brandt, a man of the democratic left, was said to have predicted much the same. In some Marxist circles, ungovernability was seen as a manifestation of “late capitalism,” the stage in which the political order would lose its legitimacy before capitalism would finally collapse of its own contradictions. For libertarians, on the other hand, ungovernability was merely further evidence that governments had no means to deliver all that they had promised their citizens.7 IT WAS NOT JUST THE WEALTHY MARKET ECONOMIES THAT SEEMED to have become ungovernable. Behind the Iron Curtain, the Soviet client states controlled by unelected Communist parties entered a governability crisis that would prove even more severe than the one facing the democracies of Western Europe, North America, and Japan.

Most of all, stagnant living standards played out in the rise of dissident movements on the fringes of the political mainstream, drawing support from the large number of disaffected voters: parties seeking independence for Quebec and Catalonia; ultranationalist movements in France, Hungary, and Great Britain; wealthy political outsiders, such as the American computer-services tycoon Ross Perot, who won nearly one-fifth of the popular vote in the 1992 presidential election, and the media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, who parlayed his domination of Italy’s newspapers and television stations into nine years as Italy’s prime minister. The theme of ungovernability, much discussed in the 1970s, emerged again in the twenty-first century as political leaders struggled to communicate convincing visions of a better future. It is easy to read the economic changes that began around 1973 as a perversion of the postwar social contract. The German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck, for example, interprets what he calls “the crisis of late capitalism” in the final decades of the twentieth century as “an unfolding of the old fundamental tension between capitalism and democracy—a gradual process that broke up the forced marriage between the two after the Second World War.” But the evident popular despair about economic decline in Japan, North America, and Western Europe reflected an entirely different problem: the difficulty of writing a social contract able to respond to demographic change and technological innovation.16 The arrangements that brought peace and prosperity after World War II have often been portrayed as imposing limits on the power of capital for the benefit of labor.

See also productivity labor share, 141–142 labor/trade unions, 10, 270; in France, 202, 208, 213; in Germany, 169; in Great Britain, 169–171; income distribution and, 137–138; manufacturing and, 137; in the Netherlands, 169; in Scandinavia, 169; in Spain, 211, 213; state-owned companies, privatization, Thatcher and, 190, 191–194, 214; state-owned companies and Thatcher and, 186–191; ungovernability and, 160; in West Germany, 137 Laffer, Arthur, 227–228 Laffer Curve, 227–228 Landy, Harry, 90–91, 92 Lange, Anders, 153, 154 late capitalism, 160, 267–268. See also capitalism Latin America, 35–36, 241; cause of poverty in, 39; Cold War and, 40–41; debt crisis in, 245, 252–253; economic slowdown in, 4; economic survey of, 38; economy of, 37; importance of industrialization in, 39–40; income per person in, 6; population growth in, 60–62. See also ECLA; specific countries Lawson, Nigel, 185, 190–191, 195 leaders: new generation of, 162–163 license raj, 45 The Limits to Growth (Meadows et al.), 57–59, 61, 62, 63–64 Lindgren, Astrid, 165, 166, 180 London and County Securities, 83–84 Louis XIV, 199 “lump of labor” theory, 205–206 Luxembourg, 23, 30, 94 MacArthur, Douglas, 178 MacGregor, Ian, 192 Macmillan, Harold, 22, 24, 182 Maddison, Angus, 5, 160–161, 256 magic square (full employment, economic growth, low inflation, international balance of payments), 30, 31–32, 34–35, 261 magic triangle, 30 Malta, 257–258 Malthus, Thomas, 58 manufacturing, 12, 133, 140, 143, 258–259; government intervention and, 42; labor/trade unions and, 137; postwar boom and, 22–23; structural adjustment and, 129–130.


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Bureaucracy by David Graeber

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, David Graeber, George Gilder, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Kitchen Debate, late capitalism, means of production, music of the spheres, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Parkinson's law, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, post-work, price mechanism, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, transcontinental railway, union organizing, urban planning, zero-sum game

Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit 78. Similarly, in 1949 Orwell had placed his futuristic dystopia, 1984, only thirty-five years in the future. 79. In fact, video telephones had first been debuted in the 1930s by the German post office under the Nazis. 80. From Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernism; or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Duke University Press, 1991), pp. 36–37. The original essay was published in 1984. 81. The original book, in German, came out as Der Spätkapitalismus in 1972. The first English edition was Late Capitalism (London: Humanities Press, 1975). 82. Probably the classic statement of this position is Space and the American Imagination, by Howard McCurdy (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian, 1997), but other versions of this sort of rhetoric include: Stephen J. Pyne, “A Third Great Age of discovery,” in Carl Sagan and Stephen J.

The “postmodern” moment was simply a desperate way to take what could only otherwise be felt as a bitter disappointment, and dress it up as something epochal, exciting and new. It’s worthy of note that in the earliest formulations of postmodernism, which largely came out of the Marxist tradition, a lot of this technological subtext was not even subtext; it was quite explicit. Here’s a passage from Frederick Jameson’s original Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, in 1984: It is appropriate to recall the excitement of machinery in the moment of capital preceding our own, the exhilaration of futurism, most notably, and of Marinetti’s celebration of the machine gun and the motorcar. These are still visible emblems, sculptural nodes of energy which give tangibility and figuration to the motive energies of that earlier moment of modernization … the ways in which revolutionary or communist artists of the 1930s also sought to reappropriate this excitement of machine energy for a Promethean reconstruction of human society as a whole … It is immediately obvious that the technology of our own moment no longer possesses this same capacity for representation: not the turbine, nor even Sheeler’s grain elevators or smokestacks, not the baroque elaboration of pipes and conveyor belts, nor even the streamlined profile of the railroad train—all vehicles of speed still concentrated at rest—but rather the computer, whose outer shell has no emblematic or visual power, or even the casings of the various media themselves, as with that home appliance called television which articulates nothing but rather implodes, carrying its flattened image surface within itself.80 Where once the sheer physical power of technologies themselves gave us a sense of history sweeping forward, we are now reduced to a play of screens and images.


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How to Kill a City: The Real Story of Gentrification by Peter Moskowitz

affirmative action, Airbnb, Bay Area Rapid Transit, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, drive until you qualify, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, late capitalism, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Silicon Valley, starchitect, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

In Urban Fortunes, their foundational work on the economies of cities, urban theorists John Logan and Harvey Molotch argue that the people running American cities no longer care about affordability, a city’s ability to educate children, or the happiness and health of its residents; rather, they are only interested the amount of money a city is able to generate. This focus is not the result of a philosophical bug that’s somehow spread to the brains of city managers everywhere. People such as Richard Florida make the city-as-business philosophy seem appealing, but there’s something bigger going on. Logan and Molotch argue that the city-as-growth-machine is an inherent feature of late capitalism in the United States. Cities, more than being places for people to live, have become ways to produce, manage, attract, and extract capital. Under capitalism, there’s an inherent tension between what Marxist academics call “use value” and “exchange value.” Use value means the value a place is given by being useful to people—because it houses them, because it gives them a sense of community, a place where they can work, a sense of identity.

Before Katrina, the New Orleans public school system: Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (New York: Picador, 2007), 6. “This is a tragedy”: Milton Friedman, “The Promise of Vouchers,” Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2005. Research from Tulane University: Adrienne Dixson, “Whose Choice? A Critical Race Perspective on Charter Schools,” in The Neoliberal Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, Late Capitalism, and the Remaking of New Orleans, ed. Cedric Johnson (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011), 135. Activists called the takeover an educational land grab: “The Educational Land Grab,” editorial, Rethinking Schools 1, no. 21 (Fall 2006). Some data suggest the RSD is indeed successful: Alan Greenblatt, “New Orleans District Moves to an All-Charter System,” National Public Radio, May 30, 2014.

New Orleans’s median income of $36,964: US Census Bureau, QuickFacts, per capita income in past 12 months (in 2014 dollars), 2010–2014, for New Orleans city, www.census.gov/quickfacts. “The American people don’t understand”: PBS NewsHour, “FEMA’s Mike Brown,” September 1, 2005. According to Ishiwata, phrases like these: Eric Ishiwata, “‘We Are Seeing People We Didn’t Know Exist’: Katrina and the Neoliberal Erasure of Race,” in The Neoliberal Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, Late Capitalism, and the Remaking of New Orleans, ed. Cedric Johnson (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011). “I don’t know. That doesn’t make sense to me”: Charles Babington, “Hastert Tries Damage Control After Remarks Hit a Nerve,” Washington Post, September 3, 2005. The biggest study of their whereabouts: Narayan Sastry and Christine Peterson, “The Displaced New Orleans Residents Survey Questionnaire,” RAND Corporation, 2010, www.rand.org/labor/projects/dnors.html.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Not in the sense of the old classist stereotype that ‘the poor love their cellphones’: no powerful group would turn down the opportunities that smartphones and social media offer. The powerful simply engage differently with the machine. But any culture that values connectivity so highly must be as impoverished in its social life as a culture obsessed with happiness is bitterly depressed. What Bruce Alexander calls the state of permanent ‘psychosocial dislocation’ in late capitalism, with life overrun by the law of markets and competition, is the context for soaring addiction rates.28 It is as if the addictive relationship stands in for the social relationships that have been upended by the turbulence of capitalism. The nature of this social poverty can be recognized in a situation typical of a social industry addict. We often use our smartphones to take us away from a social situation, without actually leaving that situation.

This comparison only serves to illustrate his authoritarianism. The fantasy is that it is possible to know, through scientific research, what is good and how people ought to live. It is a fantasy in which meaning is replaced by technique, and all that is contrary, disputatious and unpleasant in social life is replaced by a smooth surface and flow. (Perhaps it is no coincidence that the aesthetic of late capitalism, and particularly of smartphones and apps, is so obsessed with smoothness and flow.)47 This requires relentless intrusive surveillance and laboratory-like manipulation of the entire population. But the secret of the good life is not something that can be known, it being different for everyone. So, behind the rule of science and technology, there has to be a tyranny somewhere making these decisions.

The platforms thus listen intently to our desires, as we confess them, and give them a numerical value. In the mathematical language of informatics, collective wants can be manipulated, engineered and connected to a solution. And new technologies have only been as successful as they have been by positioning themselves as magical solutions. Not just to individual dilemmas, but to the bigger crises and dysfunctions of late capitalism. If mass media is a one-way information monopoly, turn to the feed, the blog, the podcast. If the news fails, turn to citizen journalism for ‘unfiltered’ news. If you’re underemployed, bid for jobs on TaskRabbit. If you’ve got little money but own a car, use it to make some spare money on the side. If you’re undervalued in life, bid for a share in microcelebrity. If politicians let you down, hold them to account on Twitter.


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Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky

activist lawyer, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, different worldview, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor

Richard Kim’s introduction to Occupy Wall Street leads us from the story of Joe Therrien, a member of the OWS Puppetry Guild, to a description of the radical structures of the movement. In recounting Therrien’s now commonplace economic and social precariousness, Kim illuminates a crucial part of what drives Occupy’s creation of spaces that resist ‘the money-form and hierarchy’. Ira Livingston, by contrast, in Twitter-inspired 140-character lines echoing the way information circulates about Occupy, meditates on the impossibility of inhabiting neoliberal late capitalism. Deploying the fantasies of omnipotence that in US commercial culture carry fascist overtones, but in lived experience provide the possibility for social agency, he considers how we move from a sudden sense of political vitality to an active political stance. Naomi Klein, recalling the successful direct action that shut down the 1999 World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Seattle and the less successful subsequent actions at international financial institution summits that followed, addresses the difference that unlimited time and a changed target makes.

Ultimately, as Audre Lorde said, ‘the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.’ But this is not only a matter of tools, of instrumental strategies. Surrealism arises when what counts as reality itself is so impoverished, when what passes for intelligible politics, viable social identities, reasonable careers and aspirations are so hobbling, corrosive and suffocating as to make the reality of neoliberal late capitalism uninhabitable. When you can’t inhabit it, occupy it! 5 Over all the conversations, under them all, behind them all, running through them all there is at least – a vitality. As Brooklyn artist Dread Scott said about OWS: ‘there’s oxygen in the room again’. Of course, I have to point out, you can’t recognize constructive politics by vitality alone. I recently watched a Wagner opera and was struck by the histrionics, tragic gender politics, erotic intensities of hierarchy and duty and family: very lively indeed!

For me, the masks of Anonymous say more about the culture that neoliberalism creates than they do about the people who wear them. The mask means more than just anonymity, it is strength in numbers. In one of their calling-card phrases, Anonymous say: ‘We are Anonymous, We are legion.’ It answers a human need to sometimes be one of many, not just a ‘self’. In anonymity, people can hope to escape the exhausting egoism of our age, the atomizing force of late capitalism where the pressure is all on the self and particularly the self-image. Retreating into the crowd can feel like a relief. But within the theme of disguise there also exists a paranoia and suspicion not just within the Occupy camps but within all direct action movements at the moment. I have been accused of being both undercover police and also an Evening Standard2 reporter! (I don’t know which is worse?)


Bleeding Edge by Pynchon, Thomas

addicted to oil, AltaVista, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Burning Man, carried interest, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, East Village, Hacker Ethic, index card, invisible hand, jitney, late capitalism, margin call, Network effects, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, Y2K

It wasn’t final then, it isn’t final yet, what are you waiting for? Some Nazi name, if I remember right.” “Horst. Is this gonna be on the Internet now?” “Not if you do me a big favor.” “Uh-oh.” “Seriously, you’re a CFE, right?” “They pulled my certificate, I’m freelance now.” “Whatever. I have to pick your brain about something.” “Should we have lunch someplace?” “I don’t do lunch. Corrupt artifact of late capitalism. Breakfast maybe?” She’s smiling, however. It occurs to Maxine that contrary to the speech she just gave, March isn’t a crone, she’s a dumpling. With the face and demeanor of somebody who you know within five minutes of meeting them will be telling you to eat something. Something specific, which she will have on a spoon already on its way to your mouth. • • • THE PIRAEUS DINER on Columbus is littered, dilapidated, full of cigarette smoke and cooking odors from the kitchen, a neighborhood institution.

Or whoever it is you’re so afraid of.” Igor smiles, angles his head like, charmed I’m sure. “So far,” Rocky murmurs, “the cop has not been invented who could get these guys any more than maybe faintly annoyed.” In the booth adjoining, Maxine notices two young torpedoes of a certain dimension, busy with handheld game consoles. “Doom,” Igor waving a thumb, “just came out for Game Boy. Post–late capitalism run amok, ‘United Aerospace Corporation,’ moons of Mars, gateways to hell, zombies and demons, including I think these two. Misha and Grisha. Say hello, padonki.” Silence and button activity. “How nice to make your acquaintance, Misha and Grisha.” Whatever your real names may be, hi, I’m Marie of Roumania. “Actually,” one of them looking up, baring a lineup of stainless-steel jailhouse choppers, “we prefer Deimos and Phobos.”

There’s a cart with coffee and bagels on the corner. It’s warm today, they find a stoop to sit on and take a coffee break. “Igor says you saved them a shitload of money.” “You think that ‘them’ includes Igor himself?” “He’d be too embarrassed to tell anybody. What was going on?” “Some kind of pyramid racket.” “Oh. Something a little different.” “You mean for Igor? like he has some history with—” “No, I meant late capitalism is a pyramid racket on a global scale, the kind of pyramid you do human sacrifices up on top of, meantime getting the suckers to believe it’s all gonna go on forever.” “Too heavy-duty for me, even the scale Igor’s on makes me nervous. I’m more comfortable with people who hang around at ATMs, that level.” “So later for the gritty street drama, come on uptown for some high fantasy, these Dominican guys, you know?”


pages: 632 words: 166,729

Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas by Natasha Dow Schüll

airport security, Albert Einstein, Build a better mousetrap, business intelligence, capital controls, cashless society, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, game design, impulse control, information asymmetry, inventory management, iterative process, jitney, large denomination, late capitalism, late fees, longitudinal study, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nash equilibrium, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, profit motive, RFID, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, statistical model, the built environment, yield curve, zero-sum game

Behind whatever fanciful thematic facades these new casinos bore—Polynesian rainforest, ancient Egypt, Italian lakeside—their interior design followed a standard blueprint for revenue maximization, offering a different kind of “learning from Las Vegas.”5 As Frederic Jameson suggested in his 1991 critique of Learning from Las Vegas, its authors’ eagerness to dismiss modernism had blinded them to the “cultural logic of late capitalism” nascent in the architectural forms they encountered.6 Although the aspirations of these forms were not modernist in that they were neither moral nor civic, they were nonetheless unabashedly instrumental; in place of self-mastery and social harmony, they promoted self-abandon and corporate profit. Now, as then, casinos’ “commercial vernacular style” responds to popular needs or desires for escapism as part of a larger effort to guide those needs and desires.

The activity distills these aspects of life into their elementary forms (namely, risk-based interaction, actuarial economic thinking, and compressed, elastic time) and applies them to a course of action formatted in such a way that they cease to serve as tools for self-enterprise and instead serve as the means to continue play. The process of distillation and suspension amounts to “a mutation that is totally immanent to late capitalism,” as Tiziana Terranova has written of a similar phenomenon; “not so much a break as an intensification, and therefore a mutation, of a widespread cultural economic logic.”49 In this mutation, the suspension of the actuarial imperative is never entirely complete. This incompleteness is reflected in the ambivalence that gamblers express toward the “choices” they face while gambling, describing them as at once emancipatory and entrapping, annihilatory and capacitating, reassuring and demonic.

In an edited volume titled I Shop Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self, authors similarly distinguish between disorders of spending and disorders of buying, among other forms of pathological shopping (Benson 2000). 8. Hunt 2003, 185. By the 1990s, over two hundred self-help groups modeled on Alcoholic Anonymous had been formed to help those who believed they were addicted to such activities as shopping, watching TV, exercising, eating, using computers, and having sex. A number of scholars have approached the expansion of addiction as a lens through which to consider the broader predicaments of late capitalism. Eve Sedgwick, in her essay “Epidemics of the Will,” notes “the peculiarly resonant relations that seem to obtain between the problematic of addiction and those of the consumer phase of international capitalism” (1992). Along similar lines, Frederic Jameson has written of America that “no society has ever been quite so addictive, quite so inseparable from the condition of addictiveness as this one, which did not invent gambling, to be sure, but which did invent compulsive consumption” (2004, 52). 9.


Working the Phones: Control and Resistance in Call Centres by Jamie Woodcock

always be closing, anti-work, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, David Graeber, invention of the telephone, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, millennium bug, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, profit motive, social intelligence, stakhanovite, women in the workforce

It then displays an example to act out, sing or impersonate. But it differed from charades in that the iPhone camera records these performances. Unlike the other demeaning games, the trainer could then replay the most embarrassing moments. The glee with which supervisors started this game was an uninviting start to the buzz session. While these encounters seem bizarre and ‘remote from the large-scale shifts reshaping a waning late-capitalism’ there is an interesting insight captured here. These attempts at enthusing workers are ‘novel forms of regulation’ focused ‘on those moments of life that once flourished beyond the remit of the corporation’.25 The challenges of management in the call centre thus feed into the buzz sessions. There is a twofold realisation. First, it is only when ‘workers had checked-out (either literally or mentally) that they begin to feel human again and buzz with life’.

However, rather than this being an incisive analysis of work, it is indicative of the reality-TV format in general as ‘it was clear that working class participants were being recruited for entertainment purposes’.10 Therefore it is no surprise that a format which created a series like Benefits Street11 is unlikely to offer an insight into working-class self-activity and the possibility of social or political change. The narrative of Benefits Street reinforces the class-based notion of an undeserving poor; in The Call Centre resistance to Nev seems futile. The cold call has become part of the experience of living under late capitalism. The regularity with which I receive unsolicited calls from anonymous workers trying to peddle some pointless product is astonishing: PPI repayments, accident compensation claims, mobile or broadband packages, even some which are more straightforward scams. I seem to invariably get sales calls while writing. This adds a dimension to call-centre work that it is almost universally reviled, both by those who have experienced working at it or those on the other end of the phone.


pages: 273 words: 76,786

Explore Everything by Bradley Garrett

airport security, Burning Man, call centre, creative destruction, deindustrialization, double helix, dumpster diving, failed state, Google Earth, Hacker Ethic, Jane Jacobs, Julian Assange, late capitalism, megacity, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, place-making, shareholder value, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, white flight, WikiLeaks

Although, to clarify, most explorers would not make such claims – they simply want to learn more about the world around them through experiences they would otherwise be denied access to.8 By sneaking past security guards and photographing the secret city, we take back what we didn’t know we’d lost, reclaiming the places hidden from our everyday view.9 As a result, urban exploration becomes a political act, despite claims of apolitical motivations from many involved. Going beyond normally circumscribed boundaries forces one to rethink not just one’s own identity but also the relationship between power and urban space.10 It is at the same time a subversive response to the imperatives of late capitalism that encourage spectatorship over participation and, as an explorer called Peter bluntly put it, ‘just a bit of fucking with people’s heads to help them understand how much they’re missing every day’.11 The most well-trodden avenue into urban exploration is through a fascination with ruins – buildings and places that have been left and are considered useless. Explorers seek out ignored and abandoned sites and photograph them as a sort of counter-spectacle to the contemporary city, where many people consider notions of ‘development’, construction and gentrification to be the normal course of things.

But exploration of liminal space, and the patience, persistence and creative thinking it requires to hack places also multiply the possibility for affective engagement in relation to people, places and things.96 Multiplying possibilities, and creating opportunities that are not offered, is always a political act.97 Children are born into a world, into a body, with a vast range and potential for affective engagement.98 However, as the social body begins to condition the individual body, the range of affective possibility narrows according to the range of possibilities accorded by the dominant society, in this case late capitalism and its insistence that relationships and activities be profitable and serve national and economic interests, often at the expense of community and/or individual freedom.99 By infiltrating the material social body, the urban body, by entering the metropolitan metabolism and jittering its internal organs, undertaking pointless subversive play in the veins and arteries of the city, we create alternative pathways, little fragments of possibility.


pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, creative destruction, deindustrialization, digital map, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, Gunnar Myrdal, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, low earth orbit, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, megastructure, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

On the problems of mapping population and social geographies in verticalising cities, see Nicholas Perdue, ‘The Vertical Space Problem: Rethinking Population Visualizations in Contemporary Cities’, Cartographic Perspectives 74, 2013. 20See, for example, Judith Dupré, Skyscrapers: A History of the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings, New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2013; Francesco Passanti, ‘The Skyscrapers of the Ville Contemporaine’, Assemblage 4, pp. 52–65; Gail Fenske, The Skyscraper and the City: The Woolworth Building and the Making of Modern New York, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008. 21Ole Bauman, ‘In the Age of Horizontalization’, in Ally Ireson and Nick Barley, eds, City Levels, Basel: Birkhäuser, 2000, p. 4. 22See, for example, Ada Louise Huxtable, The Tall Building Artistically Reconsidered, University of California Press: Berkley, 1992; Thomas Van Leeuwen, The Skyward Trend of Thought: The Metaphysics of the American Skyscraper, Bambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1988; Scott Johnson, Tall Building: Imagining the Skyscraper, New York: Balcony, 2008. 23See Andrew Harris, ‘Vertical Urbanisms: Opening Up Geographies of the Three-Dimensional City’, Progress in Human Geography, December 2016. 24Shelton et al., Making of Hong Kong, p. 20. Author’s emphasis. 25A ‘cognitive map’ is a mental representation that humans hold of the world around them that helps them to navigate and make sense of the wider environment. See Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism; or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991, p. 44; Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City, Cambridge, MA: MIT press, 1960. See also David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity, Oxford: Blackwell, 1989; and Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory, London: Verso, 1989. 26Steyerl, ‘In Free Fall’. 27See Nanna Verhoeff, Mobile Screens: The Visual Regime of Navigation, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012. 28Steyerl, ‘In Free Fall’. 29See, for example, Eyal Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation, London: Verso, 2012. 30Steyerl, ‘In Free Fall’. 31Pierre Bélanger, ‘Altitudes of Urbanization,’ Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, January 2016. 32See, for example, Gavin Bridge, ‘Territory, Now in 3D!’

., Up, Down, Across, pp. 173–95, 22Merrill Schleier, Skyscraper Cinema: Architecture and Gender in American Film, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009, p. 68. 23On the depiction of elevators in film, see Alanna Thain, ‘Insecurity Cameras’. 24Cited in Umbro Apollonio and Leonardo Mariani, Antonio Sant’Elia: Documenti, Note Storiche e Critiche a Cura di Leonardo Mariani, vol. 18, Milan: Il Balcone, 1958, p. 200. 25See Fredric Jameson’s extraordinarily influential discussion of the façade elevators in Portman’s Los Angeles’s Bonaventura Hotel in his Postmodernism: or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991. p. 578. 26Cited in Phil Patton, ‘Hovering Vision’, in Goetz, ed., Up, Down, Across, pp. 110–11. 27Ibid., p. 106. 28Matt Bodimeade, ‘Global Elevator Market Led by Otis Elevator Company’, Companies and Markets, 2012, available at companiesandmarkets.com. 29Koncept Analytics, Global Escalator and Elevator Market Report: 2010, London: Koncept Analytics, August 2010. 30Sayre ‘Colonization of the “Up”’. 31Ibid. 32Tom Van Riper and Robert Malone, ‘The World’s Fastest Elevators’, Forbes, October 2007, available at forbes.com. 33Peter Swan, David Raitt, Cathy Swan and Robert Penny, Space Elevators: An Assessment of the Technological Feasibility and the Way Forward, London: Virginia Editions, 2013. 34See Stephen Graham and Simon Marvin, Splintering Urbanism, London: Routledge, 2001. 35Kingwell, Nearest Thing to Heaven, p. 192. 36Jim Armitage, ‘Trouble at the £1bn Burj Khalifa Tower: Spiralling Service Costs See Landlords Falling Behind on Their Bills’, Independent, 13 February 2014. 37Jane M.

As we shall see in chapter 11, this is perhaps ironic given that Hong Kong is also a city which rests increasingly on manufactured ground ‘reclaimed’ from the ocean. 41Nathan Costa Ferreira, Stephanie Rose Lesage, Jordan Daniel Vishniac and Zibo Wang, ‘Principles of Comprehensive Pedestrian Networks in a Multi-Layered City’, report for Designing Hong Kong and the Harbour Business Forum, February 2013, p. 20, 42Ibid., p. 28. 43Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism: or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991, p. 44. Since Jameson wrote those famous lines, as we saw in the introduction, the sense of a disorientating loss of a stable ground and horizon has been a major feature of recent philosophical debates surrounding the links between urbanisation, globalisation and technological change within postmodern cultures. Combining multi-screened digital media, rapid transportation and vertical architectures, such cultures offer their viewers multiple and moving perspectives from many points simultaneously.


pages: 244 words: 81,334

Picnic Comma Lightning: In Search of a New Reality by Laurence Scott

4chan, Airbnb, airport security, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, clean water, colonial rule, cryptocurrency, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, housing crisis, Internet of things, Joan Didion, job automation, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, Productivity paradox, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, Y2K

While smart devices snuggle down deeper into our personal lives, we increasingly see ourselves – our own moral failings and laziness – in the things we consume. A can of tuna isn’t always just a can of tuna, but, on certain days, an interface between me and a matrix of culpability, doubt and helplessness. The thing is always more than itself. Although object-oriented philosophers are interested in the ‘withdrawal’ of things into themselves, in the commodity culture of late-capitalism, it can be unethical to preserve the privacy of objects, to imagine them as coherent, isolated creations. And so here we’ll live, until things become different again, with these new kinds of intimacy, with dizzying connectivity. The old literary device of pathetic fallacy – that poetic connection between the human and the inanimate world – no longer seems so fallacious. Our era’s particular way of feeling connected to material objects – the loveliness, the fun, and the guilt of it – defines to a large extent the reality of these times.

While Karl Marx pointed this out over 150 years ago, today the commodity’s disruptiveness is intensifying. We are living in an age when it is possible to commercialise our personal experiences on an unprecedented scale. Private life isn’t only there to be shared with our followers, but also to open up a space for publicity. In this economy of publicised privacy, the social-media influencer is our age’s figurehead, an icon of late-capitalism’s intensely porous relationship between fantasy and reality. I love the blatancy of the term ‘influencer’, which lays all its cards on the table. It doesn’t attempt to hide the fact that our view of the world is manipulated by external agents. Influencers, such as the disgraced and ‘demonetised’ Logan Paul, are private citizens of a new kind. Their title comes from their large online followings, which they are often able to commercialise.


pages: 310 words: 85,995

The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties by Paul Collier

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, assortative mating, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Bob Geldof, bonus culture, business cycle, call centre, central bank independence, centre right, Commodity Super-Cycle, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, full employment, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, greed is good, income inequality, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, negative equity, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, rent control, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, too big to fail, trade liberalization, urban planning, web of trust, zero-sum game

Because the ideologies failed, they lost most of their adherents, and so few ideologue politicians were available to lead this revival. Those that were belonged to tiny residue organizations: people with a taste for the paranoid psychology of the cult, and too blinkered to face the reality of past failure. In the decade preceding the collapse of communism in 1989, the remaining Marxists thought they were living in ‘late capitalism’. The public memory of that collapse has now receded sufficiently to support a revival: there is a new flood of books on the same theme.4 Rivalling the ideologues in seductive power is the other species of politician, the charismatic populist. Populists eschew even the rudimentary analysis of an ideology, leaping directly to solutions that ring true for two minutes. Hence, their strategy is to distract voters from deeper thought through a kaleidoscope of entertainment.

., 120–21 business zones, 150 ‘Butskellism’, 49* Cadbury, 77 Cameron, David, 205 Canada, 22 capitalism competition, 21, 25, 56, 85, 86 ‘creative destruction’ concept, 21 current failings of, 4–5, 17, 25, 42, 45–6, 48, 201, 212–13 and decline of social trust, 5, 45–6, 48, 55, 59, 69 as essential for prosperity, 4–5, 18, 20, 25, 201 and families, 37 first mover advantage, 148 and greed, 10, 19, 25–7, 28, 31, 42, 58, 69, 70†, 81, 95 and Marx’s alienation, 17–18 and oppositional identities, 56, 74 vested interests, 85, 86, 135–6, 207 see also firms Catalan secession movement, 58 causality, narrative of, 33, 34 CDC Group, 122, 149* Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales, 129 Chicago, University of, 166 childhood adoption, 110–11 children in ‘care’, 104, 105, 110, 111, 157 children ‘reared by wolves’, 31–2 cognitive development, 105–6, 170, 175–6 fostering, 104, 105, 111 identity acquisition, 32 impact of parental unemployment, 160–61 learning of norms, 33, 35, 107–8 non-cognitive development, 105, 163, 169–70, 171–3, 174, 175–6 ‘rights of the child’ concept, 103–4 in single-parent families, 101, 102, 104–5, 155, 160 trusted mentors, 169–70 see also family China, 118–19, 149, 203 Chira, Susan, 52–3 Chirac, Jacques, 14, 120–21 Christian Democratic parties, 5, 14 Citigroup, 186 Clark, Gregory, The Son Also Rises, 106–8 Clarke, Ken, 206 class divide assortative mating among new elite, 99–100, 154, 188–9 author’s proposed policies, 19–20, 21, 183–4, 187–8, 190, 207–8 and breadth of social networks, 169 and Brexit vote, 5, 196 and cognitive development, 105–6 divergence dynamic, 7, 18, 48, 98–108, 154–61, 170–71, 172–80, 181–90 ‘elite’ attitudes to less-well educated, 4, 5, 12, 16, 53, 59, 60–61, 63 and family life, 20, 98, 99–106, 157–62 and fracture to skill-based identities, 3–5, 51–6, 78 and home ownership, 68, 181, 182–3 need for socially mixed schools, 164–5 and non-cognitive development, 105, 163, 169–70, 171–3, 174, 175–6 and parental hothousing, 100, 101, 105–6 post-school skills development, 170–76 pre-emptive support for stressed families, 20, 155, 157–60, 161–3, 208 and reading in pre-teens, 167–9 and recent populist insurgencies, 5 retirement insecurities, 179–80 and two-parent families, 155–6, 157 unravelling of shared identity, 15, 50, 51–6, 57*, 58–61, 63, 215 see also white working class climate change, 44, 67, 119 Clinton, Hillary, 5, 9, 203–4 coalition government, UK (2010–15), 206 cognitive behavioral therapy, 160 Cold War, 113, 114, 116 end of, 5–6, 115, 203 Colombia, 120 communism, 32, 36–7, 85–6 communitarian values care, 9, 11, 12, 16, 29, 31, 42, 116 fairness, 11, 12, 14, 16, 29, 31, 34, 43, 116, 132–3 hierarchy, 11, 12, 16, 38–9, 43, 99–100 left’s abandonment of, 16, 214* liberty, 11, 12, 16, 42 loyalty, 11, 12, 16, 29, 31, 34, 42–3, 116 new vanguard’s abandonment of, 9, 11–13, 14–15, 16, 17, 49–50, 113, 116–18, 121, 214 post-war settlement, 8–9, 49, 113–16, 122 and reciprocal obligations, 8–9, 11–12, 13, 14, 19, 33, 34, 40–41, 48–9, 201, 212–15 roots in nineteenth-century co-operatives, 8, 13, 14, 201 sanctity, 11, 16, 42–3 Smith and Hume, 21–2† values and reason, 29–30, 43–4 see also belonging, narrative of; obligation, narrative of; reciprocity; social democracy Companies Act, UK, 82 comparative advantage, 20, 120, 192, 194 Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 79 conservatism, 30, 36 Conservative Party, 14, 49, 205, 206 contraception, 98–9, 102 co-operative movement, 8, 13, 14, 201 Corbyn, Jeremy, 202, 204–5 Crosland, Anthony, The Future of Socialism, 17, 18, 19 Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), 114 debutante balls, 188 Denmark, 63, 178, 214* Descartes, Rene, 31 Detroit, 128, 129, 144 Deutsche Bank, 78, 185 development banks, 149–50 Development Corporations Act (1981), 150 Dickens, Charles, Bleak House, 108 digital networks detachment of narratives from place, 38, 61–2 economies of scale, 86–7 global e-utilities, 37, 38, 86–7, 89–90, 91 social media, 27, 61, 87, 173, 207, 215 value-based echo-chambers, 38, 61–2, 64–5, 212, 215 Draghi, Mario, 153 Dundee Project, 161–2 Dutch Antilles, 193 East Asia, 147, 192 eBay, 87 economic man, 10, 19, 25, 26–7, 31, 34–5, 196, 209, 210, 215 economic rent theory, 19, 91, 133–9, 140–44, 186–8, 192, 195, 207 education and collapse of social democracy, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 59, 63 and empathy, 12 and European identity, 57* expansion of universities, 99–100, 127 and growth of the middle class, 100 inequality in spending per pupil, 167 mis-ranking of cognitive and non-cognitive training, 174–6 need for socially mixed schools, 164–5 post-school skills development, 170–76 pre-school, 105–6, 163–4 quality of teaching, 165–6 reading in pre-teens, 167–9 and shocks to norms of ethical family, 98, 99–105 symbols of cognitive privilege, 175 teaching methods, 166–7 vocational education, 171–6 zero-sum aspects of success, 189 electoral systems, 206 Emerging Market economies, 129, 130–31 empires, age of, 113 The Enigma of Reason (Mercier and Sperber), 29 enlightened self-interest, 33, 40*, 97–8, 101, 109, 112, 113, 114, 117, 184, 213 Enron, 80 ethnicity, 3, 20, 56, 62, 64, 65, 211 Europe Christian Democrats in, 5, 14 class divides, 3, 4, 5, 125 decline in social trust, 45 and knowledge industries, 192 metropolitan-provincial divides, 3, 4, 125 and migration, 121, 197 and shared identity, 57–8, 64, 66, 125 social democracy in, 8–9, 49, 50 European Central Bank, 153 European Commission, 57 European Investment Bank, 149 European Union (EU, formerly EEC), 66, 67, 114, 115, 116, 117 Brexit vote (June 2016), 5, 125, 131, 196, 215 Eurozone crisis, 153 public policy as predominantly national, 212 universities in, 170 evolutionary theory, 31, 33†, 35–6, 66 externalities, 145–6 Facebook, 87 Fairbairn, Carolyn, 79 fake news, 33–4 family, 19 African norms, 110–11 benefits for single parents, 160 Clark’s ‘family culture’, 107–8 entitled individual vs family obligation, 99–103, 104–6, 108–9, 210 equality within, 39, 154 erosion of mutual obligations, 101–2, 210 identity acquisition, 32 ideologies hostile to, 36–7 impact of unemployment/poverty, 4, 7, 160–61 importance of, 36, 37 and increased longevity, 110, 161 in-kind support for parenting, 161 nuclear dynastic family, 102, 110, 154 one-parent families, 101, 102, 104–5, 155, 160 parental hothousing, 100, 101, 105–6 post-1945 ethical family, 97–8, 99–105, 108, 210 pressures on young parents, 159–60, 161–3 and public policy, 21, 154–5, 157–70, 171–3, 177, 209 and reciprocity, 97–8, 101, 102 shocks to post-1945 norms, 98–105 shrinking of extended family, 101–2, 109–10, 161 social maternalism concept, 154–5, 157–8, 190 two-parent families as preferable, 155–6, 157 see also childhood; marriage Farage, Nigel, 202 fascism, 6, 13*, 47, 113 Federalist papers, 82 feminism, 13, 99 Fillon, François, 204 financial crisis, global (2008–9), 4, 34, 71, 160 no bankers sent to gaol for, 95–6 financial sector, 77–9, 80–81, 83–5 asymmetric information, 88, 185 co-ordination role, 145–6 economies of scale, 87 localized past of, 84, 146 toxic rivalries in, 189 trading in financial assets, 78–9, 84, 184–5, 186, 187 Finland, 63 firms, 19, 21, 69 CEO pay, 77–8, 79, 80–81 competition, 21, 25, 56, 85, 86 control/accountability of, 75–81, 82–5 cultures of good corporate behaviour, 94–5 demutualization in UK, 83, 84 deteriorating behaviour of, 18, 69, 78, 80–81 economies of scale, 17–18, 37, 86–7, 88–91, 126–7, 144–5, 146–7 ethical, 70–71, 172, 209–10 and ethical citizens, 93–4, 95, 96 failure/bankruptcy of, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75–6 flattening of hierarchies in, 39 Friedman’s profit nostrum, 69–70, 71, 76, 78–9, 210 global e-utilities, 37, 38, 86–7, 89–90, 91 ideologies hostile to, 37, 81 low productivity-low cost business model, 173–4 ‘maximising of shareholder value’, 69–70, 76, 79, 82–3 ‘mutuals’, 83 need for bankslaughter crime, 95–6 new network features, 86–7 policing the public interest, 93–4 public dislike of, 69, 95–6 public interest representation on boards, 92–3 regulation of, 87–90, 174 reward linked to short-term performance, 77, 78–81 sense of purpose, 39–40, 41, 70–75, 80–81, 93–4, 96 shareholder control of, 76–7, 79, 80, 82–3 societal role of, 81–2, 92–3, 96, 209–10 utility services, 86, 89, 90 worker interests on boards, 83, 84–5 Fisher, Stephen, 196* Five Star, 125 Ford, 70, 71 France, 7, 63, 67, 114 écoles maternelles in, 164 labour market in, 176, 189 pensions policy, 180 presidential election (2017), 5, 9, 204 universities in, 170 working week reduced in, 189 Frederiksen, Mette, 214* Friedman, Milton, 15, 69–70, 71, 76 The Full Monty (film), 7, 129 G20 group, 118 G7 group, 118 G8 group, 194 Ganesh, Janan, 125 Geldof, Bob, 169 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), 114, 115, 116–17 General Motors (GM), 72, 73–4, 75, 86, 172 geographic divide, 3, 16, 18, 19, 215 author’s proposed policies, 19, 207 and Brexit vote, 125, 196 broken cities, 4, 7, 19, 48, 125, 129–30, 147–9 business zones, 150 co-ordination problem over new clusters, 145–50, 207 decline of provincial cities, 4, 7, 19, 48, 125, 129–30, 131, 144–5 economic forces driving, 126–30 and education spending, 167 first mover disadvantage, 148–9 ideological responses, 130–32 investment promotion agencies, 150–51 and local universities, 151–2 and metropolitan disdain, 125 need for political commitment, 153 as recent and reversible, 152–3 regenerating provincial cities, 19, 142, 144–50 and spending per school pupil, 167 widening of since 1980, 125 George, Henry, 133–6, 141 Germany 2017 election, 5, 205 local banks in, 146 Nazi era, 57 and oppositional identities, 56–7 oversight of firms in, 76 post-war industrial relations policy, 94–5 and post-war settlement, 114 re-emergence of far right, 5 rights of refugees in, 14 ‘social market economy’, 49 TVET in, 171–2, 174, 175 vereine (civil society groups), 181 worker interests on boards, 84–5 global divide, 7–8, 20, 59–60, 191–8, 208 globalization, 4, 18, 20, 126–7, 128, 129, 130–31, 191–8 Goldman Sachs, 70†, 83–4, 94 Google, 87 Great Depression (1930s), 114 Green, Sir Philip, 80 Grillo, Beppe, 202 ‘Grimm and Co’, Rotherham, 168–9 Gunning, Jan Willem, 165 Haidt, Jonathan, 11–12, 14, 16, 28, 29, 132–3 Haiti, 208 Halifax Building Society, 8, 84 Hamon, Benoît, 9, 204 Harvard-MIT, 7, 152 Hershey, 77 HIV sufferers in poor countries, 120–21 Hofer, Norbert, 202 Hollande, Francois, 9, 204 Hoover, 148 housing market, 181–4 buy-to-let, 182, 183, 184 and lawyers, 187 mortgages, 84, 176, 182, 183–4 proposed stock transfer from landlords to tenants, 184 Hume, David, 14, 21, 21–2†, 29 Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World (1932), 5 Iceland, 63 Identity Economics, 50–56, 65–7 ideologies based on hatred of ‘other’ part of society, 43, 56, 213, 214 ‘end of history’ triumphalism, 6, 43–4 hostile to families, 36–7 hostile to firms, 37, 81 hostile to the state, 37–8 and housing policy, 183 and migration, 198 New Right, 14–15, 26, 81, 129 norms of care and equality, 116, 132–3 polarization of politics, 38, 63, 202–5 pragmatic eschewal of, 17, 18, 21, 22, 29–30 and principle of reason, 9, 13, 14, 15, 21, 43 Rawlsian vanguard, 13–14, 30, 49–50, 53, 67, 112, 113, 201, 202, 203, 214 return of left-right confrontation, 5, 6, 81, 202–5 and rights, 12–14, 44, 112 seduction of, 6 and twentieth century’s catastrophes, 5–6, 22 views on an ethical world, 112 see also Marxism; rights ideology; Utilitarianism IFC (International Finance Corporation), 122 Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), 69–70, 75 India, 118–19 individualism entitled individual vs family obligation, 99–103, 104–6, 108–9, 210 fulfilment through personal achievement, 28, 99, 100–101, 102, 103, 108–9, 213 New Right embrace of, 14–15, 53, 81, 214–15 as rampant in recent decades, 19, 214–15 reciprocity contrasted with, 44–5 and withering of spatial community, 61–2 industrial revolution, 8, 126 inequality and assortative mating among new elite, 99–100, 154, 188–9 and divergence dynamic, 7, 18, 48, 98–108, 154–61, 170–71, 172–80, 181–90 and financial sector, 185 and geographic divide, 3, 7–8, 20, 125 global divide, 7–8, 20, 59–60, 191–8, 208 persistence of, 106–8 Rawls’ disadvantaged groups, 3–4, 13–14, 16, 50, 53, 121, 203–4, 214 and revolt against social democracy, 15–16 rising levels of, 3–5, 106, 125, 181, 190 and Utilitarian calculus, 132 innovation, 185–6, 208 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 114, 117 international relations achievement of post-WW2 leaders, 113–16, 122 building of shared identity, 114–16 core concepts of ethical world, 112, 113–14 erosion of ethical world, 116–18 expansion of post-war ‘clubs’, 116–18, 210 new, multipurpose club needed, 118–19, 122 and patriotism narrative, 67 situation in 1945, 112–13, 122 investment promotion agencies, 150–51 Irish Investment Authority, 151 Islamist terrorism, 42, 212, 213 Italy, 4, 58, 160 James, William, 29* Janesville (US study), 178 Japan, 72–3, 94, 101, 149, 192 John Lewis Partnership, 83, 172 Johnson, Robert Wood, 39–40, 72 Johnson & Johnson, 39–40, 41, 72, 74*, 79 Jolie, Angelina, 112 JP Morgan, 71* Juppé, Alain, 204 Kagame, Paul, 22 Kay, John, 82*, 84, 211 Keynes, John Maynard, 115 General Theory (1936), 47 kindergartens, 163 Knausgård, Karl Ove, 173 knowledge revolution, 126, 127–8 Kranton, Rachel, 35, 50–51 Krueger, Anne, 141 Krugman, Paul, 47 labour market flexicurity concept, 178 function of, 176–7 and globalization, 192, 194–6 and immigration, 194, 195, 196 investment in skills, 176–7 job security, 176, 177 and low productivity-low cost business model, 173–4 minimum wage strategies, 147, 174, 176, 180 need for reductions in working hours, 189 need for renewed purpose in work, 190 regulation of, 174, 189 and robotics revolution, 178–9 role of state, 177–8, 189 see also unemployment Labour Party, 49, 206 Marxist take-over of, 9, 204–5 language, 31, 32, 33, 39–40, 54, 57 Larkin, Philip, 99, 156 lawyers, 13–14, 45 Buiter’s three types, 186 and shell companies, 193, 194 surfeit of, 186–7 taxation of private litigation proposal, 187–8 Le Pen, Marine, 5, 63, 125, 202, 204 leadership and belief systems, 41–2, 43, 95 building of shared identity, 39–42, 49, 68, 114–16 changing role of, 39 and flattening of hierarchies, 39 and ISIS, 42 political achievements in post-war period, 113–16, 122 and pragmatist philosophy, 22 and shared purpose in firms, 39–40, 41, 71–5 strategic use of morality, 39–40, 41 transformation of power into authority, 39, 41–2, 57 League of Nations, 116 Lee Kwan Yew, 22, 147 Lehman Brothers, 71*, 76 liberalism, 30 libertarianism, 12–13, 15 New Right failures, 16, 21 Silicon Valley, 37–8 lobbying, 85, 141 local government, 182, 183 London, 3, 125, 127–8, 165–6, 193 impact of Brexit on, 131, 196 migration to, 195–6 Macron, Emmanuel, 67, 204 Manchester terror attack (2017), 212, 213 market economy, 19, 20, 21, 25, 48 and collapse of clusters, 129–30, 144–5 failure over pensions, 180 failure over skill-formation, 173–4 mutual benefit from exchange, 28 market fundamentalists, 147, 150 marriage assortative mating, 35, 99–100, 154, 188–9 cohabitation prior to, 99, 100 as ‘commitment technology’, 109, 155–6 divorce rates, 98, 99, 100–101, 102, 103 and female oppression, 156 religious associations, 109, 156 and rent-seeking, 141 ‘shotgun weddings’, 103 and unemployment, 103 Marxism, 13*, 26, 30, 43, 47, 113, 203, 214 alienation concept, 17–18 and the family, 36–7 late capitalism concept, 6 takeover of Labour Party, 9, 204–5 and ‘useful idiots’, 205* view of the state, 37 Maxwell, Robert, 80 May, Theresa, 205 Mayer, Colin, 18, 70 media celebrities, 6, 112, 204 Mélenchon, Jean-Luc, 5, 202, 204 mental health, 157, 158–9, 162 Mercier, Hugo, 29 meritocratic elites, 3–4, 5, 12–17, 20 Rawlsian vanguard, 13–14, 30, 49–50, 53, 67, 112, 113, 201, 202, 203, 214 Utilitarian vanguard, 9–10, 11–13, 15–16, 18, 52, 53, 59, 66–7, 209 see also Utilitarianism WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich and Developed), 3–4, 12, 14, 16, 17, 20, 116, 121, 133, 214* and white working class, 5, 16 Merkel, Angela, 14, 205 metropolitan areas, 3, 4, 7, 16, 19, 48, 125 co-ordination problem over new clusters, 145–50, 207 economies of agglomeration, 18, 19, 129, 131, 133–44, 195, 196, 207 gains from public goods, 134–5, 138–9 migration to, 195–6 political responses to dominance of, 131–2 scale and specialization in, 126–8, 130, 144–5 and taxation, 131, 132–43, 187, 207 Middle East, 192 Middleton, Kate, 188–9 migration, 121, 194–8, 203 as driven by absolute advantage, 20, 194–5, 208–9 and housing market, 182, 183 Mill, John Stuart, 9–10 minimum wage strategies, 147, 174, 176, 180 Mitchell, Andrew, 188 Mitchell, Edson, 78 modernist architecture, 12 Monarch Airlines, 75 monopolies, natural, 86–7, 88 and asymmetric information, 88, 90 auctioning of rights, 88–9 taxation of, 91–2 utility services, 86, 89, 90 ‘moral hazard’, 179 morality and ethics deriving from values not reason, 27, 28–9, 42–3 and economic man, 10, 19, 25, 26–7, 31, 34–5 and empathy, 12, 27 evolution of ethical norms, 35–6 Haidt’s fundamental values, 11–12, 14, 16, 29, 42–3, 132–3 and market economy, 21, 25, 28, 48 and modern capitalism, 25–6 and new elites, 3–4, 20–21 Adam Smith’s theories, 26–8 use for strategic purposes, 39–40, 41 and Utilitarianism, 9–10, 11, 14, 16, 55, 66–7, 209, 214 motivated reasoning, 28–9, 36, 86, 144, 150, 167 Museveni, President, 121 narratives and childhood mentors, 169–70 and consistency, 41, 67, 81, 96 conveyed by language, 31, 33, 57 detachment from place by e-networks, 38, 61–2 and heyday of social democracy, 49 and identity formation, 32 mis-ranking of cognitive and non-cognitive training, 174–6 moral norms generated from, 33, 97–8 and purposive action, 33–4, 40–41, 42, 68 and schools, 165 of shared identity, 53–6, 81 use of by leaders, 39–42, 43, 49, 80–81 see also belonging, narrative of; obligation, narrative of; purposive action National Health Service (NHS), 49, 159 national identity and citizens-of-the-world agenda, 59–61, 63, 65 contempt of the educated for, 53, 59, 60–61, 63 and distinctive common culture, 37†, 63 established in childhood, 32 esteem from, 51–3 fracture to skill-based identities, 3–5, 51–6, 78 legacy of Second World War, 15, 16 methods of rebuilding, 64, 65–8, 211–15 and new nationalists, 62–3, 67, 203, 204, 205 patriotism narrative, 21, 63, 67, 215 place-based identity, 51–6, 65–8, 211–14, 215 and polarization of society, 54–5 and secession movements, 58 unravelling of shared identity, 15, 50, 51–6, 57*, 58–61, 63, 215 and value identity, 64–5 National Review, 16 nationalism, 34 based on ethnicity or religion, 62–3 capture of national identity notion by, 62, 67, 215 and narratives of hatred, 56, 57, 58–9 and oppositional identities, 56–7, 58–9, 62–3, 68, 215 traditional form of, 62 natural rights concept, 12, 13 Nestlé, 70, 71 Netherlands, 206 networked groups as arena for exchanging obligations, 28 and ‘common knowledge’, 32–3, 34, 54, 55, 66, 212 decline of civil society networks/ groups, 180–81 and early man, 31 evolution of ethical norms, 35–6 exclusion of disruptive narratives, 34 families as, 97–8 leadership’s use of narratives, 39–42, 49 narratives detached from place, 38, 61–2 value-based echo-chambers, 38, 61–2, 64–5, 212, 215 see also family; firms Neustadt, Richard, 39* New York City, 5, 125, 128, 143–4, 193 NGOs, 71, 118, 157–8 ‘niche construction’, 35*, 36* Nigeria, 58 Noble, Diana, 149* Norman, Jesse, 21–2† North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 114, 115, 116, 117 North Korea, 85 Northern League, Italy, 58 Norway, 63, 206, 208–9 Nozick, Robert, 14–15 obligation, narrative of, 11, 12–13, 16, 19, 29, 33 and collapse of social democracy, 53–6, 210 entitled individual vs family obligation, 99–103, 104–6, 108–9, 210 in ethical world, 112, 113–22 and expansion of post-war ‘clubs’, 117–18, 210 fairness and loyalty instilled by, 34 heyday of the ethical state, 48–9, 68, 196–7 and immigration, 196–7 and leadership, 39, 40–41, 49 ‘oughts’ and ‘wants’, 27, 28, 33, 43 and secession movements, 58 and Adam Smith, 27, 28 see also reciprocity; rescue, duty of oil industry, 192 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 114–15, 125 Orwell, George, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), 5 Oxford university, 7, 70, 100 Paris, 5, 7, 125, 128, 174, 179 patriotism, 21, 63, 67, 215 Pause (NGO), 157–8 pension funds, 76–7, 79–81, 179–80, 185 Pew Research Center, 169 Pinker, Steven, 12* Plato, The Republic, 9, 11, 12, 15, 43 Playboy magazine, 99 political power and holders of economic rent, 135–6, 144 leadership selection systems in UK, 204–5, 206 minimum age for voting, 203 need to restore the centre, 205–7 polarization within polities, 38, 63, 202–5 polities as spatial, 38, 61–2, 65, 68, 211–13 and shared identity, 8, 57–61, 65, 114–16, 211–15 transformation into authority, 41–2, 57–8 trust in government, 4, 5, 48, 59, 210, 211–12 populism, political, 6, 22, 43, 58–9, 202 and geographic divide, 130–31 headless-heart, 30, 60, 112, 119, 121, 122 media celebrities, 6, 112, 204 pragmatism as opposed to, 30 and US presidential election (2016), 5, 203–4 pragmatist philosophy, 6, 9, 19, 21, 21–2†, 46, 201 author’s proposed policies, 19–20, 21, 207–15 limitations of, 30 and Macron in France, 204 and migration, 198 and post-war settlement, 113, 116, 122 and social democracy, 18, 201–2 successful leaders, 22 and taxation, 132, 207 and teaching methods, 166–7 values and reason, 29–30, 43–4 proportional representation, 206 protectionism, 113, 114, 130–31 psychology, social, 16, 54 co-ordination problems, 32–3 esteem’s trumping of money, 174 Haidt’s fundamental values, 11–12, 14, 16, 29, 42–3, 132–3 narratives, 31, 32, 33–4, 38, 39–42, 49, 53–6 norms, 33, 35–6, 39, 42–3, 44, 97–8, 107–8 ‘oughts’ and ‘wants’, 27, 28, 33, 43 personal achievement vs family obligation, 99–103, 104–6, 108–9, 210 ‘theory of mind’, 27, 55 Public Choice Theory, 15–16 public goods, 134–5, 138–9, 186, 202, 213 public ownership, 90 Puigdemont, Carles, 202 purposive action, 18, 21, 25, 26, 34, 40*, 53–4, 68, 112, 211–13 autonomy and responsibility, 38–9 and belonging narrative, 68, 98, 114, 211, 212, 213 in Bhutan, 37† decline in ethical purpose across society, 48 and heyday of social democracy, 47, 49, 114 and narratives, 33–4, 40–41, 42, 68 in workplace, 190 Putnam, Robert, 45–6, 106 Bowling Alone, 181 ‘quality circles’, 72–3 Rajan, Raghuram, 178 Rand, Ayn, 32 rational social woman, 31, 50–51, 196 Rawls, John, 13–14 Reagan, Ronald, 15, 26 Reback, Gary, 90 reciprocity, 9, 19, 31, 212–15 and belonging, 25, 40–41, 49, 53–6, 67, 68, 98, 181, 182, 210–11, 212–13 and collapse of social democracy, 11, 14, 53–6, 58–61, 201, 210 and corporate behaviour, 95 in ethical world, 112, 113–15, 116 and expansion of post-war ‘clubs’, 117–18, 210 fairness and loyalty as supporting, 29, 31, 34 and the family, 97–8, 101, 102 and geographic divide, 125 heyday of the ethical state, 48–9, 68, 96, 196–7, 201 and ISIS, 42 Macron’s patriotism narrative, 67 nineteenth-century co-operatives, 8 rights matched to obligations, 44–5 and three types of narrative, 33, 34, 40–41 transformation of power into authority, 39, 41–2, 57–8 Refuge (Betts and Collier), 27 refugees, 14, 27, 115, 119–20, 213 regulation, 87–90 and globalization, 193–4 of labour market, 174 religion, 56–7, 62–3, 109, 156 religious fundamentalism, 6, 30, 36–7, 212, 213, 215 rent-seeking concept, 140–41, 150, 186, 187–8, 195 rescue, duty of, 40, 54, 119–21, 210, 213 as instrument for ethical imperialism, 117–18, 210 as not matched by rights, 44, 45, 117 and post-war settlement, 113, 115–16 restoring and augmenting autonomy, 121–2 and stressed young families, 163 term defined, 27, 112 value of care as underpinning, 29 retirement pensions, 179–80 rights ideology and corresponding obligations, 44–5 emergence in 1970s, 12–14 human rights lobby, 112, 118, 118* individualism as rampant in recent decades, 19, 214–15 and lawyers, 13–14, 45 Libertarian use of, 12–13, 14–15 natural rights concept, 12, 13 and New Right, 12–13, 14–15, 53 Rawls’ disadvantaged groups, 3–4, 13–14, 16, 50, 53, 112, 121, 203–4, 214 ‘rights of the child’ concept, 103–4 and Utilitarian atate, 12–14 see also individualism Romania, communist, 32, 36 Rotherham, ‘Grimm and Co’, 168–9 rule of law, 138–9, 186 Rwanda, 22 Salmond, Alex, 202 Sandel, Michael, 105 Sanders, Bernie, 9, 64, 202, 203 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 204 Schultz, Martin, 14 Schumpeter, Joseph, 21* Scotland, 58 Seligman, Martin, 108–9 sexual behaviour birth-control pill, 98–9, 102 and class divide, 99, 102, 155–6 concept of sin, 156 and HIV, 121 and stigma, 156–8 sexual orientation, 3, 45 Sheffield, 7, 8, 126, 128–9, 131, 151, 168, 192 shell companies, 193, 194 Shiller, Robert, 34 Sidgwick, Henry, 55 Signalling, Theory of, 41, 43, 53, 63, 95 Silicon Valley, 37–8, 62, 145, 152, 164 Singapore, 22, 147 Slovenia, 58 Smith, Adam, 14, 21, 21–2†, 174 and mutual benefit from exchange, 28 and pursuit of self- interest, 26–7, 40 on reason, 29 The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), 27, 28, 174 Wealth of Nations (1776), 26, 28, 174 Smith, Vernon, 28 social democracy ‘Butskellism’, 49* collapse of, 9, 11, 50, 51–6, 116–18, 201–2, 210 communitarian roots, 8–9, 11, 13, 14, 17, 48–9, 201 and group identities, 3–4, 13–14, 51–6 heyday of, 8–9, 15, 17, 47, 48–9, 68, 96, 196–7, 201, 210 and housing, 181–2 influence of Utilitarianism, 9, 10, 14, 16, 18, 49–50, 201, 203, 214 Libertarian challenge, 12–13, 14–15 New Right abandonment of, 14–15, 16, 26, 53 and Public Choice Theory, 15–16 replaced by social paternalism, 11–13, 49–50, 209–10 and rights ideology, 12–14 and secession movements, 58 shared identity harnessed by, 15, 196–7 unravelling of shared identity, 15, 50, 51–6, 57*, 58–61, 63, 215 and Utilitarianism, 214 social maternalism concept, 21, 154–5, 190 free pre-school education, 163–4 mentoring for children, 169–70, 208 support for stressed families, 20, 155, 157–60, 161–3, 208 social media, 27, 61, 87, 173, 207, 215 social paternalism backlash against, 11–13, 15–16 as cavalier about globalization, 20 and child-rearing/family, 105, 110, 154–5, 157, 158, 159, 160, 190, 209 replaces social democracy, 11–13, 49–50, 209–10 ‘rights of the child’ concept, 103–4 and Utilitarian vanguard, 9–10, 11–13, 15–16, 18, 66–7, 209 social services, 159 scrutiny role, 162 Solow, Robert, 141 Soros, George, 15* South Africa, 85 South Asia, 192 South Korea, 129, 130–31 South Sudan, 192 Soviet Union, 114, 115, 116, 203 Spain, 58, 160 specialization, 17–18, 36, 126–8, 130, 144–5, 192 Spence, Michael, 41, 53, 95 Sperber, Dan, 29 St Andrews University, 189 Stanford University, 145, 152 Starbucks, 193 the state, 19 ethical capacities of, 11, 20–21, 48–9 failures in 1930s, 47, 48 ideologies hostile to, 37–8 and pre-school education, 163–4 and prosperity, 37 public policy and job shocks, 177–8 public policy on the family, 21, 154–5, 157–70, 171–3, 177, 209 public-sector and co-ordination problem, 147–8 social maternalism policies, 21, 157, 190 Utilitarian takeover of public policy, 10–12, 13–14, 15–17, 18, 49–50, 113, 201 Stiglitz, Joseph, 56 Stoke-on-Trent, 129 Stonehenge, 64 Sudan, 8 Summers, Larry, 187 Sure Start programme, 164 Sutton, John, 151* Sweden, 178 Switzerland, 175, 206 Tanzania, 193 taxation and corporate globalization, 193, 194 of economic rents, 91–2, 187–8 ethics and efficiency, 132–43 on financial transactions, 187 generational differences in attitudes, 59 Henry George’s Theorem, 133–6, 141 heyday of the ethical state, 49 issues of desert, 132–3, 134–9 and the metropolis, 131, 132–43, 187, 207 and migration, 197 of natural monopolies, 91–2 ‘optimal’, 10 of private litigation in courts, 187–8 and reciprocity, 54, 55, 59 redesign of needed, 19 redistributive, 10, 11, 14, 49, 54, 55, 60, 197 of rents of agglomeration, 19, 132–44, 207 social maternalism policies, 21, 157 substantial decline in top rates, 55 tax havens, 62 Venables-Collier theory, 136–9 Teach First programme, 165–6 technical vocational education and training (TVET), 171–6 technological change, 4 robotics revolution, 178–9 and withering of spatial community, 61–2 see also digital networks telomeres, 155–6 Tepperman, Jonathan, The Fix, 22 Thatcher, Margaret, 15, 26 Thirty Years War, 56–7 Tirole, Jean, 177, 178 Toyota, 72–3, 74, 94, 172 trade unions, 173, 174, 176 Troubled Families Programme (TFP), 162 Trudeau, Pierre, 22 Trump, Donald, 5, 9, 63, 64, 86, 125, 136, 202, 204, 206, 215 Uber, 87 unemployment in 1930s, 47 and collapse of industry, 7, 103, 129, 192 impact on children, 160–61 older workers, 4, 103, 213 retraining schemes, 178 in USA, 160 young people, 4 Unilever, 70, 71 United Kingdom collapse of heavy industry, 7, 103, 129, 192 extreme politics in, 5 and falling life expectancy, 4 financial sector, 80, 83, 84–5 IMF bail-out (1976), 115 local banks in past, 146 northern England, 3, 7, 8, 84, 126, 128–9, 131, 151, 168, 192 shareholder control of firms, 76–7, 79, 80, 82–3 statistics on firms in, 37 universities in, 170, 172, 175* vocational education in, 172, 175† widening of geographic divide, 125 United Nations, 65, 112 ‘Club of 77’, 116 Security Council, 116 UNHCR, 115 United States breakdown of ethical family, 104–5 broken cities in, 129, 130 extreme politics in, 5, 63 and falling life expectancy, 4 financial sector, 83–4, 186 and global e-utilities, 89–90 growth in inequality since 1980, 125 heyday of the ethical state, 49 and knowledge industries, 192 labour market in, 176, 178 local banks in past, 146 oversight of firms in, 76 pessimism in, 5, 45–6 presidential election (2016), 5, 9, 203–4 Public Interest Companies, 93 public policy as predominantly national, 212 ‘rights of the child’ concept in, 103–4 Roosevelt’s New Deal, 47 statistics on firms in, 37 taxation in, 143–4, 144* unemployment in, 160 universities in, 170, 172, 173 weakening of NATO commitment, 117 universities in broken cities, 151–2 in EU countries, 170 expansion of, 99–100, 127 knowledge clusters at, 127, 151–2 low quality vocational courses, 172–3 in UK, 170, 172, 175* in US, 170, 172, 173 urban planning, post-war, 11–12 Utilitarianism, 19, 30, 49–50, 55, 108, 112, 121, 210–11 backlash against, 11–13, 201, 202 belonging as absent from discourse, 16, 59, 66–7, 210–11 care as key value, 12 and consumption, 10, 11, 16, 19–20, 209 equality as key value, 12, 13, 14, 15, 116, 132–3, 214 incorporated into economics, 10–11, 13–14, 16 influence on social democrats, 9, 10, 14, 16, 18, 49–50, 201, 203, 214 origins of, 9–10 paternalistic guardians, 9–10, 11–13, 66–7, 210 takeover of public policy, 10–12, 13–14, 15–17, 18, 49–50, 113, 201 and taxation, 10, 132*, 133 vanguard’s switch of identity salience, 52, 53, 59 Valls, Manuel, 204 Venables, Tony, 18, 136, 191* Venezuela, 120, 214 vested interests, 85–6, 135–6, 165, 166, 207 Volkswagen, 74–5 Walmart, 87 Warsi, Baroness Sayeeda, 65 Wedgwood, Josiah, 129 welfare state, 9, 48–9 unlinked from contributions, 14 well-being and happiness belonging and esteem, 16, 25, 27, 29, 31–3, 34, 42, 51–6, 97–8, 174 entitled individual vs family obligation, 108–9 and financial success, 26, 94 ‘ladder of life’, 25* poverty in Africa, 37 reciprocity as decisive for, 31 Westminster, Duke of, 136 white working class ‘elite’ attitudes to, 4, 5, 16 falling life expectancy, 4, 16 pessimism of, 5 William, Prince, 188–9 Williams, Bernard, 55* Wittgenstein, 62, 63 Wolf, Alison, 52–3, 155 World Bank, 115, 117, 118, 118*, 122 World Food Programme, 115 World Health Organization, 115 World Trade Organization (WTO), 116–17 Yugoslavia, 58 Zingales, Luigi, 178 Zuma, Jacob, 85 Copyright THE FUTURE OF CAPITALISM.


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A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, debt deflation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, labour market flexibility, land tenure, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Chicago School, transaction costs, union organizing, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent

Greenberg, ‘The Limits of Branding: The World Trade Center, Fiscal Crisis and the Marketing of Recovery’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 27 (2003), 386–416. 12. Tabb, The Long Default; On the subsequent ‘selling’ of New York see Greenberg, ‘The Limits of Branding’; on urban entrepreneurialism more generally see D. Harvey, ‘From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation of Urban Governance in Late Capitalism’, in id., Spaces of Capital (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001), ch. 16. 13. Tabb, The Long Default, 15. 14. Edsall, The New Politics of Inequality, 128. 15. Court, Corporateering, 29–31, lists all the relevant legal decisions of the 1970s. 16. The accounts of Edsall, The New Politics of Inequality, followed by Blyth, Great Transformations, are compelling. 17. Edsall, The New Politics of Inequality, 235. 18.

., ‘The Art of Rent: Globalization, Monopoly and the Commodifi-cation of Culture’, Socialist Register (2002), 93–110. ——The Condition of Postmodernity (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989). ——‘Cosmopolitanism and the Banality of Geographical Evils’, in J. Comaroff and J. Comaroff, Millennial Capitalism and the Culture of Neoliberalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000) 271–310. ——‘From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation of Urban Governance in Late Capitalism’, in id., Spaces of Capital (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001), ch.16. ——The Limits to Capital (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1982). Harvey, D., The New Imperialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003). ——‘The Right to the City’, in R. Scholar (ed.), Divided Cities: Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2003 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, forthcoming). ——Spaces of Hope (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000).


pages: 498 words: 145,708

Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin R. Barber

addicted to oil, AltaVista, American ideology, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business cycle, Celebration, Florida, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, G4S, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, McJob, microcredit, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, presumed consent, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, spice trade, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, X Prize

Such an impediment, that is to say, to producers who sell products consumers want but are likely to buy only if they can be persuaded they “need” them—in the way that, to take but one example, men now “need” not one or two or three blades, but the Gillette five-blade Fusion razor to secure a clean shave.33 Weber imagined a capitalist world in which the cash nexus triumphed over investment, anticipating that late capitalism’s managerial overseers were likely to be more interested in liquidating than in creating and investing capital and more concerned to sell unneeded goods to those who could afford them than to produce needed goods for those without the means to purchase them. Hence he envisioned a world where capitalists were transformed into “specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart,” women and men singing their own praises yet constituting in truth “this nullity” which “imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved.”34 Not everyone who admires capitalism welcomes its decline into the nullity of compulsory consumerism or spiritualizes its coercive kiddie culture.

Consumers are not citizens, and when a system pretends that they are, peculiar and even perverse things happen to decision making and to democracy, as well as democracy’s commitment to diversity. Critics of capitalism in the postwar period, especially those German neo-Marxists associated with the so-called Frankfurt School, were already worrying—a little hysterically if also rather presciently—about the ways in which the successes of late capitalism seemed to them to be cloaking new and subtle forms of repression in the marketplace. If the market, with its hidden monopolies and invisible coerciveness, was “free,” then maybe freedom had (as the French philosopher Michel Foucault suggested) become a smoke screen for repression. The Enlightenment had created worlds of liberty, privacy, and tolerance unknown to earlier societies. The new liberal ideologies that helped emancipate eighteenth-century men and women were oppositional (their targets were absolute monarchy and an authoritarian church).

The new culture industry, purveying the myth of what I have called consumer empowerment, claimed that standards were based in the first place on consumers’ needs…[a] circle of manipulation and retroactive need in which the unity of the system grows ever stronger.5 In 1964, with this postwar leftist ambivalence about Enlightenment as backdrop, Herbert Marcuse proposed the controversial thesis that late capitalism was producing “one-dimensional men.” Nurtured by a society in which “a comfortable, smooth, reasonable, democratic unfreedom prevails,” one-dimensional men were being molded by a “productive apparatus [which] tends to become totalitarian,” especially inasmuch as it determines “individual needs and aspirations.”6 Marcuse resorted to the hyperbole of totalitarianism to portray what he called “a non-terroristic economic-technical coordination which operates through the manipulation of needs by vested interests.”


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-work, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

In the end, such a line of reasoning gives up on every critical account of capitalism, and accepts it as the final stage of history. As Ramin Ramtin bluntly puts it, ‘The fact that [full automation] would result in explosive socioeconomic and political contradictions does not make it impossible’ (Ramtin, Capitalism and Automation, p. 103). The simple wager of the demand for full automation is that wealth can be produced in non-capitalist ways. For representative critiques of full automation, see Ernest Mandel, Late Capitalism (London: Verso, 1998), p. 205; George Caffentzis, ‘The End of Work or the Renaissance of Slavery? A Critique of Rifkin and Negri’, in In Letters of Blood and Fire (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2012), p. 78. 46.It should be mentioned that, increasingly, tacit knowledge tasks are being automated through environmental control and machine learning, with more recent innovations eliminating even the need for a controlled environment.

Malcolm Imrie (Boston, MA: South End, 1985), p. 61. 17.As Marx and Engels write, ‘this development of productive forces … is an absolutely necessary practical premise because without it privation, want is merely made general, and with want the struggle for necessities would begin again, and all the old filthy business would necessarily be restored’. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology (London: Prometheus, 1976), p. 54. 18.This appeal to a humanity outside of capitalism is one of the more problematic aspects of Jacques Camatte’s work, for instance. See Jacques Camatte, This World We Must Leave (Brooklyn: (Semiotexte), 1996). 19.Weeks, Problem with Work, p. 169. 20.Ernest Mandel, Late Capitalism (London: Verso, 1998), pp. 394–5. 21.Translation slightly modified – from ‘human energy’ to ‘human powers’. Marx, Capital, Volume III, p. 820. 22.Federico Campagna, The Last Night: Anti-Work, Atheism, Adventure (Winchester: Zero, 2013), p. 68. 23.For some investigations into what these could look like, however, see Alexandra Kollontai, Selected Writings, transl. Alix Holt (London: Allison & Busby, 1977). 24.Stephen Eric Bronner, Reclaiming the Enlightenment: Toward a Politics of Radical Engagement (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), p. 15. 25.Weeks, Problem with Work, p. 103. 26.Benjamin Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015). 27.Tiziana Terranova, ‘Red Stack Attack!’


pages: 90 words: 27,452

No More Work: Why Full Employment Is a Bad Idea by James Livingston

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, business cycle, collective bargaining, delayed gratification, full employment, future of work, Internet of things, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, obamacare, post-work, Project for a New American Century, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, surplus humans, The Future of Employment, union organizing, working poor

Look at what we learn by doing, by making things, by producing the world we inhabit rather than passively consuming goods made by others. Fuck that, too? No, to all of the above. There’s plenty of socially beneficial work to do, but it’s no longer socially necessary, which means it doesn’t pay. The labor market is broken, and it can’t be fixed. Or it’s been perfected at this outer edge of very late capitalism, where the “elasticity of substitution” between capital and labor—between machines and real, live human beings—approaches equivalence. Translation: we lost our race with the machine, but in doing so we won our freedom from the iron grip of economic necessity. Ask yourself, why is information free? Music? Movies? My answer in this book is that socially necessary labor time has become or is becoming worthless, at least insofar as the price system can signify its value.


pages: 417 words: 97,577

The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition by Jonathan Tepper

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, Airbnb, airline deregulation, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Bob Noyce, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, diversification, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, full employment, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, income inequality, index fund, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, late capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, means of production, merger arbitrage, Metcalfe's law, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, passive investing, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, prisoner's dilemma, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, undersea cable, Vanguard fund, very high income, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

The term “robber baron” originally came from the medieval German lords, the Rauberitter, who charged illegal tolls on the roads crossing their lands without providing any improved roads in exchange. The tolls operated as taxes, transferring money from the common man to nobles. As Americans go about their daily lives, they have the illusion of choice, but they spend their days paying tolls to a few companies that lack any real competition. Late capitalism resembles Soviet logic when it comes to consumer options. When Americans wake up each day, they can get their cereal from Kellogg's, General Mills, or Post, who all together have an 85% share of the cereal market. At breaks from work, they might want a soft drink. The top three firms dominate more than 85% of the market.12 Coca Cola is the leader, followed by PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper Snapple.

Rockefeller (Nevins), 156 Josephson, Matthew, 139 JPMorgan Chase, 182 market dominance, 127 Juvenal, 87 K Kalecki, Michał, 6 Katz, Lawrence, 74 Keillor, Garrison, 17, 206 Keynes, John Maynard, 16–17, 154 Khan, Lina, 39, 103–104, 225 Kidney dialysis, duopolies, 124 Kill zone, 109 King Kong, monopolies (comparison), 35 King, Mervyn, 18 Knepper, Lisa, 83 Knoer, Scott, 170 Kodak, digital photography, 55 Kosnett, Michael, 169 Koss Corp., Chapter 11 reorganization, 170 Kraft Foods, H.J. Heinz Company (merger), 4 Krueger, Alan, 39, 74 Kuhn, Raymond, 36 Kuhn, Thomas, 165 Kulick, Robert, 43 Kwoka, John, 13, 42, 164 L Labor capital ownership, 246 concentration, increase, 73f markets, 72-73, 73f Larkin, Yelena, 8, 13 Lasch, Christopher, 58 Late capitalism, Soviet logic (relationship), 115 Lazonick, William, 208 Leaf, Charlie, 28 Levenstein, Margaret C., 25 Lewis-Mogridge Position, 19 Lew, Jack, 192 Licensing, increase, 84f Life expectancy, health expenditure (contrast), 132f Lilburne, John, 235–236 Lind, Michael, 6, 52 Lindsey, Brink, 174, 188 Litan, Robert E., 46 Littunen, Matti, 100 Lobbying feedback loop, creation, 188 impact, 186–187 incentive, 189 regulation/profits, correlation, 188 Localism, impact, 58–61 Local monopolies breaking, 244 impact, 116–122 Loewe v.


pages: 102 words: 33,345

24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary

augmented reality, Berlin Wall, dematerialisation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invention of movable type, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, mass incarceration, megacity, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme

24/7 Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep Jonathan Crary for Suzanne Or else we make a scarecrow of the day, Loose ends and jumble of our common world W. H. Auden Contents ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS CHAPTER ONE CHAPTER TWO CHAPTER THREE CHAPTER FOUR ENDNOTES COPYRIGHT ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am especially gratefully to Sebastian Budgen for his support of this project and for his valuable suggestions during its completion. The opportunity to test out parts of this work in lecture form was enormously helpful to me. I would like to thank Jorge Ribalta, Carles Guerra, and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art for providing me with the venue where I first presented some of this book’s content. I’m also grateful to Ron Clark and the participants in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program for their challenging responses to my seminars.


pages: 378 words: 107,957

Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender, and Identity―and Why This Harms Everybody by Helen Pluckrose, James A. Lindsay

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, desegregation, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, feminist movement, germ theory of disease, Isaac Newton, late capitalism, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, neurotypical, phenotype, sexual politics, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, transatlantic slave trade, white flight, women in the workforce

Sheila Faria Glaser (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994). 8.Baudrillard takes this odd view to a macabre and nihilistic extreme, calling for drastic measures to return us to a more productive, pretechnological time. Jean Baudrillard, Symbolic Exchange and Death, trans. Iain Hamilton Gran (London: SAGE Publications, 2017). 9.Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Robert J. Hurley (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016). 10.Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism: Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (New York: Verso Books, 2019). 11.David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 2000). 12.It is unclear whether the general population shared either this perception of society or the skepticism about Enlightenment values it induced in certain thinkers, but something significant was changing, particularly within the academy. 13.Brian Duignan, “Postmodernism,” Encyclopædia Britannica, July 19, 2019, britannica.com/topic/postmodernism-philosophy (accessed August 15, 2019). 14.Paraphrased from Walter Truett Anderson, The Fontana Postmodernism Reader (London: Fontana Press, 1996), 10–11 15.Steinar Kvale, “Themes of Postmodernity,” in The Fontana Postmodernism Reader, ed.

In Past the Last Post: Theorizing Post-Colonialism and Post-Modernism, edited by Ian Adam and Helen Tiffin, 167–89. London: Harvester/Wheatsheaf, 1991. Jackson, Stevi. “Why a Materialist Feminism Is (Still) Possible—and Necessary.” Women’s Studies International Forum 24, no. 3–4 (2001): 283–93. Jagose, Annamarie. Queer Theory: An Introduction. New York University Press, 2010. Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism: Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. New York: Verso Books, 2019. Jolivétte, Andrew. Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2015. Jordan, Winthrop D. White over Black American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550–1812. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2012. Kid, Ian James, José Medina, and Gaile Polhaus. “Introduction.” In The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Injustice, edited by Ian James Kid, José Medina, and Gaile Pohlhaus, Jr., 1–9.


pages: 162 words: 42,595

Architecture: A Very Short Introduction by Andrew Ballantyne

dematerialisation, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, late capitalism, means of production, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Stewart Brand, the built environment

The houses of the rich and famous often do not conform to the established canons of respectable taste, and may not be treated seriously by architectural historians now, but in the future, looking back, they will look as astonishing and unrepeatable as the houses of the 18th-century landed aristocracy. And strange as it may seem, we could find our own era represented in the architectural history books by these outlandish creations that seem utterly remote from our own experience of living now. Written up with one critical agenda the story might be called ‘Late Capitalism and the Triumph of Kitsch’. From another, imbued with the values of the new age, the same buildings could be exhibited as evidence that ‘Your Dreams Can Come True’. What I am trying to do here is to give a sense of how different perspectives influence what it is that we see when we see buildings. They are involved in a complex way with an indefinite number of cultural and technical matters, and therefore they can have different levels of significance in different spheres.


pages: 385 words: 121,550

Three Years in Hell: The Brexit Chronicles by Fintan O'Toole

airport security, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Downton Abbey, Etonian, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, full employment, income inequality, l'esprit de l'escalier, labour mobility, late capitalism, open borders, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, technoutopianism, zero-sum game

That is the desperation of people who have been dumped out of the working-class lives of industry and aspiration they once knew and into the humiliating experience of being discarded as human set-aside. We should not underestimate the extent to which Trump and the Brexiteers feed off the sheer anomie of life in these left-behind communities. Yes, this is a politics that thrives on anger, but it also thrives on boredom. Working-class communities have been taught by late capitalism to consume fantasies. They know very well that buying and wearing an acrylic T-shirt with the colours and advertising logos of Manchester United or the Cleveland Browns doesn’t really make you one with the multimillionaire sports star whose name is on the back. And they know that cheering for Trump or having a selfie taken with Boris doesn’t actually make you one with these entitled scions of the ruling class.

Out of despair comes the hope that something better must be built. And this hope is concrete: it provides the sense of direction from which realistic maps of the future can be made. Hopeitude is the political gambler’s bluff. You don’t have two cents’ worth of real hope in your hand, so you put a big pile of hopeitude chips on the table. It’s a perfect parallel to the diet of empty calories that late capitalism has devised for the poor – instead of feeding the body politic, it bloats it with corny emotional syrup and cheap rhetorical trans fats. Consider Andrea Leadsom’s ludicrous speech last Thursday, setting out why she should be the next prime minister of the UK, delivered with the weird rictus of a beauty pageant contestant: ‘You see, I am an optimist. I truly believe we can be the greatest nation on Earth… I believe we have a great future ahead of us… We are a remarkable people and we have so much more to give.’


Autonomia: Post-Political Politics 2007 by Sylvere Lotringer, Christian Marazzi

anti-communist, anti-work, business cycle, collective bargaining, dematerialisation, do-ocracy, feminist movement, full employment, land reform, late capitalism, means of production, social intelligence, wages for housework, women in the workforce

Now terrorism is forced to make a choice. On the one hand, it may crystaHze and perfect itself as a separate populist practice with self· determined forms, timing, and objectives, by, for example, insisting obsessively on the theme of the release of prisoners. In thi~ case, as has already happened elsewhere, the political phenomenon of violence will end up In the category of the case study of social malaise In the age of late capitalism; and thus It will be interpreted as one of the prices to be paid for the survival of the status QUo. On the other hand, it may move toward forms of real guerrilla action, and It may can· sciously set down its roots within the new spcntaneity. In reality, this operation of death and restoration must be based Immediately on the social network, represented politically by the Italian Communist Party.

One must understand that proletarian auto~omy was not invented by anybody, least of all by the former leaders of 293 What is strange is that both posHlons do not comprehend, from an empirical point of view, that the working class of big factories is: 1) a small minority of pro· ductive labor; 2) that the specificity of the working class In big factories is disappearing within the framework of the social organization of productive labor. Now, the only essential thing that, for those who work within Marxism, must be done is analyzing more deeply the political make·up of productive "social" work, that of the worker who, socially, produces surplus value and Is therefore socially explOited. This is, I believe, the only recognizable PutBov of late capitalism. And it Is here that aU thOse problems arise, of organization, of the State, of transition, that are-In spite of the obtuse ideology reproposed by the party central commit· tees-the center of attention for the Communist militants of Autonomy. For how long do "the repression people" think they can hold out in the face of the degraded life conditions of "social" workers? How much longer do "the corporation pea· pie" think they can ho!


The New Enclosure: The Appropriation of Public Land in Neoliberal Britain by Brett Christophers

Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Corn Laws, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, Diane Coyle, estate planning, ghettoisation, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, late capitalism, market clearing, Martin Wolf, New Journalism, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, Right to Buy, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, urban sprawl, wealth creators

For Harvey, privatization, and the more general dispossession (by whatever means) of assets held publicly or in common, is not some marginal feature of late capitalism. It is, rather, at the very forefront of modern capitalist accumulation and growth, an essential mechanism of what Harvey calls ‘accumulation by dispossession’.1 And Harvey sees this contemporary accumulation by dispossession explicitly as a revivification of the original enclosure movement. A ‘new round of “enclosure of the commons”’ has, he says, been made into a central objective of state policies not just in the Anglo-American world but also farther afield.2 In the context specifically of land privatization in post-1970s Britain, I am saying much the same thing. This privatization is indubitably a form of enclosure; and it epitomizes key developments in late capitalism more generally. Enclosure, as Harvey insists, is not merely a thing of the past in the Global North.


pages: 586 words: 159,901

Wall Street: How It Works And for Whom by Doug Henwood

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, central bank independence, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, labor-force participation, late capitalism, law of one price, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, London Interbank Offered Rate, Louis Bachelier, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, publication bias, Ralph Nader, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, selection bias, shareholder value, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

"The CAPM Debate," Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Quarterly Review 19 (Fall), pp. 2-17. James, Harvey S. (1996). "British Industrialization and the Profit Constraint Hypothesis: The Case of a Manchester Cotton Enterprise, 1798-1827," University of Hartford economics department (Internet: http://econwpa.wustl.edu/eprints/eh/papers/96l2/ 96l2003.abs). Jameson, Fredric (1991). Postmodernism, Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press). Jaroslovsky. Rich (1989). "Washington Wire," Wall Street fournal, February 17, p. 1. Jaspersen, Frederick Z., Anthony H. Aylward, and Mariusz A. Sumlinski (1995). Trends in Private Investment in Developing Countries: Statistics for 1970-S>4, International Finance Corp. Discussion Paper No. 28 (Washington: World Bank). Jensen, Michael C. (1978) "Some Anomalous Evidence Regarding Market Efficiency,"/our-nal of Financial Economics 6. pp. 95-101

"Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica 46, pp. 1429-1445. Maddison, Angus (1995). MonitoriJig the World Economy, 1829-1992 (Pans: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). Malkiel, Burton G. (1990). A Random Walk Down Wall Street (New York: W.W. Norton & Co.). Mamis, Justin, and Robert Mamis (1977). When to Sell: Inside Strategies for Stock-Market Profits (New York: Cornerstone Library). Mandel, Ernest (1978). Late Capitalism (London and New York: Verso Press). — (1983). "Keynes and Marx," in Bottomore et al. (1983), pp. 249-251. Mankiw, N. Gregory (1989). "Real Business Cycles: A New Keynesian Perspective,"/owrn«/ of Economic Perspectives} (Summer), pp. 79-90. — (1990). "A Quick Refresher Course in Macroeconomics,"/owrna/ of Economic Litera- ture 28, pp. 1645-1660. Manne, Henry G. (1965). "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy 75 (April), pp. 110-120.


pages: 195 words: 58,462

City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World by Catie Marron

Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, do-ocracy, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, urban planning

Most people who pass him think he is Neptune, understandably, because of that dolphin, but no, in fact he is a Moor, not in the literal sense of being a Berber Muslim, he is one of those decorative Negroes common in Renaissance art, and looking up at him, I had a strange feeling. I saw myself as some kind of a decorative Moor, the kind who does not need to wrestle dolphins or anything else, a Moor of leisure, a Moor who lunches, a Moor who needn’t run for her livelihood through the public squares. A historically unprecedented kind of Moor. A late-capitalism Moor. A tourist Moor. The sort of Moor who enters a public square not to protest or to march (or, in an earlier age, to be hanged or sold) but simply to wander about without purpose. A Moor who has come to look at the art. A Moor who sits on the lip of a fountain and asks herself: “What, if anything, is the purpose of the artist today?” A Moor with the luxury of doing that. IN PIAZZA SFORZA CESARINI THE PROBLEM WAS A HALOGEN bulb; it was extremely hot and built into a bookcase.


pages: 164 words: 57,068

The Second Curve: Thoughts on Reinventing Society by Charles Handy

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, bonus culture, British Empire, call centre, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, falling living standards, future of work, G4S, greed is good, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, late capitalism, mass immigration, megacity, mittelstand, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Veblen good, Walter Mischel

Pope Francis, in his first encyclical in 2013, lamented the poison caused by the market economy that puts profit ahead of people. His lament is echoed by the protesters around the world, angered by the growing gap between the 1 per cent and the 99 per cent. We have to ask, has capitalism overreached itself? Can we put it back in its box without losing its vigour and creativity? Is it already too late? Capitalism was given its huge boost by two creative social inventions back in the mid-19th century, when the twin ideas of the joint-stock company and limited liability were first widely applied in Britain. Their combination fuelled the Industrial Revolution by sharing and limiting the risk of investment. But down the centuries those good ideas have had some very unintended consequences, as good ideas often do.


Speaking Code: Coding as Aesthetic and Political Expression by Geoff Cox, Alex McLean

4chan, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, bash_history, bitcoin, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Jacques de Vaucanson, Larry Wall, late capitalism, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Slavoj Žižek, social software, social web, software studies, speech recognition, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, Turing machine, Turing test, Vilfredo Pareto, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks

The speech act in this case is aggressively locked down, underlining how subjectivity in the form of the voice is somehow captured and fragmented in the use of these telecommunications devices. The digital network more generally facilitates the spatial and temporal globalization and precaritization of labor, but it is the “cellular” qualities of this that recombine semiotic fragments endlessly to produce semiocapitalism, according to Berardi.123 The most important commodity of late capitalism, the mobile phone, is the instrument through which this takes place, melting our brains both literally and metaphorically through its use of microwave radio frequencies. 68 Chapter 2 But all is not lost. Berardi reads the present financial crisis as a precondition for the return of the soul, like the return of the repressed. If neoliberalism attempted to capture the very essence of life, it will always ultimately fail, as it wrongly assumes “that the soul can be reduced to mere rationality.”124 The soul is even more unpredictable than the mind or body.


pages: 236 words: 62,158

Marx at the Arcade: Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle by Jamie Woodcock

4chan, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, anti-work, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, butterfly effect, call centre, collective bargaining, Columbine, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, David Graeber, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, game design, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, John Conway, Kickstarter, Landlord’s Game, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Oculus Rift, pink-collar, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, union organizing, unpaid internship, V2 rocket

Games also “tend to a radical, multitudinous form, as collaborative, constructive, experimental digital productions.”5 This is why the connections of the videogames industry with the military-industrial complex figured into my discussion. These deep links have endured, intensifying as the military has directly and indirectly intervened in the production of games, with this relationship now also shaping the military in return. This accelerating feedback loop stands as a metaphor, defining the contours between technological innovation and the organization of work in late capitalism. There is a struggle over what kinds of videogames we play and how we play them, as well as a struggle between labor and capital in the process of actually producing them. Videogames can therefore “also serve a critical purpose, introducing uncomfortable facts, unmasking social foibles, encouraging oppositions, and even presenting alternative futures. This, too, emerges from their history.


pages: 230 words: 60,050

In the Flow by Boris Groys

illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, WikiLeaks

Here the work organized by the Communist Party finally achieved a victory over Suprematist unorganized work. But the Communist Party practiced the same sovereigntist reading of Marxism as the Russian avant-garde. Accordingly, Friche and his school were proclaimed to be an expression of vulgar (in other words, critical) Marxism and removed from positions of power, together with the artists of the Russian avant-garde. Now, Lissitzky by no means saw himself in the context of developed or late capitalism but, rather, as a part of the vanguard of communist society. His artistic attitude, however, did not quite harmonize with the role of the artist in a communist society as envisaged by Marx and Engels. In the context of their discussion of Stirner’s unorganized, that is, artistic work, they write: The exclusive concentration of artistic talent in particular individuals, and its suppression in the broad mass which is bound up with this, is a consequence of division of labour.


pages: 561 words: 167,631

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

agricultural Revolution, double helix, full employment, hive mind, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Kuiper Belt, late capitalism, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, pattern recognition, phenotype, post scarcity, precariat, retrograde motion, stem cell, strong AI, the built environment, the High Line, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent

Capitalism was in effect relegated to the margin, and the necessities of life were a shared commons exchange between Earth and individual space colonies was on a national or treaty-association basis, thus a kind of colonial model, with the colonies producing metals and volatiles, knowledge useful for Earth management, and later on, food once the space elevators were in place (first at Quito, 2076) traffic between Earth and space increased by a factor of a hundred million. At that point the solar system became accessible. It was too big to inhabit rapidly, but the increasing speed of space travel meant that over the course of the twenty-second century the entire solar system came within easy reach. It is not a coincidence that the second half of this century saw the beginning of the Accelerando the space diaspora occurred as late capitalism writhed in its internal decision concerning whether to destroy Earth’s biosphere or change its rules. Many argued for the destruction of the biosphere, as being the lesser of two evils one of the most influential forms of economic change had ancient origins in Mondragon, Euskadi, a small Basque town that ran an economic system of nested co-ops organized for mutual support. A growing network of space settlements used Mondragon as a model for adapting beyond their scientific station origins to a larger economic system.

Once policy questions were answered—meaning desires articulated in a sharply contested political struggle—the total annual economy of the solar system could be called out on a quantum computer in less than a second. The resulting qube-programmed Mondragon, sometimes called the Albert-Hahnel model, or the Spuffordized Soviet cybernetic model, could be if everyone had been working in a programmed Mondragon, all would have been well; but it was only one of several competing economies on Earth, all decisively under the thumb of late capitalism, still in control of more than half of Earth’s capital and production, and with its every transaction tenaciously reaffirming ownership and capital accumulation. This concentration of power had not gone away but only liquefied for a while and then jelled elsewhere, much of it on Mars, as Gini figures for the era clearly reveal in residual-emergent models, any given economic system or historical moment is an unstable mix of past and future systems.


pages: 204 words: 67,922

Elsewhere, U.S.A: How We Got From the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms,and Economic Anxiety by Dalton Conley

assortative mating, call centre, clean water, commoditize, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, feminist movement, financial independence, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, off grid, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, post-materialism, principal–agent problem, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

My sister and her nanny would not like to think of their relationship this way, but Hegel described the glue that holds them together almost two hundred years ago. Convestment The Way We Earn and Spend Back in 1976, Fred Hirsch put his finger on one of the essential paradoxes of consumption in the post-industrial era. In earlier epochs, economic production was based on fulfilling basic material needs for survival. However, as we entered what some folks have dubbed “late capitalism,” an increasing amount of economic activity is now devoted to fulfilling social-psychological needs. Ronald Inglehart called this “post-materialism,” in his 1997 book, The Silent Revolution.1 The critical issue is that an increasingly larger share of the goods or services we produce and consume in a post-material economy are what Hirsch termed positional goods. This type of good is distinct in that its value depends on the fact that others don’t consume it.2 Certain goods are inherently positional: A penthouse apartment is, by definition, a positional good since there can be only one top floor per building.


Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages by Carlota Pérez

agricultural Revolution, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, commoditize, Corn Laws, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, distributed generation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Hyman Minsky, informal economy, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, late capitalism, market fundamentalism, new economy, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, post-industrial society, profit motive, railway mania, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus

Lloyd-Jones, Roger and Lewis, M.J. (1998), British Industrial Capitalism since the Industrial Revolution, London: University College London Press. Louçã, Francisco and Reijnders, J. (eds) (1999), The Foundations of Long Wave Theory, International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar. Mackay, James (1997), Sounds out of Silence: A Life of Alexander Graham Bell, Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing Co. Mandel, Ernest (1975), Late Capitalism, London: New Left Books. Mandel, Michael J. (1997), ‘The New Business Cycle’, Business Week, Latin American edition, March 31, pp. 38–54. Marichal, Carlos (1988), Historia de la Deuda Externa de América Latina, Buenos Aires: Alianza Editorial. Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich (1847), The Communist Manifesto. McKinnon, Ronald and Pill, Huw (1997), ‘Credible Economic Liberalizations and Over Borrowing’, American Economic Review, Vol. 87, No. 2, May.


pages: 206 words: 9,776

Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution by David Harvey

Bretton Woods, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, financial innovation, Guggenheim Bilbao, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, precariat, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, special economic zone, the built environment, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, urban planning, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche, Works Progress Administration

Tahbilk Wine Club, Wine Clu b Circular 1 5 (June 2000), Tahbilk Winery and Vineyard, Tahbilk, Victoria, Australia. 1 1 . William Langewiesche, "The Million Dollar Nose;' A tlan tic Monthly 286: 6 (December 2000): 1 1 -22. 1 2. Bob Jessop, "An Entrepreneurial City in Action: Hong Kong's Emerging Strategies in Preparation for ( Inter-) Urban Competition;' Urban Studies 37: 1 2 (2000): 2,287-3 1 3; David Harvey, "From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation of Urban Governance in Late Capitalism;' Geografiska A nnaler 7 1 B ( 1 989): 3- 1 7; Neil Bren ner, Spaces of Neoliberalism: Urban Restucturing in North A merica and Western Europe, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003. 1 3. See Kevin Cox, ed, Spaces of Globaliza t ion: Reasserting the Power of the Local, New York: Guilford Press, 1 997. 1 4. John Logan and Harvey Molotch, Urba n Fortu nes: The Political Economy of Place, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1 988. 1 5.


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

She has led an effort to push companies to stop using on-call workers and “just-in-time” systems and to persuade localities to ban them. “It’s not just that we need more sustainable work schedules,” she told me. “It’s that we need way more control over our workweeks.” But such changes, while helpful, would not ameliorate the catastrophic loss of worker power seen in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. They would not address the root causes of what young Lefties like to term “late capitalism,” an age typified by corporate dominance, social-media ubiquity, miserable work, and a certain postmodern ironic fatalism. They would not solve the problems in the Rust Belt’s job market. They would not end poverty wages for home health work, the physically taxing and emotionally wrenching jobs needed to manage the aging of the baby boomers. They would not aid the 46 percent of families who could not come up with $400 in an emergency.


pages: 823 words: 206,070

The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin

accounting loophole / creative accounting, active measures, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global value chain, guest worker program, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, oil shock, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

See, for instance, Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, New York: Henry Holt, 2004; and Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic, New York: Metropolitan Books, 2004. 33 Amy Myers Jaffe, “United States and the Middle East: Policies and Dilemmas,” in Bipartisan Policy Center, Ending the Energy Stalemate, Washington, DC: National Commission on Energy Policy, 2004, pp. 1–2. 34 See Robert Keohane, After Hegemony: Conflict and Discord in the World Political Economy, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984. 35 Paul Volcker and Toyoo Gyohten, Changing Fortunes: The World’s Money and the Threat to American Leadership, New York: Times Books, 1992, pp. xiv–xv. 36 See Ernest Mandel, Europe vs. America: Contradictions of Imperialism, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970; and Late Capitalism, London: Verso, 1975, esp. Chapter 10. 37 Classes in Contemporary Capitalism, p. 87. Poulantzas understood clearly what the series of successive European “withdrawals” on capital controls, monetary policy, and the oil crisis in the early 1970s meant: “These withdrawals are generally interpreted as an ‘offensive by American capital designed to restore its tottering hegemony’ . . . these people simply cannot see the wood for the trees; American capital has no need to re-establish its hegemony, for it has never lost it.”

Kobrin, “Expropriation as an Attempt to Control Foreign Firms in LDCs: Trends from 1960 to 1979,” International Studies Quarterly 28: 3 (September 1984), p. 333, Table 1. 5 The newly emerging academic field of international political economy was almost entirely focused on the threat to liberal multilateralism posed by a declining US hegemony, but see also H. L. Robinson, “The Downfall of the Dollar,” in R. Miliband and J. Saville, eds., Socialist Register 1973, London: Merlin, 1973; Paul Sweezy and Harry Magdoff, “The Doccar Crisis,” Monthly Review 28:1 (May 1973); and Ernest Mandel, Late Capitalism, London: Verso, 1975, esp. Chapter 10. 6 Eric Helleiner in particular has presented the outcome of the Bretton Woods crisis in terms of the American state—well-armed with neoliberal Friedmanite ideas under Nixon and his successors—imposing its free-market will against European and Japanese states who were more prepared to use multilateral capital controls. See his States and the Reemergence of Global Finance, esp.


pages: 301 words: 85,263

New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future by James Bridle

AI winter, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, congestion charging, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Snowden, fear of failure, Flash crash, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, late capitalism, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, oil shock, p-value, pattern recognition, peak oil, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, sorting algorithm, South China Sea, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stem cell, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method, Uber for X, undersea cable, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

In short, the enemy is the other who rises above the convolutions and complexities of the present, who grasps the totality of the situation and is capable of manipulating it in ways the rest of us are not. Conspiracy theories are the extreme resort of the powerless, imagining what it would be to be powerful. This theme was taken up by Fredric Jameson, when he wrote that conspiracy ‘is the poor person’s cognitive mapping in the postmodern age; it is the degraded figure of the total logic of late capital, a desperate attempt to represent the latter’s system, whose failure is marked by its slippage into sheer theme and content’.30 Surrounded by evidence of complexity – which for the Marxist historian is emblematic of the generalised alienation produced by capitalism – the individual, however outraged, resorts to ever more simplistic narratives in order to regain some control over the situation.


pages: 265 words: 83,677

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing

East Village, forensic accounting, global village, late capitalism, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Snapchat

When I came to New York I was in pieces, and though it sounds perverse, the way I recovered a sense of wholeness was not by meeting someone or by falling in love, but rather by handling the things that other people had made, slowly absorbing by way of this contact the fact that loneliness, longing, does not mean one has failed, but simply that one is alive. There is a gentrification that is happening to cities, and there is a gentrification that is happening to the emotions too, with a similarly homogenising, whitening, deadening effect. Amidst the glossiness of late capitalism, we are fed the notion that all difficult feelings – depression, anxiety, loneliness, rage – are simply a consequence of unsettled chemistry, a problem to be fixed, rather than a response to structural injustice or, on the other hand, to the native texture of embodiment, of doing time, as David Wojnarowicz memorably put it, in a rented body, with all the attendant grief and frustration that entails.


pages: 274 words: 81,008

The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything by Jason Kelly

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, call centre, carried interest, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, diversification, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, income inequality, late capitalism, margin call, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, place-making, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund

Even peers who roll their eyes at his occasional eyebrow-raising public remarks concede he has built the single most powerful company in the business. “There’s Blackstone, and then there’s everyone else,” one manager told me. In the era of Twitter, blogs, and constant instant commentary, Schwarzman is shorthand for the private equity industry and its excesses, real and perceived. A posting in the online magazine Salon in September 2011 referred to him as “a living symbol of post-industrial late capitalism’s gaudy depravity.”2 Later in 2011, no less than Matt Taibbi, the Rolling Stone writer who famously described Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity” characterized Schwarzman thusly: “one of the more uniquely abhorrent, self-congratulating jerks in the entire world.”3 What perpetuates Schwarzman’s profile is his tendency to go off script. At a meeting in July 2010 for a nonprofit organization, he drew an unfortunate comparison between private equity’s fight with Washington over tax policy and World War II.


pages: 273 words: 93,419

Let them eat junk: how capitalism creates hunger and obesity by Robert Albritton

Bretton Woods, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, land reform, late capitalism, means of production, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, the built environment, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile

In a parallel fashion, we can say that “junk” capitalism is the empty expenditure of huge amounts of energy for things like permanent war, commodities that undermine human and environmental health, labour processes that damage and exploit workers, security that increases insecurity, or in other words, an expenditure of energy that is relatively empty when it comes to advancing human flourishing. 6 L E T T H E M E AT J U N K Thus the criticisms that I shall make of a food regime that so prominently produces, circulates and markets junk food, will in many respects epitomize the irrationalities of late capitalism as a whole. Our increasingly globalized capitalist economy is using more and more energy to run faster and faster, while actually losing ground when it comes to advancing human well-being. In this book, I shall argue that the principal reason for this is that the short-term profit orientation that is central to capitalism cannot deal effectively with the world historic problems that we face.


pages: 252 words: 13,581

Cape Town After Apartheid: Crime and Governance in the Divided City by Tony Roshan Samara

conceptual framework, deglobalization, ghettoisation, global village, illegal immigration, late capitalism, moral panic, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, structural adjustment programs, unemployed young men, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, working poor

This page intentionally left blank Notes Introduction 1.╯Zama Femi, “Gang Wars Take Heavy Toll on Cape Matrics,” Cape Argus, December 29, 2006. 2.╯Matt Medved, “Cops to Fight Gangsterism in Primary Schools,” Cape Argus, May 29, 2007. 3.╯A’eysah Kassiem, “Crime Wave Engulfing Schools,” Cape Times, May 18, 2007. 4.╯Aziz Hartley, “Rasool Unveils Plan to Fight Gangs and Drugs,” Cape Times, May 23, 2007; Candes Keating, “High-Risk Schools to Get Top Security Measures,” Cape Argus, February 8, 2007. 5.╯Rafaella delle Donne, “City’s Heart Is Hardening, Say Homeless,” Cape Argus, July 15, 2007. 6.╯Tony Roshan Samara, “Development, Social Justice and Global Governance: Challenges to Implementing Restorative and Criminal Justice Reform in South Africa,” Acta Juridica (2007): 113–33. 7.╯David McDonald, World City Syndrome: Neoliberalism and Inequality in Cape Town (London: Routledge Press, 2007). 8.╯James DeFilippis, Unmaking Goliath: Community Control in the Face of Global Capital (New York: Routledge, 2003); David Harvey, “From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation in Urban Governance in Late Capitalism,” Geografiska Annaler B. 71 (1989): 3–17. 9.╯Neil Smith, The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City (New York: Routledge, 1996); Gordon MacLeod, “From Urban Entrepreneurialism to a ‘Revanchist City’? On the Spatial Injustices of Glasgow’s Renaissance,” Antipode 34, no. 3 (2002): 602–24 . 10.╯Throughout the book I will use the basic racial categories employed by the Census: black African, coloured, Asian, and white.


The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences by Rob Kitchin

Bayesian statistics, business intelligence, business process, cellular automata, Celtic Tiger, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, congestion charging, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, discrete time, disruptive innovation, George Gilder, Google Earth, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, knowledge economy, late capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, longitudinal study, Masdar, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, openstreetmap, pattern recognition, platform as a service, recommendation engine, RFID, semantic web, sentiment analysis, slashdot, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, statistical model, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transaction costs

It is, however, just one of a suite of potential ways to make sense of data and no doubt over time scholars will produce a set of diverse conceptual lenses through which to understand data, and the diversity of views will create productive counterpoints for new ideas, as well as conceptual vantage points to direct empirical research. These might include theorising data through a more structural lens that focuses on their role in the operation of late capitalism, or draws on Deleuzian poststructural notions concerning rhizomic modes governance, or on feminist or postcolonial critiques of the gendered and politicised production and employment of data. Regardless of the lens, what is required is deep, careful and critical reflection and putting theory to work through empirical case studies. Not only do we need to explore the conceptualisations of data but, as discussed in Chapter 8, we need to examine how the data revolution presents some challenges to existing philosophies of science.


pages: 320 words: 90,526

Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America by Alissa Quart

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, business intelligence, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, East Village, Elon Musk, full employment, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, haute couture, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, job automation, late capitalism, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, moral panic, new economy, nuclear winter, obamacare, Ponzi scheme, post-work, precariat, price mechanism, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, school choice, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, surplus humans, TaskRabbit, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, women in the workforce, working poor

The feminist theorist Kathi Weeks thinks of basic income as not just a leftist or giddily disruptive answer, but rather as a fine response to our nation’s failure to financially support, or even notice, female labor in the home, from housework to child care. Automation has gotten so extreme that work, as the Rutgers University historian James Livingston writes in his smart and rude book No More Work, is “no longer socially necessary, which means it doesn’t pay. The labor market is broken, and it can’t be fixed. Or it’s been perfected at this outer edge of late capitalism.” It is getting easier and easier to use capital to replace human labor—to substitute machines for “real, live human beings” to the point where capital and labor start to seem equal to each other. Livingston is against work, or at least the traditional work that he considers close to wage slavery. After all, wages haven’t kept up with the cost of living or the expense of education, and we have lost our race with machines, as he put it to me.


Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution by Wendy Brown

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Food sovereignty, haute couture, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, late capitalism, means of production, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, Philip Mirowski, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, shareholder value, sharing economy, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, young professional, zero-sum game

See John Dewey, Democracy and Education (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2008). Tocqueville and Mill dealt with it by trying to cultivate an aristocratic strain within democracies. See Tocqueville, Democracy in America; and John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty,” in On Liberty and Other Writings, ed. Stefan Collini (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). e p i l o g u e : l o s i n g b a r e d e m o c r acy 1. See Jonathan Crary, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep (New York: Verso, 2013); Philip Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown (New York: Verso, 2013); Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011); Elizabeth Povinelli, Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011); Noam Chomksy, Profit over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order (New York: Seven Stories, 2011); William Connolly, The Fragility of Things (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013); Bonnie Honig, “The Politics of Public Things: Neoliberalism and the Routine of Privatization,” No Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice 10 (2013); and Lisa Duggan, The Twilight of Equality (Boston: Beacon Press, 2004). 2.


pages: 329 words: 88,954

Emergence by Steven Johnson

A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, edge city, epigenetics, game design, garden city movement, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, pez dispenser, phenotype, Potemkin village, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, slashdot, social intelligence, Socratic dialogue, stakhanovite, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush

Marketplaces—even those dominated by global megacorporations—tend to work in decentralized ways, but the internal structures of most corporations today rely on org charts that look more like feudal states than slime molds. The market may be bottom-up, but it is populated by chronically top-heavy agents. Decentralized production and development have done wonders for the world of Open Source software, where certain fundamental rights of ownership have been disavowed, but it remains a real question whether the more proprietary wing of late capitalism can model its internal organization after ant farms or neural nets. For one, the unpredictability of emergent systems makes them an ideal platform for book recommending or gameplaying, but no one wants a business that might spontaneously fire a phalanx of middle managers for no discernible reason. Controlled randomness is a brilliant recipe for city life and ant foraging, but it’s harder to imagine selling shareholders on it as a replacement for the CEO.


pages: 268 words: 109,447

The Cultural Logic of Computation by David Golumbia

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, American ideology, Benoit Mandelbrot, borderless world, business process, cellular automata, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, en.wikipedia.org, finite state, future of work, Google Earth, Howard Zinn, IBM and the Holocaust, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, late capitalism, means of production, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Stewart Brand, strong AI, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, web application

Empire and Communications. Second edition, revised by Mary Q. Innis. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972. References p 242 ———. 1951. The Bias of Communication. Revised edition. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1964. Jameson, Fredric. 1981. The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ———. 1991. Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Jenkins, Henry, and David Thorburn, eds. 2003. Democracy and New Media. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Jeter, Lynne W. 2003. Disconnected: Deceit and Betrayal at Worldcom. New York: Wiley. Joseph, John E. 2002. From Whitney to Chomsky: Essays in the History of American Linguistics. Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Katz, Jerrold J. 1990. The Metaphysics of Meaning.


pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

Airbnb, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collective bargaining, Corrections Corporation of America, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, financial deregulation, greed is good, high net worth, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Internet Archive, Kickstarter, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, women in the workforce, working poor

The whole genre—the alliances, the backstabbing, the one person left standing—was always a kind of capitalist burlesque. Before The Apprentice, however, there was at least the pretext that it was about something else: how to survive in the wilderness, how to catch a husband, how to be a housemate. With Donald Trump’s arrival, the veneer was gone. The Apprentice was explicitly about the race to survive in the cutthroat “jungle” of late capitalism. The first episode began with a shot of a homeless person sleeping rough on the street—a loser, in other words. Then the camera cut to Trump in his limo, living the dream—the ultimate winner. The message was unmistakable: you can be the homeless guy, or you can be Trump. That was the whole sadistic drama of the show—play your cards right and be the one lucky winner, or suffer the abject humiliation of being berated and then fired by the boss.


pages: 305 words: 101,743

Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, big-box store, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, financial independence, game design, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Norman Mailer, obamacare, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, rent control, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, wage slave, white picket fence

Where Amazon ignored state sales taxes, Uber ignored local transportation regulations, and Airbnb ignored city laws against unregulated hotels. With Uber and Airbnb, the aesthetic of rapid innovation—and, crucially, the sense of relief these cheap experiences provide to consumers who are experiencing an entirely related squeeze—obscures the fact that these companies’ biggest breakthroughs have been successfully monetizing the unyielding stresses of late capitalism, shifting the need to compete from the company itself to the unprotected individual, and normalizing a paradigm in which workers and consumers bear the company’s rightful responsibility and risk. Airbnb didn’t tell its New York City users that they were breaking the law by renting their apartments. Uber, like Amazon, has been artificially holding down prices to take over the market, at which point the prices will almost certainly go up.


pages: 405 words: 103,723

The Government of No One: The Theory and Practice of Anarchism by Ruth Kinna

Berlin Wall, British Empire, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Graeber, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, friendly fire, ghettoisation, Kickstarter, late capitalism, means of production, moral panic, New Journalism, Occupy movement, post scarcity, Steven Pinker, Ted Kaczynski, union organizing, wage slave

The arrival of the nuclear age, the onset of the Cold War, the grip of the consumer cultures that Goodman and others abhorred and the appearance of communitarian counter-cultural movements in the 1960s, together with a wave of urban guerrilla groups in the 1970s, are some of the factors behind this. The arms race advertised the nature of the monopoly of nuclear violence concentrated in the superpowers’ hands and provided a fillip to non-violent antimilitarist activism. At the same time what Herbert Marcuse called the one-dimensionality of late capitalism raised questions about the effects of domination – repression, alienation, isolation, obedience and restraint – and the quality of personal relationships fostered by hierarchy and exploitation. Armed struggle seemed irrelevant in this analysis. The emergence of urban guerrilla movements prompted a new debate about political violence. One of the central arguments of the widely circulated pamphlet You Can’t Blow Up a Social Relationship was that urban guerrillaism replicates the relationships of domination in the state.


The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling by Arlie Russell Hochschild

affirmative action, airline deregulation, call centre, cognitive dissonance, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, job satisfaction, late capitalism, longitudinal study, new economy, post-industrial society, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, telemarketer

Japanese managers criticized American managers for settling for spiritless, externally-imposed smiles, Raz notes, and themselves appeal to the workers' underlying "chi" (spirit). But the Japanese entice this "chi" by evoking guilt or shame. In the Tokyo Dome Corporation, managers placed video cameras behind the cash registers of unfriendly sales clerks and later shamed them by showing the telltale videos to fellow workers. It isn't just late capitalism that's at work here, 202 Afterword he suggests, but the use capitalism makes of a national culture. Yet another group of studies have focused on the consequences - burn out, stress, physical collapse - and the recognition and financial compensation given to those who do emotional labor and risk these effects. In a comparable worth study for the State of New York, Ronnie Steinberg and Jerry Jacobs found that jobs that involved "contact with difficult clients" and with the public in general had more than their share of women.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, microservices, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wages for housework, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

BEAUTIFUL TROUBLEMAKERS 1. R. Freeman, ‘The Great Doubling: Labor in the New Global Economy’. Usery Lecture in Labor Policy, University of Atlanta, GA, 2005 2. T. Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century (Harvard, 2014) 3. http://newleftreview.org/II/21/fredric-jameson-future-city: ‘It seems easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism’ 4. http://shanghaiist.com/2010/05/26/translated_foxconns_employee_non-su.php 5. See P. Mason, ‘WTF is Eleni Haifa?’, 20 December 2014, http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/1801-wtf-is-eleni-haifa-a-new-essay-by-paul-mason 6. D. A. Galbi, ‘Economic Change and Sex Discrimination in the Early English Cotton Factories’, 1994, http://papers.ssrn.com/paper.taf?abstract_id=239564 7. A. Ure, The Cotton Manufacture of Great Britain Systematically Investigated, vol.


pages: 384 words: 112,971

What’s Your Type? by Merve Emre

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, card file, correlation does not imply causation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, p-value, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Socratic dialogue, Stanford prison experiment, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

“What’s your type?” she imagines asking, half jokingly, on their first date. It is one of the small ironies of history that Isabel died before she could see the extent to which mass culture hollowed out her creation, a sad irony or a merciful one, depending on one’s perspective. There was always a danger that this was where type would end up, among the silliest, shallowest cultural products of late capitalism. After all, the logical extension of typological thinking was that type itself would stiffen and standardize in its bid for universality. The more rapidly type circulated through knockoff tests and advice columns, the more its descriptions of people’s personalities would reduce to one-word caricatures. “The market is glutted with self-assessment tools,” reports Bob Kaplan, a leadership consultant and author of The Versatile Leader: Making the Most of Your Strengths Without Overdoing It.


pages: 415 words: 119,277

Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places by Sharon Zukin

1960s counterculture, big-box store, blue-collar work, corporate social responsibility, crack epidemic, creative destruction, David Brooks, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, rent control, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

By 2008 Friends of Hudson River Park, a private conservancy that supports a state park on the West Side of Manhattan, was preparing a proposal to create the first residential BID, arguing that the park increased property values by such a substantial amount that developers, landlords, and residents should be glad to pay the additional tax a BID requires. Anne Schwartz, “A Property Tax for Parks?,” www.gothamgazette.com, October 2008. For a general critique of the public sector’s entrepreneurial approach, see David Harvey, “From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation of Urban Governance in Late Capitalism,” in Spaces of Capital (New York: Routledge, 2001), pp. 345–68. 28. See Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” in The Sociology of Georg Simmel, ed. and trans. Kurt Wolff (New York: Free Press, 1950), pp. 409–24; Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999); Peter Fritzsche, Reading Berlin 1900 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996); David M.


eBoys by Randall E. Stross

barriers to entry, business cycle, call centre, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, edge city, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, knowledge worker, late capitalism, market bubble, Menlo Park, new economy, old-boy network, passive investing, performance metric, pez dispenser, railway mania, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y2K

Marriott did not wish to run an office park, so it sold the property. The buyer, seeking a real estate investment with prospects for excellent returns, was not a real estate baron but a nonprofit, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The same impulse that had led it and other foundations to diversify their portfolios into what was called “alternative investing,” like venture capital funds, also led to diversification in real estate. A Marxist critique of “late capitalism” would have difficulty disentangling the interests of the for-profits from those of the nonprofits. Not only was Benchmark working, in part, “for” the nonprofits that supplied its capital, but its landlord also happened to be a nonprofit, too. A visitor entering the Benchmark office foyer would notice foremost the two walls of plaques, each commemorating the initial public offering or sale of companies that the individual partners had overseen in their relatively short venture capital careers.


pages: 410 words: 119,823

Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield

3D printing, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cellular automata, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, collective bargaining, combinatorial explosion, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, digital map, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fiat currency, global supply chain, global village, Google Glasses, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, license plate recognition, lifelogging, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, megacity, megastructure, minimum viable product, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, natural language processing, Network effects, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, performance metric, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, post-work, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, social intelligence, sorting algorithm, special economic zone, speech recognition, stakhanovite, statistical model, stem cell, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Uber for X, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

What almost never seems to be addressed in these forums and meetups, though, are questions about what this self-knowledge is being mobilized for, and just where the criteria against which adherents feel they need to optimize their performance come from in the first place. While there are some fascinating questions being explored in the Quantified Self community, a brutal regime of efficiency operates in the background. Against the backdrop of late capitalism, the rise of wearable biometric monitoring can only be understood as a disciplinary power traversing the body itself and all its flows. This is a power that Frederick Taylor never dreamed of, and Foucault would have been laughed out of town for daring to propose. It’s clear that the appeal of this is overwhelmingly to young workers in the technology industry itself, the control they harvest from the act of quantification intended to render them psychophysically suitable for performance in a work environment characterized by implacable release schedules and a high operational tempo.


Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake

biofilm, buy low sell high, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of penicillin, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, late capitalism, low earth orbit, Mason jar, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral panic, NP-complete, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman

Stimuli—which may be unremarkable gestures in themselves—swirl into often surprising responses. Financial crashes are a good example of this type of dynamic nonlinear process. So are sneezes, and orgasms. How best to think about shared mycorrhizal networks then? Are we dealing with a superorganism? A metropolis? A living Internet? Nursery schools for trees? Socialism in the soil? Deregulated markets of late capitalism, with fungi jostling on the trading floor of a forest stock exchange? Or maybe it’s fungal feudalism, with mycorrhizal overlords presiding over the lives of their plant laborers for their own ultimate benefit. All are problematic. The questions raised by wood wide webs range further than these limited casts of characters allow. However, we do need some imaginative tools. To understand how shared mycorrhizal networks really behave in complex ecosystems—what they are actually doing, rather than what they are capable of doing—perhaps we will have to start to think of them in terms analogous to those that we use to understand other, potentially better-studied complex adaptive systems.


pages: 480 words: 138,041

The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry by Gary Greenberg

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, back-to-the-land, David Brooks, impulse control, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Kickstarter, late capitalism, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, McMansion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, phenotype, placebo effect, random walk, selection bias, statistical model, theory of mind, Winter of Discontent

Cartwright seems to have intended to serve the interests of slave owners and white supremacists and their economic system by providing “another [of ] the ten thousand18 evidences of the fallacy of the dogma abolition is built on,” but surely the doctors who insisted that homosexuality was a disease were not all bigots or prudes. Nor are the doctors who today diagnose with Hoarding Disorder people who fill their homes with newspapers and empty pickle jars, but leave undiagnosed those who amass billions of dollars while other people starve, merely toadying to the wealthy. They don’t mean to turn the suffering inflicted by our own peculiar institutions, the depression and anxiety spawned by the displacements of late capitalism and postmodernity, into markets for a criminally avaricious pharmaceutical industry. The prejudices and fallacies behind psychiatric diagnoses, and even the interests they serve, are as invisible to all of us, doctors and patients alike, as they were to Dr. Cartwright’s New Orleanian colleagues or to all those doctors who “treated” homosexuals. The desire to relieve suffering can pull a veil over our eyes.


pages: 469 words: 142,230

The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World by Oliver Morton

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, Columbian Exchange, decarbonisation, demographic transition, Elon Musk, energy transition, Ernest Rutherford, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, late capitalism, Louis Pasteur, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, renewable energy transition, Scramble for Africa, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus

Yet at the same time as the future integrity of the natural environment felt ever more at risk, society felt ever harder to change, especially if you were on the left. The idea that the political world and its economic underpinnings might be open to radical revolutionary change, a threat or promise central to European thought from 1789 onwards, went into retreat after 1945. There are a number of features of late capitalism which might be called on to account for this, most notably the shift from identities built on work to identities built on consumption, but there is a role for nuclear fear, too, both as a political fact – a world of superpower conflict was one in which revolution and war might be synonymous – and as the driver of a deeper change in the imagination. The anthropologically attuned historian Joe Masco has pointed out that the nuclear age brought with it two incompatible futures: amazing plenty at some distant time and unparalleled devastation always only a few minutes away.


pages: 454 words: 139,350

Jihad vs. McWorld: Terrorism's Challenge to Democracy by Benjamin Barber

airport security, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, computer age, Corn Laws, Corrections Corporation of America, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Gilder, global village, invisible hand, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Live Aid, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, Norbert Wiener, North Sea oil, pirate software, postnationalism / post nation state, profit motive, race to the bottom, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, undersea cable, young professional, zero-sum game

Total world advertising revenues are estimated to be anywhere from $150 billion to $250, nearly one half of which are American.2 The largest firm, Britain’s Saatchi & Saatchi, operates in over eighty countries and, according to media expert Ben Bagdikian, buys 20 percent of all commercial time in world television; its Pepsi-Cola account developed an advertisement to be placed in forty different national markets that could be seen by one-fifth of the human race.3 Coca-Cola’s new subsidiaries include China and, in a manner of speaking, Rutgers University. In China it must share its market with PepsiCo and other companies but at Rutgers University it has outbid the competition and, for $10 million, has secured a market monopoly for its products along with the right to advertise its association with the school. Late capitalism is no longer about either products or competition. Image is everything and the “it” that Coke is, is now education—as image rather than substance. Such recent victories, including its sponsorship of recent Olympic games, are perhaps fruits of the link Coke forged a few years earlier with Creative Artists Agency, the powerful talent agency and image spinner run by Michael Ovitz, to “help mold its marketing and media strategies around the world.”


The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, colonial rule, Columbine, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, friendly fire, glass ceiling, global village, Gordon Gekko, gun show loophole, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Live Aid, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, postindustrial economy, Ralph Nader, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, The Predators' Ball, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

Select Bibliography 273 Hill, Dilys, Raymond A. Moore, and Phil Williams. The Reagan Presidency: An Incomplete Revolution. London: Macmillan, 1990. Hoffman, Bruce. Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998. Hybel, Alex Roberto. Power over Rationality: The Bush Administration and the Gulf Crisis. Albany: State University of New York, 1993. Jameson, Frederick. Postmodernism: Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991. Jamieson, Kathleen Hall. Packaging the Presidency, 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Jencks, Charles. What Is Postmodernism? New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987. Jennings, Peter, and Todd Brewster. The Century. New York: Doubleday, 1998. Johnson, Haynes. In the Absence of Power. New York: Viking Press, 1980. Johnson, Haynes. Sleepwalking Through History: America in the Reagan Years.


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Efficiently Inefficient: How Smart Money Invests and Market Prices Are Determined by Lasse Heje Pedersen

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, commodity trading advisor, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, frictionless, frictionless market, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, late capitalism, law of one price, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, market design, market friction, merger arbitrage, money market fund, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, New Journalism, paper trading, passive investing, price discovery process, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, selection bias, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, survivorship bias, systematic trading, technology bubble, time value of money, total factor productivity, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

When evaluating a strategy, people sometimes consider its maximum drawdown (MDD) over some past time period: Figure 2.1 shows an example of a hedge fund strategy and its HWM, drawdown, and MDD. Figure 2.1. A hedge fund strategy’s high water mark (HWM) and drawdown (DD). 2.7. ADJUSTING PERFORMANCE MEASURES FOR ILLIQUIDITY AND STALE PRICES Some hedge funds may not be as hedged as they first appear. To see why, let us consider the following example. Suppose that Late Capital Management (LCM) invests 100% in the stock market but always marks to market one month late. For instance, if the stock market goes up by 3% in January, LCM will report a 3% return in February. In that case, what is LCM’s stock market beta? Well, βLCM will appear to be near zero, since it depends on the covariance with the market and the returns are misaligned in time: In other words, since LCM’s return is last month’s market return, and market returns are (close to) independent over time, LCM will appear to have a zero beta in a standard regression: The estimated values of α will be the average stock market return, which is positive (over the long term).


pages: 717 words: 150,288

Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham

addicted to oil, airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, digital map, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, McMansion, megacity, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, one-state solution, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, white picket fence

This, of course, is a major challenge, given that critical Middle Eastern studies have been systematically repressed in the United States since 2001. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid. 22 Robby Herbst, ‘Hinting at Ways to Work in Current Contexts; an Interview with Brian Holmes’, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest 1: 4, 2007. 23 Herbst, ‘Hinting at Ways to Work in Current Contexts’. 24 Gregory, ‘Geographies, Publics and Politics’. 25 Elin O’Hara Slavick, Protesting Cartography or Places the United States has Bombed, art exhibition, see www.unc.edu/~eoslavic. 26 Ibid. 27 This term invokes Fredric Jameson’s classic argument that ‘postmodern’ urban life requires new ‘cognitive maps’ to make sense of the landscapes of globalization. See Fredric Jameson, ‘Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism’, New Left Review 1: 146, 1984, 53–92. 28 See An Atlas of Radical Cartography, available at www.an-atlas.com. 29 Brian Holmes, ‘Maps for the Outside: Bureau d’Études, or the Revenge of the Concept’, message board post, InterActivist Info Exchange, available at info.interactivist.net/node/2398. 30 Ibid. 31 See clockshop.org. 32 See Mike Davis, ‘Reading (PA.) by Bomb Light’, Tom Dispatch. 33 Louise Amoore, ‘Vigilant Visualities: The Watchful Politics of the War on Terror’, Security Dialogue 38: 2, 2007. 34 See www.opensorcery.net/OUT. 35 See youarenothere.org. 36 Ibid. 37 Paula Levine, ‘Shadows from Another Place: Transposed Space’, review paper, San Francisco: San Francisco State University. 38 Herbst, ‘Hinting at Ways to Work in Current Contexts’. 39 Peter Baker, in Under Fire.2, 57–8.


pages: 482 words: 149,351

The Finance Curse: How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer by Nicholas Shaxson

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, airline deregulation, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Blythe Masters, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, Etonian, failed state, falling living standards, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, forensic accounting, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, land value tax, late capitalism, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, wealth creators, white picket fence, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

David Harvey also described this process, especially as regards cities, in a famous 1989 article in which he described a shift from ‘managerial’ governance of cities and localities, which focused on providing services and benefits to urban populations, towards ‘entrepreneurial’ governance systems, focused on attracting and building local businesses. See David Harvey, ‘From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: The Transformation in Urban Governance in Late Capitalism’, Geografiska Annaler, Series B, Human Geography Vol. 71, No. 1, The Roots of Geographical Change: 1973 to the Present, 1989, pp. 3–17. 18. William Davies, The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition, Sage, 2014, p.110. 19. For an example of John Major’s use of ‘competitiveness’ see ‘Mr Major’s Press Conference on the Competitiveness White Paper’, May 1994, www.johnmajor.co.uk.


pages: 475 words: 156,046

When They Go Low, We Go High: Speeches That Shape the World – and Why We Need Them by Philip Collins

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collective bargaining, Copley Medal, Corn Laws, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, invention of the printing press, late capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rosa Parks, stakhanovite, Thomas Malthus, Torches of Freedom, World Values Survey

Despite an alliance that has lasted since 1778 and despite the gift of the Statue of Liberty, France has a claim to be the home of facile anti-Americanism. On the political Right, Gaullism is saturated with anti-American claims of French superiority. The political Left, and this was true not just in France, found in alleged American materialism an example of the decadence it detected under late capitalism. A loathing of the West, rooted equally in hatred of America and hatred of capitalism, is a constant temptation, especially on the political Left. There are plenty of people in rich, democratic societies who believe that all the evils in the world are merely the process by which the consequences swirl back on the real perpetrator, the United States of America. Sartre gave a distinguished voice to the idiotic thesis that violence from other nations is the inevitable, and justifiable, response to the humiliation they have received from America and the West.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, basic income, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

The solutions to these challenges are familiar but no more easier to implement: regulate data brokers and pass legislation guarding against data-based discrimination; audit Internet giants’ data collecting practices and hand down heavy fines, meaningful ones, for unlawful data collection; give users more information about where their data goes and how it’s used to inform advertising; don’t give municipal tax breaks (Twitter) or special privileges at local airfields (Google) to major corporations that can afford to pay their share of taxes and fees to the cities that have provided the infrastructure that ensures their success. Encrypt everything. Consumers need to educate themselves about these industries and think about how their data might be used to their disadvantage. But the onus shouldn’t lie there. We should be savvy enough, in this stage of late capitalism, to be skeptical of any corporate power that claims to be our friend or acting in our best interests. At the same time, the rhetoric and utility of today’s personal technology is seductive. One doesn’t want to think that a smartphone is also a surveillance device, monitoring our every movement and communication. Consumers are busy, overwhelmed, lacking the proper education, or simply unable to reckon with the pervasiveness of these systems.


pages: 475 words: 149,310

Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire by Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri

affirmative action, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, David Graeber, Defenestration of Prague, deskilling, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, global village, Howard Rheingold, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, land tenure, late capitalism, liberation theology, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, Paul Samuelson, post-work, private military company, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Richard Stallman, Slavoj Žižek, The Chicago School, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, union organizing, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

According to this new counterinsurgency strategy, sovereign power—faced, on one hand, with the impossibility of establishing a stable relationship with the existing population and, on the other, given the means of such full-spectrum dominance—simply produces the obedient social subjects it needs. Such a notion of the production of the subject by power, the complete alienation of the citizen and the worker, and the total colonization of the lifeworld has been hypothesized since the 1960s by many authors as the defining characteristic of “late capitalism.” The Frankfurt School, the Situationists, and various critics of technology and communication have focused on the fact that power in capitalist societies is becoming totalitarian through the production of docile subjects.72 To a certain extent the nightmares of such authors correspond to the dreams of the strategists of full-spectrum dominance. Just as the capitalist yearns for a labor force of obedient worker-monkeys, military administrators imagine an army of efficient and reliable robot soldiers along with a perfectly controlled, obedient population.


pages: 493 words: 172,533

The Best of Kim Stanley Robinson by Kim Stanley Robinson

Albert Einstein, butterfly effect, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, late capitalism, Murano, Venice glass, Richard Feynman

About ten million men died on the field of battle, ten million more by revolution, disease, and starvation. Occasionally he would stop reading and try to write; but he never got far. Once he wrote several pages on the economy of the war. The organization of agriculture and business, especially in Germany under Rathenau and England under Lloyd George, reminded him very strongly of the postmodern economy now running things. One could trace the roots of late capitalism to Great War innovations found in Rathenau’s Kriegsrohstoffabteilung (the “War Raw Stuff Department”), or in his Zentral Einkaufs-Gesellschaft. All business had been organized to fight the enemy; but when the war was over and the enemy vanquished, the organization remained. People continued to sacrifice the fruits of their work, but now they did it for the corporations that had taken the wartime governments’ positions in the system.


pages: 607 words: 185,228

Antarctica by Kim Stanley Robinson

Exxon Valdez, Fermat's Last Theorem, gravity well, hiring and firing, late capitalism, lateral thinking, Occam's razor, Turing test, Zeno's paradox

But here they were living in a stripped-down microcosm, "Little America" as one precursor base had been named; and X saw that it was the global class system in miniature, everything clearly laid out, and shockingly similar to accounts he had read of Tsarist Russia, not to mention pharaonic Egypt: a ruling caste and an underclass, aristocrats and serfs, with a few middlemen thrown in. The red parkas and tan Carhartts only color-coded it, as if ASL and NSF knew all about it and knew also that they could shove it in people's faces and no one would protest, not in this the globally downsized postrevolutionary massively fortified stage of very late capitalism. The in-your-face effrontery of it made X even angrier, and as he continued to pluck up nuts and washers from the concrete and drop them in their proper bins, he fantasized images of slave revolts, Spartacus, general strikes-in short, revolution. Guillotines on Beeker Street! Except with a little more thought-and sitting on that cold concrete, he had a lot of time for thought-the image of the guillotine made it clear how impossible these fantasies were.


pages: 7,371 words: 186,208

The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times by Giovanni Arrighi

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business process, colonial rule, commoditize, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, double entry bookkeeping, European colonialism, financial independence, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, late capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Peace of Westphalia, profit maximization, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, reserve currency, spice trade, the market place, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, Yom Kippur War

Israel, Jonathan, Dutc/J Primacy in W/orld Yrade, 1585-1740, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1989. Itoh, Makoto, 771e W/orla’ Economic Crisis andfapanese Capitalism, New York: St Martin’s Press 1990. Jackson, Robert, Quasi—States: Sovereignty, International Relations and the 77Jird W/orld, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1990. 396 THE LONG TWENTIETH CENTURY Jameson, Fredric, “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” New Lefi‘ Review, 146, 1984, pp. 53-92. Jenkins, Brian, New Modes of Conflict, Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation 1983. Jenks, Leland H., 77Je Migration of Britis/7 Capital to 1875, New York and London: Knopf 1938. Jeremy, David J., “Damming the Flood: British Government Efforts to Check the Outflow of Technicians and Machinery, 1780-1843,” Business History Review, 51, 1, 1977, pp. 1-34.


pages: 700 words: 201,953

The Social Life of Money by Nigel Dodd

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, David Graeber, debt deflation, dematerialisation, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Kula ring, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mental accounting, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, predatory finance, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, remote working, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, Scientific racism, seigniorage, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Veblen good, Wave and Pay, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Wolfgang Streeck, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

To theorize this hybrid, Hardt and Negri reach back to Polybius’s Histories, particularly his characterization of imperial Rome in terms of the relationship among three “good powers”: monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. Polybius argued that each of these powers was a check on the other, thereby preventing monarchy’s fall into tyranny, aristocracy’s into oligarchy, and democracy’s into ochlocracy or anarchy (Hardt and Negri 2001: 314). Empire in late capitalism is analogous to this structure. In Polybius’s schema, the monarchy anchors power, giving it both unity and continuity. In the Empire as conceived by Hardt and Negri, the monarchy consists of bodies (such as the G8, NATO, the IMF, and the World Trade Organization [WTO]) that are designed to ensure the maintenance of “efficient” markets for goods, technologies, and labor power. This is a “monarchic” unity of power combined with a global monopoly of force.


pages: 788 words: 223,004

Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

23andMe, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alexander Shulgin, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital twin, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, haute couture, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, performance metric, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pre–internet, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social intelligence, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

One from his first year in New Orleans, titled “Capitalism and Schizophrenia,” lamented the disorienting effects wrought by the torrent of commercial images on the internet and TV, a trend that in 1996 was in its mere adolescence. Much later the topic was fodder for myriad books and studies about how the web was shortening people’s attention span. “The increasingly rapid rate at which images are distributed and consumed in late capitalism necessitates a corresponding increase in the rate that individuals assume and shed identities,” he wrote. “The viewing subject, ‘glued’ to the screen, mistakes himself or herself for an ideologically laden ‘image-repertoire’ ” in which “the images must have some content to create the possibility for a mirror stage identification.” The essay read like the last gasp of an idealist in the jaws of the capitalist machine.


pages: 736 words: 233,366

Roller-Coaster: Europe, 1950-2017 by Ian Kershaw

airport security, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, centre right, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, illegal immigration, income inequality, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour market flexibility, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, The Chicago School, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, young professional

These included the French philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre, Louis Althusser (an increasingly strange and mentally disturbed figure and opponent of attempts to relate Marxism to humanism) and Michel Foucault, whose work emphasized the repressive power and controlling discipline of social institutions and agencies. Among the most prominent influences on student radicals was Herbert Marcuse, the German-born American critic of ‘late capitalism’, who saw contemporary society as dehumanizing, advocating revolution and the total rejection of the false gods of a Western consumerist culture. Marxist ideas in different guises served to fire the imagination of the generational rebellion of a relatively well-educated and articulate social group, driven by an urge to create a better world, to produce a fairer, more egalitarian society. A political revolution was not enough in their eyes.