Skip navigation

Daily Archives: August 27th, 2010

Credit Crunch

THE GREAT CREDIT CRASH

NEW TITLE FROM VERSO:

The Great Credit Crash

Edited by MARTIJN KONINGS

With contributions from WALDEN BELLO, PETER GOWAN, STANLEY ARONOWITZ, LEO PANITCH

—————————–

Most accounts of the current financial crisis tell a story of deregulation, out-of-control markets and irresponsible speculation. But few of those works have done more than regurgitate the newspaper coverage. In contrast, THE GREAT CREDIT CRASH digs deeper, drawing on some of the most prominent radical analysts of the modern market to foreground key questions that are still waiting to be answered.

This volume presents a more complete and convincing analysis of the recent economic disaster, which is revealed as a product of a social order built during the triumphalist years of neoliberal capitalism. The essays are collected across sections examining the origins and causes of the crisis, its global dimensions, and the political ramifications of the credit crash, with contributors assessing current events and political responses and critically examining official rhetoric and hegemonic narratives to point the way to an understanding of the crisis that goes beyond the subprime headlines.

Contributors to the volume include: Walden Bello, Peter Gowan, Stanley Aronowitz, Leo Panitch, Dick Bryan, Gary A. Dymski, Thomas Ferguson, Sam Gindin, Michael Hudson, Robert Johnson, James Livingston, Scott MacWilliam, Johnna Montgomerie, Anastasia Nesvetailova, Ronen Palan, Michael Rafferty, William I. Robinson, Herman Schwartz, Susanne Soederberg, Jeffrey Sommers, Henry Veltmeyer.

——————————-

Praise for the contributors:

Walden Bello: “The world’s leading no-nonsense revolutionary.” – Naomi Klein

“The world’s best guide to American exploitation of the globe’s poor and defenceless.” – Chalmers Johnson

Peter Gowan: “One of the most formidable intellects among young radicals from the 1960s New Left….[an] intellectual giant” – Misha Glenny, The Guardian

Stanley Aronowitz: “To say that Stanley Aronowitz is a national treasure is an understatement.” – Peter McLaren, UCLA

———————————

MARTIJN KONINGS is a lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney . He is co-editor with Leo Panitch of American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance.

———————————

ISBN: 978 1 84467 431 2 / $26.95 / £19.95 / CAN$33.50 / Paperback / 416 pages

ISBN: 978 1 84467 433 6 / $100.00 / £60.00 / CAN$118.50 / Hardback / 416 Pages

———————————

For more information visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/klm/k-titles/konings_martin_great_credit_crash.shtml

To buy the book in the UK : http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844674312/The-Great-Credit-Crash

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Credit-Martijn-Konings-editor/dp/1844674312/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282731227&sr=8-4

To buy the book in the US : http://www.amazon.com/Great-Credit-Crash-Martijn-Konings/dp/1844674312/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282731270&sr=8-1

———————————–

ACADEMICS BASED OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA MAY REQUEST AN INSPECTION COPY – PLEASE CONTACT tamar@verso.co.uk

ACADEMICS BASED WITHIN NORTH AMERICA MAY REQUEST AN EXAMINATION COPY – PLEASE CONTACT clara@versobooks.com

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Harvesting

PRODUCTIVE FORCES IN CAPITALIST AGRICULTURE

Journal of Agrarian Change

© Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Volume 10, Issue 3 Page 299 – 453
The latest issue of Journal of Agrarian Change is available on Wiley Online Library
 

Productive Forces in Capitalist Agriculture: Political Economy and Political Ecology

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joac.2010.10.issue-3/issuetoc

The Bernstein and Byres Prize in Agrarian Change (page 299)
Deborah Johnston, Cristobal Kay, Jens Lerche and Carlos Oya
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.
1471-0366.2010.00271.x

Introduction: Some Questions Concerning the Productive Forces (pages 300–314)
HENRY BERNSTEIN
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.
1471-0366.2010.00272.x

The Accelerating Biophysical Contradictions of Industrial Capitalist Agriculture (pages 315–341)
TONY WEIS
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.
1471-0366.2010.00273.x

Issues in the Political Economy of Agricultural Biotechnology (pages 342–366)
DAVID WIELD, JOANNA CHATAWAY and MAURICE BOLO
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.
1471-0366.2010.00274.x

Impeding Dispossession, Enabling Repossession: Biological Open Source and the Recovery of Seed Sovereignty (pages 367–388)
JACK KLOPPENBURG
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.
1471-0366.2010.00275.x

The End of the Road? Agricultural Revolutions in the Capitalist World-Ecology, 1450–2010 (pages 389–413)
JASON W. MOORE
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.
1471-0366.2010.00276.x

The Material Conditions of a Polarized Discourse: Clamours and Silences in Critical Analysis of Agricultural Water Use in India (pages 414–436)
PETER P. MOLLINGA
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.
1471-0366.2010.00277.x

Beyond Industrial Agriculture? Some Questions about Farm Size, Productivity and Sustainability (pages 437–453)
PHILIP WOODHOUSE
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.
1471-0366.2010.00278.x

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Capitalist Schools in Crisis

CRITICAL EDUCATION – UPDATE, 27th AUGUST 2010

Critical Education has just published its latest issue at
http://m1.cust.educ.ubc.ca/journal/index.php/criticaled.

We invite you to read the following article:

“A Dialogic Pedagogy: Looking to Mikhail Bakhtin for Alternatives to Standards Period Teaching Practice”
Trevor Thomas Stewart

ABSTRACT
Instructional practices in American schools have become increasingly standardized over the last quarter century. This increase in standardization has resulted in a decrease in opportunities for teachers to engage in student-centered instructional practices. This article discusses how the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin can serve as the foundation for educators who are seeking alternatives to standards period teaching practices. A Bakhtinian view of language can be the basis for the creation of a dialogic pedagogy, which can help teachers and students navigate the complexities of teaching and learning in the secondary English classroom. More importantly, perhaps, Bakhtin’s theories can serve as a framework on which educators might build their arguments supporting the implementation of alternatives to standards period skill and drill instructional activities.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

DAVID HARNEY ON THE CURRENT CAPITALIST CRISIS

A tremendous interview with David Harvey on the current crisis of capitalism. It’s on HARDtalk, BBC iPlayer.

You can view it at: http://beta.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00scbd2/HARDtalk_David_Harvey_Marxist_Academic/

Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

 

Alternative Culture

 

COMMONALITIES CONFERENCE

Please join us for “Commonalities: Theorizing the Common in Contemporary Italian Thought,” a conference sponsored by the journal diacritics. The event, to be held at Cornell University on September 24-25, 2010, will bring together a number of leading thinkers around the theme and question of the common. Participants will include Kevin Attell, Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Remo Bodei, Bruno Bosteels, Cesare Casarino, Roberto Esposito, Ida Dominijanni, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri (by video conference), and Karen Pinkus. More information can be found at the conference website (www.commonconf.com) or by contacting Professor Timothy Campbell (tcc9@cornell.edu)

Il manifesto
For the better part of a decade the position of Italian thought in the Anglo-American academy has increasingly grown in importance. From issues as far ranging as bioethics and bioengineering, to euthanasia, to globalization, to theorizing gender, to the war on terror, works originating in Italy have played a significant, perhaps even the dominant, role in setting the terms and conditions of these debates. Indeed it might well be that no contemporary thought more than Italian enjoys greater success today in the United States. If twenty years of postmodernism and poststructuralism were in large measure the result of French exports to the United States — Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault — today a number of Italian philosophical exports are giving rise to a theoretical dispositif that goes under a variety of names: post-Marxist, posthuman, or most often biopolitical. Yet the fact that Italian thought enjoys such enormous success in the United States and elsewhere begs an important question, one put to me polemically recently by a prominent Italian philosopher. Is there really such a thing as contemporary Italian thought? And if there is what in the world do its proponents have in common?

By way of responding, it might be useful to recall some details about the recent reception of Italian thought in the American academy. In the aftermath of the end of the postmodern — which a number of American observers savored as spelling the end of the use and abuse of philosophy by large numbers of literary critics — two works appeared in English within a span of three years: Giorgio Agamben’s ‘Homo Sacer’ and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s ‘Empire’. Stepping into the void left by the departure of what in the United States was known as “theory,” these works made a number of bold theoretical claims about the relation between political power and individual life (Agamben) and globalization and collective life (Hardt and Negri), claims that uncannily – sometimes almost prophetically – addressed some of the most pressing issues in our current state of affairs. Equally a number of important works of Italian feminism appeared over roughly the same period. Works by Adriana Cavarero and Rosi Braidotti, among others, deeply influenced a whole generation of American theorists in fields like gender studies, political philosophy, and law. Looking back it’s difficult to overestimate the influence of all these figures when accounting for the intellectual success of Italian thought today. Certainly it became possible for other voices to be heard, Paolo Virno, and more recently Franco Berardi, Roberto Esposito, and Maurizio Lazzarato among others.

But to take up again the question at hand: what do authors as seemingly different as Agamben and Negri, Berardi and Esposito, Braidotti and Bodei, or Cavarero and Virno have in common outside of the mere fact of writing in Italian? Beyond a common language, is there, for example, such a thing as a common Italian philosophical tradition of which they are all a part? Some, most notably, Mario Perniola, would say yes, one found in the elements of repetition, transmission, mixture, and body that together forged an Italian philosophical culture over the last 300 years. Deleuze and Guattari would have said no, arguing that Italy has historically “lacked a milieu” for philosophy. For them the reason for this lack could be found in Italy’s proximity to the Holy See, which continually aborted philosophy across the peninsula, reducing Italian thought to mere rhetoric, philosophy’s shadow, and allowing only for the occasional “comet” to briefly light up the philosophical sky. Yet what if Italian thought today does in fact enjoy a milieu? What “event” or “events” in the recent past might have fashioned a milieu for the emergence of Italian thought? What would the features of that milieu look like?

Undoubtedly, the decade-long Italian 1968 would have played the decisive role. The votes on abortion, the emergence of counterculture and student and feminist movements, and changes in labor and production all deeply changed the space in which politics — as well as philosophy – was practiced. Indeed one of the central features of the Italian 1968 was precisely the emphasis on politics as philosophy and philosophy as a form (among others) of politics. We can see this in the place 1968 and 1977 awarded political militancy; in the increasing prominence given to questions of subjectivization; and more broadly in the birth of new forms of social and political life separated from those that had previously dominated.

Yet Italy’s long 1968 wasn’t enough on its own. It was only with 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall that politics and philosophy truly begin to pass intensely into each other, to stay with the language of Deleuze and Guattari. Although it may seem less the case for those writing in Italy, when seen from the outside 1989 was experienced as trauma more in Italy than in the rest of Europe. The result forced a number of thinkers to re-examine the fundamental political and philosophical categories that had underpinned decades if not centuries of thought: what meaning would the end of a certain form of common life have for politics, for philosophy, for culture? Such a calling into question of the previous understanding of the common had the effect of reterritorializing politics and philosophy under new terms and new problematics, one of which will be “life,” broadly speaking. It is only when 1968 is considered as the motor for deterritorialization of the common in political theory and philosophy and 1989 as the turn toward its reterritorialization as newly mapped by (among other things) biopolitical theory that something like a milieu is constructed for contemporary Italian thought.

This is not to say that proponents of Italian thought share the same understanding of the common or even celebrate it. Clearly they do not. Yet the centrality of the common raises a number of questions about Italian thought and Italian public life today. What does it mean to be or have in common in 2010? What are the effects of questioning the weight of shared life and what possible futures are there for the common? How might singularities be thought together so as to create new forms of life and what kinds of co-habitations or contaminations might reinforce these new forms of life? These kinds of questions are ones Italian thought, in all its diversity, has placed at the forefront of contemporary theory, questions that in turn raise fundamental questions about the nature of relationality and of a politics that would seek to strengthen relations and to extend them in order to create yet further relationality. Such is the force of Hardt and Negri’s discussion of the capacity for love near the end of Commonwealth, though one can well imagine others, including a capacity for play, for attention, and for compassion too.

Yet the relationality implicit in these new forms of shared life doesn’t only lead to greater and more positive capacities for relationality among singularities. The deterritorialization of the common as biopolitics, the posthuman or even insurrection by no means conjures away the specter of power; thus with greater capacity on the one hand comes the possibility of more intense and invasive forms of power on the other. The question then becomes: how are new forms of the common that are being forged today — shared singularities, mirror neurons, impersonality – also being reterritorialized and recontained, and by whom? Is it possible that more intense forms of relationality might signal a return to the very terms that earlier critiques of the common had attempted to uncover? On the one hand the recent success of social networking sites like Facebook suggests that new forms of virtual relations involving vast numbers of “friends” are not only possible but involve ever greater exposure to others. On the other hand such exchanges continue to be premised on the notion that my body and my opinions belong to me, what the Invisible Committee unforgetably characterized as treating “our Self like a boring box office,” using whatever prosthesis is at hand “to hold onto an I.” In such a neo-liberal scenario, the circulation of information, of goods, of persons, of persons as goods is taken to mean a return to a common mode of being-together. It’s a film we’ve seen countless times before: the common’s reinscription in contexts less open to affect that are continually based upon a conflation of connnectivity with more open modes of relating.

These questions among others will be the foundation for a two-day conference sponsored by the journal Diacritics to be held on the campus of Cornell University on September 24-25, 2010. The conference, titled “Commonalities: Theorizing the Common in Italian Thought,” will bring together a number of Italian voices so as to think together not only the relation between Italy and the common but to consider emerging forms of the common and common life today as well as consider the efficacy of a term like the common for a progressive (bio)politics. Equally, the event, the first of its kind of recent memory in the United States, is an occasion to register the state of Italian thought today. When seen from the other side of the Atlantic, no other contemporary thought more than Italian seems better suited today to offer what Foucault called an ontology of the present. At a minimum, and pace my doubting Italian philosopher, the editorial and intellectual success of Italian thought merits a closer look.

Featured at the conference will be some of the leading philosophical figures from Italy today, including Franco Berardi, Remo Bodei, Cesare Casarino, Ida Dominjanni, Roberto Esposito, Michael Hardt, and Antonio Negri. The conference will be transmitted over the internet at http://www.commonconf.com. A number of Cornell students will be blogging the conference live over the two days.

Antonio Negri

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Jacob

ENVISIONING REAL UTOPIAS

NEW TITLE FROM VERSO:

ENVISIONING REAL UTOPIAS

By ERIK OLIN WRIGHT

Published 10th September 2010

—————————–

PRAISE FOR ENVISIONING REAL UTOPIAS:

“A benchmark contribution to necessary radical thinking.” Goran Therborn

“Hugely rich and stimulating.” Adam Swift, Balliol College, Oxford

“Encyclopedic in its breadth, daunting in its ambition, this is the culmination of Erik Olin Wright’s revamping of Marxism … Only a thinker of Wright’s genius could sustain such a badly needed political imagination without losing analytical clarity and precision.” Michael Burawoy, UC Berkeley

—————————–

As the economic and environmental crises compete to usher in the apocalypse, the perils of unfettered capitalism are increasingly thrown into sharp relief. Big oil, big money, endless war, and rising inequalities of income and power all make the search for alternatives more urgent than ever.

Many argue that the Left is adept at rehashing critiques of capitalism, yet unable to suggest concrete, viable alternatives. Inured to the new globalised neoliberal paradigm, analysts are quick to dismiss as utopian any attempts at a solution. As Fredric Jameson poignantly remarked, it is now easier for us to imagine the end of the world than an alternative to capitalism.

Renowned sociologist Erik Olin Wright fills the vacuum with a call for an emancipatory social science. After decades of examining the changing modes of class relations, Wright now turns his attention to the critique and diagnosis of capitalism—and in turn, its alternatives and possible transformations. Instead of yet another idealized blueprint, his transitional program is more like a compass, oriented to the goal of putting the ‘social’ back in socialism.

Wright’s vision is one of radical democratic egalitarianism; a society that is mutualist, communitarian, and liberates social power from its state and market counterparts. From worker owned cooperatives and Wikipedia to basic income and participatory city budgeting, his comprehensive case studies present inspiring examples of real utopias and emancipatory alternatives that are tangibly changing the world.

Erik Olin Wright has been elected President of the American Sociological Association from 2011-2012. He will choose the theme for the 2012 ASA symposium.

——————————-

A special website has been set up for the book at www.realutopias.org. Along with collections of Wright’s articles, book extracts and video lectures, the site contains a section detailing the other six books in the Real Utopias project, all of which are available from Verso. A set of supplementary materials discussing the development of the Real Utopias project and the process of writing the book will also be made available via the website shortly. 

——————————-

ERIK OLIN WRIGHT is Vilas Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He is the editor of the REAL UTOPIAS series, which includes his DEEPENING DEMOCRACY (cowritten with Archon Fung), and is the author of many other books, including CLASS COUNTS, INTERROGATING INEQUALITY, THE DEBATE ON CLASSES AND CLASSES.

——————————-

ISBN: 978 1 84467 617 0 / $26.95 / £16.99 / CAN$33.50 / Paperback / 412 pages

ISBN: 978 1 84467 618 7 / $95.00 / £60.00 / CAN$118.50 / Hardback / 412 pages

——————————

For more information visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/tuvwxyz/w-titles/wright_e_envisioning_real_utopias.shtml

To buy the book in the UK: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844676170/Envisioning-Real-Utopias

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Envisioning-Real-Utopias-Erik-Wright/dp/184467617X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282556436&sr=8-1-spell

To buy the book in the US: http://www.amazon.com/Envisioning-Real-Utopias-Erik-Wright/dp/184467617X/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282556478&sr=8-10

——————————

Visit Verso’s new blog for information on our upcoming events, new reviews and publications and special offers

http://versouk.wordpress.com/

Become a fan of Verso on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Verso-Books-UK/122064538789

And get updates on Twitter too! http://twitter.com/VersoBooksUK

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski