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Critical post-Soviet Marxist reflections

The starting-point for the book is its chapter on methodology. Found here are not only critiques of conventional Soviet Marxism-Leninism and post-modernism, but also a new rethinking of the classic dialectic. For the most part, however, the book focuses on revealing the new quality now assumed by commodities, money, and capital within the global economy. The market has become not only global, but a totalitarian force that is not a ‘socially neutral mechanism of coordination’. It is now a product of the hegemony of corporate capital, featuring the growth of new types of commodity: information, simulacra, and so forth. The book demonstrates the new qualities acquired by value, use value, price, and commodity fetishism within this new market, while exploring the contradictions of non-limited resources (such as knowledge) and the commodity form of their existence.

Money is now a virtual product of fictitious financial capital, possessing a new nature, contradictions, and functions. This analysis of the new nature of money helps to reveal the essence of so-called financialisation.

Capital has become the result of a complex system of exploitation. In the twenty-first-century context this exploitation includes the ‘classic’ extraction of surplus value from industrial workers combined with internal corporate redistribution of income by ‘insiders’; international exploitation; and the exploitation of creative labour through the expropriation of intellectual rent.

Global processes, local challenges

This book is a tribute to Enzo Mingione and his contribution to the fields of sociology and urban studies on the occasion of his retirement. It touches upon the processes of transformation of cities to the informal economy, from the Fordist crisis to the rediscovery of poverty, from the welfare state and welfare policies to migration and the transformation of work. These themes constitute the analytical building blocks of this book on the transitions that Western capitalist societies are undergoing. The book focuses on social foundations of Western capitalism, explaining how socio-economic and institutional complementarities that characterised postwar capitalism created relatively integrated socio-economic regimes, It has five thematic sections reflecting five areas of capitalism, the search interests of Enzo Mingione. The first discusses the transformations of global capitalism, addressing how capitalism works and how it changes. The second provides insights into the mechanisms of re-embedding, in particular how welfare policies are part of a societal reaction to capitalism's disruptive dynamic. The third addresses some main challenges that citizenship systems established in the post-war period have had to face, from the spread of new employment regimes to new migratory flows. The fourth addresses cities and their transformation and the final section addresses poverty and its spatial dimension as a crucial lens through which to understand the differentiated impact of the processes of change in Western capitalist societies, both in socio-economic and spatial terms.

Financialisation as a product of virtual fictitious financial capital
Aleksander Buzgalin and Andrey Kolganov

capital. At the surface level, this transformation has revealed itself as financialisation. Financial capital, the result of the fusion of banking and industrial monopolies, used the financial market both as an instrument of its reign and, at the same time, as a mode of solving of the problem of over-accumulation of industrial capital. The bubble-like growth of the financial market reflects the need of financial capital to appropriate profit on a global scale through financial instruments. This hegemony of financial capital (which became transnational) is developing in

in Twenty-first-century capital
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Aleksander Buzgalin and Andrey Kolganov

financial capital On the basis of the political-economic nature of commodity-simulacra posited in Chapter 6 , we provide a theoretical derivation and empirical support for the new nature of money as a virtual product of fictitious financial capital. Money possesses a new set of contradictions and functions, all of which are shown in the book. This analysis of the new nature of money helps us reveal the essence of so-called financialisation. As a result of financialisation, money increasingly becomes virtual money. It is

in Twenty-first-century capital
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Valentina Vitali

The invisibility of Bava’s and the Ramsay’s cinema in film historiography is a symptom of the marginality, in Italy and India at the time, of the kind of capital that sustained these films, just as the visibility of Méndez’ work in the history of Mexican cinema reflects the centrality of speculative capital in 1960s Mexico. Similar connections can be traced in other countries. The end of the Bretton Woods system in 1971 and the rise of financial capital marked also the end of Keynesian policies. New priorities began to be adopted that we now know, globally, as neoliberalism. The conclusion suggests that scholars are now rediscovering cheaply produced generic films because the marginal interests that formed these films’ conditions of possibility now confront us as a dominant force. Popular films staged the tensions brought about by its rise, and it may well be for this reason that they appear to us to be of great interest today.

in Capital and popular cinema
State, market, and the Party in China’s financial reform
Author: Julian Gruin

Over more than thirty years of reform and opening, the Chinese Communist Party has pursued the gradual marketization of China’s economy alongside the preservation of a resiliently authoritarian political system, defying long-standing predictions that ‘transition’ to a market economy would catalyse deeper political transformation. In an era of deepening synergy between authoritarian politics and finance capitalism, Communists constructing capitalism offers a novel and important perspective on this central dilemma of contemporary Chinese development. This book challenges existing state–market paradigms of political economy and reveals the Eurocentric assumptions of liberal scepticism towards Chinese authoritarian resilience. It works with an alternative conceptual vocabulary for analysing the political economy of financial development as both the management and exploitation of socio-economic uncertainty. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork and over sixty interviews with policymakers, bankers, and former party and state officials, the book delves into the role of China’s state-owned banking system since 1989. It shows how political control over capital has been central to China’s experience of capitalist development, enabling both rapid economic growth whilst preserving macroeconomic and political stability. Communists constructing capitalism will be of academic interest to scholars and graduate students in the fields of Chinese studies, social studies of finance, and international and comparative political economy. Beyond academia, it will be essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of Chinese capitalism and its implications for an increasingly central issue in contemporary global politics: the financial foundations of illiberal capitalism.

Kuba Szreder

altermodernity, as he would wish for, but rather a manifestation of the → curatorial mode of production , as rootless as the flow of financial capital that it emulates. The assumed independence of cultural and intellectual operators had already been demystified by Zygmunt Bauman, when he criticised early globalisation as a movement that uproots people and embeds social hierarchies in differentials of mobility, thereby privileging a class of ultra-mobile operators to the peril of more localised producers (Bauman 1998 ). The uncritical admiration of independent mobility is

in The ABC of the projectariat

Karl Polanyi (1886–1964) returned to public discourse in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded and globalization erupted. Best known for The Great Transformation, Polanyi’s wide-ranging thought anticipated twenty-first-century civilizational challenges of ecological collapse, social disintegration and international conflict, and warned that the unbridled domination of market capitalism would engender nationalist protective counter-movements. In Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt bring together prominent and new thinkers in the field to extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi's life and work. Kari Polanyi Levitt's opening essay situates Polanyi in the past century shaped by Keynes and Hayek, and explores how and why his ideas may shape the twenty-first century. Her analysis of his Bennington Lectures, which pre-dated and anticipated The Great Transformation, demonstrates how Central European his thought and chief concerns were. The next several contributions clarify, for the first time in Polanyi scholarship, the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Other contributions resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi's thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States' exceptional development, the reality of society and socialism as freedom in a complex society. The volume culminates in explorations of how Polanyi has influenced, and can be used to develop, ideas in a number of fields, whether income inequality, world-systems theory or comparative political economy. Contributors: Fred Block, Michael Brie, Radhika Desai, Michael Hudson, Hannes Lacher, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Chikako Nakayama, Jamie Peck, Abraham Rotstein, Margaret Somers, Claus Thomasberger, Oscar Ugarteche Galarza.

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Kuba Szreder

grounds to satiate their appetites and their urge for expansion, replicating the patterns of behaviour we associate with financial capital.

in The ABC of the projectariat
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Author: David Whyte

This book explains the direct link between the structure of the corporation and its limitless capacity for ecological destruction. It argues that we need to find the most effective means of ending the corporation’s death grip over us. The corporation is a problem, not merely because it devours natural resources, pollutes and accelerates the carbon economy. As this book argues, the constitutional structure of the corporation eradicates the possibility that we can put the protection of the planet before profit. A fight to get rid of the corporations that have brought us to this point may seem an impossible task at the moment, but it is necessary for our survival. It is hardly radical to suggest that if something is killing us, we should over-power it and make it stop. We need to kill the corporation before it kills us.