Nature is being destroyed at an unprecedented rate. Despite countless pledges and summits, we remain on course for a catastrophic 3 degrees Celsius of warming. In a world of immense wealth, billions still live below the poverty line and on the frontlines of environmental breakdown. Increasingly, the world is waking up to this reality, but are the ‘solutions’ being proposed really solutions? In this searing and insightful critique, Adrienne Buller examines the escalating plunder of the natural world under financial capitalism, and exposes the fatal biases that have shaped climate and environmental policymaking. Tracing the intricate connections between financial power, vested interests and environmental governance, she exposes the myopic economism and market-centric thinking presently undermining a future where all life can flourish. The book explains what is wrong with carbon pricing, off-setting and asset management’s recent interest in all things environmental. Both honest and optimistic, The value of a whale asks us – in the face of crisis – what we really value.
perhaps also to desire itself. Maybe this is
the meaning of ‘clickbait capitalism’ – a libidinal
dis- economy premised on the ruinous escalation of both
economy and desire. 4 What
if the libidinal economies of digital and financialcapitalism run best
when detached from definite aims, ends, objects?
These questions lead us back to the fundamental wager of
is less than two miles from Kensington Palace, the official London residence of royals including Prince William and Kate Middleton. This demonstrates a physical proximity between the monarchy, its property portfolio, the casualties of austerity policies and the greed of financialcapitalism. Indeed, whilst Tracy Shildrick describes the visceral visual comparisons between ‘luxury tower blocks and the haunting images of the burnt out shell of the Grenfell Tower’, the opulence of nearby Kensington Palace provides an equally stark visual contrast
sector as a complex developed from the 1980s and was strengthened in 2008
when a new set of political relationships was created that reflected the operation
of the complex based on the even greater government protection of the largest
TBTF financial institutions. Since the 2008 crisis they have become even larger.
This change provides for a significant change in the dynamics of embedded liberal
capitalism and paves the way for a new ‘riskless financialcapitalism’ with its own
financial institutions TBTF.
Table 5.1a Secretaries of the Treasury of the United States
When global stock markets plunged during the onset of the 2020 pandemic, young South Koreans took out loans to fund risky personal investments. This chapter relates the lure of speculation at work here to a fantasy of escaping the hopeless realities produced through financial capitalism, in South Korea and elsewhere.
professional progress. The process of attribution can be understood as an apparatus of extraction, as it constitutes and reproduces a structural inconsistency between demands for extended cooperation alongside individualised competition for access. Moreover, it is underpinned by symbolic violence enacted upon the unrecognised, and thus exploited, cultural producers by celebrated winners of this networked competition.
This mechanism is comparable to the extraction of value specific to financialcapitalism, in that it does not preclude any kind of
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.
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.
financial oligarchies as the new dance masters of financialcapitalism, providing new items to speculate with, trophies to showcase, playgrounds to play in and laundries in which to art-wash tarnished reputations. And yet, the circulation of art is far from being entirely subdued, because what appears like a playground when viewed from the top, is a social factory when seen from the ground, manned by precarious creatives and maintained by the unremunerated and unrecognised labour of artistic → dark matter , a hotbed of art-activism and occupy movements. The vast majority
higher education in ‘Sydni’ depicts education as fundamentally an economic value proposition, moving the commercial beyond earlier discourses of opportunity, community uplift and inclusion, into the picture of financializedcapitalism. Instead, ‘Sydni’ and the UNCF's revised slogan represent education as a speculative transaction wherein present investment either pays out or is paid back, later, and entrepreneurial students pursue college as a hedge against declining labour market outcomes. What is learned in university classrooms, much as what is produced in