Filed under book | Tags: · economics, history, market, religion
This book by the legendary Situationist activist and author of The Revolution of Everyday Life examines the heretical and millenarian movements that challenged social and ecclesiastical authority in Europe from the 1200s into the 1500s.
Although Vaneigem discusses a number of different movements such as the Cathars and Joachimite millenarians, his main emphasis is on the various manifestations of the Movement of the Free Spirit in northern Europe. He sees not only resistance to the power of state and church but also the immensely creative invention of new forms of love, sexuality, community, and exchange. Vaneigem is particularly interested in the radical opposition presented by these movements to the imperatives of an emerging market-based economy, and he evokes crucial historical parallels with the antisystemic rebellions of the 1960s. The book includes translations of original texts and source materials.
Originally published as Le Mouvement du libre-esprit, Editions Ramsay, 1986
Translated by Randall Cherry, Ian Patterson
Full title: The Movement of the Free Spirit: General Considerations and Firsthand Testimony Concerning Some Brief Flowerings of Life in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and, Incidentally, Our Own Time
Publisher Zone Books, 1994
ISBN 0942299701, 9780942299700
Download (updated on 2013-4-30, thanks esco_bar!)Comment (1)
Filed under book | Tags: · economics, economy, finance, market, market economy, psychology, sociology, speculation
Spectacular Speculation is a history and sociological analysis of the semantics of speculation from 1870 to 1930, when speculation began to assume enormous importance in popular culture. Informed by the work of Luhmann, Foucault, Simmel and Deleuze, it looks at how speculation was translated into popular knowledge and charts the discursive struggles of making speculation a legitimate economic practice. Noting that the vocabulary available to discuss the concept was not properly economic, the book reveals the underside of putting it into words. Speculation’s success depended upon non-economic language and morally questionable thrills: a proximity to the wasteful practice of gambling or other “degenerate” behaviors, the experience of financial markets as seductive, or out of control. American discourses of speculation take center stage, and the book covers an unusual range of material, including stock exchange guidebooks, ticker tape, moral treatises, plays, advertisements, and newspapers.
Originally published in German as Spektakuläre Spekulation: Das Populäre der Ökonomie, Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2007
Translated by Eric Savoth
Publisher Stanford University Press, 2013
ISBN 0804788251, 9780804788250
Maurizio Lazzarato: The Making of the Indebted Man: An Essay on the Neoliberal Condition (2011/2012) [French/English]
Filed under book | Tags: · capitalism, debt, economics, money, neoliberalism, philosophy
Debt—both public debt and private debt—has become a major concern of economic and political leaders. In The Making of the Indebted Man, Maurizio Lazzarato shows that, far from being a threat to the capitalist economy, debt lies at the very core of the neoliberal project. Through a reading of Karl Marx’s lesser-known youthful writings on John Mill, and a rereading of writings by Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Michel Foucault, Lazzarato demonstrates that debt is above all a political construction, and that the creditor/debtor relation is the fundamental social relation of Western societies.
Debt cannot be reduced to a simple economic mechanism, for it is also a technique of “public safety” through which individual and collective subjectivities are governed and controlled. Its aim is to minimize the uncertainty of the time and behavior of the governed. We are forever sinking further into debt to the State, to private insurance, and, on a more general level, to corporations. To insure that we honor our debts, we are at once encouraged and compelled to become the “entrepreneurs” of our lives, of our “human capital.” In this way, our entire material, psychological, and affective horizon is upended and reconfigured.
How do we extricate ourselves from this impossible situation? How do we escape the neoliberal condition of the indebted man? Lazzarato argues that we will have to recognize that there is no simple technical, economic, or financial solution. We must instead radically challenge the fundamental social relation structuring capitalism: the system of debt.
French edition: La Fabrique de l’homme endetté. Essai sur la condition néolibérale
Publisher Éditions Amsterdam, 2011
Translated by Joshua David Jordan
Publisher Semiotext(e), 2012
Volume 13 of Intervention Series
ISBN 1584351152, 9781584351153
review (Nikolay Karkov, Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy)Comments (4)
Filed under book | Tags: · economics, machine, nuclear weapons, sociology, sociology of technology, tacit knowledge, technology
Ranging from broad inquiries into the roles of economics and sociology in the explanation of technological change to an argument for the possibility of “uninventing” nuclear weapons, this selection of Donald MacKenzie’s essays provides a solid introduction to the style and substance of the sociology of technology.
Two conceptual essays are followed by seven empirical essays focusing on the laser gyroscopes that are central to modern aircraft navigation technology, supercomputers (with a particular emphasis on their use in the design of nuclear weapons), the application of mathematical proof in the design of computer systems, computer-related accidental deaths, and the nature of the knowledge that is needed to design a nuclear bomb. Two of the articles won major prizes on their original journal publication. A substantial new introduction outlines the common themes underlying this body of work and places them in the context of recent debates in technology studies.
Publisher MIT Press, 1996
Inside Technology series
ISBN 0262133156, 9780262133159
review (Brian Martin, Metascience)Comment (0)
Rodolphe Durand, Jean-Philippe Vergne: The Pirate Organization: Lessons from the Fringes of Capitalism (2010/2012)
Filed under book | Tags: · biopiracy, capitalism, economics, hacking, hacktivism, piracy, pirate radio
When capitalism spread along the trade routes toward the Indies…when radio opened an era of mass communication…when the Internet became part of the global economy…pirates were there. And although most people see pirates as solitary anarchists out to destroy capitalism, it turns out the opposite is true. They are the ones who forge the path. In “The Pirate Organization,” Rodolphe Durand and Jean-Philippe Vergne argue that piracy drives capitalism’s evolution and foreshadows the direction of the economy. Through a rigorous yet engaging analysis of the history and golden ages of piracy, the authors show how pirates form complex and sophisticated organizations that change the course of capitalism. Surprisingly, pirate organizations also behave in predictable ways: challenging widespread norms; controlling resources, communication, and transportation; maintaining trade relationships with other communities; and formulating strategies favoring speed and surprise. We could learn a lot from them–if only we paid more attention. Durand and Vergne recommend that rather than trying to stamp out piracy, savvy entrepreneurs and organizations should keep a sharp eye on the pirate space to stay successful as the game changes–and it always does. First published in French to great critical acclaim and commercial success as “L’Organisation Pirate: Essai sur l’évolution du capitalisme,” this book shows that piracy is not random. It’s predictable, it cannot be separated from capitalism, and it likely will be the source of capitalism’s continuing evolution.
First published in French as L’Organisation Pirate: Essai sur l’évolution du capitalisme, Éditions Le Bord de l’Eau, Lormont, 2010
Publisher Harvard Business Review Press, Boston/MA, 2012
ISBN 1422183203, 9781422183205
review (The Economist)Comment (1)
Filed under manual | Tags: · debt, economics, money
This manual—written by an anonymous collective of resistors, defaulters, and allies from Strike Debt and Occupy Wall Street—aims to provide specific tactics for understanding and fighting against the debt system. You’ll find detailed strategies and resources for dealing with credit card, medical, student, housing and municipal debt, tactics for navigating the pitfalls of personal bankruptcy, and information to help protect yourself from predatory lenders. Recognizing that individually we can only do so much to resist the system of debt, the manual also introduces ideas for those who have made the decision to take collective action.
Published in September 2012
Produced as a collaboration between Members of the Strike Debt assembly, Occupy Wall Street, Common Notions, Antumbra Design
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
Filed under report | Tags: · banking, bitcoin, economics, electronic money, money, p2p, second life
“Virtual communities have proliferated in recent years – a phenomenon triggered by technological developments and by the increased use of the internet. In some cases, these communities have created and circulated their own currency for exchanging the goods and services they offer, and thereby provide a medium of exchange and a unit of account for that particular virtual community.
This paper aims to provide some clarity on virtual currencies and tries to address the issue in a structured approach. It is important to take into account that these currencies both resemble money and necessarily come with their own dedicated retail payment systems; these two aspects are covered by the term “virtual currency scheme”. Virtual currency schemes are relevant in several areas of the financial system and are therefore of interest to central banks. This, among other things, explains the ECB’s interest in carrying out an analysis, especially in view of its role as a catalyst for payment systems and its oversight role.” (from the Executive Summary)
Publisher European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main, 29 October 2012