Lessons from Plato, Rawls and Ishiguro
Justice occupies a special place in the pantheon of virtues. For the ancients, it was often conceived as the master virtue, the one that orders all the others. For Plato, justice had exactly this overarching status. A just individual, he tells us in The Republic, is one in whom the three parts of the soul—reason, spirit, appetite—and the three virtues associated with them—wisdom, courage, moderation—stand in the right relation to one another. Justice in the city is precisely analogous. In the just city, each class exercises its own distinctive virtue by performing the task suitable for its nature, and none interferes with the others. The wise and rational part does the ruling, the brave and spirited part does the soldiering, and the rest, those lacking special spirit or intelligence but capable of moderation, do the farming and the manual labouring. Justice is the harmonious balance among these constituent elements.
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A New Form of Capitalism?
Does an expanding circuit of commodities whose value is indexed to their rarity and antiquity suggest that capitalism is secreting a novel ‘economy of enrichment’? Replying to Luc Boltanski and Arnaud Esquerre in NLR 98, Nancy Fraser argues that Marx’s Holy Trinity of profit, interest and rent remains key to a taxonomy of contemporary commodification.
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Nancy Fraser tracks the reconfiguration of the relations of social reproduction under successive regimes of accumulation—‘separate spheres’, male breadwinner, dual-income household. Are the exactions of financialized capitalism now serving to undermine its lifeworld?
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Behind exchange there lurks production, but what is more hidden still? The disavowed conditions of capital’s possibility—in reproduction, politics and nature—as sites for expanded anti-capitalist struggle.
A Triple Movement?
Why has the global economic crisis yet to produce programmatic alternatives for social transformation? Nancy Fraser argues that present struggles fall within an ambiguous triangle formed by the forces of commodification, social protection and emancipation.
Feminism, Capitalism and the Cunning of History
Do feminism and neoliberalism share a secret affinity? Nancy Fraser on the co-option of gender politics by the ‘new spirit’ of post-Fordist capitalism, and subordination of its radical critique to a World Bank agenda. Might a neo-Keynesian shift offer prospects for socialist-feminist renewal?
Reframing Justice in a Globalizing World
Theorists of political justice have long taken the nation-state to be the relevant unit for their proposals. Nancy Fraser argues that the time for this is past. The necessary interconnection between struggles for economic redistribution and social recognition now requires that issues of political representation be re-tabled at a global rather than national level—where decisions affecting the fate of all are increasingly taken, or not taken.
Has the liberating charge of struggles for recognition dissolved into pure identity politics? Do these have to sidestep inequalities of wealth and power? Not, Nancy Fraser contends, if recognition is understood as a question of social status rather than existential address.
Heterosexism, Misrecognition and Capitalism: A Response to Judith Butler
A Rejoinder to Iris Young
From Redistribution to Recognition? Dilemmas of Justice in a 'Post-Socialist' Age