BEHIND MARX’S HIDDEN ABODE
For an Expanded Conception of Capitalism
Capitalism is back! After decades in which the term could scarcely be found outside the writings of Marxian thinkers, commentators of varying stripes now worry openly about its sustainability, scholars from every school scramble to systematize criticisms of it and activists throughout the world mobilize in opposition to its practices. Certainly, the return of ‘capitalism’ is a welcome development, a crystal-clear marker, if any were needed, of the depth of the present crisis—and of the pervasive hunger for a systematic account of it. What all the talk about capitalism indicates, symptomatically, is a growing intuition that the heterogeneous ills—financial, economic, ecological, political, social—that surround us can be traced to a common root; and that reforms which fail to engage with the deep structural underpinnings of these ills are doomed to fail. Equally, the term’s renaissance signals the wish in many quarters for an analysis that could clarify the relations among the disparate social struggles of our time, an analysis that could foster the close cooperation, if not the full unification, of their most advanced, progressive currents in a counter-systemic bloc. The hunch that capitalism could supply the central category of such an analysis is on the mark.
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Notes for a Feminist Manifesto
Opposed to ‘lean in’ liberal iterations, three activist-scholars premise a militant feminism for the many, inspired by La huelga feminista of 8 March. The politics of social reproduction and the imperative of wider solidarities: the women’s struggle retooled for the multiple crises of late capitalism.
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.
Contradictions of Capital and Care
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?
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.
Conceptions of justice drawn from Plato to Rawls, explored through analysis of a powerful novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. Who counts as a subject, and what strategies could enable those debarred from the sphere of justice to overturn their status?
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