Euphoria of the Rentier?
Are bloated finance and the information economy signs of something other—and possibly worse—than capitalism? If the latter’s defining characteristic is growth, might an era typified by stagnation signal its supersession? An attempt to bring into dialogue the work of Brett Christophers, McKenzie Wark and Aaron Benanav.
Inequality and World Political Landscapes
Critical assessment of a landmark international survey of electoral demographics, mapping the social fractures blunting opposition to inegalitarian politics. The weight in these of income and education, class and identity, and the longer historical arc of national political orders. What is the outlook for neoliberal economics after the pandemic, not least in the country where they were first violently imposed?
A Proudhon For Postmoderns?
The politics of inequality in Thomas Piketty’s monumental Capital and Ideology. Enthusiasms and blind spots of ‘participatory socialism’, consensus and counter-movement, read as a 21st-century iteration of the tradition that descends from Proudhon and Polanyi, against the background hum of r > g.
Value in Motion
How to re-engineer the compound-growth spiral of the capital- accumulation process? A global blueprint for challenging the profit motive, pitting process against the atomism of the neoclassical tradition, in the search for a workable use-value alternative.
Dreams and Nightmares of the World’s Middle Classes
A survey of new shifts within the world’s vast ‘in-between’ classes and their contrasting trajectories in North and South. How should their theorization—or ideologization?—by development economists and financial journalists be read?
A Planetary Pandemic
“This number of nlr opens with a set of texts on the covid-19 crisis. Coursing round the world, the virus plays the role of an etching acid that reveals the lineaments—political, economic, social, cultural—of the uneven landscape beneath. Less lethal than such zoonotic forerunners as . . .” read more
Empire, Twenty Years On
If Empire was, for many, the signature text for the age of globalization, how do its theses fare now, in an era of rising nationalism and protracted crisis? In a landmark update, the authors examine how the twin spheres of power and (re)production have spun out of sync—symptoms of a system that, in Deleuze and Guattari’s words, works by breaking down.
Situationism à L’envers?
Building on the extended review by Cédric Durand in NLR 116/117, Perry Anderson seeks clues to the politics and method behind Adam Tooze’s Crashed in the author’s wider oeuvre. From the Peace of 1919 to the dollar swap-lines of 2008, the oft-heralded rise of a beneficent American hegemon.
End of the Neoliberal Era?
Prognosis for the US economy, after a decade of unprecedented monetary stimulus. Does the distempered character of the recovery—soaring profits, feverish asset prices, anaemic wage growth—signal a structural crisis in the existing regime of capitalist accumulation, and transition to a new institutional framework?
The New Neoliberalism
If the ruling economic paradigm remains traceable to Mont Pèlerin, how to distinguish the present from the moment that brought Thatcher and Reagan to power? A periodization of neoliberalism, from anti-socialist insurgency, through centre-left stewardship, to the inchoate ideologies of the post-crash era.
Robert Gordon’s panoramic Rise and Fall of American Growth foregrounds exogenous explanations for the fall-off in us economic dynamism since the seventies. Challenging his account, Michel Aglietta explores the role financial rents and shareholder agendas have played in sapping growth—and prospects for a new era of eco-tech innovations.
Europe’s Other Periphery
The fate of the East European economies in the transition from COMECON to EU. From post-communist slump to the politics of austerity, by way of industrial decline, wage collapses, external debt and buy-outs. The emergence of new dependencies, financial and industrial.
$1.90 a Day: What Does It Say?
The World Bank claims global poverty will soon fall below 10 per cent, but do its figures deserve their international legitimacy? Sanjay Reddy and Rahul Lahoti probe the assumptions and methodologies on which the Bank’s assertions are based, and suggest an alternative.
What can quantitative linguistic analysis reveal about global institutions? From Bretton Woods to the present, the language of World Bank reports has undergone telling modulations. Moretti and Pestre track the decline of concrete referents and active verbs, the triumph of acronyms over nation-states—and irresistible rise of ‘governance’.
How Will Capitalism End?
Its challengers apparently vanquished, the main threat to capitalism may now come from disorders that lurk within the system itself. Wolfgang Streeck diagnoses its crisis symptoms, from persistent stagnation to global anarchy, and asks what lies in store as they multiply.
Guestworkers: A Taxonomy
A typology of Gastarbeiter programmes and their function in capitalist labour regimes, from Wilhelmine Prussia to the Gulf monarchies. Side effects of attempts to import a disposable reserve army of labour, and the tensions they provoke between capital accumulation and state legitimacy.
Class in the 21st Century
From São Paulo to Beijing, a rising middle class has been hailed by liberal commentators as a bulwark for consumption and democracy in the decades ahead. Taking stock of these claims, Göran Therborn offers a magisterial overview of the global class landscape and the still prodigious numerical weight of manual workers within it.
A New Global Depression?
Interview with the author of The Dollar Crisis, one of the few analyses to predict the 2008 financial meltdown. Richard Duncan tracks its causes to the credit explosion unleashed by the fiat-dollar system, in toxic symbiosis with the global wage deflation caused by manufacturing’s shift to the East.