search the archive
search the archive
Polygraph 24 Call for Papers, Special Issue: Resistance to Finance
full name / name of organization:
Polygraph: An International Journal of Culture and Politics
What does financial capitalism demand of us in thought and in action today?
Financial capital is one of the fundamental structuring forces in our world. Evidence of this is ubiquitous: the severity and extent of the most recent global financial crisis, the collapse of whole national economies (as in Greece and Iceland), the steadily progressing securitization of pensions and savings, a growing volume of derivatives trading that already dwarfs "real" global GDP.
Yet many critical accounts of corporate globalization, free trade, neoliberalism, and so on all too rarely emphasize the fact that high finance constitutes the very condition of possibility of capitalism as we know it. Other available forms of economic critique, from world-systems theory to dependency theory to theories of Empire, often do grant high finance the central role that it in reality occupies, but rarely go beyond critique to directly address the question of resistance. Too often, critique remains mired in highlighting isolated acts and agents of malfeasance rather than producing totalizing, systemic claims with real leverage. We now know this state of affairs to be in need of immediate rectification.
We also know that action is demanded, but its contours are not yet well defined. The clout of finance capital has received ample attention in Marxist economics, neo-classical economics, and other quarters—yet the accounts produced thus far of what is to be done have been less than satisfactory. What political responses on the part of on-the-ground social movements and both current and potential bodies of governance are necessary? Are some already underway but obscured from view? What alternative economic futures can we begin to construct out of the wreckage of the most recent crisis and the structural shifts that produced and accompany it? Is it necessary to break the global economy of its speculative bent and return it to its "real" roots, or is this antithesis, stemming from Hilferding's classic critique of "fictitious capital," fundamentally ill-conceived? Should the focus of political action be shifted away from past struggles—against multinational corporations, free trade, and the powerful political allies of both—in the direction of the financial crux of the global economy? What would such a change in focus entail?
Alternative financial institutions and orders
Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2011