“The” End of Capitalism (as We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy ; with a New Introduction

U of Minnesota Press
Free sample

Why does the future (not to mention the present) seem to offer no hope of escape from capitalism? Ironically, the author argues, it is not the economic discourse of the right but primarily the socialist and Marxist traditions that have constituted capitalism as large, powerful, active, expansive, penetrating, systematic, self-reproducing, dynamic, victorious, and capable of conferring identity and meaning. What this has meant for left politics is the continual deferral of anticapitalist projects of social transformation and noncapitalist initiatives of economic innovation, since these presumably would have little chance of success in the face of a predominantly or exclusively capitalist economy. In this book J. K. Gibson-Graham explores the possibility of more enlivening modes of economic thought and action, outside and beyond the theory and practice of capitalist reproduction.
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Publisher
U of Minnesota Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2006
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Pages
299
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ISBN
9781452908847
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Free Enterprise
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
Social Science / Feminism & Feminist Theory
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This content is DRM protected.
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We Have a World-Class Mess . . . Now What?
 
 Amid the carnage of bankruptcies, soaring unemployment, and millions of families losing their homes during the financial crisis of 2007–2009 lay the bloody corpse of a set of ideas that had underpinned the economics of the previous thirty years. A system that had been delivering unprecedented prosperity on a global scale suddenly teetered on the verge of collapse. Capitalism was seemingly exposed as a house of cards. The blame game became a new national pastime as doomsayers predicted the end of America’s leadership of the world economy.
 
We’re at a crossroads, and decisions about how to reshape a discredited capitalism will profoundly affect whether the coming years will be ones of depression, stagnation, or renewed prosperity.

Instant analysis since the collapse of the financial system in the fall of 2008 has produced no end of ideas about what to do—ranging from those of free market ideologues (let the market do its work and damn the consequences) to extreme government interventionists determined to keep the animal spirits of capitalism penned up.

But if there is anything worse than toxic financial assets it is toxic ideas. We need to reject the old orthodoxies and conventional wisdoms. Matthew Bishop and Michael Green take a step back and analyze what can be learned from financial crises of the past—from the Tulip Craze of the seventeenth century through the Great Depression of the 1930s, Japan’s Great Deflation, and the Long-Term Capital debacle of the 1990s to the unprecedented interventions of the government during the past year—to set the agenda for a reformed twenty-first-century capitalism. The result is an enlightening perspective on what set us on the road to ruin, as well as road signs to guide us back to prosperity.
 
--Why bubbles are the consequence of financial innovations that generate economic breakthroughs, but why it would be wrong to abandon these inventions of the financial engineers. The Road from Ruin explains how stifling innovation and risk-taking comes at a huge cost to future prosperity.

--Why the economy needed a fiscal stimulus to recover from the crisis. Bishop and Green show how economic dogmatists of the Right, who opposed the stimulus, got it wrong, but warn that those on the Left who want the stimulus to run and run could usher in a new era of high inflation.

--Why company bosses became too focused on short-term results and did not see the crisis coming. The Road from Ruin shows how we can get business leaders to put the interests of society ahead of their own pay-packets.

--The danger of focusing on the financial symptoms of the crisis without tackling the underlying economic causes, such as the world operating on the dollar standard. Bishop and Green show why the role of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency is not just a problem for the rest of the world but for the United States as well.

--Why many of capitalism’s champions—especially the advocates of the efficient market hypothesis—lost touch with reality. The Road from Ruin provides insights into new ideas in economics that recognize how the complexity and irrationality of the human beings who make up the economy can be harnessed to build a better capitalism.
 
Remarkably, the issues we face today have presented themselves in one form or another over the past three centuries. Matthew Bishop and Michael Green skillfully draw both the lessons learned and prescriptions for reform to prevent another catastrophic meltdown and put America back on top.
Is there life after capitalism? In this creatively argued follow-up to their book The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It), J. K. Gibson-Graham offer already existing alternatives to a global capitalist order and outline strategies for building alternative economies.

A Postcapitalist Politics reveals a prolific landscape of economic diversity—one that is not exclusively or predominantly capitalist—and examines the challenges and successes of alternative economic interventions. Gibson-Graham bring together political economy, feminist poststructuralism, and economic activism to foreground the ethical decisions, as opposed to structural imperatives, that construct economic “development” pathways. Marshalling empirical evidence from local economic projects and action research in the United States, Australia, and Asia, they produce a distinctive political imaginary with three intersecting moments: a politics of language, of the subject, and of collective action.

In the face of an almost universal sense of surrender to capitalist globalization, this book demonstrates that postcapitalist subjects, economies, and communities can be fostered. The authors describe a politics of possibility that can build different economies in place and over space. They urge us to confront the forces that stand in the way of economic experimentation and to explore different ways of moving from theory to action.

J. K. Gibson-Graham is the pen name of Katherine Gibson and Julie Graham, feminist economic geographers who work, respectively, at the Australian National University in Canberra and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
`A hopeful but nonetheless hard-hitting analysis of alternative economic spaces proliferating in the belly of the capitalist beast. In this book Leyshon, Lee and Williams convene fascinating studies of exchange, enterprise, credit and community. They invite us onto a new and promising discursive terrain where we can analyze, criticize and above all recognize actually existing economies of diversity in the wealthy countries of the West' - J K Gibson-Graham, Australian National University and University of Massachusetts, Amherst

In the context of problems in the `new economy' - from dot.com start-ups, high-technology, and telecoms - Alternative Economic Spaces presents a critical evaluation of alternatives to the global economic mainstream. It focuses on the emergence of alternative economic geographies within developed economies and analyzes the emergence of alternative economic practices within industrialized countries. These include the creation of institutions like Local Exchange and Trading Systems, Credit Unions, and other social economy initiatives; and the development of alternative practices from informal work to the invention of consumption sites that act as alternatives to the monoply of the `big-box', multi-chain retail outlets.

Alternative Economic Spaces is a reconsideration of what is meant by the `economic' in economic geography; its objective is to bring together some of the ways in which this is being undertaken. The volume shows how the `economic' is being rethought in economic geography by detailing new economic geographies as they are emerging in practice.


In the wake of economic crisis on a global scale, more and more people are reconsidering their role in the economy and wondering what they can do to make it work better for humanity and the planet. In this innovative book, J. K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron, and Stephen Healy contribute complex understandings of economics in practical terms: what can we do right now, in our own communities, to make a difference?

Full of exercises, thinking tools, and inspiring examples from around the world, Take Back the Economy shows how people can implement small-scale changes in their own lives to create ethical economies. There is no manifesto here, no one prescribed model; rather, readers are encouraged and taught how to take back the economy in ways appropriate for their own communities and context, using what they already have at hand.


Take Back the Economy dismantles the idea that the economy is separate from us and best comprehended by experts. Instead, the authors demonstrate that the economy is the outcome of the decisions and efforts we make every day. The economy is thus reframed as a space of ethical action—something we can shape and alter according to what is best for the well-being of people and the planet. The book explores what people are already doing to build ethical economies, presenting these deeds as mutual concerns: What is necessary for survival, and what do we do with the surplus produced beyond what will fulfill basic needs? What do we consume, and how do we preserve and replenish the commons—those resources that can be shared to maintain all? And finally, how can we invest in a future worth living in?


Suitable for activists and students alike, Take Back the Economy will be of interest to anyone seeking a more just, sustainable, and equitable world.


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