Polanyi characterizes the shift to market capitalism by arguing that individuals act upon more maximizing strategies in which they are driven by profit-based gains rather than the subsistence strategies of feudal England. Based upon this, he highlights how the market creates a sense of scarcity as a way of sanctioning workers to meet particular arbitrary demands predicated upon consumptive needs, which are determined by an unstable market.
Reflecting upon this, Sahlins argues that…Continue
For those with an interest in moving the global economy in more humane directions, the story of the hour is the Occupy Wall Street movement that has now spread worldwide. Its eruption has spurred a discussion on Anthro-L from which I take the following exchange.
On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 6:40 AM, LINDA SCHINKEL <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I believe that many of us these days don't believe that evolving Capitalism forward, in a more humane…
Before one tritely dismisses the term Casino Capitalism, one should read the book by that title by Susan Strange. Furthermore, the analogy between a casino, where the odds are stacked against most players; and the capitalist world is apt. For example, much of the crisis of the moment began with powerful men betting with our futures. William Cohan (2010) largely attributes the fall of Bear Stearns and its disastrous results for the rest of us to a lack of supervision of greedy folks at…Continue
Recently, Naked Capitalism reported a London study entitled Bankers-Anthropological Study (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/14/bankers-anthropological-study-joris-luyendijk). In it the Dutch anthropologist Joris Luyendijk indicates that while bankers are widely reviled, he is finding them to be very…Continue
What could undermine the stranglehold of global capitalists? As millions slip into poverty while the super-rich make fantastic profits, what could loosen their grip?
Gramsci (1971, 1991) gave us the concept of hegemony, which he saw as the result of the activities of politicians establishing rules of predominant influence over a public. Over and against these efforts by leaders, however, power…Continue