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RSA Animate – Crisis of Capitalism

Today’s Must-See Animated Capitalist Takedown from RSA and David Harvey

thanks to Shuddhabrata Sengupta

June 29, 2010 | 6:24 p.m

If you watch just one funny and handsome Marxist critique of the financial crisis, make it the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce’s animated version of David Harvey’s RSA speech “Crises of Capitalism.” It’s been making the rounds this afternoon, and for good reason: Mr. Harvey, a Marxist scholar who heads CUNY’s Center for Place, Culture & Politics, describes not just the failures that caused the ongoing fiasco, but the failure of how we’ve explained it.

“It’s crap,” he says. “You should know it’s crap, and say it is. And we have a duty, it seems to me, those of us who are academics, and seriously involved in the world, to actually change our mode of thinking.”

Listening to Mr. Harvey would be one thing, but the one-hand work from RSA Animate — who has given the same treatment to Barbara Ehrenreich, Dan Pink, Jeremy Pifkin, Philip Zumbardo — does wonders.

Slovenian Philosopher Slavoj Zizek on Capitalism, Healthcare, Latin American “Populism” and the “Farcical” Financial Crisis

Dubbed by the National Review as “the most dangerous political philosopher in the West” and the New York Times as “the Elvis of cultural theory,” Slovenian philosopher and public intellectual Slavoj Žižek has written over fifty books on philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory. In his latest book, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, Žižek analyzes how the United States has moved from the tragedy of 9/11 to what he calls the farce of the financial meltdown. [includes rush transcript]

JUAN GONZALEZ We continue on the subject of the financial crisis with a man the National Review calls “the most dangerous political philosopher in the West.” The New York Times calls him “the Elvis of cultural theory.” Slovenian philosopher and public intellectual Slavoj Žižek has written over fifty books on philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory. His latest, just out from Verso, is called First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. It analyzes how the United States has moved from the tragedy of 9/11 to the farce of the financial meltdown.

Žižek’s latest offering, also excerpted in the October issue of Harper’s Magazine, opens with the words, quote, “The only truly surprising thing about the 2008 financial meltdown is how easily the idea was accepted that its happening was unpredictable.” He goes on to recall how the demonstrations against the IMF and the World Bank over the past decade all protested the ways in which banks were playing with money and warned of an impending crash. They were met with tear gas and mass arrests.

AMY GOODMAN: The message, he writes, was, quote, “loud and clear, and the police were used to literally stifle the truth.”

Well, Slavoj Žižek addressed a full house at Cooper Union here in New York City on Wednesday night and joins us now in our firehouse studio.

Welcome to Democracy Now!

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São tempos difíceis mas interessantes

Cultura e Crise

17.04.2009 – Joana Gorjão Henriques
Depois desta crise com contornos de dilúvio, o que se abre à cultura? Há cenários que já podemos desenhar

Em época de crise, o melhor mesmo é ir às compras na própria casa. Desenterrem-se leituras eternamente adiadas, leia-se finalmente o “Ulisses” de James Joyce que anda por ali há séculos. Os livros podem ser caros, mas ler ainda continua a não ser assim tanto. Até porque um livro pode sempre passar por muitas mãos. E há as bibliotecas, a “forma de entretenimento mais barata de todas”, lembra John Carey, professor de Inglês em Oxford, ao “Guardian”. Por esta lógica, a leitura – não o mercado dos livros – será uma das actividades que menos sofrerá com a crise económica mundial. Mas nem tudo é lógico e nem tudo se pode prever. O podemos esperar, então, dos próximos anos?

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How can the cultural sector survive the financial crisis?

LabforCulture  January 2009

Helmut K. Anheier (Ph.D. Yale University, 1986) is Professor of Sociology at Heidelberg University and the academic Director of the Heidelberg Centre for Social Investment. He is also Professor and Director of the Center for Civil Society and the Center for Globalization and Policy Research at UCLA’s School of Public Affairs. Anheier’s work covers the civil society, the nonprofit sector, philanthropy, organisational studies, policy analysis and comparative methodology. In 2008, he published Cultures and Globalization: The Cultural Economy.

It is clear to everyone who follows daily reports about the cancellation of cultural events and the closure of opera houses and theatres, or learns about economic troubles at one cultural institution or another, that the global financial crisis is already having a significant impact on philanthropic giving and non-profit organisations. [1]
It is also clear that the crisis’ impact is going to get deeper and wider for some time to come. It is less clear how long the fallout will last; and it is especially unclear what the crisis ultimately means for policy-makers, leaders and managers in the cultural sector. This article examines how the arts and culture sector is responding to growing uncertainty in the global economy – and how the sector can weather the gathering storm.

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“El capitalismo no existirá en 30 años”

ENTREVISTA CON IMMANUEL WALLERSTEIN

El autor pasó por Madrid para hablar en un ciclo sobre la crisis del capitalismo organizado por la Universidad Nómada y el Museo Reina Sofía

Wallerstein es una de las mayores autoridades mundiales en el estudio de sistemas económicos.
CARLOS PRIETO – MADRID – 31/01/2009

Cuando Immanuel Wallerstein (Nueva York, 1930) predijo, en plena apoteosis de la Guerra Fría, que el bloque soviético se iba a derrumbar, algunos pensaron que estaba metiendo la pata hasta el fondo. Obviamente, eran ellos los que estaban equivocados. Y es que el sociólogo estadounidense lleva toda su vida académica estudiando las tendencias a largo plazo de los sistemas económicos mundiales desde el Centro Fernand Braudel (Universidad Estatal de Nueva York).
“La crisis económica actual es similar a otras crisis históricas”

Wallerstein, autor de libros como El moderno sistema mundial (Nueva York, 1930) o Capitalismo histórico y movimientos antisistémicos (Akal, Cuestiones de Antagonismo, 2004), pasó por Madrid para hablar en un ciclo sobre la crisis del capitalismo organizado por la Universidad Nómada y el Museo Reina Sofía. Durante su charla, celebrada en un abarrotado salón de actos del museo madrileño, lo que da idea de la expectación que despiertan últimamente las voces críticas con el sistema económico, Wallerstein dejó toda una serie de titulares para la historia: “¿Obama? Por favor, no hemos elegido al Che Guevara; en EEUU, no se puede votar al Che Guevara” o “A día de hoy, se ven las cosas mucho más claras en Porto Alegre que en Davos”.

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Respuestas a la crisis del capitalismo

JOAN SUBIRATS 15/01/2009
El País

Hace unos años, Luc Boltansky y Eve Chiapello publicaron en Francia un ambicioso libro, titulado El nuevo espíritu del capitalismo (Ediciones Akal), en el que, tras los pasos de Max WeberW y su lectura del protestantismo, querían poner de relieve la capacidad del capitalismo de utilizar las críticas culturales e ideológicas a sus lógicas de funcionamiento, para refundarse continuamente. Tras la estela de Weber, quién con su célebre conexión entre protestantismo y capitalismo ayudó a entender mejor los mecanismos individuales de acumulación e innovación, los dos autores franceses conectan la revitalización del sistema capitalista de los últimos decenios, con su capacidad para asumir el mensaje romántico y de exaltación de la autonomía individual que surge de la crisis de legitimidad que impacta en el viejo capitalismo fordista a finales de los sesenta. De esta manera, entienden que los problemas con que se enfrentan muchos de los críticos del capitalismo contemporáneo, no derivan de la falta de consecuencias negativas del funcionamiento de un sistema que sigue condenando a sectores muy significativos de la población a la exclusión y al desamparo, sino de seguir basando esas críticas en argumentos obsoletos, defensivos y poco capaces de recoger las nuevas coordenadas de la explotación y la alienación capitalista. Interpretan la crisis del 68 como una crítica básicamente cultural y artística a un sistema económico de matriz homogeneizadora y rutinaria, que ahogaba la creatividad y la innovación. El nuevo espíritu capitalista parte de la superación de la lógica jerárquica, taylorista y tecnocrática, para fundarse en formas aparentemente más autónomas, relacionales y flexibles, que buscan aprovechar a fondo la creatividad de los asalariados, a costa de cuestionar su estabilidad y su seguridad, tanto material como psicológica.

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The breakdown of a relationship? Reflections on the crisis

Endnotes
www.endnotes.org.uk
The history of the capitalist mode of production is punctuated by crises. One could say that crisis is the modus operandi of capital, or of the capital-labour relation. This is true insofar as capital, the self-valorisation of value, the self-expansion of abstract wealth, is at any given time a claim on future surplus-value extraction: the accumulation of capital today is a bet on tomorrow’s exploitation of the proletariat.

The crisis today has taken the form of a financial crisis, while the prospect of a full-blown economic crisis looms ever larger. These two crises do not merely stand in a relation of cause and effect, however (whichever way one were to posit the relation). Rather they are the different manifestations of the same underlying crisis – the crisis of accumulation of capital, which is at the same time the crisis in the relation of exploitation between capital and proletariat.

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Mike Davis interview

Against the grain

Will the current economic meltdown, and worker reaction to it, be a reenactment of the Great Depression? Could the politics of racist resentment on the US-Mexico border explode into (more) violence? Are global elites truly motivated to combat climate change? Mike Davis, author of In Praise of Barbarians, tackles these and other issues.

Mike Davis, “Can Obama See the Grand Canyon? On Presidential Blindness and Economic Catastrophe” TomDispatch

Mike Davis, “Living On the Ice Shelf: Humanity’s Meltdown” TomDispatch

Michael Perelman on the Economic Crisis and the History of Capitalism

Michael Perelman’s talk at the San Francisco Peace & Freedom Party on the economic crisis available at:
http://www.archive.org/details/perelman-econ-crisis

Also, Michael Perelman’s blog:

http://michaelperelman.wordpress.com