Krippner, Capitalizing on Crisis (2011)


“In a world in which capital was scarce, every attempt to allocate credit to one use required denying it for another. Under the existing system of interest rate controls, inflation continually presented policymakers with the necessity of choosing which sector to favor in allocating credit—industry or housing, large corporations or small businesses, municipal finance or agriculture. Deregulation offered a way to avoid this problem: removing controls meant that the market, rather than state officials, could do the choosing in distributing capital between competing sectors. Rather than directly allocating credit through regulatory controls, rationing could be accomplished indirectly through the price mechanism. But, to the surprise of policymakers, prices did not ration very effectively, and in the context of institutional innovations in financial markets, the taps on credit were turned wide open. Free flowing—and expensive—credit reconfigured the political terrain, disorganizing a potentially broad-based coalition of middle-class homeowners and urban advocates that demanded that the burdens of inflation be more equitably shared. In this context, financial deregulation functioned both to alleviate festering social tensions and to set the stage for the financialization of the U.S. economy in subsequent decades” (60)

Panitch and Gindin, The Making of Global Capitalism (2012)


“The global division of labor coming out of World War II was rigid and clear: manufacturing was largely concentrated in the former imperial countries and resource extraction in their dependencies. The breaking down of the old imperial order and the emergence of new nation-states did not in itself overcome but rather continued to produce the old global division of labor through informal means; but the dynamics of capital accumulation were not centered on North-South flows as much as on the linkages between the advanced capitalist countries of the North. This pattern did not change all that much until the 1980s, when the political conditions were established—in the North as well as increasingly in the South—that laid the grounds for a truly global capitalism.” (196)

Jodi Melamed, Represent and Destroy (2011)


“[Liberal multiculturalism’s] pluralist framework took for granted the primacy of individual and property rights at the cost of collective and substantive social rights. This stance made it possible not to recognize as race matters the downsizing of state responsibility for social welfare and the growing power of concentrated wealth and capital to diminish human life and escape accountability through the strictures of government” (139)

Timothy Mitchell, Carbon Democracy (2011)


As the producer states gradually forced the major oil companies to share with them more of the profits from oil, increasing quantities of sterling and dollars flowed to the Middle East. To maintain the balance of payments and the viability of the international financial system, Britain and the United States needed a mechanism for these currency flows to be returned. This was especially a problem for the US, since the value of the dollar was fixed in relation to gold, and provided the basis for the Bretton Woods financial system. Arms were particularly suited to this task of financial recycling, for their acquisition was not limited by their usefulness (155)

The Transit of Empire


“One reason why a ‘postracial’ and just democratic society is a lost cause in the United States is that it is always already conceived through the prior disavowed and misremembered colonization of indigenous lands that cannot be ended by further inclusion or more participation.” (xxvi)

Appropriating Indigeneity

“Whether it was for fear of the rabble or to follow the agenda of their financiers, the elites
were sensitive to the demands for recognition and political participation of indigenous social movements and adopted a rhetorical and essentialist discourse centered on the notion of “original people.” This recognition—truncated, conditional, and reluctant—of indigenous cultural and territorial rights allowed for the recycling of the elites and the continuation of their monopoly on power. What did this reappropriation mean, and
what were its consequences? The Kataristas and Indianistas, based in the western Andes, had a schematic view of the eastern peoples and spoke of “Aymaras,” “Qhichwas,” and “Tupiguaranís” or simply of “Indians.” Simultaneously, the notion of origin refers us to a past imagined as quiet, static, and archaic, which allows us to see the strategic recuperation of indigenous demands and the neutralization of the decolonizing impulse. A discussion of these communities situated in the “origin” denies the contemporaneity of these populations and excludes them from the struggles of modernity. They are given a residual status that, in fact, converts them into minorities, ensnaring them in indigenist stereotypes of the noble savage and as guardians of nature.”

Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, “Ch’ixinakax utxiwa: A Reflection on the Practices and Discourses of Decolonization,” South Atlantic Quarterly 111.1 (2012), 99.

Radical Methods: Introduction

This will be a space dedicated to revolutionary thinking across poetics, anthropology, sociology, global theory, finance studies, and history.

The first entry highlights Bolivian sociologist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui’s work.



from the Political Manifesto of The Confederated Union of Peasant Workers of Bolivia [CSUTCB] (1983):

“…we have seen new forms of capitalist exploitation added to the colonial system. Our history has taught us to identify and differentiate these two forms of exploitation and oppression. Workers, peasants and other sectors identify in our struggle against colonial oppression because we share common cultural roots and because we share the common aim of eradicating forever all forms of racial discrimination and of exile from our own land. Along with our brothers the workers we struggle against capitalist exploitation, seeking a society in which there are neither exploited nor exploiters. We reject the reduction of the whole of our history to one single factor, either a class struggle or an ethnic struggle. It is in the practice of both these dimensions that we recognize our unity with the workers and also our own, distinct personality.” (201)