Posts Tagged ‘banks’
Tags: banks, capitalists, cartoon, debt, Economist, England, Mervyn King, politics, students
Tags: banks, cartoon, debt, environment, fishing, graduation, inequality, students, trickle down, Wall Street
Tags: banks, crisis, dance, flamenco, protest, Spain
Flamenco flash mobs—seemingly spontaneous dance and song performances—have been taking place in banks not just in Seville, but all over Andalusia. They are being staged by Flo6x8 to express anger and frustration at the economic crisis.
“At first there is surprise,” says Pepe El Moody’s (a pseudonym), one of the organisers, describing how people in the banks tend to react to these events. “Older people stand terrified in a corner, and mostly the bank employees are sympathetic, because they are suffering in this [economic] situation.”
Interestingly, the flash mobs are reconnecting flamenco with its origins as an art form of protest and social awareness.
Here we go again. . .
Tags: banks, cartoon, economy, Europe, healthcare, politics, Slovenia
Tags: banks, capitalism, class, economics, finance, history, labor, workers
I can’t say I was aware I was participating in an intellectual fad, the history of capitalism, when I decided to teach Seth Rockman’s Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore this semester.
I chose Rockman’s book for my Commodities: The Making of Market Society course because I needed a good study of the commodification of labor, as an alternative to Bruce Laurie’s classic Artisans into Workers: Labor in Nineteenth-Century America. There’s always the danger of assigning books we haven’t yet read (alongside the excitement, of course, of exploring new material). However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Rockman’s attempt to tell “the story of the chronically impoverished, often unfree, and generally unequal Americans whose work made the United States arguably the most wealthy, free, and egalitarian society in the Western world” (3). I’m curious to see how the students react over the next couple of weeks.
Apparently, Rockman has changed the name of his course from Capitalism, Slavery and the Economy of Early America to simply Capitalism, which next fall will become Brown’s introductory American history survey.
It shouldn’t really surprise us this area has taken off after the crash of 2007-08.
“Earlier, a lot of these topics would’ve been greeted with a yawn,” said Stephen Mihm, an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia and the author of “A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men and the Making of the United States.” “But then the crisis hit, and people started asking, ‘Oh my God, what has Wall Street been doing for the last 100 years?’ ”
What’s interesting about Rockman’s and Mihm’s research and teaching and the growth of this entire area of inquiry, not to mention Harvard’s new Program on the Study of U.S. Capitalism, is the fact that they’re located within history and not economics. As I’ve explained before, the mainstream wing of the discipline of economics has mostly eliminated any consideration of economic history (and, with it, of the history of economic thought), and thus has created an intellectual vacuum concerning the history of capitalist development, classes, and institutions. So, historians have stepped in to fill the gap, thereby demonstrating there’s nothing natural or inevitable about the emergence of capitalism.
Markets and financial institutions “were created by people making particular choices at particular historical moments,” said Julia Ott, an assistant professor in the history of capitalism at the New School (the first person, several scholars said, to be hired under such a title).
The real question, of course, is, will this new work contribute to the project of making capitalism history?