Thursday, April 23, 2020

Week 15 Final Reflections on Course

Please use this opportunity to reflect on a theme or concept we discussed in this course about capitalism. This may be something that intrigued you, that was new to you, or that you felt you learnt more about.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Week 13 & 14 - Indebted

how does Zaloom discuss the American middle class, especially in relation to planning and taking on student debt? How are decisions around student loans informed by specific moral norms and expectations?

Monday, March 30, 2020

Week 12 - Development and Microfinance

How do these readings discuss and critique Development and/or Microfinance? How has the neoliberal turn in the 1970s and 1980s influenced development discourse?

Monday, March 23, 2020

David Harvey Interview

Harvey sees neoliberalism as an expansion of capitalism (in his words, a “political project”) that was designed to limit the power of the workforce, across the world. With it, liberal ideas were replaced with supply-side economics which seeked to deregulate industries in order to accrue more capital more quickly. Workers are of course often victims of deregulation because regulations protect workers too, and without them, workers do not have as much of a legal stance from which to fight back.

I interpreted Harvey’s view of neoliberalism as sort of a modern undoing of Fordism and going back to how things were before many existing laws and regulations were created. But in the modern day this undoing is done by creating more laws, but ones that protect corporations (like how the corporate class was intentionally made able to buy elections more easily). He actually refers to the steps that were being taken towards neoliberalism as “curbing labor”.

Neoliberalism is different from capitalism because neoliberalism is global. Because it is global, there is an element of sectionality. The U.S., Brazil, China, and Germany all have somewhat of an equal say because they are each big powers in their respective greater regions, all while certain groups of corporations are just as powerful and complex politically as an actual country. In neoliberalism, these powers can coexist. In capitalism, those with power must all be on the same page or it will fail. Also, neoliberalism is more extreme than capitalism in that it does not seek to protect people or the environment unless necessary.

David Harvey Interview

Harvey defines neoliberalism as a product of the capitalist class working to put labor movements and labor power down during the 1970s. He said that a large part of the capitalist’s class ability to enact policies of neoliberalism and to start to undervalue labor was the usage of floating currencies, as a opposed to gold standard or other versions of set rate currency. This change worked to strengthen finance capital, and it eventually became more valuable than labor capital. How would maintaining a set rate currency have acted to maintain the value of labor capital? Or is there a way to return to a set rate currency? And if so, would that act to re-value labor capital?

David Harvey Interview: American Universities as Neoliberal Think Tanks

Within the interview with David Harvey, he discusses the rise (or creation, more or less) of neoliberalism in the United States in the 1970s. Harvey states that the United States' capitalist upper class needed to create think tanks of-sort because they could not rely on the higher education infrastructure in the states to act in the way they needed, or to emphasize the needs of a late-capitalist society, as these institutions were too progressive, or liberally minded.

In this answer, Harvey states that now, the American universities don't act as they used to, and thusly, we don't really need these think tanks because the universities will do the work of capitalists for them, and bring forth the "ideals" of neoliberalism, commerce, and capitalism.

Do you see this at work on our campus? Does Ohio University fit into this mold of a neoliberal think tank? Can you think of universities that are key examples of becoming a capitalist think tank?