The present crisis of capitalism has a history. A history of the private accumulation of wealth through property regimes which allow increasing commodification and the privatisation of resources: from land to knowledge and even to life itself. Understanding that history may allow us to imagine alternatives after Capital which are no longer private but common. After Capital explores this history, showing how the economy is linked to environmental damage, climate change, resource depletion, and to massive inequality. It takes the reader from liberalism to neoliberalism, from climate change to the Anthropocene, and shows how this history is inextricably the history of colonialism. It is a rich and detailed narrative of capitalism over the last 200 years, that explains its texture and its neoliberal endgame. This discussion frames speculation on what postcapitalist societies could be, with regimes of private accumulation replaced by a politics and ethics of a democratic and ecologically- grounded Commons.
Chapter 1: New Mechanisms of Dispossession: Property, Inequality and the Debt Society
New Mechanisms of Dispossession: Property, Inequality and the Debt Society
Financialisation, neoliberal capitalism and the new regime of accumulation
This section will make visible the dynamics that connect the commodification of debt, the reconstitution of the state according to the model of the enterprise and its accounting practice to better serve the interests of capital, and financialisation as the nexus linking the different components of the new economy. It develops a longer historical approach to argue that, with the new system of value grounded in the commodification in principle of everything from land to debt, knowledge and life, a new modality of capitalism is emerging. This new composition of capital is authorised by neoliberal discourse functioning ...