So much of the justification for the dominance of financialization—the increased influence of financial interests, motives, and values in our social economy—is its active evocation of production. In other words, Wall Street finance continues to attach its moral legitimacy to productivity, which I take to mean not only the production of commodity and industrial production and trade, but also the long‐term investment in innovation and job creation. This financial strategy, while important to challenge, is also an opportunity for Occupy Wall Street and its many components, such as Occupy the SEC (The Securities and Exchange Commission), the Alternative Banking Group, and the Occupy Bank, which are challenging the expertise of dominant finance, its self-°©‐perpetuating processes, and claims to productivity. That finance needs and depends upon production, both rhetorically and materially, can perhaps be utilized to hold finance accountable to such claims.Cultural Anthropology | Journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology
It has been amply demonstrated in interdisciplinary scholarship (Davis 2009, Krippner 2011, Ott ‐term shareholder value and large-scale gambling, has actually diverted, transferred, and extracted wealth from productive enterprises, workers, houses, and communities, generating rampant socioeconomic inequality not seen since the Great Depression. And yet, in explicitly non-ironic terms, Wall Street actors and advocates continually naturalize and make direct claims about their connection to social purpose through production.
Occupy Finance and the Paradox/Possibilities of Productivity
Karen Ho, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Minnesota