Saturday, May 26, 2018

Tim Bartley — Was Karl Polanyi wrong? Land, labor, and private authority in the global economy

Karl Polanyi famously argued that land, labor, and money are “fictitious commodities.” They cannot be fully subjected to the dictates of the market without spurring backlashes that seek to re-embed them in society.…
Polanyi was right to see land and labor in parallel, but we should now go further in unpacking globetrotting versus place-based industries and ask why “common good” frames have been so frequently embraced for environmental issues and rejected for global labor issues.
Economic Sociology and Political Economy
Was Karl Polanyi wrong? Land, labor, and private authority in the global economy
Tim Bartley | Professor of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis

1 comment:

Konrad said...

“Karl Polanyi famously argued that land, labor, and money are ‘fictitious commodities’.”

Money helps to facilitate the exchange of commodities, but money itself is not a commodity.

What Polanyi meant to say (as I interpret him) was that when society treats everything (including humans) as inanimate commodities, society will inevitably collapse. When human beings are not treated with human dignity, society is doomed. It’s only a matter of time. (Polanyi: The Great Transformation, 1944)

From the article: The project to make the world into “one big market” has fueled populist backlashes in the U.S., UK, and Europe, especially of a far-right, exclusionary variety.

I disagree with this assertion for two reasons…

[1] The neoliberal project is not to “make the world into one big market,” but to destroy all free markets by owning them. A market that is owned and controlled is not “free.” Neoliberals are anti-free-market, since neoliberals pursue an absolute oligarchy in which a handful of rich people own everyone and everything, including all markets.

[2] The populist backlash is partly against neoliberalism, and partly against hyper-hypocritical, hyper-militant, hyper-elitist political correctness. Things like feminism and “trans-rights” are exclusionary, intolerant, tyrannical, and totalitarian. Feminism, for example, seeks to enslave and destroy men. Males who delude themselves that feminism seeks "equality" will not be shown any mercy when they are targeted for elimination by the #MeToo hags.

You know this. You know that you can spend your life championing "gay rights," but the instant you slip, and you call a homosexual a "fag," you are done. You can spend your life championing the holocaust,™ but the minute you question Israeli atrocities, you are done.

Political correctness is all about power. To think it has anything to do with "tolerance" is to wear blinders while you hope that the PC mob doesn't target you today.

From the article: As the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies spikes and plummets, the fictitious character of money has taken on a new level of intrigue.

Whenever someone tells me that money is “fictitious,” I kindly offer to take all his “fictitious” money off his hands. For some reason, nobody takes me up on my kind offer. Everybody clings to his “fictitious” dollars.

Dollars are not physical, but neither are dollars fictitious, since we agree that they are not.

What’s fictitious is the belief that dollars are physical and limited. I call this belief fictitious because it is not an agreement. It is a quasi-agreement. A self-contradicting agreement. Everyone knows that dollars are not physical and limited, yet most people pretend not to know this.

That’s why most people are slaves.