Category Archives: Economy

On private property and the commons

Ryan Anderson: Earlier you referred to OA as “a strategy of resistance to privatization of the commons”. Can you elaborate on that point? Keith Hart: I meant that private property is still the great unresolved contradiction of modern society, not least because its ubiquity often makes society invisible. For Rousseau, the invention of private property… Read More »

How the informal economy took over the world

“The informalization of the world economy”, keynote lecture for the 24th Conference of the Societa’ Italiana di Economia Pubblica: “Informal economy, tax evasion and corruption”, Pavia, 24-25 September 2012 A la recherche du temps perdu The idea of an informal economy was born at the moment when the post-war era of developmental states was drawing… Read More »

The privatization of public interests

The story about voting giving the people democratic power is an example of the cover-up that passes for education at every level in our societies. Politicians need money and money men need political cover. Central banking was invented to institutionalize their partnership. The Bank of England, Banque de France and Federal Reserve are all private… Read More »

One-day Conference: Anthropology of the Crisis of Contemporary Capitalism, Paris, May 3rd 2011

International Study Day Anthropology of the Crisis of Contemporary Capitalism 3 mai 2011, 10h-17h, musée du quai Branly, 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris, Cinema Theater Convened by Jonathan Friedman (IRIS/EHESS) & Laurent Berger (LAS/MQB) Programme 10h-10h15 Jonathan Friedman (IRIS-EHESS) & Laurent Berger (LAS-MQB) « Introduction: Towards an anthropology of the crisis in capitalism » 10h15-11h Paul Jorion    … Read More »

Marx between Mill, Mayhew and Dickens

Phil Swift’s brilliant post on the relevance of Henry Mayhew’s 19th century investigations of London’s working classes for a politicized ethnography today has set off many reverberations inside my skull. One issue is the relationship between Mayhew’s project and Marx’s. Both are highly critical of the social causes of the condition of the working class,… Read More »

Iceland’s revenge

At the height of the credit boom, three Icelandic banks built up a huge trade by offering higher interest rates on deposits in Britain especially, but also in some other European countries, notably the Netherlands. At one time these banks had liabilities much larger than Iceland’s GNP. Their owners bought football clubs and the like.… Read More »

Mauss on gifts, markets and money

The First World War was more than a watershed; it was an irreversible fissure in modern European history. The state had acquired undreamt of powers in the course of the war: to mobilize and kill off huge armies, to control production and distribution, to monopolize propaganda; from now on it was a struggle between rival… Read More »