Comments for The Memory Bank http://thememorybank.co.uk A New Commonwealth — Ver 5.0 Wed, 08 May 2013 11:01:32 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Comment on Responsibility in finance by Nils http://thememorybank.co.uk/2013/05/08/room-for-responsibility-in-finance-a-response-to-tijo-salverda/#comment-42203 Wed, 08 May 2013 11:01:32 +0000 http://thememorybank.co.uk/?p=1899#comment-42203 Wonderful post, Keith. This post is also a perfect encapsulation of my own intellectual trajectory — from studying the classics of European social theory with Marty Jay as an undergraduate, to writing a dissertation/book on the rise of the Parsonian hegemony and its application to policy questions in the postwar years, to my postgraduate professional work considering the geopolitical ramifications of the post-1970s reversion to naked Victorian utilitarianism and pervasive politically-connected rent-seeking.

I would consider one paradox, however: although we live in an age of unprecedented political rent-seeking, the ideology of the rent-seekers (or rent-attainers, anyway) is of stalwart individualism. In other words, they do not recognize themselves for what they are. Guys like Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Diamond (to say nothing of the Koch brothers) don’t recognize themselves as political rent-seekers, but rather as a rapacious capitalists making their money DESPITE the best efforts of government. The false consciousness of the elites on this front is pretty striking. I would submit it may also be their signal weakness.

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Comment on The politics, pragmatics and promise of money by Hugh Barnard http://thememorybank.co.uk/2009/11/21/conversation-about-money/#comment-32201 Tue, 02 Apr 2013 13:17:04 +0000 http://www.thememorybank.co.uk/2008/06/24/conversation-about-money/#comment-32201 Thanks for this Keith. We met briefly about five years ago. I’ve devoted a lot of my time, since leaving conventional finance in 2003 to deep financial reform. To me, money is ‘only’ technology, either at the level of paper tokens used in Asian food centres and villages, scratched tallies of amounts of grain or all the bank/Wall Street/city computers. However technology isn’t neutral, however much we may repeat that mantra, so the ‘challenge’ is to fashion methods of exchange and value store that serves the planet [that’s where we live, if we destroy it, this discourse is unnecessary] and all of us.

I’m not particularly interested in exact equality, it’s illusory, I am interested in narrower gaps as in the recent book The Spirit Level. My view is classically scientific, we just have to experiment with alternative and complementary currencies until the ‘right’ fire is lit from the tinder. Of course, the ‘wrong’ fire may be lit, I think bitcoin is probably an example as are the local currencies that are 100% convertible and pegged to the national currency. However, as you have said, somewhere above, all these serve at least as thought experiments and educational exercises. Onwards and upwards, at least that’s what we would hope!

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Comment on Money in an Unequal World by Money as Social Memory: Who Holds It? «Collective Conversations Collective Conversations http://thememorybank.co.uk/papers/money-in-an-unequal-world/#comment-22674 Fri, 01 Mar 2013 05:44:43 +0000 http://memorybank.co.uk/?page_id=31#comment-22674 […] Hart’s book, “Money in an Unequal World,” takes an account of where 5,000 years of agricultural civilization have brought us and comes to the […]

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Comment on The informal economy: a story of ethnography untold by Everyday Africa and the theory of informality | Project Africa @ The New School http://thememorybank.co.uk/2011/01/08/the-informal-economy-a-story-of-ethnography-untold/#comment-22441 Thu, 28 Feb 2013 15:23:13 +0000 http://thememorybank.co.uk/?p=1446#comment-22441 […] unregulated urban commerce might generate sustained development in the coming half-century” (Hart, 2011). This conclusion advocates for a renewed look of the ‘unregulated urban commerce’, one that is […]

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Comment on Manifesto for a human economy by Essay of the Day: Keith Hart’s Manifesto for a Human Economy | P2P Foundation's blog http://thememorybank.co.uk/2013/01/20/object-methods-and-principles-of-human-economy/#comment-22429 Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:22:37 +0000 http://thememorybank.co.uk/?p=1883#comment-22429 […] Excerpted from Keith Hart: […]

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Comment on Manifesto for a human economy by P2P Foundation's blog » Blog Archive » Essay of the Day: Keith Hart’s Manifesto for a Human Economy http://thememorybank.co.uk/2013/01/20/object-methods-and-principles-of-human-economy/#comment-22408 Thu, 28 Feb 2013 13:05:31 +0000 http://thememorybank.co.uk/?p=1883#comment-22408 […] Excerpted from Keith Hart: […]

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Comment on Two Lectures on African Development by Just a thought « Imaginary Ordinary http://thememorybank.co.uk/2007/05/16/two-lectures-on-african-development/#comment-17262 Wed, 13 Feb 2013 11:15:56 +0000 http://www.thememorybank.co.uk/2007/05/16/two-lectures-on-african-development/#comment-17262 […] just. Even though it’s already on the internet on his website in the second of his Two Lectures on African Development. Read that, by the way, if you have […]

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Comment on Keith Hart by Just a thought « Imaginary Ordinary http://thememorybank.co.uk/keith/#comment-17261 Wed, 13 Feb 2013 11:15:19 +0000 http://memorybank.co.uk/keith-hart/#comment-17261 […] so I was in this lecture by a brilliant man called Keith Hart. I don’t take any courses related to anything that has anything to do with Keith Hart, but I […]

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Comment on The limits of Karl Polanyi’s anti-market approach in the struggle for economic democracy by Wade Davis, The Wayfinders, and more from anthropology blogs | Anthropology Report http://thememorybank.co.uk/2013/01/16/the-limits-of-polanyis-anti-market-approach-in-the-struggle-for-economic-democracy/#comment-10501 Wed, 30 Jan 2013 02:10:31 +0000 http://thememorybank.co.uk/?p=1874#comment-10501 […] The limits of Karl Polanyi’s anti-market approach in the struggle for economic democracy, Keith Hart It is odd that Polanyi sometimes reduces the structures of national capitalism to an apolitical “self-regulating market.” For his analysis of money, markets and the liberal state was intensely political, as was his preference for social planning over the market. His wartime polemic, reproducing something of his opponents’ abstractions, was more a critique of liberal economics than a critical account of actually existing capitalism. This would explain the lingering confusion over whether he thought a “disembedded” market was possible or was just a figment of liberal ideology, market fundamentalism. Similarly, we might argue today either that neoliberalism did effectively disembed the market economy or that its claim to have done so was a mystification of the invisible political processes of rentier finance in which markets are still embedded. In either case, the post-war turn to social democracy or “embedded liberalism”–the apogee of national capitalism–was hardly anticipated by The Great Transformation. We should not repeat this error when we draw inspiration from Polanyi in the struggle for economic democracy today. Note: Thank you to Ryan Anderson at Savage Minds for highlighting this piece and my Eric Wolf, Europe and the People Without History – Geography, States, Empires. […]

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Comment on The limits of Karl Polanyi’s anti-market approach in the struggle for economic democracy by Bryllars http://thememorybank.co.uk/2013/01/16/the-limits-of-polanyis-anti-market-approach-in-the-struggle-for-economic-democracy/#comment-10367 Tue, 29 Jan 2013 19:18:44 +0000 http://thememorybank.co.uk/?p=1874#comment-10367 I’m not completely sure what the argument or proposal here is. But I appreciate the nice summary of the positions of the sociologists who are not usually treated clearly in terms of their economic positions.

But somehow this snuck in.
“but would not wish to do away with the wealth they produce”
Clearly anthropologists should wish to divide this “wealth” up into different kinds – and how to measure the losses incurred in breaking up local societies and traditions that may co-occur with hunger and illness.
Very hard to measure. And the needs of a frenetic industrial life may be really be bigger than the requirements of happiness in a traditional life.
This is not to say that there are not monstrous traditional societies, or traditions.
Only that very careful micro analysis should be necessary for anthropologists AND for a moral notion of “economic democracy”.
As an enthusiast of Danish social democracy – which is at least as much a cutural matter as a straight economic one – I still see “economic democracy” as a modern matter, not directly applicable to traditional societies.

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