Conversations in Political Economy –
In the current economic crisis we have entered into a new age of debt. In spite of emergency loans, bailouts and liquidity injections, waves of defaults, bankruptcies and capital drains have left the world economy without cash. Governments, firms, banks, and families are forced into a permanent state of debt. For many this economic crisis reflects the failures of the ‘financial capitalism’ that has run wild since the Washington consensus and the related capital and labour deregulations of the 1980s. But is really debt a new phenomenon? And is it just a condition of the economy? For Nietzsche, we had debt from time immemorial. It is at the basis of relations of power and value and indeed the (all too) human condition. ‘The gift’ constitutes the original social bond. But is there ever gift without debt? For Marx capital is above all a social relation. But is debt itself an even more primordial social relation that only intensifies in the contemporary era of neo-liberal capitalism?
Part of our ‘Conversations in Critical Political Economy’ series, in this workshop Maurizio Lazzarato will discuss ‘the politics of debt’ based on his recent books on debt that have sparked an international debate on the crisis of capitalism, the intersections between politics and the economy and the new possibilities for human-centered economies.
Mao Mollona, Discussant
Scott Lash, Chair
Free and all welcome. Indebted E-flyer