Yesterday I gave a talk at Understanding Local Entanglements of Global Inequalities conference, a collaboration between UWI and the University of Giessen, Germany.
Although the main set of discussions revolved around issues of coloniality and migration, my panel was tasked to speak to ‘Capitalism and the Reproduction of Inequality.’ Ceren Turkman, my fellow panelist, spoke to the renters movements in Berlin as they confronted gentrification driven by hedge fund investments. It was a very good paper, so be on the lookout for Ceren in the years ahead,
With an eye on the headlines about Facebook, the Mercers, and the like, I spoke to the politics of class formation. Here is the abstract:
The Global Ramifications of American Caesarism
American politics is at a decisive historical conjuncture, one that resembles Gramsci’s description of a Caesarian response to an ‘organic crisis.’ The courts, as a lagging indicator, reveal this longstanding ‘catastrophic equilibrium.’ In this paper I trace how digital media instruments are used by different factions within the capitalist ruling class to gain influence over the commanding heights of the American social structure. Following this examination of class struggle ‘from above,’ I analyse how factions within the ruling class mobilise audience power in service of their agenda to gain dominance over the American cultural superstructure. Lastly, I analyse the global ramification of these developments, suggesting that the outcome will bring nothing but greater social inequality both in the United States and worldwide.
If any of this sounds interesting, drop me a line and I can send you a Dropbox link to the full paper.