It’s the (reification of) the economy, stupid

rei·fi·cation (-f-kshn) n.  the conversion of an abstract concept into something concrete; a viewing of the abstract as concrete.
My love for the Financial Times has price elasticity. As in, I still pony up for it at the eye-watering and wallet-emptying price of £2.50.  They have just been running a “Capitalism in Crisis” series.  Spot the (un-deliberate) mistake…
This idea that there is “an economy” that is somehow independent of the private ownership of the means of production (sorry, I left my megaphone at the other picket).  This idea that regardless of who controls what resources/investment decisions/regulation etc etc there is still a “natural” underlying economy. Pish.  Markets are social institutions. ” We” “choose” to “invest” in yachts or housing, missiles or education.  Dwight Eisenhower knew it.  The people of countries like Guatemala and  Chile and Nicaragua and Iran and Mozambique (among a long LONG) list have found out the hard way – if they create an economy that doesn’t favour international investors, they can expect a call from the 82nd Airborne, ready with the tools to piss all over their body politic.

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3 Responses to It’s the (reification of) the economy, stupid

  1. Mark says:

    Indeed – and don’t forget the 50 year long blockade (and US spnsored terrorism, biological warfare, etc etc) against heroic Cuba.
    The notion of an ‘economy’ is part of the bourgeois mirage, from which stem both the idea of the economy as separate from social practice, politics, ethics… , and the idea that the economic has some kind of precedence over these other things (social justice, the environment, for example). Not for nothing did Charlie Marx write capital as the CRITIQUE of political economy.

  2. leavergirl says:

    Also known as the fallacy of misplaced concreteness. :)

    Hm… nevertheless, isn’t there a natural economy within an ecosystem? Yeah… I took Econ 101, and it made me perpetually confused. Which was its main intent anyway.

  3. Antonio Dias says:

    What happens in an ecosystem isn’t an “economy.” An economy is an accounting of the harvesting off of abundance to create the fiction of wealth which is actually only a relative position at the cozier end of the poverty it generates.

    In an ecosystem we have the flow of energy dispersed and slowed down by a flowering and budding off of niches to counter the effects of entropy. This is the opposite of what happens in an economy where efficiencies are utilized to speed up the flow of entropy and make the appearance of a wider gap between “wealth” and poverty.

    This is necessary to drive wealth “creation.” Since at every step it is the destruction of abundance and the creation of scarcity. No one would do it, behave economically, unless they could be deluded into believing that a race to the bottom and the destruction of everything that makes life possible and worth living is a suitable life’s work. It’s driven by the whisper, “If I don’t do it, somebody else will…”

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