Tuesday, January 26, 2016

finance capital and culture

"An excessive stock of private capital in the economy, relative to flows of income from production and work, also grinds down the capacity for social and personal transformation. This is partly what theories of ‘financialisation’ point towards: investor interests overwhelm the capacity for productivity enhancements or innovation. Housing becomes treated as an asset to serve the interests of its investor, rather than something with use value. Socially valuable activity (such as education) becomes re-imagined as a source of future earnings so as to capitalise it...  One thing that concerns Piketty is how the growth of private capital means that “the past devours the future.” Previous inequalities dictate present ones, and undermine the capacity for modernisation. Destroying capital, one way or another, is therefore a modernising act..... As Piketty shows, as capitalism develops, it becomes more and more plausible for some to live off inherited assets that one had no responsibility for inventing or building and may have no interest in using"


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