nettime's_digestive_system on Fri, 19 Mar 1999 05:32:18 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Re: Soros: The Crisis of Global Capitalism [cisler, henwood]

Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 17:05:21 -0800
From: "cisler" <>

I read this on the plane coming home from N5M3.

The Market as God: Living in the New Dispensation
by Harvey Cox

"A FEW years ago a friend advised me that if I wanted to know what was going on
in the real world, I should read the business pages. Although my lifelong
interest has been in the study of religion, I am always willing to expand my
horizons; so I took the advice, vaguely fearful that I would have to cope with
a new and baffling vocabulary. Instead I was surprised to discover that most of
the concepts I ran across were quite familiar."

He continues with a clever comparison of the religon of the market, and it
makes more sense that the book-length treatment by David Noble  "The Religon of

Steve Cisler

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Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 21:01:17 -0500
From: Doug Henwood <> wrote:

>3/17/99 we 4:24 pm mst
>(all quotes are from Doug Henwood)
>jeez, this is good.


>as far as i know, there is no current leftside proposal for a better
>money, i.e., equitable and stable money.

There are some, but they are misty and delusional in ways similar to
Proudhon's, but then I'm hopelessly under the spell of Marx's polemics
against Proudhonism and credit gratuit schemes. The problems are that 1)
you can't have local money and a planetary division of labor, but you
probably couldn't have, say, fiber optics without a planetary division of
labor, and 2) as Negri said, money has one face, that of the boss.

>furthermore, they seem wedded or perfused with the quite old and dated
>concept that large numbers of workers are involved in production these
>days.  this is simply not true.

18 million in manufacturing in the U.S., which isn't insignificant, though
of course the share employed in the primary and secondary sectors are
smallish and declining in the First World. (Though something like half the
global pop is still rural, and heavily peasant.) But the processing,
distribution, and fetishization take people, lots of them.

>this fine word, "nonergodicity", finally gives a proper and respectable
>handle to hold onto the insight that economics is not a "science", no
>matter how dismal, but rather a religion or a meme---i.e., a thought
>construct or shared cultural agreement about how we are going to play this
>particular game, and what the rules shall be.

Donald Barthelme told the story of taking his IRS auditor to lunch. He told
her how the tax code, money even - these were all systems of discourse. And
she said, "Yes but my discourse has subpoena power."

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