ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Anush KapadiaSubscribe to Anush Kapadia

Money and ‘Demonetisation’

Like in the rest of contemporary capitalism, the Indian monetary system is based on state-backed credit money. Yet this hierarchical system of credit/social relations appears to us as a system of fiat money. This fetish of fiat money, analogous to Marx’s commodity fetish, is produced in the operation of credit system. The institutional and political arrangements of the Indian state amplify this inherent fetish. This conjuncture of elements produces a particularly robust fetish of fiat money in India, giving the Indian state more degrees of freedom over money than other states enjoy, a margin that the current government is now exploiting.

When the Facts Change: How Can the Financial Crisis Change Minds?

This essay argues that pragmatism as a temporary prop to stabilise the crumbling financial system is distinct from pragmatism as a governing ethic. The emerging common sense worldwide and in India aims to be the latter. Yet, in the absence of sufficient grounding in a broad theoretical doctrine, this incipient pragmatism may be insufficient to dislodge the prevailing doctrine of neoliberalism and thus may, in fact, end up being a temporary reaction.

The Credit Crisis: Where It Came From, What Happened, and How It Might End

Massive deregulation in the United States allowed non-banks to function like banks, exposing the institutional fragility particular to banking. This unprecedented scale of deregulation and the concomitant absence of systemic risk controls were facilitated by a radically lopsided political economy in the North. This was, in turn, held up by an extremely lopsided global division of labour. Export-surplus-fuelled liquidity and excessive deregulation combined to exacerbate the cyclical nature of banking systems that follow from the credit nature of money, leading to massive booms and searing busts. Layer upon unstable layer, these interacting dynamics have imperilled our world system and brought us to the brink. Each dynamic will now have to be rebalanced, a difficult political task.
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