Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged capitalism


What do you get when you cross a documentary film about the supply and demand frenzy of the Chicago Stock Exchange with a borderline Marxist, feminist film critic? A whole lot of screaming. But that’s really just happening on screen during Floored, the new movie from director James Allen Smith (My Name is Smith), which presents Chicago traders and their associates telling stories of how it felt to be in “the pits” during the “glory days” before the boom of Internet trading and the recession of late, risking their clients’ (and often their own) money. As for the room where I was sitting, there was silence and a yawn. This liberal wasn’t shocked or amused by a showcase of the distinctly capitalist obsession with money.

Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories

In a temporally queer attachment of my own, I was bound to Time Binds before it was even published. With versions of the preface, introduction, and three out of four chapters having already appeared in academic journals, Elizabeth Freeman’s arguments had already made an impression on me. This is not to say that Time Binds is a redundant publication. Bound together, the individual pieces only gain in strength, displaying Freeman’s commitment to theorizing the intersections of temporality, queer theory, and the body.

Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque: The Living, Dead, and Undead in Japan's Imperialism, 1895-1945

Mark Driscoll, an associate professor of Japanese and International Studies at the University of North Carolina, here presents a very thorough reassessment of Japanese imperialism of Asia in the first half of the twentieth century. Driscoll focuses his attention on the fringes of the colonized Asian peoples, writing about the Chinese coolies, Korean farmers, Japanese pimps and trafficked women of various Asian nationalities that moved Japan's empire along and provided the behind-the-scenes energy that created such an empire.

Living in the End Times

Reading Slavoj Žižek for the first time is not unlike being stuck on a bar stool next to a slightly inebriated, repentant MBA who just read a Karl Marx biography and thinks he has the world figured out. An aside about the deeper meaning of 3:10 to Yuma, a diatribe against Slovenia’s failure as a communist state, and praise of the five stages of grief seem like disconnected nonsense unless taken as a larger, comprehensive analysis of the failure of global capitalism. After a while, you’re either also drunk or so bewildered by the onslaught of information that you begin to see the reason behind this grizzled young man’s ramblings. Now just imagine that this is one of the most gifted living intellectuals.

Love the Questions: University Education and Enlightenment

In Love the Questions, Ian Angus attempts to document the evolution of the university as a social institution, the problems presented by recent shifts in the structure and funding of the modern university, and possible solutions that will allow for modernization without the loss of the university’s most vital traditional roles.

The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Recorded from a lecture in May 2008, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is an engaging, well-crafted talk by economist-writer-activist Naomi Klein about the problems of increasingly pervasive neoliberal privatization of land and resources on a global scale.

The End of Poverty?

I haven’t seen Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, or any of his films, but I rejoice that he made these films, especially this last one, which dares to challenge “our” economic system.

First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek’s latest work—a call to the Left to reinvent itself in a time of international crisis—begins with a nod to Marx’s correction of Hegel in The Eighteenth Brumaire Of Louis Bonaparte: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great events and characters of world history occur, so to speak, twice.

Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture

Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture is an anthology of articles (plus some new material) from ‘90s ad-busting zine Stay Free!. Since I write a zine that deconstructs feminine hygiene advertising, I couldn’t have represented more of their target demographic if I’d tried.

Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save The World

If the adage about giving a woman a fish only feeding her for a day, but teaching her to fish feeds her for life is true, then Matthew Bishop and Michael Green would argue that the nature of today’s philanthropic giving has taken a similar turn by creating a standard and strategy of giving that doesn’t simply donate—it leverages, it grows, it profits, and it multiplies. In Philanthrocapitalism, through a series of interviews with notable wealthy dono

In and Out of the Working Class

To be perfectly honest, I have not read any of Michael Yates’ other work, and only know his name as a radical economist. I was interested in In and Out of the Working Class to see how he would turn his lens of analysis on his own life, in hopes that he would not only tell his own story, but illuminate the world that we all inhabit.

My Sister, My Love: The Intimate Story of Skyler Rampike

My Sister, My Love is Joyce Carol Oates’ thirty-fifth novel in forty-five years.

Dynamite: The Story of Class Violence in America

Originally published in 1931, Dynamite hearkens back to an era of American capitalism a little less glossy, a little bloodier, and with striking parallels to today. In this account, Adamic provided one of the first overviews of U.S. labor history to that point, although his narrative is clearly not intended to be comprehensive, but rather focuses on the role of violence in the movements.

No Innocent Bystanders: Riding Shotgun in the Land of Denial

I have enjoyed reading Mickey Z.’s feisty, politically charged writing in the pages of VegNews magazine and on his website and was excited by the opportunity to review his latest book, No Innocent Bystanders: Riding Shotgun in the Land of Denial. New York City based writer Mickey Z.

Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential

In Uncharitable, Dan Pallotta demands nothing less than a complete overhaul of the way charity is understood and expected to function. He traces America's nonprofit ideology back to the Puritans, for whom charity was a form of self-denial used to counteract and assuage their guilt about their unabashed self-serving capitalist pursuits.

Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today

Veteran writer and activist Chris Carlsson’s new book is nothing short of an urban working-class blueprint for change. Drawing on Marxist theory and powerfully deconstructing modern assumptions about class and work, Nowtopia presents fringe utopian ideals as well-reasoned, proactive solutions for how to authentically survive in our struggling society.

The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy

Materialist feminist geographers Katherine Gibson and Julie Graham who write as J.K. Gibson-Graham have reissued their postmodern critique of representations of capitalism and economy. Using an Althusserian lens of over-determination, Gibson-Graham show that capitalism is not an inevitable tendency or hegemonic in diverse post-Fordist societies, as it has often been constituted in triumphalist right-wing discourses or in Marxian analyses, but that alternative non-capitalist economies are possible.