Session A: Friday, June 1st: 4:00 - 5:50pm
Karl Marx described capitalism in distinctly monstrous term -- describing “dead labor” as “vampire-like,” for instance, and as living only “by sucking living labor.” Over a century and a half later, these metaphors still resonate, with a journalist from Rolling Stone in 2009 describing Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” The financialization that we’ve seen in the past three decades has crept into every aspect of social relations, with the search for market “solutions” to a wide range of issues from education to military intelligence to environmental stewardship. On an individual level, we are tracked with every swipe of a credit card, online transaction, and loan application. Did it have to come to this? What are the consequences? Is this trajectory reversible? In the decade since the 2008 financial crisis, we have not seen the banks and financial firms held accountable for their actions and financial profits have reached new heights. The challenges we face now are as great as any we have encountered in the neoliberal era. This panel brings together writers, scholars and activists to discuss the implications of these unnerving trends.