set your seismoscope to “the deep tectonic shifts in the spatio-temporal disposition of capitalist development.”
A haunting quotation from Fernand Braudel, historian of the longue duree, on financialization — which he perceives as the historical progression in each epoch of capitalism from the more material activities of commodity production, manufacturing, and trade to the far more abstract activities of financial markets: leveraged capital, derivatives, book-keeping party tricks, and other modes of numerical legerdemain.
Every capitalist development of this order seems, by reaching the stage of financial expansion, to have in some sense announced its maturity: it was a sign of autumn.
Illustration by Victor Juhasz
Is the end nigh? Probably not. But maybe something is ending and something else beginning in the longer story of capitalism, at least that’s the story told, in different rhetorics, by Matt Taibbi and David Harvey.
Image: Rolling Stone.