April 15, 2012

It is important to realize that there is a difference between capital and money. Money can be viewed as an object-in-itself. It can be horded. In fact, as Marx points out, any commodity can be horded, but it does have practical and aesthetic limits placed on its refluxive value that capital does not have. It may be necessary to keep some negotiator of exchange like money alive in local economies. The beauty of local currency is that it cannot become reflux. It is locked into the reality of a community of exchange. What can we do about money in the global movement of exchange that we see as essential to the whole system?

Remember too that we are not only interested in the negative moment of restricting consolidation, we are also interested in the positive moment of increasing the distributing essential goods and services like medicine and technology that expand beyond the local level.


Many may argue that the economy can’t progress unless the reward of refluxive capital is a possibility.  This ignores the fact that much of the wealth of the world is “undeserved” to the point that 6 members of the Wall-mart fortune are worth as much as the lowest 30% of all Americans.  Even if we argue that work or gifts should be rewarded, this is a relative statement within a society and does not mean financial power should be used as a primary term of reflux.

I would say that all economies demand a refluxive component which is only to say that all economies have an axis of pleasure which drives the desires of that economy.   But these do not have to be capital.  They do not need to lead to the hoarding of value.  Love, beauty, praise, memory, etc. are all refluxive values.  Capital and power are the two that are not stable.


Reflux and the Cosmopalitan

January 14, 2012

It is perhaps in the area of cosmopolitan desire where is is hard to imagine progress without capitalism. Remember by the cosmopolitan we are talking about economic activity that for practical matters we treat as “human.” These activities include health care, communication, and information. How motivate people to create such things unless there is a promise of theoretically unlimited profit. Certainly we know that competition isn’t the answer to the harmful effects here. Ending reflux does not rule out equality exactly, but we must end a system that inherently allows when those who are not creative to amass a fortune from an economy that systematically falls to distribute goods more justly. I don’t have a solution to this, but it is one of our essential problems.

Anyone who reads this and has looked back on past blogs sees that I do not have a vision or belief about economics. At this point what I have is a desire to move economics toward a self-perpetuating system beyond any structure of government. Capitalism does this, but in a way that is harmful, unfair, and unsustainable. I would encourage this open discussion and invite you both to comment and pass on anything of interest in this effort.


January 4, 2012

One the principle binaries that must function in our thinking is the relationship between the local and the cosmopolitan.  There is a fundamental difference between local human wants that are defined by the cultural and social context where they are shaped and realized and those that seem to transcend any particular moment and situations.  Desires (like health c are, education and, at least certain technologies) speak to our humanness.  There in no reason to homogenizes these differences, even if  they call out to be resolved on a philosophical level.

Occupy the System

November 29, 2011

I support the Occupy Movement and commend them for keeping a vagueness in their message rather that immediately working for some definite political end. It is essential that we keep an awareness of the inequities of wealth always present in our social and political discourse.

Still, the next step is to move from the critique to the positive work of creating a system that rationally and coherently distributes goods more fairly. This cannot be created in the mind, but only in the shared and practical realities of our daily lives.

Layers of economic activity

November 9, 2011

While it ultimately impossible to create economic zones in theory, it may be useful to begin establishing markers for a heterogeneous economy.  In our thinking we must make discrimination, but we must avoid general either/or–either local or global for example.  Certain cultural economies may happen locally while matters of human infrastructure (health and communication) best happen globally.

Cultural economy



Domestic energy

Culture activities

Human Infrastructure:





Global cultural platforms

Unpacking Capital

November 7, 2011

The key to any distributive economy is to de-aggragate the various sectors of the economy.   The part of Marx that we cannot forget or get past is that the power and fatalism of capital is that it drives all labor, goods, and services to  a single point of accumulation.  On the level of human needs and wants, though, all satisfaction do not need to be equitable.  There is no reason the health care and food production, for example, or technology and clothing should be part of the same economic system.  There does not need to be an equivalent term (money or capital) that translates all moments of the economy.

Every sector should have its own rules of transference.

The myth of economic man

October 6, 2011

The central myth of  the old economy is the myth of  Homo Economicus: that the individual is an autonomous, a free agent guided by a self-interest that leads him to wanting an ever increasing accumulation of wealth.  This man is the creature not the creator of our economic system.

The fact is that we are deeply embedded in social systems even at the level of our desires and it is in our power to re-imagine and re-shape these forces.  It is perhaps most important when attempting to re-think our economy from the ground up that our needs and wants, while grounded in nature, are overdetermined by the social and that they are fundamentally heterogeneous and flexible.

There is an alternative to capitalism. There is an economy to be discovered and created that runs not on the centralization and creation of wealth, but through the sustainable distribution of good and services, This economy won’t be created by government, but through by producing of a rational system of producing and distributing goods and services.