03 December 2010

Welcome to the Crisis

On 2008 October 12, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the IMF, told the world that the global financial system was on "the brink of systemic meltdown”.  As the crisis evolved from panic to denial ("the recession is over!") to the sinking feeling that nothing had been solved, there has been one persistent thread: a striking lack of serious attempts to understand what is happening to us. From the dogmatic Keynesianism of the handful of surviving liberals to the incoherent outrage of the Tea Party, from the populist condemnation of greedy bankers to the rarefied technical phrasing of the major governments' mutual hypocrisies on the unsteady international currency system, efforts have been concentrated on fixing blame rather than grasping the crisis as a generalized failure of our way of life.

The crisis is a Mexican standoff within the fragmented constellation of our economic relations, cultural practices, and worldviews. This blog was conceived as a collective conversation that will attempt to move us toward an adequate understanding of how the paralysis emerged, what forces are at work in its continued evolution, and how to recognize the good, the bad, and the ugly. Beyond that, we hope to contribute to the development of an emancipatory politics that will be adequate to the world that emerges from the crisis, in the hope that we can end a way of life premised on wandering in the desert searching for gold, in which we're actually digging our own graves.

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