Thoughts on Marxism and the State, Part 2
Triple book launch at Gleebooks

Does the Contemporary Asset Economy Require a New Model of Progressive Politics?

by David Primrose on April 5, 2019

A Debate Between Jim Stanford and Michel Feher

The deleterious social consequence of the contemporary asset economy are well-documented. Households are shouldering levels of mortgage debt that appear increasingly unsustainable both to themselves and the wider economy. Alternatively, a growing number of people are locked out of the property market altogether and relegated to a rental sector which has been entirely designed to sustain the asset-holdings of the home-owner. The growth of asset-based inequality has an important generational dimension, as young people are living at home much longer than in the recent past and increasingly dependent on parental assistance or inheritance in order to be able to get onto the ‘property ladder.’ Homelessness, forced immobility and intergenerational households are the flipside of house price appreciation: the stunted futures that accompany the speculative futures of asset price inflation.

While these problems have received a great deal of attention, a clear perspective on what can be done to address them has not received as much attention. Indeed, public debate currently appears to be characterised by a sense of helplessness: many commentators agree that these are potentially harmful developments, but it often seems as if the problem just does not lend itself to productive interventions. There is a general tendency to attribute the problem to misguided policy models, but it is rarely clear what changes can be made that would be viable both politically and economically.

In order to tackle such questions, in this Policy Lab event Jim Stanford will engage in a debate with Michel Feher on the strategic-political implications of the contemporary asset economy. Specifically, they will discuss the relative merits of a union-based model of politics compared to a proposed reorientation of a politics around access to credit.

Entry to this event is free, and all are welcome to attend and participate in the Q&A session following the debate.

Date/Time: 16 April, 3-5pm

Location: Seminar Rm. 203, R.D. Watt Building, University of Sydney

For any further information about this event, please contact David Primrose:

David Primrose
David Primrose is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. His research examines the relationship between behavioural economics, neoliberalism and post-political representations of social processes. He has previously published on the political economy of behavioural economics, health, inequality, biodiversity and infrastructure, and is also exploring issues relating to contemporary agri-food reform, development, technoscience, economic theory, Marxism, poststructuralism and neoliberalism.

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