[For Vents] Crisis in the Heartland

Crisis in the Heartland: Consequences of the New Wall Street System
Peter Gowan
New Left Review 55
January/February 2009

Against mainstream accounts, Peter Gowan argues that the origins of the global financial crisis lie in the dynamics of the New Wall Street System that has emerged since the 1980s. Contours of the Atlantic model, and implications—geopolitical, ideological, economic—of its blow-out.

The long credit crunch that began in the Atlantic world in August 2007 is strange in its extraordinary scope and intensity. Mainstream discourse, referring to a ‘sub-prime’ crisis, implies that the credit crunch has been caused, rather than triggered, by a bubble in the real economy. This is at best naïve: after all, the bursting of an equally large bubble in the Spanish housing market led to no such blow-out in the domestic banking system. The notion that falling house prices could shut down half of all lending in the us economy within a matter of months—and not just mortgages, but car loans, credit-card receivables, commercial paper, commercial property and corporate debt—makes no sense. In quantitative terms this amounted to a credit shrinkage of about $24 trillion dollars, nearly double usgdp. Erstwhile lenders were soon running not just from sub-prime securities but from the supposedly safest debt of all, the ‘super senior’ category, whose price by the end of 2007 was a tenth of what it had been just a year before…


Financial Regime Change?
Robert Wade
New Left Review 53
September/October 2008

As stock markets plunge and governments scramble to bail out the finance sector, Robert Wade argues that we are exiting the neoliberal paradigm that has held sway since the 1980s. Causes and repercussions of the crisis, and errors of the model that brought it to fruition.


Capitalism and Its Discontents, a 5 part series, delves into the roots of the crisis gripping the economies of the Global North and South — and the political upheaval it has spawned, from Iceland to Brazil.


Doug Henwood talks about the US economic stimulus package. Ian Bone talks about how the crisis is affecting the UK, where wildcat strikes have erupted in recent weeks. And political economist David McNally talks about the roots of the slump.

[For grumpy cat] A Dirty Steenky Commie named Alain

Decoding Sarkozy
Christopher Bickerton
Le Monde diplomatique
February 2009

Alain Badiou’s book on Sarkozy reveals the philosopher’s own advocacy of change based in reality, which is beginning to displace the old ‘new philosophy’ of Bernard-Henri Lévy et al

Alain Badiou: Roads To Renegacy
Interview by Eric Hazan
New Left Review 53
September/October 2008

A philosophe engagé discusses the ‘wrong turn’ taken by so many erstwhile French Maoists, locating its sources within the landscape of 1970s militancy. The perils of politics as ambition, as fashion, as absolute—paving a mediatized path from 68 to Sarkozy.

The Communist Hypothesis
New Left Review 49
January/February 2008

Why does the spectre of May 68 still haunt French discourse? Alain Badiou on the country’s longue durée sequences of restoration and revolt, and the place of Sarkozy’s presidency within them. Lessons in political courage from Plato and Corneille, and a call to reassert the Manifesto’s founding wager.


About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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12 Responses to [For Vents] Crisis in the Heartland

  1. Lumpen says:

    Like all the cool kids, I listen to podcasts on (macro)economics. I think this one is pretty good at explaining the fiscal policies being put in place in response to the global recession – particularly in the UK.
    SPOILER: Tax-payer funded subsidies for bad debt incurred by private tyrannies and state-run financial infrastructure without popular participation. (iTunes link)

    Funnily enough, I don’t listen to a single anarchist podcast. Know of any I should be listening to?

  2. Lanklan says:

    John Zerzan has a good weekly podcast called “Anarchy Radio” which gets you right in the mood for burning banks and blowing up dams.

  3. @ndy says:



    The A-Infos Radio Project

    The A-Infos Radio Project was formed in 1996 by grassroots broadcasters, free radio journalists and cyber-activists to provide ourselves with the means to share our radio programs via the Internet. To our knowledge, the A-Infos Radio Project was the first grassroots media project of it’s kind on the internet. Our goal is to support and expand the movement for democratic communications worldwide. We exist to be an alternative to the corporate and government media which do not serve struggles for liberty, justice and peace, nor enable the free expression of creativity. The archived material is available to anyone who wants it free of charge.

    We welcome submissions from all stations and independent contributors in the service of these goals. All material is donated by its contributors who are solely responsible for its content.


    Anarchism In The UK

    This podcast page collects together mp3s of Ian Bone’s show Anarchism In The UK, a radio programme broadcast on most Sundays on London’s Resonance FM.

    Because Resonance doesn’t podcast the show itself, I thought this might be a useful resource for people that did not manage to catch the live broadcasts of the show, either on FM radio or via the web.


  4. Lumpen says:

    I listened to the Zerzan podcast. Only listened to one episode but I didn’t think much of it – although I did like the amount of respect he showed to people he disagreed with (that’s a pretty rare thing, I reckon).

    Will give the others a shot. Thanks for the links. Feel free to keep them coming.

    Joe Toscano podcasts his 3CR program Anarchist World, btw. It’s more of a shopping list of causes alluded to in brief and not a whole lot to do with anarchists per se (at least with the episodes I put myself through). I don’t recommend it, but worth a listen if you’re a completist.

  5. @ndy says:

    US communist/Marxist Loren Goldner on fictitious capital and financial crisis, January 22, 2008. Hosted by Mute. His constant coughing is annoying, but his analysis is interesting. See also: The Biggest ‘October Surprise’ Of All: A World Capitalist Crash, October 2008.

  6. Lumpen says:

    Listened to the Ian Bone/Anarchists in the UK podcast this arvo. It plays to all my prejudices, so needless to say I thought it was ace. Couldn’t give a shit about punk music though. The episode I listened to kept making references to Crass. I’ve, um, never heard any Crass although I understand they are a point of departure for anarchists and non-anarchist punks. Still, like I said, really enjoyed it.

  7. @ndy says:

    Yes that’s right punk is dead… all about the old days.

    Yes that’s right, punk is dead,
    It’s just another cheap product for the consumer’s head.
    Bubblegum rock on plastic transistors,
    Schoolboy sedition backed by big time promoters.
    CBS promote the Clash,
    But it ain’t for revolution, it’s just for cash.
    Punk became a fashion just like hippy used to be,
    And it ain’t got a thing to do with you or me.

    Movements are systems and systems kill.
    Movements are expressions of the public will.
    Punk became a movement ‘cos we all felt lost,
    But the leaders sold out and now we all pay the cost.
    Punk narcissism was social napalm,
    Steve Jones started doing real harm.
    Preaching revolution, anarchy and change,
    As he sucked from the system that had given him his name.

    Well I’m tired of staring through shit stained glass,
    Tired of staring up a superstars arse,
    I’ve got an arse and crap and a name,
    I’m just waiting for my fifteen minutes fame.
    Steve Jones you’re napalm,
    If you’re so pretty (vacant) why do you smarm?
    Patti Smith you’re napalm,
    You write with your hand but it’s Rimbaud’s arm.

    And me, yes I, do I want to burn?
    Is there something I can learn?
    Do I need a business man to promote my angle?
    Can I resist the carrots that fame and fortune dangle?
    I see the velvet zippies in their bondage gear,
    The social elite with safety-pins in their ear,
    I watch and understand that it don’t mean a thing,
    The scorpions might attack, but the system’s stole the sting.


  8. @ndy says:


    Have you realized that “Rock Stars” always seem to lie so much? John Lydon once said he cared, but he never really gave a fuck, said he’d use the money he made so that people could “have somewhere to go”, but now he lives in the USA and snorts coke after the show- Why is it that “Rock Stars” always seem to lie so much? Joe Strummer once said he cared, but he never really gave a fuck, said he’d use the money he made to set up a radio station- to make the airwaves full of something more than shit, have you noticed we’re still waiting?- You must realise that “Rock Stars” always seem to lie so much, some will always tell you that they care, but they don’t really give a fuck, still you suckers don’t ever learn that rock stars deal in money not truth, it’s good business to exploit you, just look at Lydon or Strummer for proof.

  9. vents says:

    Loren Goldner reminds me of a 12 year old in an adult’s body. Sort of like a left communist Dennis the Menace with sweaty armpits, or something.

    The Clash on their worst day kick fuck out of anything Crass ever did. IMO. I really like the Clash. That’s your cue, @ndy.

  10. Lumpen says:

    If you think I’m pressing play on any of those YouTube windows, you’d be mistaken. I’ve seen what listening to punk does to people.

  11. @ndy says:

    BBC Radio 4, In Our Time: Anarchism, December 7, 2006

    Radio New Zealand, Ideas, April 13, 2008
    “This week Ideas explores the political philosophy of anarchy”

    ABC, Doing without a ruler: in defence of anarchism, May 3, 2008
    Interview w/- Professor Robert Paul Wolff, political philosopher and individualist anarchist

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