Research Journal of Brian Holmes
Here's the difficulty I have with Kondratiev waves: it really seems to take two waves to create a complete cycle. What Perez calls a "technological style" actually unfolds over two Kondratiev waves. Between the two there is a regulation crisis with some kind of "successful" resolution (although it is very hard to call WWII "successful"); and then at the end, a kind of chaotic period during which the technological style begins to change.
Industrial investment at the end of the Great Recession will likely be in the new generation of robots, used in both manufacturing and distribution.
While in China I read an extremely significant book about the development of the world-economy in the neoliberal period, by the expatriate Chinese economist Minqi Li.
Recently I and Claire Pentecost went on an artistic research trip in Argentina with local collaborators. What we call a "Continental Drift." This was a perceptual encounter with the productive processes of a country subject to intense neoliberal restructuring. Hopefully next year we will do more collaborative research in a public seminar context in Buenos Aires, both to define Argentina's position as a hi-tech agro-exporter within Neoliberal Informationalism, and to contribute in some small way to the political breakdown of that hegemony, which is being actively sought by many on the official Argentine left. In the meantime you can read the one post I wrote in English during the experience:
Here is the outline of an autonomous technopolitics course which I plan to co-teach next fall with a Chicago collective. The focus is on US conditions but it's meant to have use-value for everyone involved, whether close or afar. Significant comments will result in changes to the outline. Selected readings and a full bibliography will eventually be added.
This continues the series of "Three nettime posts on the Egyptian Uprising." Felix launched this debate by suggesting that the fall of Mubarak was the end of the process of eliminating outmoded central-planning and dictatorial state-forms that started in 1989. I proposed it was beginning of the breakdown of a 30-year attempt to stabilize the new conditions of globalization. The discussion then shifted onto technopolitical ground in the posts below, as I tried to describe the paradigm of neoliberal informationalism and Felix sorted out what he would and would not accept in that description. This pushed me to finally accept (in a slightly modified form) the idea that the current crisis is a regulation crisis of informationalism. Great debate!
This article is a first attempt to specify some technical and conceptual aspects of the productive process under Informationalism, and to cut through some of the ideology surrounding it. The text suggests the role of the imaginary both in enabling and potentially disabling this social form (i.e. the value-form as expressed in contemporary society); but it doesn't deal with the integrative processes. Some research on migrant labor struggles in the US intermodal and warehouse sectors is underway, so hopefully we will publish something on it soon. All comments welcome, changes can still be made. Thanks to Armin for the just-in-time critique on version 1.0.
The Origins of International Economic Disorder
A Study of United States Monetary Policy from World War II to the Present
by Fred L. Block
University of California Press, 1977 -- 277 pages
The book begins with an overview of the British gold standard and its gradual breakdown during the interwar period. This sets the stage for the main subject: the history of the monetary order underlying the multilateral free-trade system promoted and managed by the United States.
The housing-price collapse of 2008, the credit crunch, the bank failures, the downswing of the world economy, the fiscal crisis of the sovereign states, all have been expressed as wild gyrations in the global circulation of information, attention, emotion. Everything undergoes tremendous acceleration at the crucial moments, before the wave recedes into a blur.