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Economics as if People Really Mattered - Week Six - Conclusion
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Economics as if People Really Mattered - Week Six - Conclusion

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final workshop in six-week series. Organised by Galway One World Centre

final workshop in six-week series. Organised by Galway One World Centre

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  • 1. Economics As If People Really Mattered Week Six – Conclusion
  • 2. The purpose of capitalism is self-expansion – capital begets capital – and it does so by monetizingsocial value and human labour. This is a circuit of transformation.
  • 3. The purpose of capitalism is self-expansion – capital begets capital – and it does so by monetizingsocial value and human labour. This is a circuit of transformation.“Historical capitalism involved therefore the widespread commodification of processes – not merelyexchange processes, but production processes, distribution processes, and investment processes –that had previously been conducted other than via a ‘market’. And, in the course of seeking toaccumulate more and more capital, capitalists have sought to commodify more and more of thesesocial processes in all spheres of economic life.” Immanuel Wallerstein, Historical Capitalism (London: Verso, 2011), 15.
  • 4. 1. From finance capital to financialisationFinancialisation sees financial assets not as representing wealth in the ‘real’ economy, but as wealth creating investment in their own right. (p.85)Leverage became the most important tool of financial accumulation… debt [or leverage] piled on a small amount of initial investment can vastly increase the profit made.The secret is access and banks were lending
  • 5. “Under its current form, that isimperialism controlled, debt is acleverly managed reconquest ofAfrica, aiming at subjugating itsgrowth and developmentthrough foreign rules. Thus, each one of us becomes the financial slave, which is to say a true slave, of those who had been treacherous enough to put money in our countries with obligations for us to repay. We are told to repay, but it is not a moral issue. It is not about this so-called honour of repaying or not.” Thomas Sankara, 1987
  • 6. “Debt cannot be repaid, firstbecause if we don’t repay, lenderswill not die. That is for sure. Butif we repay, we are going to die.That is also for sure.Those who led us to indebting had We cannot repay because we don’t havegambled as if in a casino. As long any means to do so.as they had gains, there was nodebate. But now that they suffer We cannot pay because we are notlosses, they demand repayment. responsible for this debt.And we talk about crisis. No, MrPresident, they played, they lost, We cannot repay but the others owe usthat’s the rule of the game, and life what the greatest wealth could never repay,goes on. that is blood debt. Our blood had flowed.” Thomas Sankara, 1987