Faculty Writing: On Neoliberal Finance and Scientific Research

Our good friends at Verso Books released an abridged version of Raphaële Chappe’s recent essay “New Perspectives on Neoliberal Finance,” originally published in Rosa Remix, a collection of essays on the socialist thinker Rosa Luxemburg. In this piece, Raphaële discusses the state of the global economy in light of Luxemburg’s analysis of international finance. If this is up your alley, you might be interested in Raphële’s upcoming course: Rosa Luxemburg: Political Economy and Imperialism.

“Greece was not allowed to declare bankruptcy. The prime motivation of the bailout packages was to avoid a Greek default and protect the rest of the eurozone, as the funds were designed to repay existing debt rather than rebuild the Greek economy. The bailout funds never made their way into the economy. This is consistent with Luxemburg’s premise that capital accumulation would come to a halt with a crisis of over-indebtedness, so that default must be avoided at all cost. This is consistent with the idea that debt is also used as a form of imperialism and extraction, to acquire and privatize assets as a basis for capital accumulation. Bailouts came with conditions. Creditors imposed harsh austerity terms, requiring deep budget cuts, lower social spending, and steep tax increases.”

In the Kenyon Review, Joseph Osmundson wrote “A Response to Jamie Zvirzdin’s ‘Observations of a Science Editor,'” in which he discusses the use of metaphor and narrative in scientific research and writing.

“Yes, of course, use metaphor, craft, all the tools at our disposal, to tell scientific stories in ways that are accessible, beautiful, open, meaningful. Write to a variety of audiences. Yes, of course. But even this feels like too false a binary. As a working scientist and a writer, I understand that science is a narrative both because it is done by people, and we are deeply narrative beings, and because it occurs inside of people and the world we inhabit.”

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