Five years after the outbreak of the biggest post-war financial and economic crisis, have we really learned anything? Have we understood the pathologies that can be unleashed by an alliance of liberal democracy and market economy that we came to consider as part of the natural order and without alternative? Have we really understood the financial turn, with all its consequences, its devastating effects for the global economy, but also for democracy and human rights, that dramatic shift from tangible to virtual capital, in which assets, concrete and abstract alike, are created and destroyed in fractions of a second?
Understanding the mechanics of capitalism today has become an increasingly complex task given that it has morphed into forms that are increasingly intangible and immaterial. Money, finance and economics have thus become such abstract, opaque concepts that only a few people can understand them fully. The very concept of the notion of money has changed from being an operative aspect of the economy to something able to justify an increasingly speculative economy where money is being harnessed to produce more money; where money is increasingly being made out of immaterial goods and services, out of itself, out of the bare life of human beings, even out of thin air, it would seem.
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