This course provides an introduction to social crisis with a focus on the present.
We imagine five sessions. 1) Introduction, reading Anwar Shaik’s discussion of various theories of crisis 2) Detailed discussion of “underconsumptionist” theories, including Luxemburg and Harvey 3) Detailed discussion of “profit squeeze” theories, Brenner, and Italian autonomists 4) Ecological crisis and capitalism 5) Detailed discussion of crisis of accumulation While the course’s approach is mostly through a critique of political economy, we will also address the relationship of capitalist and ecological crisis. We’ll start with an introduction to leading crisis theories, their strengths and limits, and the central question of whether the causes of crisis are internal or external to capital. We will also try to situate crisis theory in relation to other significant contemporary concerns: immaterial and affective labor, communization, ecology, financialization, and more. This course will be facilitated by Joshua Clover, Neil Larsen, and others to be announced.