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149

Imagining real world utopias

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Davies, W. (2018). Imagining real world utopias. In Roberts, C. and Lawrence, M. (eds) IPPR Progressive Review 25(2). IPPR, pp. 149-153

151

[...] modern capitalism is always a space of fictions and myths. As explored by the German sociologist Jens Beckert, commercial activity is constantly reliant on what he terms 'fictional expectations' - that debts will be paid, business plans realised, consumers be satisfied, all in line with certain plans, promises and predictions. Advertising, for example, produces a kind of everyday mythology of what a better life might look like. Venture capitalists invest in stories about technologies and processes that may not even exist.

At a macroeconomic level, everything politicians and economic policymakers do and say is geared towards some set of assumptions and beliefs about how the economy will be in the future. Where capitalism hits some kind of crisis, or else where politicians and policymakers cease to be credible story-tellers, the opportunity arises to talk differently about the economy. New fictions can be introduced. Different ways of describing markets, firms, households and corporations become possible. This is giddying, sometimes frightening, but can also be politically liberating.

—p.151 by William Davies 10 months, 4 weeks ago

[...] modern capitalism is always a space of fictions and myths. As explored by the German sociologist Jens Beckert, commercial activity is constantly reliant on what he terms 'fictional expectations' - that debts will be paid, business plans realised, consumers be satisfied, all in line with certain plans, promises and predictions. Advertising, for example, produces a kind of everyday mythology of what a better life might look like. Venture capitalists invest in stories about technologies and processes that may not even exist.

At a macroeconomic level, everything politicians and economic policymakers do and say is geared towards some set of assumptions and beliefs about how the economy will be in the future. Where capitalism hits some kind of crisis, or else where politicians and policymakers cease to be credible story-tellers, the opportunity arises to talk differently about the economy. New fictions can be introduced. Different ways of describing markets, firms, households and corporations become possible. This is giddying, sometimes frightening, but can also be politically liberating.

—p.151 by William Davies 10 months, 4 weeks ago