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Publication Details

Adorjan, Istvan (2007) Capital at work. Focaal—European Journal of Anthropology 49 (2007): 129–135 : 1-129.

In a memorable passage of the Communist Manifesto,
Marx and Engels envisioned both the past
and the near future as a history of ceaseless class
struggle. But just as today the Manifesto is invoked
for its perceptive critical analysis of a momentous
conjuncture rather than for the class
struggle scenario it projects, so these two books
by David Harvey and Patrick Bond stand out primarily
because of the descriptive force and theoretical
sophistication with which they address
some fundamental aspects of global capitalism

Harking back to the apocalyptic tone of the
Manifesto, Harvey opens his brief history of neoliberalism
with what he deems a “revolutionary
turning point [1978–80] in the world’s social and
economic history” (2005: 1). The ascendancy of
Margaret Thatcher in the UK,Ronald Reagan and
newly appointed Fed-chair Paul Volcker in the
US, but, importantly, also of Deng Xiaoping in
China, created in Harvey’s view nothing less than
‘revolutionary epicenters’ that gradually turned
a minority ideology into hegemonic discourse
and practice.

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