Robespierre's Ghost: Political Economy & Revolution
The chorus of elites ringing societal alarm bells is in crescendo.
Modern liberal capitalism is exposing what has always been true: that it is shaped by the anxious memory of revolution, and thus by a consciousness of the potential, the menace — however isolated or consistently unrealized — of popular rejection of the existing order.
The immanent critique of liberalism’s failures, from Hegel to Keynes to Piketty, has developed in a house haunted by Robespierre.
A reexamination of the Jacobin's revolutionary moment of rupture has much to teach us about the very conditions of possibility of political economy.
For if political economy is the science of (the) liberal capitalist government — which it surely is — then it is the science of crisis, the knowledge of those confronting the unrelenting fact of poverty in the midst of their plenty.