Money on the Left

Building Capacity with Money on the Left

March 11, 2020 Money on the Left
Money on the Left
Building Capacity with Money on the Left
Chapters
Money on the Left
Building Capacity with Money on the Left
Mar 11, 2020
Money on the Left

This month’s Money on the Left episode departs from the show’s regular interview format to reflect on the past, present and future of the Money on the Left project as a whole. We focus, in particular, on a recent special scholarly journal issue dedicated to Money on the Left, which was published by Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies and guest-edited by our friend Andrés Bernal. The issue joins archival text, audio and video with fresh essays about institution building, history, and media composed by co-hosts Billy Saas, Maxximilian Seijo and Scott Ferguson, respectively. 

Recorded in what now seems like a very different context before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the episode additionally discusses the graduate student workers’ ongoing “cost of living adjustment” (COLA) strikes in the University of California system and U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley’s powerful appeal to our colleague David Stein’s scholarship on the Civil Rights struggle for full employment in a recent House Financial Services Committee meeting. Finally, we ponder Money on the Left's future efforts, including our upcoming second bi-annual conference titled, Money on the Left: The Green New Deal Across the Arts and Humanities. Originally scheduled for April 24 – 26 at Louisiana State University, the conference has recently been postponed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

You can check out Money on the Left’s special issue of Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies here: http://liminalities.net/15-3/.

 

 

 

 




Show Notes Transcript

This month’s Money on the Left episode departs from the show’s regular interview format to reflect on the past, present and future of the Money on the Left project as a whole. We focus, in particular, on a recent special scholarly journal issue dedicated to Money on the Left, which was published by Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies and guest-edited by our friend Andrés Bernal. The issue joins archival text, audio and video with fresh essays about institution building, history, and media composed by co-hosts Billy Saas, Maxximilian Seijo and Scott Ferguson, respectively. 

Recorded in what now seems like a very different context before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the episode additionally discusses the graduate student workers’ ongoing “cost of living adjustment” (COLA) strikes in the University of California system and U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley’s powerful appeal to our colleague David Stein’s scholarship on the Civil Rights struggle for full employment in a recent House Financial Services Committee meeting. Finally, we ponder Money on the Left's future efforts, including our upcoming second bi-annual conference titled, Money on the Left: The Green New Deal Across the Arts and Humanities. Originally scheduled for April 24 – 26 at Louisiana State University, the conference has recently been postponed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

You can check out Money on the Left’s special issue of Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies here: http://liminalities.net/15-3/.

 

 

 

 




spk_0:   0:02
So, Max, what have you been up to?

spk_1:   0:06
So if listeners concern sort of notice that my voice is a little bit crackly, the graduate students at UC Santa Barbara are on strike for a cost of living adjustment. And yesterday was the first big full rally, and so spent, uh, most of yesterday yelling into the ether administration, uh, arguing for a cost of living adjustment for all of the graduate students across the UC system. Um, even taught a class on the picket line on Brecht. Had to scream a little extra loud so listeners will be in for a more ah, crackly episode.

spk_0:   0:48
And what What's that looking like this strike?

spk_1:   0:52
Well, I will see. Ah, this is the second full campus mobilization after you. CSC, um, there Looks like there could be, uh, u c San Diego Irvine Davis, following potentially Berkeley. And you see a CZ Well, with some version of either a great strike or full strike. Obviously, this is in flux, and the nature of podcast recordings is that we're always gonna be behind. But ah, yeah. I mean, I'm hopeful, and I know that we're pretty mobilized. So really going to try and push hard for this one.

spk_2:   1:26
It's still a wildcat strike.

spk_1:   1:28
It's still a wildcat. The union is, ah, supportive in the ways that they can, legally, but yeah, still a wildcat, but decent numbers for a wildcat. Considering the fact that, yeah, it's technically an illegal strike.

spk_2:   1:45
And who is that? What's the union?

spk_1:   1:48
The U A W um, and we're represented. You see wide as graduate students. Um, and the hard part about this is that we can't negotiate with their individual universities because we have to know negotiate with the U. C. Office of the President and Janet Napolitano, Uh, or whatever you think about her and her past and her president has not been very accommodating of demands at all. And there's been threats of fires and people have been fired at U. C s C. So it's a little hairy, but ah, I'm certainly not going to stop. And I know my colleagues and friends here it s B or pushing really hard toe, you know, to get that money that we that we ah, are sort of advocating for on this podcast.

spk_0:   2:38
Turns out money's important.

spk_1:   2:40
Turns out, money's important

spk_2:   2:42
and, you know, real quick. What is the the money situation currently? Where you trying to get?

spk_1:   2:49
Yes. So basically, the structure of our demands revolve around what's classified as a rent burden. And if you pay more than 33% of your income on rent, you're considered by the F H A to be rent burdens and the the man. Nearly all of you see graduate students pay more than 50% of their rent of their income on rent, and so they are classified as severely rent burdened. And the demands are essentially bring us out of rent burden so that that will look different depending on the campus. But we need to be paying at maximum 33% of our income on rent.

spk_0:   3:33
Yeah, this is an old familiar problem. I mean, I was a graduate graduate student at U C. Berkeley from 2001 to 2009 and, um, the Bay Area is a hell of a place to live extremely expensive, and we were intensely rent burdened.

spk_2:   3:52
What's the fee situation like? Do you have to pay fees in addition to, uh, rent?

spk_1:   3:58
So there are fees are covered if you are ah ta or your own fellowship. And so that encompasses, at least at UCSB, them the vast majority of graduate students, though there are some programs that are not funded. I know education is one of them here at UCSB, which is sort of interesting. Uh, yeah, problem. But Sophie's are covered by the UC system, however, one of the main issues that, especially with international students facing retaliation in these wildcat strikes, and they've been very courageous considering the threat of retaliation, which is that if we don't receive TA appointments and it's it's the graduate division at the UC has, AH has froze hiring for at U. C s C for graduate students who continue to withhold grades and continue to go on strike. Um, they won't be able to cover their fees because you need a T a ship or a fellowship to cover fees and that which case they will be academically ineligible and eligible for deportation. So there's ah, which you know, considering Janet Napolitano is, history is not. Yeah, there's it's speaking to sort of to a larger political moment, I think, especially coming out of the Obama administration into the Trump administration of how the left has changed and how these populist and people movements have really ramped up. Ah, mobilization to sort of change the way left politics is represented institutionally throughout the country. And that's the That's the crux of it. And and you know we need toe. We need to reject the scarcity mindset at all levels, and this is certainly one of the biggest ones considering Ah, you see, you see, is the largest employer in California, which is the sixth largest economy in the world.

spk_0:   6:04
Well, on behalf of myself and I think also I can speak on behalf of money on the left. Ah, the podcasts and the project. We stand in solidarity with you and your fellow strikers.

spk_2:   6:18
Then the faculty and the faculty write it across the UC system, at least. Ah, significant portion. I think it's been really amazing to see and yeah, solidarity. Uhm, thanks so

spk_1:   6:32
much. And yet the faculty There was the moment yesterday at the march when the faculty met up at the administration building and then marched from the administration building to the picket line and in in regalia. That was a pretty, uh, pretty, really pretty awesome moment. So we're hoping to see more of that and to continue to reach out contingent faculty A cz Well, I've already been in doing that at my capacity in my sort of in the overlapping departments, which I serve. But that's that's gonna be a big way forward. And to encourage them who who are all without a contract right now, toe get their union toe actually formally strike because it wouldn't even be a wildcat at that point.

spk_0:   7:18
But

spk_2:   7:19
your problem is there a problem and the problems you're having and you see you are certainly not limited to you. See Louisiana, our graduate students air Um, in our faculty, there's lots. There's lots that we could talk about but solidarity. And we look forward. Thio uh, y'all winning. You love

spk_0:   7:38
it. Yeah, So maybe now we can transition to why we're here. In addition to expressing our solidarity with the UC strikers Ah, we're here to shine some light and to maybe celebrate um, the recent publication of Of a special issue of limn al it ease a journal of performance studies that was all dedicated to money on the left.

spk_1:   8:07
We should also say that um, edited by a friend and fellow guests of the show on dress banal. Who on top of being on a OSI advisor and a sort of renaissance style political actor. He is a lecturer at, uh, one of the Sunnis and is a doctoral student at the new school.

spk_0:   8:35
Yeah, we We thank him for reaching out to women allergies and suggesting that Ah, um, a special issue dedicated to our project would be, um, a great thing to do

spk_1:   8:50
now and sort of begin. I had thought that perhaps we could reflect upon the entries into, uh into the limb analogies issue, which is composed of different sections that include excerpts from previous guests, as well as original essays written by the three of us and then two, maybe transition to what we have moving into the future And what the next year of money on the left, podcasts and the broader amount of money Network Humanity's division project is gonna look like.

spk_0:   9:29
Sounds good. So you want to talk about the structure? You guys had more of a hand to be perfectly honest, structuring this and I think it turned out great. But maybe maybe love can talk about what you were thinking in terms of the different sections of the special issue.

spk_2:   9:47
It's a tremendous challenge. I think at this point we had 16 episodes out and loved every single one of them. And you know, now we have 22 out and just want to pause and say how awesome that is and how awesome it's been. Toe sort of grow this podcast in this project alongside you all, um, and shut out the listeners to for keeping us going. I think, you know, I want the one of the ways that we there are plenty of ways we could have ended handled the challenge of kind of trying to adequately represent 16 episodes. And I think, Max, your suggestion, too sort of break out and include clips from a couple of episodes under different headings in different addressing different themes doesn't really nice job of representing and kind of encompassing the sort of broad trajectories of the bigger money on the Left project. And so we have Andres is Beautiful introduction and then section on post colonial money and internationalism section on struggle for full employment, Money's origins and transformations. Another section on these rhetorical histories and the money and feminist aesthetics and then peppered in throughout. There are our personal individual essays that address, like you said the past president, Future of the project, Um, and under eat each of the sub headings. We have clips from relevant episodes that I think draw out some really, really nice moments we got with guests related to those subjects. I think it was a a really smart way to handle it, if not completely encompassing and comprehensive. There were some episodes we couldn't or did not have space to fit in.

spk_0:   11:34
Yeah, I'll say this again. Not being at the forefront of this organizational decision making, um, I couldn't help but notice the let's, say, strategic placement of the post Colonial money and an international ISM section as essentially the beginning after part one on. And, um, I will guess that you know, the the The point here is to push back against the let's say, conventional wisdom about n ot that it's it's somehow ah, an enclosed nationalist discourse on one that is developed in and for the United States. Of course, ignoring it's, um, origins and growth all around the world, from Australia to stew, Senegal, Um, and I think by putting postcolonial money and internationalism first were signaling, um, an international solidarity. Uhm and we are making sure to frame a mentee and our expansive project with him empty in a way that is specifically pushing back against this kind of ought archaic. Ah, our imperial ist association that we can see from time to time, you know, in the critical discourse on social media, etcetera.

spk_2:   13:16
Absolutely. We might just pause real quick toe, let the listeners know where you might go to find this, and we'll include the Lincoln the episode description. But lim analogies dot net is the site for the journal. And then the specific issue is, um uh, Volume 15 number three. So I think it came out in October and was all right. What we can edit that it was

spk_0:   13:41
No, no, let's talk about edit it slips. Let let's put the blame where to do, which is that you all put it together. And you you wrote your essays and you're waiting on me to finish my essay and and one thing led to the next, and I wasn't able to get my essay done until basically Christmas. Um and then Finally, it was uploaded and we started advertising it basically at the beginning of the new year. But technically, it was, um, it was published in the fall of 2019

spk_2:   14:14
right? Yeah. I think it's gonna funny that that my my sort of approach in my, uh, my essay is all about kind of disclosing the sort of background information. And my first impulse on the podcast is this. Let's not talk about it. So thank you for recovering that, you know, it's it was it was a project that took throughout, you know, went throughout the fall.

spk_1:   14:36
I also think to Scott's point about the way we structured it, especially with the post colonial money and international is, um, taking sort of burst bidding. I think we should also reflect upon as well that the first interview excerpt, which we have even in that's that section, which is our interview with Nago Samba Silla on monetary, impure imperialism and Francophone Africa, and that if if listeners aren't familiar with that interview, I would suggest Go check it out. It's in multiple venues, and it's one of the interviews that I sort of feel has had that spread the furthest and had the most impact in the academic or left critical discourse online. It was We had the transcript originally published in monthly Review even before we had our partnership with monthly review, and that sort of became the tip of the spear with regards to our partnership with them as well. It the transcript has been published in Africa is a country which is the jackal been foundation publication. And and this is one of the crucial sort of pillars off the the money on the Left project in the sense that it is projecting forward a path and illuminating on uncovering a series of oppressive institutional regimes that, once uncovered, can potentially open new possibilities for monetary mediation and instruct the structuring of our international economy. And I think I really wanted to highlight that, as as one of us in a really important pillar for where we've been and and how we approach this project today,

spk_0:   16:28
indeed, and something I'll say, um, that I think I've discovered and we've all we've all discovered in in different ways through this process, um, is the This is even though on the face of it, it's just a kn interview show, right? I mean, there's there's something very like ah, you know, conventional about its structure. Um, And I think you know, our original idea was that there are plenty of, ah, both text and audio and video. There are plenty of places to go on the Internet and in academic research to get your intro tha Modern Monetary theory or your intros thio Constitutional Theory of Money, Um, really founded by Christine Design another one of our guests. But what we wanted to do here was to say that this way of thinking the modern money approached the constitutional approach. Um is irreducible to the discourses that have been developed in heterodox economics and in the legal theory that's developing in tandem and conversation. But there's so much more to think. And there there are so many new questions and new problems. And, um so this is really ah, project of expansion and challenging this paradigm to, um, move beyond, um where it's been in the past. And, um, you know, we've reached out to people that are already kind of are there already close by there already. You know, homies of the show. Um but we've also reached out to scholars and thinkers and activists who we didn't really have much contact with. But we saw something in their work that really resonated with what we were doing and illuminated, um, things that we hadn't even thought about but the connected with, um, with thinking about money as a creative constituent. Ih ve, um, political problem. And and so the thing that really started to excite me was that this wasn't just about interviewing people and getting them to talk about whatever they're working on. But it was about, I mean, I really like the word networking, right? But like it was about building solidarity was about building relationships. It was about, um, building connections. It was about well, as that the title of Billy's essay puts it. It was about building capacity, and it really feels like in making these connections and forging these relationships were creating a community. And we're creating an institution, not just what the people were interviewing, but also our listeners as well. And yet I just didn't expect that to be perfectly honest, And it it's it's delightful. Ah, and it's exciting. And I think, um, I think another component here is you know, we'll hear stories from time to time of folks who are listening to us and and what we're doing really speaks to them in ways that we could have never predicted. Right? Um, yeah. So that's something that's been just so important to me in this process.

spk_2:   19:55
Absolutely. And I think it's a lot better than I think. One of the early thoughts, at least I had about this podcast, someone it could be, would be like, Let's read, to lose through MMT, which would have been pretty dreadful. I think maybe interested you could say that again way. But yeah, I know. I think you're exactly You're right, it's it's It's been a really exciting process, and I think that this might actually you know where you just went. Scot might be a good opportunity to sort of pause and maybe flesh out your essay and maybe my essay to, and and I think some of the next sections speak a little bit more directly to the sort of history of graphic approach that Max takes. So

spk_1:   20:38
and so, yeah, like going into the first episode, especially, I think, crucially to your point, Billy, about what this podcast was gonna be and if this was gonna be reading texts or or interview show or how we were gonna structure it. But it I think right off the bat, when we interviewed David Stein in the episode jug, job guarantee is historical struggle. That sort of set the tone for what, uh, what this podcast was gonna be and we were to what Scott was saying into what your essay points do. And I think we're gonna probably be little recursive with this point. Wanted to sort of bring people in, but also expand mmt outward toe where people were. And I think I hope that's come through. And I was wondering if we wanted to reflect upon the details of that essay of that episode. Rather,

spk_0:   21:33
Yeah. I mean, I was just looking back that I was looking at the You know, the quotation that you guys selected, um, the back and forth between me and and David in his episode. And, you know, I'm asking him about you know, the fight for full employment largely through the civil rights era, from the largely from the, you know, fifties early sixties through in the you know, kind of culminating in the early sixties and 1963 with the march on Washington for jobs and freedom. And then, um and then finally, culminating with a kind of ah fizzle with the passage but also gutting of the Humphrey Hawkins Act for whatever it ended, being called full employment and, you know, balanced growth. You know, basically that the second language, the those second terms, were about like, Yeah, we're not actually going to do this, But so he's talking about this, and I'm asking what you know. What are the lessons for us today in the for the fight for full employment? And he offers some and then that he offers a couple in the 2nd 1 he says. The other key lesson is that in the post 1948 era or so I can think about a four year span when winning these sorts of proposals, basically, a job guarantee federal right to public employment could have been possible had the movements been strong enough. That's

spk_2:   22:59
the

spk_0:   22:59
years 1964 to 1966. Basically what? That's the moment of the aftermath of the march on Washington and the um the publication of buyers, Reston's Freedom Budget and then 76 to 78. Right? And that's, um, that's the Humphrey Hawkins push. I think

spk_2:   23:21
you can

spk_0:   23:21
make an argument that had the movements appeared in 2008 to 2010 the years surrounding the financial crisis, they might have been legislatively possible. Yet the movements were not anywhere there during 8 4010 And then he moves on to basically say he thinks there's going to be an opening between 2020 and 2022. And he was right. You know, this is a couple of years ago already. And, um, not only was he right, but his own scholarship, and I think the work of the modern money network and allied organizations such as the National JJ Out Jobs for All Coalition and the works of um, Sandy Garrity and Derrick Hamilton and more, um, have been, I think, central in getting full employment politics and the economics of full employment politics on the map. And, you know, ah, kind of spectacular display of this occurred just recently on february 11th 2020 when Congress person Iona Presley waas um in a congressional hearing with Fed Chair Powell, and she cites David Signs work on MLK on the on the march on the Freedom budget and, UM, not only buyer dressed in, but also the ongoing activism and organizing for full employment and many other things carried out by Corretta Scott King. I just want to read some of the text of some of the things she she said, going back and forth with Powell. And you know, she's bringing together Stein's research in this kind of lost history of civil rights. Full employment struggle with, um, a critique of the, uh, Orthodox economics that have sub tended on naturalized, Um, essentially a racist neo liberal, Ah, Fed policy and, um, uh, you know, political, economic, um, regime. So here's Presley,

spk_2:   25:55
just as with Fed now, the decisions you make do impact everyday working people your decision's impact, how many jobs we have, who has, what jobs, how much they're being paid and who is most harmed when unemployment is high. Now. In the past, you've said we want prosperity to be widely shared. We need policies to make that happen. However, the feds approach has never successfully insured enough well paying jobs are available to everyone who wants to work, even for a small time. In the 1944 address, FDR called for a second bill of rights, which included the right to a useful and financially rewarding job. Justice Thurgood Marshall argued that the right to a job is secured by the 14th Amendment and Martin Luther King. Dr. Morrow, the king called on the government to guarantee a job toe all people who want to work and are able to work. Dr. King's legacy is often reduced to just one speech and the march on Washington up and mischaracterized. Uh, the march on Washington was actually the march on Washington for jobs and freedoms was a march for economic justice. And, um, I take special claim to the fact that Dr King and Coretta actually met in Boston. I represent Boston, and I don't think that she gets enough oxygen for the role that she played in the movement. And so, after Dr King's assassination, Corretta Scott King picked up the mantle, pushing the Fed to adopt a full employment mandate and was actually standing behind President Carter as he signed the Humphrey Hawkins Act into Law. And that's the reason that you are here today. So in the interest of time, if you wouldn't indulge me an answer succinctly as possible, yes or no? Mr. Chairman, given persistent concerns about inflation, do you believe the Federal Reserve can achieve full employment and my full employment? I mean, anyone who wants to work and can work will have a job available to them first. Thank you for that history. I didn't know that. Um, so that's our goal. That's what we're working to do at all times. And I think, you know, we're We're never gonna say we've accomplished that goal. But we certainly made some progress. I'll take that as a yes. Um, could've federal jobs guarantees succeed where the Federal Reserve has not yes or no. That's a hard one. Dance. You mean by I don't know. I'm guaranteeing a job. That's a the history that I was providing. I did what Anyone who wants to work and is able to work. You okay, This

spk_0:   28:31
is a stunning display and talk about ah, you know, a political moment, a legislative opening, and I think this is I'm thinking and hoping that this is only the beginning. You know I'm not gonna take credit. You know, out of money on the left is not responsible for for Arianna Presley's stellar performance before Congress on in the face of power, the Fed chair. But I do think that that I will say that I think we are playing us. Ah, small role in this broader movement. And I'm proud of that.

spk_2:   29:04
Yeah, that was a beautiful moment. And, um, I teach David Stein's essay on credit. Scott King's full employment advocacy. Uh, this nation has never dealt honestly with a peacetime economy. And then I think he also wrote it up for a Boston review. Um, and that gets circulated recirculated every now and then. But it was just I mean, a amazing to watch and see and then also to sort of be able to in that moment see my lesson plans change and become so much better and more amazing. And and here it is, right here it is again, um so beautiful. And it was so wonderful to be ableto kick our first episode off with with historian David Stein

spk_1:   29:48
and bringing bringing the histories and the political movements that were sort of tracking and trying to include and expand through this monetary lens and the money on the left perspective. I think that that leads us really nicely and what we've been coming back to sort of over the last 15 minutes of this conversation, which has been Billy's essay on building capacity with money on the left. And so, Billy, could you say, You know, essentially what you're arguing and reflect upon perhaps the linkages between your essay and the rest of the project that we've been discussing so far.

spk_2:   30:30
Sure happy to the I think Scott said a bit more eloquently than I could hope to you right now, Um, you know what this project broadly is about? But in this essay, I do my best to kind of, um, historic size and narrative eyes. The development of money on the left is a project. And, um, I begin sort of with my own scholarly biography and encountering David grabbers debt the 1st 5000 years. And like your two of my PhD program, um, at a point which and I don't I don't expand on this in the essay, but where I really had no idea what I was going to write my dissertation on and, um felt a bit directionless. And it was at a friend's house in, um right next to Colombia was staying there for a visit. Occupy Wall Street. I talk a bit about that, but saw this big red book sitting on this table and took a look at it. And, um, it's sort of just sort of changed everything for me. It was David grabbers that the 1st 5000 years and so I married that a little bit. And then I brought it out to my experience, kind of trying to work in that work with what I learned through that book and then expanding on that book through, like following the footnotes to find folks like Randy Rae and Public Turn Ava, their book on the edited volume that Randy put out on a Mitchell Innis and learning more about the neo journalists and then encountering my own struggles, publishing in that vein and then finding community with Scott And, um, you know, various Facebook groups and things and then meeting you Max and just trying Thio, um, you know, write a little history of our coming together and then framing that, and I think I've come to understand it. As Scott put it, a zits conveyed in the title is as a project of building capacity. Both, You know, for myself individually, and I think broadly, I'm after having talked to people when I was struggling, learning that they were struggling to to sort of publish neo Charter list inflected humanity's critical theory research. Um, you know, refining our arguments through conversation and collaboration, but then also expanding and kind of identifying our territory and the topography of what that critical MMT humanity's project would look like. Um, And then, you know, more concrete Lee putting their first conference together and then after that conference, starting this podcast. And, um, you know, setting ourselves up to to, um, build a project that is inclusive, collaborative, interdisciplinary, cross disciplinary, trans disciplinary, post disciplinary inviting, you know, non academics and anyone who's interested in this broader project to take part. Um, so that's that's the thrust of it, and I'll say a little bit about writing. And I've never really written in the mode that I wrote this essay in for publication anyway. And, uh, I got to say that when I was when I opened it up to get ready for this episode. I was not excited. Toe read my writing. And you all know my my hang ups. More than most people, I'm not not a big fan of my own writing usually, but I was happy to be sort of at least not mortified. Um, but, you know, I praise yeah, which is Yeah, u No reason enough to celebrate, I guess. But, uh, the you know that it felt a bit vulnerable talking about, you know, going back to in a general way what you're talking about, Max. The struggle of being and working in higher education today is it's not a super friendly place to kind of Naret. Narrate that and to account for my own struggles as I, um, slog my way through the tenure track was was a bit nerve wracking. But I'm, you know, ultimately happy to be able to share that with others and anticipate that, as with so much of what we talk about on this podcast, you know, my struggles not exclusive to me. It's a shared struggle. And it's a project in solidarity, much like money on the left. One

spk_0:   34:59
of the implied arguments, Um, that I really I really love in this essay, Um, and even, you know, you don't frame it in this way, but, you know, this is what this is what generative reading does, right? It brings out, brings out things that are that are implicit. So one of the things I really like, um, is something that I had to kind of ah, reckon with myself, which is you know, we often we haven't hear of this. Ah, this phrase, the marketplace of ideas, right? And this is associate with very, you know, neoclassical in the liberal rhetoric. And, you know, it's it's one thing to sit back and critique this this market Aah! These market metaphors for thinking about well, how our ideas created And, um, how was I was writing manifested how to text circulate. It's one thing to step back and say, Yeah, that's nonsense. Um, on on, you know, philosophical, political, economic, social grounds. But it's something else. And I think when when one is in the academy and one is in many ways, it atomized, right? Not that we don't get help along the way, but Adam eyes and we're you know, if you're If you're on the 10 year track, for example, you're lucky enough to get one of these few remaining jobs. Um, you know, you're under this publisher, parish paradigm, and it's hard not to approach your own project and publication schedule as a marketplace of ideas. And you, you know, you put out an essay and you hope it gets accepted, and then you hope you know, you cross your fingers and hope somebody reason somebody will one day and I like it, you know? Um, cited, You know, um and then, you know, you become a you know, a competitive enterprise, and, you know, the world of of of market, you know, exchanges. Um and yeah, I can admit to the fact that even though I knew better, that's still how I think I approached it. Um, And then it wasn't until really starting to collaborate an institution build with you all, um, and expanding what the modern money network has already been doing. Was I able to kind of overcome that fantasy, right? That that in order to, um I think, in order to write in order to dialogue, um, it's not just a matter of you know, putting out your product and hoping it's bought right? It's a matter of creating institutions, creating platforms, you know, um, virtual and otherwise, um, you know that that's how you that's how you build a reality. That's how you make ideas. Um, sing

spk_2:   38:02
were variously confronted by and denied dependencies all the time. Wouldn't you say, Scott? I would. Yeah. No, absolutely. I think that that's definitely a big part of it. And, um, you know, the, um the alienation, Adam ization isolation. I think you know, there's help along the way, but that help is usually in the form of, like, informal camaraderie. And I think what I've really appreciated and responded to about, you know, mnh d m a men and the broader MMT community is that there is a, you know, sense of, um, you know, collective purpose on, and it feels good, right? And in ways that that the, you know, the academy. But then also so many other professions in our neo liberal political economy just just can't offer and so that you know, seeking out that that surplus wherever I can and however I can and kind of, you know, coming to terms with and being okay with, like, this is what I'm doing. This is what we're doing. Um, and we have some confidence and commitment and, you know, I don't know e feel like I'm saying solidarity too much, but that that really is the candy. Oh, yeah, Well, you can't Do you think you lose your voice like, Yeah, that's true. You know that. Yeah. So solidarity A 1,000,000 times, right. That finding community and a institutional context that wants toe refuse and deny you that pretty much at every turn as a condition of employment. But you know that that's the scarcity mindset that we're operating within. And I think, you know, looking to my own current interests relative to money on the left relative to broader political developments relative to eye on a Presley's amazing testimony based on David Stein's work. It's so damn exciting to be working in this vein now. And I think I'm particularly interested in you know what? I MNT green New deal. All the stuff can do that to fix this. Um, I think long broken and and, um, like, relentlessly amended higher education system will look like under a green new deal. right or articulated with the alongside of federal jobs guarantee that, you know, as it originally was supposed to guarantees useful right and meaningful work to people. And what does that do to the marketplace of ideas generally? And then also the the job market in big quoteif scare quotes, right in academic labor, a name, you know, here here, drawing a lot of, you know, inspiration and enthusiasm from critical university studies and abolition studies. And anyway, it's a bit of a tangent, but I think it it's all relevant, right? It's all it's all in minute or not Absolutely one. And

spk_1:   40:59
one thing I wanted to reflect upon as well just in coming back to your essay again, Billy sort of with a bit of time since publication and since kind of going through and curating this issue and structuring it is, you know, this podcast, I think, is a little unique in the sense that we're all in different points in our academic careers. Um, you know, and being on the the the less experienced end of that, what really spoke to me was the what comes through in in the commitment, I think, in a way that that people talk about a lot in higher education and in academic circles. But two practices something different is this sort of, uh, reaching both up and down the ladder, a CZ as well as laterally and then off the ladder itself, to activists and others to cultivate a network that is is actually really yearning for this trans disciplinary tea or non disciplinary perspective. And I think you know, the last few years of working with with you all in this Ah, in this movement and on this project is certainly it is not only just changed the path of my of my academic career, but also it's helped me understand that there's There's also something Maur, though necessarily bound up in the the job search or the search for an institutional home, and that those homes are not fixed or static and that we need toe just keep. Just keep building and keep building and building and keep refusing. Uh, keep refusing that the answer? No. When it comes to capacity and when it comes to, as you said, having spaces and places for people to do meaningful work,

spk_2:   43:04
Yeah, and I think a lot, lot to say there, but start with where you just ended that the nose air coming from just a few places, right? And increasingly fewer, Um, as we have continued to build capacity and so many Yes, at the same time, our relationship with monthly review online. This s this special issue. It's there's there's affirmation along the way and as a result of working together. And they just sort of, um I want itto mention, too, that I think part of the inspiration to go this kind of on the fly his story Ah, graffiti. You're writing the history or narrating the development of this project is alongside you know, I guess not alongside but inspired by you know, the heterodox economist Fred Lee and his sort of tireless, dedicated work to writing history of heterodox economics and, um,

spk_0:   44:03
and building out the institute.

spk_2:   44:04
Yes, exactly of heterodox. Second right. And charting out, um, ways toe like, proactively expand and engage across. Um, you know, theories and frameworks. I'm not saying that I'm in anywhere near the same league, but like, you know, it's it's it's inspirational, and I think to also the increasingly in my field of rhetorical studies, their thoughts of people who are writing in the vein of lengthy Chuck Morris calls, Ah, critical self portraiture so getting more vulnerable and and and a bit more introspective about the conditions of possibility for one's publishing and one subject position in relation to that. So, um, I just wanted to acknowledge that, but then also just kind of come back to say, I think we're doing big things. And then the yeses have been so much, so much more common and affirming than they've overshadowed and what we're doing together have done together. And we'll do together as we expand and include Maur voices in this project. Um, it's just so worthwhile.

spk_0:   45:12
Totally. Maybe we can, um, shift gears and talk about Max's essay, which is really, um, you know, opening up questions about, um, related questions, right? But different questions about about how we think about history and money from this this perspective. Maybe, Max, you wanna kind of start us often. Give us ah, a little tour of what you're trying to accomplish in your piece. I

spk_1:   45:40
s So I think a good way to get at this is, um, through essentially what? What project? That I worked on with you at the University of South Florida for my m a thesis, which is I am really interested in the history of German and Jewish thought, especially their intersection in in in the Weimar Period. And and I mean we've I've discussed some of this on this podcast as well and, you know, relations to cinematic representation of of the World War to end of the pre war German context. But what I'm

spk_2:   46:23
trying to

spk_1:   46:23
get out here in this essay, which is called Inter Territoriality Money Inclusion History is through the through this the figure of ah German Jewish critical theorist on later American Dearest Siegfried Krakauer and his sort of various versions in publishing Selves that he had throughout his life that trying to get at what specifically the money on the Left Project brings to the the question off of history as, ah, as a sort of been in the Ben You mean Ian sense of, ah, discipline that can open possibilities for the present. And I think what what Stein's work and what's what Stein's episode that we reflected on for quite a while so far is this sort of another example of the way the past can can open a new and bring to the forefront. Ah, anew new residences and new possibilities for ways to think through our our present and our future. And and so I I do this by calling on the, uh, one of our guests who, uh, historian Julie Mel, who wrote the book called The Myth of the Medieval Jewish Moneylender. And her argument is ah, in its vast complexity, can be sort of summarize, at least for the purposes of trying to think through what what history means to me in this moment in how we can bring it to the forefront and bring the sufferings of the past to the forefront in order to thio to change the future, the future. Which is to say that Jews and modernity have been figured by by plenty of people on left and right, as external, as external figures, to the production, in maintenance of the political space and social space on, and the the anti Semitic tropes that surround Jews and money. Go go back for quite a long time and and she she satyrs the Smith and she really makes it clear that what sort of the meta narrows that that that structure this myth have been truly detrimental and have been become the economic explanation for anti Semitism. And that's a That's a quote from from her book and so bringing together this sort of troubled lamented history of Weimar and and what Krakauer's essays bring to the fore about culture and space and aesthetics and political economy. I want a kind of what I kind of want to perform this going back again and going back to Krakauer's Life and Essays toe to tease out ways in which he specifically on. He's known for this, and his intellectual historians have the story sizes work as one what which has been from the perspective of extra territoriality, right? So outside the territorial limits outside the bounds right? This sort of wandering image called, is called to mind, and and so in a way that I also hope honors this this ah, self identification that Krakauer ascribes to himself. I I figure, ah, sort of intra territoriality that is centered around and in alien ability to within within the money relation. And it's as Billy writes eloquently, and we've talked about eloquently its capacity to include, um, and I think that sort of lights up a new history and specifically with, ah, a more historical materialised analysis of Weimar and how we can think about relationships of money and austerity that brings to the fore Ah, alternative paths and in ways toe to avow rather than lament our inherent sort of monetary relation ality.

spk_0:   50:58
So could we potentially spell out some of these implications and maybe spell out, you know, what is this myth specifically right? The myth. The myth is basically a myth of where money comes from. Released money in early modern Europe or late medieval Europe. Right? In the myth is that money sort of magically comes from these outsiders that are that happened to be Jewish. So money comes from money is extra territorial, right? It it sits outside society, and its circulation and society remains tinged by this, even as its incorporated in society. Um, it remains tinged by this sense of all tear ity of somehow it's alien. Um, and it is alienating. Ah, And then the figure of the Jew them becomes charged with, um, all of the feelings of alienation and ambivalence that, um that actually come from, um, the injustices of European society actually organizing their own money systems, but then are displaced onto the Jew, the figure of the Jew as a scapegoat. Is that fair to you? Yeah, yeah,

spk_1:   52:22
yeah, that's a good. That's a good summary. And what I'll add as well is then, that what's really interesting to me about Krakauer's specific perspective with regards to all this is that coming out of this sort of 19th century and in the destructive and tumultuous century that it was, um, Jewish culture in Europe is one that, in varying competing ways, has both laments this status but also imminently, um, tries to embrace this sort of extra torrent territorial lens in order to try and get get at, ah, sort of a better diagnostic, right? And through Krakauer this sort of diagnostic perspective that allows for ah, sort of glimpse at the whole of the totality, given this perceived outside status. And and I I, uh I'm sympathetic to, especially his story, graphically and and the sort of having been of that perspective, um, and I what I want to honor with with interest, territoriality is the sort of two sides of that lament, which is that the circumstances off the early 20th century in Europe, especially for Jews, were were horrible. It was, but it was precisely be out of their horribleness and the atrocious nous of the proceeding genocide and the exile that was enforced by those who survived. Um, that out of that, the very depths of that suffering can we see ah, sort of inverted image off ah, of movements for inclusion and insistence is upon, uh, inclusion in public monetary, the public, monetary maintenance of society and movements for full employment. And and you know, the history of critical theory is one which is, of course, it's an It's an imminent perspective. And yet that what I think One of the main intervening perspectives that I try and offer here is that that imminence is one which is yearn for, but the the language or the sort of topographic articulation is one that that isn't accessible to these figures. And these these, uh, these writers like Krakauer and and others and eso hoping to bring the money on the left lens to back to this history toe to render it legible to then use the framing and the the level of thinking that that these figures bring for our moment now is is the way I think when we confront our own ecological presence, um, it's how this sort of circular history can can really inflect positively and how we can take this this historical and situated lament and really drive what it shows us for for the present.

spk_0:   56:01
Yeah, and just ah, um, I think clarify for listeners who are less familiar with critical theory and crackers work, you know that they, um a really off. Most of them are theorists of aesthetics. And, you know, one of the things that they they did is, um, they they really took seriously and were some of the first scholars to take seriously popular culture and, um um, the live space of architecture. Ah, and and they read that these four kind of symptoms and signs of the political and economic crises of their time as they've been historically condition. And so they perform these exquisite, you know, aesthetic readings that they allude. They illuminate so much of what's going on. And, um, you know, by reading the shifting nature of a particular built space, right? Ah, hotel lobby or, you know, ah, movie theater or a particular film at a given moment, right in the in the thick of the Weimar crisis, for example. But what you're saying and again, just paraphrase and maybe toe reiterate and help the listeners is this. This approach is so rich in a so needed for our own moment. But we have to refuse the fantasy that they or we or and we are somehow outside of it or some and and And that ultimately that money is somehow an alien technology. Um, that is alienating rather than the conditions of possibility that can always be transfigured.

spk_1:   57:56
And when you say that it reminds me of what you said at the recent MMT conference, actually which is the only way out is through. And I think the one other thing I would want to say in highlight about this essay, which is that I think one of the most important things that I've been trying Thio articulate in my work for a little bit now is that, um, we very much on the left are taken by the words of he sort of ultimatum that Rosa Luxemburg gave us, which is that we're in a moment of socialism or barbarism. And I think what inter territoriality offers us is a is an alteration of the shape and the posing of this question. Right? And so I try to say that given our inclusion and insider inter territorial status in the inalienable ity of the accounting that, uh, that is available and has the capacity to to care for all we need to insist upon a vowing that that the question of socialism or barbell, is, um is not a question off a slide into calamity. But it's about vowing. Are inter territorial sociology And that is what is at stake in our in a green New deal and in the transition to, ah, true universal and internationalist vision for dealing with climate change and dealing with climate change in a way that leaves no one behind.

spk_2:   59:51
I do want to ask something here. I think, Max, I think each of our essays is doing something different, and you offer yours up as specifically, like money on the left guiding historical vision on our sort of intervention into the practice of his story. Ah, graffiti. Um, and as you showing in your essay it's like it opens up just, I mean, the entirety of the history of critical theory. Could you talk a little bit about how exciting and daunting that is as somebody who is, um, at a different stage in their career and looking Thio graduate sometimes you Yeah,

spk_1:   1:0:33
yeah, that's Ah, I like that question. It's something recently that I've been thinking about a lot, especially when it comes to publishing and writing. And it's It's a theme that I think keeps coming up as well and why you're your reflection and you're vulnerable. Reflection about publishing really spoke to me, which is that the historical vision that I'm trying thio sort of tease into the four in a, you know, inverted are negative, sort of almost more mysterious ways is one that, you know, it speaks to a sort of grand narrative that that is yet to be parsed, that has yet to be teased out or brought forth to the present. And I think one could ah, one could take that that insight and say, Okay, well, we have to rewrite the grand narrative right? And I'm not Ah, I think grand narratives air important and that they are crucial to understanding and shaping the way we think about the present and the future. However, I think there is also a way in which are sort of money on the left historical vision can, can can really telescope and and that That's why when we bring on a guest to talk about a very specific time and to work through very specific figures or objects, we're able to bring what you know. Could be sure if you give all of us six hours and maybe a few drinks, we could walk someone through the grand narrative of what? How you know MMT and money on the Left changes what you thought about history. But I think the point is less to do that as such. And to do that in some sort of objective fashion than toe open Ah, a window into the past. That then becomes a practice and his story a graphic practice of of investigation and off of illumination that takes on, uh, a vast and diverse array of historical objects in all of the in all of the multiple residents of what historical objects can mean. And I think that that's Ah, that's a flexibility that this monetary lens because it it insists upon a sort of inter territorial vision, a vision of within, um that we can weaken provide a sort of guiding method that that can enable anyone. They don't have to be a scholar to to look to history's one's own history and try and articulate a meaning in a in a meeting for the president future that that is spoken to by our incessant and inescapable relation. Thio monetary and legal mediation

spk_0:   1:3:46
and to give a um, it's a specific and concrete example of this. I think it, um, you're Max your work into cracker on Krakauer's context. Um, and Krakauer his own point of view, Um, were have been, let's say, delimited by a certain horizon and a certain understanding of money. Whereas when you come with ah nio charter list, constitutional money lands, you start shining that light on the same on the same context on the same history, on the same text on the same artifacts. Um, other kinds of possibilities and tragedies come to the fore S o. Right. So, for example, you know, you quote, um, Krakauer really lamenting, you know, as the Nazis are increasingly, you know, rising to power and the unemployment situation seems so desperate. He says something like, I just can't imagine any kind of solution to this at all. And then what have you uncovered in your own research? Um, I'll let you take over for

spk_1:   1:5:00
U S. Oh, uh, the fact that a job guarantee a sort of what we could call, like a, uh, m m a t sort of figuration of financing A. A job guarantee was very much on the table in the three years that led to, um, the Nazi takeover of power in 1933 and in the Depression in the responses to the Depression. But there was, Ah, there's an economist who was a former Bolshevik economist, ended up working in in and four the trade union movements in Weimar and advising the Social Democratic Party, uh, who very much was interested in putting on the table and proposed multiple times to leaders of this of the SPD. Ah ah, jobs program That was that was monetarily financed, that to guarantee job to anyone who was unemployed in the middle of the Depression. Um, and it was freight framed and specifically articulated in opposition to Nazis calls for exclusion but exclusion that still I mean, necessarily employed those deemed worthy of employment. And so the when, when we look at the specifics of the the what what occurred and these sort of political economic debates and histories weaken, we can see that you know the no way out, which is the what Krakauer talks about. It has a It opens, right, the sort of no alternative. The nothingness itself opens into a an alternate possibility. And and I mean I there's some word play that is both wordplay, but also more than wordplay, which is that, you know. But creating money out of nothing, uh, is perhaps the alternative to no path, right? It's the it's the it's the in between of the socialism or barbarism ultimatum. It is this sort of third path that we can we can think about in that that history's themselves. I mean, no one is necessarily suggesting that if the SPD would have accepted this than what we wouldn't have had the Nazi regime, it's not. It's not about this sort of flat this or that conception, but the fact of the matter is, there were alternatives on the table that we're not avowed. And so it is our job to ensure that we are asking the right questions and posing the right solutions so that when they present themselves, as David Stein said, hopefully in 2022 2022 we have the tools to see them, they are illegible. Tow us and we can avow them.

spk_2:   1:7:57
So there was an outline. For what? What we might call our doctor Fine. It might call a moral economy in the lime are Depression era.

spk_1:   1:8:06
I would I would suggest yes in Ah, you know, of course, with all of the classical sort of historical caveats, which is contingency, et cetera, but but also to then flipped that It's precisely the contingency over that alternative that I think opens up a path for the future and and the world making that needs to, uh, occur in the future,

spk_2:   1:8:36
he said. Third Path. And I just wanted to be clear that we're not talking Third Way is not some like Central? No, no, like a little bit of this. A little bit of that. This was a radical proposal that was for various reasons silenced, denied and another path was taken.

spk_1:   1:8:53
Yeah. I mean, you know, I don't think it's Ah, it's Ah, a coincidence that this came from Ah, former Bolshevik statistician and economists, Right? I think there's there's definitely something that you know and there's lots of critiques to be made of the SPD throughout the Weimar era and, you know, to bring up Rosa Luxemburg without suggesting that I think would would would not do justice to the injustices of of the era. But that is, um, crucially to say, right where the centrists proposal was precisely what was being fought against and with this, and and sadly, the centrist model, which is what the SPD ended up affirming in there, huh? In there neglect of this sort of job guarantee vision. And I think you know that this also speaks to some contemporary political questions in the recent UK labour election and the the refusal to embrace ah sort of empty vision and the fiscal accountability rule. And there's lots of things that some of our listeners might and might not be aware of. But I think what's crucial is that living in the neoliberal moment of no alternative right, the sort of culmination of are coming to the fore of the potential for post neoliberalism needs to be one that understands the historical potential off this money on the left monetary vision Meo charter list vision that was always there. But I just hasn't been rendered or posed in a way that, um, that these questions can really speak to in us with the biting analysis, how we should move forward

spk_2:   1:10:49
when we go back to Stein in that moment and say the movements haven't been strong enough.

spk_1:   1:10:54
Certainly the movements haven't been strong enough, and I don't think necessarily. I mean, there's multiple ways to think about strong enough to write. It's not to say that there haven't been enough people, right, pushing and fighting every single day and struggling and suffering. But that, um, movements are our, ah, a synthesis of theory and practice and and to go and to struggle with, ah theory of the case that that opens up this sort of, um, this path for the future is one that who hasn't been achieved so far, So so that signs research shows, but that his work, um, along with the work of others who we've interviewed and others who we have not can open this door in this window for the the manpower. Or should I say the people power to pry open the gates essentially and to push forward with a sort of practical articulation of theoretical model that, um, we certainly believe money on the left vision provides

spk_2:   1:13:26
when it seems like a critical component of that. I just want a deposit. Say that, you know, I think we imagine ourselves. It's within this broader modern money movement that we've talked about. And I think a lot of the work that we're doing in the special issues complimentary to and sort of trying to advance that and and, you know, at the same time is where we need people. We also need, um a grammar, A language link. You know, uh, poetics, um which is my in artful, maybe artful Segway to Scott Ferguson. I like it, but, you know, looking for how do we How do we break through these obstacles that are very much rooted in the way that we think and describe the world? Um, and I think your essay Scott doesn't really nice job of helping us. Um, advance along those lines. Would you give us a summary?

spk_0:   1:14:17
Yeah, I can certainly try. Um, thank you. Um, So yes. Of the essays called Money Police Ists and analog mediation. Um, you know, really, I'm taking this on as a media theorist. I'm taking up the question of money is as, um as a media theorist. And, you know, I think that one of the very first things you learn as a media studies student or at least, let's say a critical media studies student across disciplines, um is that there are there tend to be sort of two too broad and very contrasting approaches to media. And of course, there's just thousands of others you know, under each one of these umbrellas. But one way of carving up media studies is into these two approaches. And one, um they go by different names, but one often gets called the constituent ih ve understanding of media and the other one is closed. The correlation a ll approach or correlation all understanding of media. Sometimes it's called ca relative. Or sometimes it's called the representational approach many names. So the the correlation a lark, a relative approach that tends to be the understanding that me Critical media studies rejects from the get go. Um, and what it presumes is that media is a kind of conduit that stands in between Ah, self another, um, and allows for a certain truth, a certain idea, a certain message to be communicated. And, um, the the way that it does so is fairly neutrally. Ah, And then how it's judged or how it's assessed is how well, how accurately it conveys that truth. Or it, um, promulgates that message. Uh, and meaty critical media cities, scholars and students and people who follow them instead are interested in this constituent ih ve theory approach. And whereas the Carella tive approach a correlation, a ll approach sort of presumes that media doesn't actually do all that much. It just sort of moves things along. And um um, it it it communicates Ah, things that already exists. Basically, the constituent of approach says the opposite. It starts with the media itself for the medium itself, whether that cinema something which I've studied a lot and teach a lot, or we're talking about algorithms and data networks or we're talking about the printing press, the typewriter, that different media actually helped to create the world that they're trying to make sense of it that they're trying to convey and different media have different kinds of forms in different kinds of shapes that, um, you can't ignore. And in many ways, you know, Marshal McLuhan is one of the great media theorists. I have some critical words to say about him in my essay, but on constituent iveness, you know, he's right on. Um And you know, the most well known MK Lewin idiom that expresses this is the medium is the message which later on became the medium is the massage in this book that he was kind of graphic theoretical text that he put together with the artist's name Quentin Fiori. Um, in the you know, the idea is that media, um, transformed the world. They even create the world. They don't just convey what is already there. Um, and this in this sense, they have a kind of poetic function and poetic here. I'm drying on the the Greek and Entomology of of poetic. Um, the original word is police iss, um, and polices has many multiple meanings. But the you know that the main one is is is the making of something, and often it's thought of bringing something to existence that didn't exist before. So for constituent IB media theorists for media theorist sewer committed to a constituent of understanding of off a medium, they're going to really pay attention to the ways that media actually bring things into being and shape our world. Um, and from there, I then kind of take a step back in the essay, and I say, You know, it's curious that critical media studies scholars and students, um, will insist upon this for basically every media that that you could name are across the board. Um, but they somehow deny this to money. Now, most critical theorists in this vein, you know, do do not truck with the totally apolitical or seemingly a political, um, extremely correlation a LL and naive understandings of mainstream neoclassical economics. And we're all familiar with this. Their definition of money is it as a neutral veil for underlying exchanges, and it really doesn't do anything to shape socially social relations. These relationships are individual private exchanges, and when we put together our theories and we map our markets with our you know, esoteric and obtuse models and mathematics. What we're really talking about is just exchanging, and there's actually no mediation going on whatsoever. So, you know, most critical media studies scholar reject this nonsense, but what they often end up doing, whether they're following, Ah, certain Marxist lineage or or others you know, prolonging and others. You know, the they'll acknowledge that money is a function of larger political and economic structures. But there is this tendency to have nevertheless reduce money to exchange and the systemic and often on just patterns of exchange. And then in this model, for this mode, money is still seen as kind of an ex like an aftereffect like it's an expression. It's a distorted expression off this exchange relationship with all of the class dynamics and antagonisms that this that, that the wage relation and, ah, you know, capitalist exchange, uh, involves us in. So my argument is that that critical media so these scholars don't really reckon with the constituent of nature of money as a medium, because they basically give up all that all that constitutive creativity to the activities of exchange or to the dynamics of class antagonism to the violence of the state and and they end up not really thinking about Well, how is money shaping the world? Um, just a quick digression just to give you another example. There's, ah, contemporary, very important, um, media studies scholar who does a lot of work on new media and digital media Network media named Wendy Chun and, um ah, Wendy Chun in her most recent work or some of her most recent work has been thinking about the way that algorithms on social media and also, um, advertising on social media and data collection for the purposes of advertising on social media used these linear regression models. Um, that, um, go back to and have been had been developed in the early 20th century, essentially by you. Genesis steady statisticians. And that's of course, horrifying in itself. And she doesn't make the claim that, you know. So that means that, you know, Facebook is a bunch of you Genesis, right? That she's not saying that, But, um, she notes this history. And then she suggests that the underlying kind of assumptions the form, the principle that goes into this thesis kinds of algorithms, thes forms of mediation, they they're organized to create what are called like virtual neighborhoods or or um um ah, communities that are based on the on the principle of Homo Philly essentially like, liking like and what they're really interested in is creating borders, putting up walls, essentially digital walls that keep us that divide us and keep us separate. And instead of, let's say, a contrary movement, which would be algorithms were that were designed around hetero feely, right, that that looked for all kinds of interesting and, ah, strange resonances among differences instead, um ah, it's about creating divides rather than overcoming them or or forging pattern finding patterns of connection that were already there. Um, and you know, she makes the case that this is, you know, a sleaze to racism. It It's just it's a function of sexism. Um, you know. Ah, and this is a great example of putting that constituent of theory of mediation toe work. Right? You've got, um, the I think that the makers of these algorithms, they think they're just capturing what's already there. They're just conveying what is what is already the case. These thes preferences, these dynamics, these values thes people, these bodies thes virtual personas. They just are what they are. And the algorithm just captured them and and then sell the info. You know, um, for purposes of, of targeting, advertising and even predicting the future. Um, but if you go with Wendy, John, and you understand that No, actually, these algorithms are actually making our world. They're making communities. They're they're actually putting up divides and and walls, virtual walls that we don't even see because the algorithms are separating us essentially right. And so it becomes a very, very powerful tool, this constituent of approach. And it allows us to not only critique existing forms of mediation but also transformed them. So I take this constituent approach and I say, we got to do this with money. You know, we don't really have a theory of money we have when it comes to media. We've got powerful theories of money in Horrocks economics through empty, and we have our constitutional theories of money. Um, in legal studies board, we have a really translated this to the question of media. Um, and of course, you know, there's all kinds of overlap, you know, our friend and one of our previous guests, Rohan Gray thinks a lot about, you know, the the Technics city of money and how that changes things. And, um, you know what happens when money becomes increasingly digitized and where the politics of privacy and surveillance that they're wrapped up right in those questions. So it's not like, you know, I mean, if anything, you could say that it's legal studies that that's offering us more is on the cutting edge of thinking about the constituent of tech necessity of money as a medium. Whereas I think that, like humanities and social sciences, is pretty far behind. Um, so at that point in the essay, um, I kind of turn. Ah, and, um, suggest that, um, you know, money isn't just one medium among many media. It is a special kind of medium. Ah, and what? One of the things that makes it special is that it organizes so many other media. You know, this is a kind of truism when we think about digital technology, right? I mean, way have we have language for this? We have. We talk about convergence right net. Now, all the seemingly disparate media of modernity, um, sound media, visual media, you know, static and moving images, texts have converged and all been translated into the digital form, right? And then, in a sense, we have that we had do have a sense that the digital is a kind of meta medium for other media or previous media. But we

spk_2:   1:27:31
don't have a sense

spk_0:   1:27:32
of how this works with money. And you know, quite frankly, all of the major media that organize our world are organized by this meta medium. That is money. These things have to be funded and usually, and this is the case with our digital media, it's all coming either directly or indirectly from ah ah, currency issuing government essentially right, um, often for the purposes of war and commercial exploitation. But, um, but also, you know, these tools shape our lives and complicated ways there, you know, could be Justin on. Justin can always be thought otherwise. So I want to think about money as poetic Wright as a kind of police is a kind of creativity. Um, and I want to think of it as a meta creativity. It's sort of enables other kinds of creativity, whether it it's it enables people to labor together and make things, Um or uM, it enables other media to come into being, then sort of through the mid part of the essay. What I do is I couldn't go through some of the episodes that we've done and discuss some of the work of our guests, like Christine Dizon and Non Go Scylla and, um ah, Roland Grey as well. And then I think I also talk about Yacoub. Findings work, and I basically draw out what I think they all presume. And it's not just these guests. I mean, you know, I think Nathan Tank, it's also makes this point very vividly. He just he's on the cutting room floor of this particular essay is that money is creative, right? And that's what the the charnel is perspective really opens up, is is that money is an active creative process that it allows for the making of the world. It is not a neutral veil, and then there's not a passive expression of other of other processes. And all of these you know, authors organizer's that we you know, we talked Thio and, um explore their work. I think they're all committed to that constitutive understanding of mediation in their own ways to interject

spk_1:   1:29:46
and highlight this point it. I mean, that's That's an insight that I think people sort of no, that intuitively. But they also take it quite for granted. I mean, we began this conversation with the discussion of the cola movement here at the UC system. And I mean, what are we fighting for? We're fighting for the ability to mobilize money's creative features for our own very different header. Jeannie ascends. And you know the first thing that people say, Well, I want to do something. Well, where are we gonna pay for it? Right. That's that's what you're talking about?

spk_0:   1:30:32
Yeah, Absolutely, Absolutely. Um, yeah. And, you know, it's, you know, the kind of work that I do, you know, And some of us do can be esoteric, but it all comes back to that. It all. It all comes back to building capacity, enabling us to do what you know, we collectively want to do in, um, diverse ways and enabling that. And I think that the story of media you know, one of the one of the terms gets used a lot now in media studies, and I've heard complaints. It's overused now. but eyes this word afforded Mrs and it's interesting right there. So we talk about how certain kinds of media permit certain kinds of sensuous and social afford. Ince's right. So cinema extends our sight and sound and transforms it and opens up. Um, it affords us ways of engaging ways of exploring ways of, um, um revealing the world. And it's interesting, I think, you know, maybe we can. We can rescue this now kind of cliche critical trope of Afford. Ince's through a money on the left lands. Right. That that I mean, that's what we're interested in is what can we afford, right? Um, and it's money that ultimately is the meta medium that permits afford ins. It's the afford ins of afford ins. It's a metaphor Din's.

spk_1:   1:31:59
So now that we've reflected on the past and the present with regards to the slim analogies special issue and our contributions to it, um, what do we think we, uh, we're up to next? Everyone,

spk_2:   1:32:17
I'm glad you asked. Max. April 24 through 26th we are hosting our second, um, International. I think it's fair to say conference at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Our first conference was held at University of South Florida. Money on the left Word image. Praxis. I think we did that before we podcast ID, though podcasting was part of the idea. Um, the 2nd 1 is money on the left, the green new deal across the arts and humanities. And we're having folks from across the arts and humanities. But also, activists coming convening here in Baton Rouge serve on the front lines of climate disaster are on the at least adjacent to the front lines to climate disaster. Um, to to think through the history president, future of kind of the green New deal, Imaginary expanding it in various ways, I think, related to a lot of what we said today. And then hopefully in some surprising ways as well.

spk_0:   1:33:23
I'm excited.

spk_2:   1:33:24
I'm excited, Alex. I should say, if you're excited, money on the left out or we now have our own website, and you should check that out. We have the, uh, call for papers and description and also details about registration and how to get involved in the conference.

spk_0:   1:33:40
So wrapping up here, um, you know, you guys have thoughts about where where we want ahead uh, in the next year or so,

spk_1:   1:33:51
Yeah. I mean, you know, I think we should say, First of all, you know, this this last year and 1/2 plus has been quite the ride and quite the the journey. But, um, you know, we're still looking to to expand to multiple avenues and and to keep keep pushing especially. You know, I think the theme of this conversation has been the 2022 2022 window. Um And and then there's beyond that as well, but to keep, to keep pushing and to keep building capacity in multiple venues and across multiple media, I

spk_2:   1:34:30
think doing everything we can locally and as you know, um, a collective to win today so that we can win Maur tomorrow, broadly speaking, in terms of the 2020 situation. But yeah, I know. I think Maura and even broader conversation expanding mnh de membership, adding new leadership and just generally growing.

spk_0:   1:35:01
Yeah, you know, I'd like Thio. You know, it's to see who what people are working on and where, but, you know, I certainly would like us to try to expand even more into the arts and the humanities. um, I'm also, you know, I'd be super happy if we could find some people to talk to us about more non Western, um, context. You know, across Asia and Latin America. Um, I think there's a lot of, ah, allow more thinking that needs to be done about criminal justice reform. Um, the sky's the limit. It's just trying to trying to find the find the community, build the capacity.

spk_1:   1:35:48
All right. Good job, gentlemen.

spk_0:   1:35:51
Thanks you. Thank you.