Unmaking Goliath: Community Control in the Face of Global Capital

Unmaking Goliath: Community Control in the Face of Global Capital

Unmaking Goliath: Community Control in the Face of Global Capital

Unmaking Goliath: Community Control in the Face of Global Capital

Synopsis

Arguing against those who say that our communities are powerless in the face of footloose corporations, DeFilippis considers what localities can do in the face of heightened capital mobility in order to retain an autonomy that furthers egalitarian social justice, and explores how we go about accomplishing this in practical, political terms.

Excerpt

All politics is local, it is often said. But what about economics? Politics in this country, Americans like to believe, are participatory and democratic. But what about economics?

-Berkshire Eagle, 1992

Anybody who makes a prediction has in fact a "programme" for whose victory he is working, and his prediction is precisely an element contributing to that victory… Indeed one might say that only to the extent to which the objective aspect of prediction is linked to a programme does it acquire its objectivity.

-Antonio Gramsci, The Modern Prince

I begin this book with the two quotes above because they exemplify the two sets of issues and questions that form its very core. The first quote comes from the local newspaper as the city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, struggled to keep a modestly profitable plant open after its multinational corporate owner decided to close it and relocate production to a nonunion shop in Florida. I begin with this, because it is exactly this reality: one of consistently increasing levels of alienation from the structures that govern our lives, and declining standards of living-even in times and places experiencing aggregate levels of economic growth-faced by workers and communities all over the country that drives this work. That is, we are constantly hearing, from both the academic and popular press, that the economy is global and that capital is so mobile as to be able to go anywhere, at any time, and at dizzying speeds. Mark Miller (the former editor of the Berkshire Eagle) and I are therefore asking the relatively simple question: What can people in localities do in the face of that mobile capital?

The second issue is embodied by Gramsci's typically incomprehensible statement, which is about the inherent relationship between political theory and political practice. You can't do political theory in the absence of practice

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