From Zone / Near Futures
Investee Politics in a Speculative Age
Distributed for Zone Books
The extraordinary shift in conduct and orientation—among companies, governments, and individuals—generated by financialization.
The hegemony of finance compels a new orientation for everyone and everything: companies care more about the moods of their shareholders than about longstanding commercial success; governments subordinate citizen welfare to appeasing creditors; and individuals are concerned less with immediate income from labor than with appreciation of their capital goods, skills, connections, and reputations. In this book, in clear and compelling prose, Michel Feher explains the extraordinary shift in conduct and orientation generated by financialization.
That firms, states, and people depend more on their ratings than on the product of their activities also changes how capitalism is resisted. For activists, the focus of grievances shifts from the extraction of profit to the conditions under which financial institutions allocate credit. While the exploitation of employees by their employers has hardly been curbed, the power of investors to select investees—to decide who and what is deemed creditworthy—has become a new site of social struggle. Above all, Feher articulates the new political resistances and aspirations that investees draw from their rated agency.
Hardcover$25.95 T | £20.00 ISBN: 9781942130123 240 pp. | 6 in x 8 in
Belgian philosopher Feher (Rated Agency ) argues that, though industrial capitalism once pitched employers' interests against those of workers, in the present 'financialized' form of capitalism the conflict is between investors (those who decide when to extend credit) and 'investees,' and activism must adjust accordingly....The phenomena that Feher describes and the counterstrategy he outlines are likely to spark intra-left debate.
Feher clearly and systematically lays out how following the money may not be the grand capitulation that the Left considers it to be…his subtle but important conceptual shift of emphasis from “value” to “credit” may be Rated Agency's most enduring contribution to political economy going forward.
As power has shifted from producers and entrepreneurs to financiers and credit rating agencies, Michel Feher's new book proposes a bold strategy for turning the speculators' tools into instruments of logic and liberty, and placing them in the hands of the dispossessed, the exploited, and the manipulated. Rated Agency is a must read for anyone seeking to escape the melancholy of the Trump era by building an effective progressive movement against a creeping dystopia.
cofounder of DiEM25, Professor of Economics at University of Athens, author of Adults In the Room: My Battle with the European and American Deep Establishment
Rated Agency is the most astute analysis of financialized capitalism I have ever read. While so many, even on the left, long to rewind history, Feher has reckoned with the past, and imaginatively charted a path forward into the future.
Professor of History, University of Chicago
This is a remarkable and timely contribution to current radical thinking on those various displacements brought about by the now long haul of neoliberalism: from workforce to “de-proletarianized” debtors, from salary to gig, from labour to rent, from welfare society to neo-nationalist movements.
Professor of Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London