I’ve hit a bit of a blogger’s writing block over the last week or two.  Also fighting off a nasty cold hasn’t helped, but I’ve found myself a number of times sitting down to write and nothing coming out.  No inspiration.  Feels like I have nothing to write on.

I spent my early-mid twenties studying religion, metaphysics, spirituality, philosophy, and history (which is what my undergraduate degree is in).

For whatever reason I’m more and more drawn to reading economics and political economy treatises.  A good source for a number of works in e-format is here (site run by marxists interestingly but by no means Marxist-only, lots of classics).

Right now I’m reading excerpts from Empire by Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt (which is a Neo-Marxist text).  Interesting piece here on the stages of economic development:  from agriculture (premodern) to industrialization (modernization) to service-sector/informational (postmodern).

Not all countries, of course, even among the dominant capitalist countries, have embarked on the project of postmodernisation along the same path. On the basis of the change of employment statistics in the G-7 countries since 1970, Manuel Castells and Yuko Aoyama have discerned two basic models or paths of informatisation. Both models involve the increase of employment in postindustrial services, but they emphasise different kinds of services and different relations between services and manufacturing. The first path tends toward a service economy model and is led by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. This model involves a id decline in industrial jobs and a corresponding rapid rise in service-sector jobs. In particular, the financial services that manage capital come to dominate the other service sectors. In the second model, the info-industrial model, typified by japan and Germany, industrial employment declines more slowly than it does in the first model, and, more important, the process of informatisation is closely integrated into and serves to reinforce the strength of existing industrial production. Services related directly to industrial production thus remain more important in this model relative to other services. The two models represent two strategies to manage and gain an advantage in the economic transition, but it should be clear that they both move resolutely in the direction of the informatisation of the economy and the heightened importance of productive flows and networks.

Published in: on February 4, 2008 at 6:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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