This book review was first published in the Berlin Review of Books on 05 April 2013
When first reading Campbell Jones’s Can the Market speak? I simply treated it by the author’s self-imposed standards: a philosophical enquiry into the market and “the structure of the ideas and fantasies that come with the category of the market” (7). If I had finished writing this book review before Cypriot bank heist and the run on banks it would have probably remained at the level of summarizing the book, and making some snarky comments on particular points I liked or didn’t like.
The euphemistic ‘Stability Levy’, which would steal up to 10 per cent from people’s savings, breathed new life into the wide-ranging critiques of the market advanced by Campbell Jones. The question I asked myself was whether this short book could give meaning to this European Lehman Brothers moment and the ensuing collapse of the market the following Monday morning. In his book, Campbell Jones argues that there is a long history of personifications of the market. Adversaries and apologists of the market alike have attributed human characteristics to non-human entities to display the powers of capitalism. (more…)