Mapping the contradictions of rentier capitalism, financialisation and the universal basic income

Authors: Joe Collins*, University of Sydney
Topics: Economic Geography, Global Change, Social Theory
Keywords: Rentier capitalism, extractivism, rent theory, landed property, financialisation, universal basic income
Session Type: Paper
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This paper maps the topography of recent interventions in debates on rent theory and financialisation to ask whether the universal basic income is utopian fantasy or a useful reform capable of instigating radical pathways to ameliorating the deleterious consequences of capital accumulation in the 21st century. The paper proceeds along three key claims that have a bearing on current scholarly debates in rent theory and financialisation: 1) capitalist landed property is distinct from landed property in capitalism; 2) the concept of financialisation, like neoliberalism and globalisation before it, needs to be either dispensed with as an analytical category, or replaced by compounded concepts grounded in historically and spatially specific contexts 3) the universal basic income is a peculiar policy measure endowed with radical potential because it poses a concrete proposal that sidesteps an abstract question about the character of value in 21st century capital accumulation. These largely theoretical concerns will be grounded in case studies of Australia, South Africa and Finland.

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