Class, Mana, and Power: Organized Money

This is the first installment of a series exploring the conditions under which power is built and exercised over both the short and longue duree. Subsequent installments will look at the role of organized people and organized mana or what is often called cultural capital. I invite your comments as I work towards a coherent theory of power which can support a strategy adequate to the tasks of confronting Capital and Empire in this period of civilizational crisis. 

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There is no question of social theory or political theology more important, from an explanatory,  normative, and a strategic perspective, than that of the hierarchy and stratification. From an explanatory and strategic perspective, understanding the unequal distribution of factors contributing to power is fundamental to contesting that distribution. On the other hand, from a normative perspective, any claim regarding the transcendental end to which human beings are ordered implies at least an implicit judgment regarding the extent to which individuals have realized those ends, and thus some concept of hierarchy.

Historically, even among social theorists respectful towards religion and theologians who draw on the social sciences these two ways of engaging hierarchy have been treated as fundamentally separate and incommensurable. While theology might make judgments about the justice or injustice of various forms of inequality, it was left to a purely secular theory to analyze and explain them.  And while sociologists might analyze the ways in which status systems in particular, as opposed to class structures, reflect and institutionalize the beliefs and values of a society, it was left to theology or philosophy to pass judgment on what is actually important.

Central to our project of a restored theoria which integrates social (and eventually physical and biological) theory, philosophy, and theology is the recognition that the distinction between the explanatory, the normative, and the strategic is a relative and conditional one. As we have argued elsewhere (Mansueto 2012) material systems are ordered to transcendental ends, and ultimately to Being as such, understood as neither substance nor subject, but rather as relationship and generativity. The cosmos (or cosmoi if there turn out to be more than one) is a vast hierarchy of degrees of participation in Being, a hierarchy which is both objective and normative.  This doctrine of hierarchy is in no sense form of legitimation for exploitative economic structures or for oppressive political or ideological structures. On the contrary, Being understood as pure generativity is precisely the opposite of any kind of self possession, and is present precisely to the extent that claims to consume are absent and power is exercised exclusively for the cultivation of other participants in Being.

At the same time, theoria must take into account, both for explanatory and strategic reasons, the fact that matter’s drive towards Being is emergent, uneven, and contradictory. What builds power over the short run is not necessarily what builds power over the longue durée, and if we are to analyze particular social realities and act effectively on them, we need a theory which integrates an understanding of how stratification and power work across spacetimes of radically different orders of magnitude.

In order to arrive at such an account of stratification, we draw on a variety of sources. From historical materialism we take a recognition of the primacy, across 5000 or more years of human civilization, of ownership of the means of production shaping power relations (Marx and Engels 1848/1993). From the interpretive sociological tradition of Weber (Weber 1920/1968) we a recognition that the primacy of class thus understood notwithstanding, status, understood as the respect accorded individuals, is distinct from class and has different bases (though in a capitalist society wealth and consumption both seem to confer status). And power, understood as the ability to get things done, depends not only on wealth and status but also the ability to organize and mobilize relationship networks. From functionalism we derive the idea that status hierarchies in particular reflect the relative importance accord various social functions (as distinct from their objective importance) within the context of a particular civilization, something which in turn reflects their hierarchy of values (Davis and Moore 1945).  We also draw on the idea of mana, developed by Marcel Mauss (Mauss 1902) and mobilized into a key concept in contemporary popular culture by the role playing game subculture.

We have, furthermore, already elaborated a synthesis of these three sociological traditions with our broader dialectical philosophy (Mansueto 2002a), arguing that social reality is shaped by the interaction between a material basis (understood as ecological niche) social structure (technological, economic, political, and cultural) and the teleological ordering of human civilization towards Being, mediated through various spiritual and civilizational ideals, which represent different ways of seeing Being. We have also extended the perspective to physical and biological theory by showing how such a teleological perspective is necessary to complete and unify science (Mansueto 2012).

Here we add two additional sources from the realm of practical political strategy. The first is the concept of the political vanguard, developed by Marx (1848/1993) and Lenin (Lenin 1902/1929) and elaborated by Antonio Gramsci into the idea of the Communist Party as the organic intellectual of the proletariat (Gramsci 1949b). Fundamental to this concept is the claim that the revolutionary transformation of society requires a conscious leadership. We will treat this idea as a humanistic secular form of the impulse behind earlier elite ideological leadership organizations  such as religious orders across the full span of human history. Here monasticism has been the dominant form, but military-religious and mendicant orders, “clerks regular” such as the Society of Jesus, and secular institutes and personal prelatures have generally assumed both a more active position in the public arena and are less tied to large endowments which make them economically part of the ruling class. Second, we will draw significantly on the concept of power taught by the interfaith organizing movement, and especially by the Industrial Areas Foundation, based on the work of Saul Alinsky (Alinsky 1971). While not intended as a comprehensive social theory or grand strategy, but rather as a political heuristic, the Alinskyite claim that power consists in organized money and organized people is both extremely useful and limited in ways which suggest critical next steps in elaborating a integrally political-theological concept of power.

Finally, we will argue that human civilization has never been “controlled” by organized groups of human beings, but is rather ordered to civilizational ideals and mobilized by structures which tend more and more to become autonomous powers. This dynamic is reflected in the pervasive sense, especially at times when such structures were very powerful (under Rome, for example) that the real adversary of human spiritual development civilizational progress was not any earthly power but rather the “powers and principalities” which acted in and through Empire and other structures of domination. (Ephesians 6:13). We will argue that with the emergence of Capital as an increasingly autonomous power that what we call the Saeculum has reached a new stage of hegemony, in a way which fundamentally alters the strategic equation.

Our aim will be a theory which has explanatory power across both the short and longue durée and which can support the development of political-theological strategy over the scale of decades, centuries, and millennia.

Our analysis and argument will be organized around the elements in the Alinsyite theory of power, modified to include a cultural element which is actually central to Alinskyite practice but absent from their explicit teaching. We will then proceed to draw out the strategic implications of this analysis, especially with respect to the question of what a conscious leadership devoted to seeking wisdom, doing justice, and ripening being would need to look like and what it needs to do.

Organized Money

 Power is the ability to get things done. It requires, at minimum, two people with overlapping interests and a common plan. More broadly, power is based on three factors: organized money (or, if we take a broader historical view, organized material resources), organized people (what is often today called social capital) and organized mana, or the ability to get people to do things based on respect for the values one embodies or represents.  We consider organized material resources first.

The historical materialist theory of social class remains correct in all its essentials. In societies in which real or imagined scarcity remains an social fact, class based on ownership of the means of production is the fundamental determinant of an individual or an organization’s ability to get others to act. And classes are divided, broadly, between those who have organized or inherited enough wealth that they do not need to work at all and can get others not only to support them but to carry out their civilizational agendas, those who have enough wealth (whether in the form of organized resources or skills) that they can work for themselves and pursue their own agendas freely, and those who lack such organized material resources and are therefore bound to work for others.

This basic tripartite class structure is universal in class societies, but the form of organized material resources and the means or organizing and allocating them differ. In tributary societies the most important organized resource is land and the principle means of surplus extraction is military capacity, generally legitimated by a sacral monarchic ideology. Under petty commodity production land remains fundamental, but specialized agriculture displaces subsistence agriculture as the principal source of surplus generation and mining and crafts production grow in importance. Warlord states are joined by private landowners, crafts producers, and the merchants who help them realize their comparative advantage in a developing global market as factions of the possessing class. And Empire emerges both as a condition for creating and protecting global trade networks and as a new strategy for exploitation in its own right, based on taxing trade rather than merely direct subsistence production. Under capitalism the role of land is eclipsed, on the one hand, by successive waves of emerging technologies, and eventually by the ability to continuous develop new, innovative technologies itself and, on the other hand, by Capital understood as a pure legal claim on surplus (finance capital), independent of any actual possession at all.

The articulation of the boundaries between social classes, the persistence of Empire as structure related to but distinct from Capital, and emergence of  Capital as an autonomous force, independent of any human ruling class present issues which Marx himself did not adequately address.

In its raw form Marx’s theory tends to treat peasants, especially those who own their own land, as part of the petty bourgeoisie and therefore not as a revolutionary class (Marx 1852/1993). This is clearly wrong. The type of resources held even by “rich” peasants do not allow them to pursue individual spiritual and civic agendas even if their consumption levels are relatively high by comparison with poorer peasants, industrial workers, slaves, etc. The same is true of many artisans and small merchants in precapitalist societies and small business people in capitalist societies. But is not because they lack the intellectual formation necessary to have such an agenda but because their labor is not centered on advancing such an agenda, but rather on subsistence and or luxury production. On the contrary, these strata have been powerful reservoirs of  spiritual and political resistance to the instrumentalization of human life by Empire  and Capital.  Sometimes this is based on a spiritual and civilizational agenda deriving from traditional wisdom (village elders and religious leaders) and sometimes from a vigorous autodidact subculture like that which emerged in the early years of the international workers movement and which was closely associated with Masonic and para-Masonic workers organizations, secret societies, and revolutionary parties. Sometimes these formations overlap, as in the mutual benefit societies formed by immigrant workers in the United States in the early part of the twentieth century, which integrated both traditional popular religious and para-Masonic elements. At the same time, it should be noted that members of these strata will often resist vigorously efforts at collectivization which threaten to deprive them of what autonomy they have and transform them into state employees. They thus organize and act across a broad political spectrum depending on the concrete contradictions of the period and conjuncture (Hobsbawm, Esteva 1968, Wolf 1969, Sewell 1980).

A similar caveat applies to those who have the intellectual formation necessary to have a spiritual and civilizational agenda but who work under conditions which deprive them of the “creative control” necessary to pursue that vocation as their principal form of day to day work. These “knowledge workers” are generally salaried employees and should be regarded, depending on the level of salary and the degree of professional autonomy, as proletarianized or semiproletarianized. The resistance to this proletarianization has been one of the principal sources of intellectual leadership for revolutionary movements, but also of ineffective sectarian politics and sometimes of destructive terrorism (Ehrenreich and Ehrenreich 1979, 2013; Ehrenreich 1989; Poulantzas 1975, Konrad and Szelenyi 1979).

Finally, there has been considerable ink spilled regarding the role of upper level managers, especially what are now called “C-level” executives. These individuals are often paid several times as much as the highest paid salaried professionals, are given generous stock options, and oven accumulate considerable wealth. At the same time, they can rarely afford to simply stop working and they serve at the pleasure of the investors who control the boards of the for profit (and nonprofit) corporations by which they are employed. Their level of autonomy is generally much higher than those of proletarianized intellectuals but much less than those of elite intellectuals who shape public opinion and enjoy full creative control over their work, but may earn rather less money (Ehrenreich and Ehrenreich 1979, 2013).

More recently, the lines between these two groups have begun to blur, as we see the emergence of a new global elite (Freeland 2011) which earns most of its income from nominal salary, as opposed to return on investments, but which is not exclusively employed in the executive leadership of major corporations or other institutions. Many of these individuals are high level creatives, founders of profitable start-ups who entrust management functions to older, more seasoned individuals while retaining significant control over their enterprises and a C-level role as Chief Technology Officer, Chief Mission Officer, or the like.

The second major issue which has dominated debates regarding class within the historical materialist tradition is the role of imperialism. The dependency/world systems trend (Amin 1978/1980) has emphasized the priority of imperialist exploitation of the Third World by the imperial metropoles to such an extent that it has tended to regard even the working classes of the metropoles as privileged and a part of the global ruling class alliance. This claim was questionable even before the current wave of globalization, especially in mistaking relative privilege, granted to ensure political quiescence, with authentic participation in the ruling alliance, though a case might be made that coming out of the Depression, New Deal, and Second World War, trade unions, acting through social democratic and social liberal parties (including the Democratic Party in the United States), and bolstered by the threat of the Soviet Union, were able to secure what we will call “magnate” status and extract significant concessions from Capital, even if these concessions were also beneficial to the then dominant heavy industrial, consumer durables led sectors of Capital themselves. And clearly the defining feature of social democracy as opposed to communism was its support for the Euro-American as  against the Soviet or Chinese imperia.

This said, it should be clear both that the power of the trade unions has been broken and their alliance with progressive sectors of Capital is now more a question of desperation than shrewd negotiation. The tendency of capitalist development is towards the unlimited mobility of capital and towards the equalization of prices across the planet, including prices for labor. As a result the significant privileges enjoyed by the working classes of  North America, Europe, and Japan are rapidly eroding and the both the value and the price of labor power there declining to global market levels.

Much the same is true of the so-called “national bourgeoisies” of the Third World, the existence of which many, though not all, dependency/world systems theorists denied. This group, based in emerging industries serving domestic demand was understood by classical Leninists and even by some dependency theorists as part of a broad anti-imperialist alliance. In reality, most Third World countries were too small for anything like the autarchic development strategy advocated by theorists like Samir Amin, and enjoyed comparative advantages centered on mineral, agricultural, or low wage manufacturing exports. More populist leaders have attempted to direct some of the surplus generated by these activities into investments which promote human development, and a few (such as the formerly hermetic leadership of Myamnar) have attempted a semi-autarchic strategy without a full embrace of socialism. But the growing advantages of participation in the global market, at least for elites, and the declining weight of the old peasant based at home have gradually undercut regimes of this sort unless they have significant mineral (and usually petroleum) rents on which to rely, forcing them either to “open up” to global Capital or face “regime change.”

The final challenge facing historical materialist theories of class concerns the transformation of Capital into an autonomous power, independent of any human ruling class. The logic of Capital is such that once an effective global market is established, national governments become increasingly impotent to manage their own national economies, even within the limits of basically capitalist relations of production. Efforts at global governance, especially in the economic arena, have thus far focused on creating a global institutional framework which supports the operation of market forces, with regulation only in areas which the very survival of the planet is threatened, such as climate change, and there only weakly. While there are clearly cosmopolitan elites which owe greater allegiance to global Capital than to their own nation states, there is little evidence that these elites are organizing in a way which would give them effective collective power comparable to that of the global market itself. Thus, while Empire persists as a global power which makes the world safe for Capital (and to be fair for some other social forms as well), the planet is increasingly dominated not by anything like “US Imperialism” of a “global imperialist ruling class,” but rather by Capital itself as an impersonal force. This development is analogous to the later Roman Empire, which emerged to defend and advance the Hellenistic ideal of life as a free human being and an engaged citizen (an ideal which in turn depended on chattel slavery in the West and on an Imperium which allowed control of at least part of the Silk Road trade routes), but which eventually overshadowed both the civic culture and the great Senatorial landlords who had created it, to such a degree that many in the West at least eventually abandoned it, preferring to pay protection to Germanic warlords than submit to instrumentalization by the autonomous imperial bureaucratic and military apparatus. We will return to this theme later in this series when we discuss the concept of the Saeculum and its relation to the structures of Empire and Capital, and how we might challenge them.

With these issues addressed, we are  now in position to specify what an updated historical materialist class analysis can tell us. While there is no longer anything like an authentic global ruling class, and while national ruling classes are increasingly losing leverage vis-à-vis Capital as an autonomous power, the basic distinction between those who must work for others, those who can work for themselves, and those who do not need to work remains. And within these basic layers, significant differences in autonomy and resource mobilization in turn affect the ability to build and exercise power.

Broadly speaking it is possible to identify the following social classes and strata within the primary social classes:

The capitalist class consists of those who have sufficient resources that they can reliably live off their investments and for whom work, therefore is optional and exclusively a way of advancing their own agendas, be these simply pleasure, the accumulation of greater wealth and power, or some higher civilizational or spiritual end. Given the capitalist character of the global economy, those with this level of organized material resources are properly called capitalist even if their principal resource is land and their methods of surplus extraction pre-capitalist, because they are producing for a global market which they must ultimately serve. Within this class it is possible to identify the following strata:

Sovereigns own outright not only enough resources to buy a seat at the table in essentially any significant political forum on the planet, but who also own political authority over a territory and its people or over a nonterritorial community. This is fundamentally a pre-capitalist form of power and is thus now quite rare, and exists only where supplemented by significant mana, and even there it is shared (as it always was in precapitalist societies) by broad family or institutional networks.  For the most part power at this level is no longer exercised by individuals who own it or exercise it for life, but rather by ministerial officers controlled by those at the next echelon of the capitalist class, what we call the magnates. And those few individuals who still occupy such roles are generally much less powerful than the ministers of the great magnate collectives. Even so, they have greater autonomy and remain powerful for longer than most magnate ministers, and this is important to understand when engaging them.

The most significant individual operating at this level is the Pope, but his authority is much diminished as a result of poor political strategy and spiritual leadership on the part of the Church. One might also include some of the Arab monarchs, such as the Sauds and perhaps the princes of the Gulf States. While the English monarchy remains incredibly wealthy its constitutional character limits its ability to leverage its wealth as power and it is almost certainly the European monarchy which comes closest in this regard. Constitutional monarchs may have royal mana, but they have lost real ownership of political authority.

Magnates are those who have sufficient resources to command a voice in global decision making fora, though they may well need to develop significant political skill in order to leverage their wealth as power and exercise it effectively. Their wealth is also generally sufficient to protect them from most market fluctuations, though not necessarily from revolution or civilizational collapse.  While some magnates hold inherited wealth which dates back to the precapitalist era, and often therefore have noble titles, generally at the comitial or higher level, which go with it, this is a question of mana, not organized resources. Similarly, there are magnates in socialist countries who may still lack formal ownership of Capital, but nonetheless have effective control over it. Most contemporary magnates are either the leaders of established capitalist families (e.g. the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Mellons, etc.) or entrepreneurs who have established new capitalist empires (Gates, Jobs, etc.).

Below this level we find the ordinary capitalists who have sufficient resources to support not only themselves but a substantial body of employees or retainers. With sufficient political skill they can leverage this wealth into a seat at the table up to the metropolitan area level. They are medium to large capitalists and often dominate a local economy even if they do not leverage their wealth as political power. Their wealth gives them political weight comparable to the baronial lords of the feudal era or somewhere in between that of the equites and decuriones of the Late Empire.  They are much more vulnerable than magnates to economic changes and more frequently fall into the petty bourgeoisie or even the proletariat, but may also accumulate enough wealth to achieve magnate status or build the political networks or accumulate to mana to act politically at the magnate level.

The petty bourgeoisie, as we have noted, consists of those with sufficient capital, either financial or inherited, to  work for themselves and to focus (in varying degrees) on advancing their spiritual and civic agenda, if they have one. Here again we can identify at least three strata. Members of the upper petty bourgeoisie have sufficient resources to support themselves in pursuing their own agendas. This may consist in an investment income human capital in a profession which is authentically their calling and in which they can basically “write their own ticket.” They can generally also support a small staff to assist with routine or supportive tasks. Alternatively they may have skills in the management of capitalist enterprises which gives them ministerial authority over the capital of others.  Or they may own enterprises which employ a significant number of other people but in which their own work in a professional, creative, artisanal, mercantile or entrepreneurial capacity, is critical to success.  Members of this stratum can often build and exercise significant power, comparable to that of magnates and ordinary capitalists if the also have outstanding public relational networks  and/or significant mana. They many function either as what is now often called thought leaders or as ministeriales acting on behalf of capital. In either case their autonomy is constrained by the fact that they depend on Capital for access to the resources necessary to act publicly on a large scale. They are also quite vulnerable to economic fluctuations, political attacks, and changing fashions. While many senior political leaders come from one or another stratum of the capitalist class, many are also members of the upper petty bourgeoisie. This stratum is the capitalist equivalent of the upper gentry of the feudal era, and especially the noblesse de la robe on the one hand and those holding knighthoods on the other, though the social function is rather more like that of the first.

 Members of the middle petty bourgeoisie have sufficient human capital to support themselves in a liberal profession in the exercise of which they enjoy significant but limited autonomy. They struggle with difficulty to focus their professional activities on their spiritual or civic agendas if they have them, and often face significant penalties for so doing.  Alternatively they have sufficient financial capital to operate their own businesses, albeit with very broad exposure to market forces. One could also place here those who have sufficient capital to give them significant flexibility in pursuing their agendas during times of unemployment, transition, entrepreneurship, etc., but not enough to support them indefinitely without sponsorship or a market niche.  The stratum also includes those with modestly successful small businesses which are relative stable and generate an income which makes possible a comfortable lifestyle, but which are not necessarily a full expression of the owners spiritual and civic agenda. While they have the space for active civic engagement and to build and exercise power on a small scale, members of this stratum find that too much of their time is absorbed in labor performed directly or indirectly for the benefit of Capital to allow all but a few to act effectively on larger political stages. This stratum is the equivalent of the lower gentry of the feudal era.

Members of the lower or proletarianized petty bourgeoisie are essentially members of the proletariat who benefit very modestly from the privileges still accorded intellectual as opposed to manual labor. They must sell their labor power to survive and perform their professional tasks, such as they are, in service to an agenda which is not their own. Resistance often meets with dismissal. Increasingly there is very little difference between this stratum and that of skilled workers, especially since trades and technical skills are increasingly acquired in the same community college and comprehensive university environments as the nominally more intellectual skills of the proletarianized petty bourgeosie. Historically this stratum included teachers, social workers, nurses, more junior engineers, etc. Increasingly it also includes many academics, especially those employed on non-tenure lines or as adjuncts as well as physicians and attorneys whose pay is still rather higher than most in this stratum but whose autonomy is rapidly eroding. One could also include here those with nominal small capital in a business they run by themselves, but which generates only a modest income, often requires superexploitation of the owner and his or her family (such as many new immigrant businesses) and which is extremely vulnerable to market forces.

Peasants are economically members of the petty bourgeoisie, in the sense that they hold a larger or smaller capital in land which is not, however, sufficient to exempt them from working. In practice, however, their pattern of political organization and action is very different from that of the petty bourgeoisie, partly because of the survival of precapitalist forms of both popular organization and exploitation. Village communities provide a basis in experience for collective control of productive resources which has made peasants the social stratum historically most inclined to actually embrace socialism (so long as effective ownership remains at the village level or lower). On the other hand, economic constraints (such as mortgages and other loans and tenancy arrangements) which in the case of the “small business” petty bourgeoisie are purely market arrangements are often transformations of older precapitalist forms of dependency. Peasants will often contest these structures directly, demanding debt forgiveness and land redistribution where a small business member of the petty bourgeoisie would never make comparable demands (that the loan which funs his business be turned into a grant in aid or that the he simply be handed over title to the buildings and land he uses). These factors on the whole make the peasantry a far more revolutionary class than the petty bourgeoisie.

The proletariat consist of those who must sell their labor in order to survive. Here strata are defined partly by skill, to the extent that it makes a certain type of labor more scarce and thus able to fetch a higher price  and partly be degree of organization. The upper stratum of the proletariat includes those with a combination of highly valued skills, trade union protections, public relationship networks, or political skill sufficient to secure for them an income comparable to the lower or middle petty bourgeoisie, but generally in the exercise of lower status trades or administrative occupations. One would also include here those trade union officials who are not themselves members of the petty bourgeoisie, first and many second level supervisors, and the senior enlisted ranks of the military and their equivalents in civilian life (such as powerful executive assistants, etc.) The very highest levels of this stratum may achieve the autonomy and/or build the mana necessary to build and exercise power at a level comparable to the upper petty bourgeoisie.

The middle stratum of the proletariat includes those with limited skills or skills no longer in significant demand who can generally find work, though not always at a living wage and frequently with long periods of ruinous unemployment. Members of this stratum, like that above it, may sometimes achieve the autonomy and or build the mana necessary to  build and exercise power, but only on relatively small or local scale (as part of a local trade union, civic organization, congregation, etc.)  and this is becoming difficult for workers at this level in the metropoles as their incomes decline and they are forced to work longer and longer hours just to make ends meet.

The lower stratum of the proletariat (often called the underclass) consists of those who lack marketable skills and can find only casual or intermittent work, those whose ability to work is compromised by physical or mental illness, and those who are incarcerated or subject to bondage legal or illegal. This stratum generally lacks the stability to build and exercise power, though if survival issues are resolved some may find the space to organize.

Finally, we should note that class is only one economic factor affecting the building and exercise of power. Sector and industry are also important. Capitalists, petty bourgeois managers and professionals, and workers in a particular sector or industry share interests with each other which transcend the class contradictions between them. This is a factor the significance of which Marx vastly underestimated. The extractive and agroindustrial sectors are generally the most reactionary, because their activities depend on ecological destructive processes and on the exploitation of human beings under harsh and dangerous conditions. And yet their workers will often support them. Industrial capital falls somewhere in between. As the level of technology rises, relative to that of the economy as a whole, a sector is more likely to support higher wages  that it workers can buy its products they (or the industries for which they create capital goods) produce. High technology and information sectors require highly skilled workers who can command higher wages and need greater autonomy in their work, pushing these sectors in a more progressive direction. Finance capital is rather an exception to this pattern. On the one hand it is itself a “high technology, high skill” sector and shares some of the political culture of the high technology and information sectors. But investments in extractive and agroindustrial sectors as well as low wage industries can be quite lucrative, as can complex derivative instruments which themselves create no new value.

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Organized money, to be sure, is only part of the picture. In the next two installments we will explore the role of public relationship networks and mana in building and exercising power. This will, in turn, allow us to develop a synthetic picture of how power is built and exercised which will allow us to consider the current and emerging power map of the planet and just what kind of organizing process is necessary to contest the hegemony of Capital and Empire in a period of civilizational crisis.

 

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