History Bubble Economics
posted by February 12 at 13:24 PMon
After housing, the alternative energy bubble:
‘Alternative energy’ bubble or PR gimmick? We’re told the “next bubble” is already here: “Alternative energy,” says Janszen. In his new “perpetual bubble-blowing machine” theory this means that biofuels, solar, wind, nuclear, hydroelectric and geothermal energies are the new bubble, until it peaks and “creatively destructs” around 2013. 2013? Yes, then Wall Street will replace it with a new bubble. Bubble after bubble, accelerating, increasing in size and frequency ad infinitum. And each time, “we will be left to mop up after yet another devastated industry,” while Wall Street “will already be engineering its next opportunity.”
The Market Watch column from which the above quote is taken concerns Eric Janszen’s essay, “The Next Bubble,” in the present issue of Harpers Magazine.
But bubble-burst (boom-bust) cycles engine the core of capitalism itself. Capitalism is dialectical in exactly this way. The dialectic of bubble-burst is the motor by which it moves through history, by which it builds here and destroys there. Bubble-burst is not the invisible hand but the cunning of history. This is why Macherey describes Spinoza’s philosophy (and ultimately the philosophy of liberation) as “post-dialectic.” It’s liberated from the negative power of the crisis: the crisis of overproduction, the housing crisis, the tech crisis, the oil crisis. The disaster is not new to capital; it is capital. What might be new is not the disaster (or even its size) but the frequency of disasters.
“There will and must be many more such booms, for without them the United States can no longer function. The bubble cycle has replaced the business cycle.”