In a new review in Theory & Event, Martijn Konings discusses Ivan Ascher’s Portfolio Society, likening the book to “a Capital in the Twenty-first Century for an audience that reads Jacobin rather than The Economist.” Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full article. An excerpt appears below.
“Ivan Ascher’s Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Mode of Prediction is an outstanding example of the growing trend among social and political theorists to engage in serious ways with questions of political economy. It is also part of a trend within that trend to focus the analysis on questions of time, risk and futurity. The book appears in the Near Futures series published by Zone Books, which has also published Wendy Brown’s Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution (2015), an intervention that has found an unusually wide audience and has done more than any other book to bring questions of neoliberalism and economics into political theory debates. … But whereas Brown is concerned with the totalizing logic of the neoliberal reconstruction of economic reason and its effects on democratic governance, Ascher’s book works in a more specifically economic register, engaging the constructivist streak of neoliberalism by training the analysis on the malleable logic of capitalism’s temporal structures—that is, the way financial capital (also referred to as “Moneybags”) shapes the future by predicting it.”