Banking on Alternatives to Neoliberal Development

Part of book or chapter of book English OPEN
Marois, Thomas (2015)
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Subject: 8540 | 3500

It is a far from widely shared proposition that banks should have anything to do with any alternative to neoliberalism in the developing world, let alone facili- tate any substantive break with capitalism’s social relations of power, production and oppression. This is despite 25 per cent of all financial institutions globally remaining state-owned (and hence potentially more open to democratic control) and despite banks continuing to play a central role in developing and emerging capitalist societies. There has been a near systemic neglect of banking and financial alternatives in the field of development, most strikingly among radicals. Many scholars, activists, unions and social forces that take the question of alternative development seriously focus on workers’ control of the productive apparatus. Yet neither in historical practice nor in theory is there much basis for this financial blind spot. From the experiences and experiments of ‘less-than- liberal-capitalist’ banking systems in societies as diverse as China, Cuba, Vietnam and Venezuela to the analytical works of Marxists like Rudolf Hilferding, V. I. Lenin, Makoto Itoh and Costas Lapavitsas, banking systems not fully subordi- nated to profit and competitive imperatives have been understood as integral to potentially socialist projects.
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