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Everyone's at it!

The Rentier Economy & the Morality of the Cultural Industries

A talk by Jeremy Valentine
(from Media, Communication & Sociology; QMU)

Thursday 17th April 2008, 6pm - all welcome

STUC (Scottish Trades Union Congress)
333 Woodlands Road
Glasgow G3 6NG

Written in the spirit, but not the style, of Mandeville's ‘The Fable of the Bees’ (1705) Valentine begins with a critical analysis of theoretical claims that reduce culture to economy by virtue of the meaningful and embedded nature of the latter.

rentier event image

There are two aspects of this critique:
- Firstly, an internal one directed at the assumption of a telos of homogeneity in cultural economy approaches. Even though the notion of economy is broadened everything is located within an equilibrium.
- Secondly, an external one which draws attention to the coincidence between cultural economy approaches and contemporary political rhetorics of 'creative economy'.

Both aspects naturalise historically specific relations of production through the category of culture and both privilege and generalise cultural industries as the leading edge of wealth production.

Valentine argues that both approaches are organised by a disavowal of the political dominance of the economic category of rent and the regimes of rights and fees on which it depends.

Following a discussion of the problem of rent for capitalism, from Smith via Marx and Keynes to Buchanan, Valentine outlines the role of rent in contemporary neo-liberal capitalism and its links to practices of 'value capture'. He concludes with a discussion of the possible reasons for the valorisation of culture in contemporary neo-liberalism and in particular the example of the cultural industries in the formation of moral subjectivity.

There will be a MINI BOOKFAIR in conjunction with Glasgow's Radical Independent Bookfair project (RIB)  - which has been helping to fill the gap left by the lack of alternative bookshops, radical events and platforms for imaginative and independent voices in our city -

Event also supported by:
Autonomi -
Electron Club -
City Strolls -


Download a PDF of the flier here.

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