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The Changing Organisation of Industry: Post-Fordism

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McGill University
GEOG 216
Geraldine Akman

The Changing Organisation of Industry: Post-Fordism - Film: - Flashbacks to Moore’s childhood = Fordism - Town in Michigan that was the centre of Fordism auto production - Ppl had unionized jobs, worked in factories, middle-class lives - S/thing happens  crisis of Fordism  de-indusz  Manufacturing of first-world starts to leave, go s/where else Crisis of Fordism - Exhaustion of Fordism - Fordism solution to prob of over-accumulation  Capital must grow + accumulate  Ppl in heyday of Flint had good incomes, good standards of living  Capital conts to grow, accumulate, needs places to go to grow further - Fordism has material structures in place (infrastructure, products produce, arrangement b/w capital + labour, instits deal w/social reproduction)  Delivered goods for long period of time  Long period of prosperity (1945-1971)  Around world, more ppl brought into middle-class standards of living  @s/point, capital outgrew these structures - Creative destruction  all of these outlets for growth become rigidities - Geography of production changing  what does this mean for e/day life?  Film: see ppl’s houses, bedrooms, children, e/day lives  Creative destruction = destruction of lives + livelihoods  Can see connection b/w economic violence + actual violence in e/day life - Symptoms of the crisis (immediate causalities)  See over-accumulation of capital happens in late 60s, 70s  Capital tends to shift into finance  limit of how much you can invest in same structures of production - US trade deficits - US has trade surplus w/world up until late 60s - Early 70s, start to have trade deficit  monetized, turned into fictitious capital, $ that is not backed up by real production - End WWII US sets itself up as buyer of last resort to sup re-indusz of Eur + Asia - @s/point, US produc sys becomes stagnant  not growing + these other places growing faster  Difference = monetized in dollars  dollars sat in foreign banks (partic Eur) + lend @ out + amount of money supply increased through multiplier effect  Puts pressure on USD - Vietnam War: US spending large amounts $, by printing $ - All of this puts pressure on USD - Up until this point, USD backed by gold - Issues dollars that are rep by gold (in theory, if take back $ to bank, can get back gold) - As crisis becomes apparent, Eur nats going to US, asking for gold  creates decline of gold reserves - Prompts Nixon to go off gold standard + devalues exchange rate - Meant that USD worth less in other currencies   Way for USD to cut debt to other nats - Part of the impetus of oil embargo of 1970s - OPEC = producer cartel  Producers get together + coop, can control majority of supply of oil, can set price - War b/w Israel + Arab neighbors, US + other Eur states supp Israel  OPEC: oil blockade against W nats, oil prices 4x  Sent shockwaves through world econ - Also created more fictitious capital  what happens to this money?  Put into W banks + banks had to loan out [email protected] rate to pay interest on $ deposited - Retail lending of $ complicated  Shortcut: lend to sovereign govs of 3 world nats  Govs are not going to go away, can give $ back  Able to give relatively large loans  source of 3 world debt crisis in 80s - Regulation theory: deposits series of ethics w/in econ history - Ethics = modes of development (ex: Fordism) - By 1970s: ppl argued new mode of devel approaching New Mode of Development - Post-Fordism (1971-today) - Advanced capitalism - Disorganized capitalism - Flexible specialization - Talks about new kinds of produc sys that are very flexible - Globalization - Refers to this period of post-Fordism where you have period of rapid tech change + creative destruction, innovations in communications, transportation that brings world closer together, reorganisation internat division of labour - Neoliberalism - Set of policies: free trade, deregulation, cut back gov spending, cut back welfare state - Ideology = set of ideas that are biased, have interests behind them, partial-truths - Ideas put forth by capitalist class, wealthy ppl who had prob of over-accumulation  Justifies restructuring of world economy  Film: in this kind of restructuring = ppl suffer Post-Fordist Regime of Accumulation - Regime of accumulation: material side of econ - What kinds of products used, what is tech paradigm, what collection products dominate in this time? How is produc organised spatially, what is division of labour? - Information/knowledge/symbolic economy - Think about dominance of information sys that manage production of goods +services - Imp of R+D, creative side of econ - Symbolic econ b/c dominance of info, ideas, finance  Finance = abstract, data moving around world, what is being produced not tangible - H: still goal of world econ to produce commodities (goods made for purpose accumul capital) - Small batch - Flexibility - Instead of having mass produc + stockpiling goods, have new techs robotics, computer sys - Have sophisticated machines can be programmed to produce different products - Easy to cater products for niche markets - Just in time production, logistics evolution - Increases turnover time of capital - Sophisticated computer sys track inventories perfectly, predict exactly when consumer is goi
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