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Empowering or impoverishing through credit

Small-scale producers and the Plan Chontalpa in Tabasco, Mexico

Gisela Lanzas and Matthew Whittle

, in my case it was not mismanagement, I had to get rid of the land for my family’s needs.) —Jesús, 1 sugarcane producer in Plan Chontalpa The introduction of credit is often hailed as a positive development strategy that empowers local producers. Many

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Bill Maurer

Credit. From the Latin, credere, to trust or to believe. Crisis, from the Greek κρίσις, crisis, but also decision, judgment. Judgment day. I had imagined this article as a series of epistles, short missives with didactic aphorisms—postcards, really—from the credit crisis. Yet the effort foundered on two shores. First, my abilities are simply not up to the task, for this genre with its ancient history boasts so many predecessors and models that selection for the purposes of mimicry—or embodiment—became impossible. Second, and more important, I began to realize, in the effort, that the genre demands an analytical engagement with its material that this article in many respects stands athwart. How it does so will become apparent in due course. The credit crisis began in 2008 and continues to the time of my writing, in May 2010. In naming the credit crisis and its religion, I acknowledge I afford them a degree of reality they may not possess. I also acknowledge that this article comes with temporal limits, the limits of the time of its writing. My debts are many and cannot be fully acknowledged. Reality, time and debt are very much at issue in credit crisis religion. Worldly constraints narrow my inquiry to Anglophone and primarily United States examples. Christianity is, by necessity and design, over-represented.

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“Amazing Rapidity”

Time, Public Credit, and David Hume’s Political Discourses

Edward Jones Corredera

This article explores David Hume’s views on public credit, the state, and geopolitics as outlined in his Political Discourses. By drawing attention to Hume’s analysis of the speed of political economic dynamics, the article suggests the philosopher feared that public credit, a crucial source of eighteenth-century European economic growth, fundamentally revolutionized the pace of social relations, the mechanics of the state, and European geopolitics at large. Hume’s study of public credit highlighted its role in reshaping eighteenth-century visions of time, and the philosopher’s disappointment with his own solution, in turn, reinforces the need to consider the multifaceted effects of public credit in the modern world.

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Israeli Ultra-Orthodoxy

Credit and Credibility

Hadas Weiss

In recent decades, members of Israeli ultra-Orthodoxy have been exhibiting self-denial, stringency, and unwillingness to enter the workforce despite material hardships. Public discourse has long considered theirs an 'intentional poverty', yet the parsimoniousness attributed to them and its presumed intentionality are losing credibility. I use the concept of credit—in both its economic and its normative sense—to analyze social regulation among Israeli ultra-Orthodoxy. I look at the community's efficiency in redistributing its members' resources through interconversion of social and material goods. I go on to identify the limits that self-regulation comes up against under capitalist pressures and show how these pressures express themselves in ultra-Orthodox norms and practices. Finally, I relate credit and credibility to the larger issue of excess in the present day.

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Financialization from the margins

Notes on the incorporation of Argentina's subproletariat into consumer credit (2009–2015)

Hadrien Saiag

to boost industrial production and wages, finally putting an end to a decade of violent austerity. Thanks to Kevin's new job, the couple gained access to household and electronic appliances on credit, and Natalia temporarily stopped working, to

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Creative Encounters

African Trade and Chinese Oil Production in Western Chad

Nikolaus Schareika

also traded the credits for mobile phones that were then not available on every corner or by phone-to-phone transfer as they are nowadays. Iba not only sold his merchandise for direct cash but also gave it out on credit in anticipation of payday. He did

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Celestino Deleyto

‘I wrote the script and directed it. My name is Orson Welles.’ These words, spoken by the director over a shot of a microphone at the end of The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), resonate far beyond their ostensible function of a delayed credit sequence. In the first place, to connoisseurs of Welles’s opus, this is highly ironic: the film for which the director claims entire credit was the first and, to many, the worst case of an endless series of studio cuts, recuts and various tamperings with Welles’s films that was to continue nagging the director throughout his career. The voice-over, therefore, becomes the signifier of a ghost, a voice claiming authorship for a text that no longer exists – the original, unmutilated Ambersons – , or the almost real signature of a fictional author. The real Orson Welles was not the director of this film. But then, who is this ‘Orson Welles’ who addresses the spectator from the fringes of the film?

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Debra Bergoffen

Jean Pierre Boulé's Sartre, Self Formation and Masculinities argues that we cannot adequately understand Sartre without taking account of the unique ways in which he negotiated the gender mandates of patriarchy. Taking Boulé's cue, I call on Lacan, Cixous and Beauvoir to interrogate Sartre's relationship to women, to his body and to writing. I argue for Boulé's approach but against several of his conclusions. Further, I credit Boulé with providing ammunition for challenging Lacan's universal account of the mirror stage, and for pushing me to read Beauvoir's "Must we Burn Sade?" as a critique of Sartre's betrayal of the erotic's ethical demands.

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Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel

The world is urbanizing at an unprecedented rate, and its cities are transformed by technology and distributed computing. With every photograph, Twitter post, public transit ride, and credit card swipe, we leave digital traces in physical space. The enormous quantity of information, or Urban Big Data, that humanity generates each day is beginning to off er new possibilities for research, design, and systems optimization on the city scale, but the first step toward our urban future is finding new ways of understanding and visualizing Big Data—revealing invisible dimensions of the city.

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Eric L. Friedland

Though ever preferring to give credit to others, the late Rabbi John Desmond Rayner (1924-2005), born Hans Sigismund Rahmer, played an indisputably monumental role in changing the face of contemporary non-orthodox1 Jewish liturgy. In collaboration with American Reform rabbi and coeval Chaim [Herman] Stern, Rayner produced for the Liberal Jewish movement in Britain the landmark Service of the Heart (Hebrew: Avodat ha-Lev) and Gate of Repentance (Hebrew: Petach Teshuvah). Both works set the trend of a whole generation by bringing about an overdue revitalization and leading to the creation of a whole slew of prayerbooks on virtually every continent.