Politics in the Interest of Capital: A Not-­-So-­-Organized Combat

Cornelia Woll
2015 unpublished
Rising inequalities have been explained with reference to organized groups and the lobbying of the financial sector. This article argues that the image of politics as organized combat is contradicted by empirical evidence on lobbying in the United States and does not travel well to Europe. The power of finance does not operate through organized political influence. Rather, politics in the interest of capital unfolds as a structural feature of advanced economies over time. Tellingly, at the
more » ... lingly, at the height of the financial crisis, one of the most promising strategies of institutions seeking government support was not organizing for combat, but collective inaction. The challenge is thus explaining how the power of finance built up and plays out in creating inequalities. A more structural, less agency-­-focused perspective highlights how the rise of finance was supported by actors that few would accuse of being finance-­-friendly, such as the European center-­-left parties and consumers. Re-­-conceptualizing the power of finance has important implications for political solutions to rising inequalities. Words: 9797 (excluding title page)