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Preservation through transformation

(I have been finishing up edits for my book Minsky, due out September 2019 in the US and possibly as soon as June in the UK. The book focuses on Minsky's work, but for me it opens up to a lot of adjacent ideas, questions or connections that were a stretch for the book but which I would like to explore. So with the semester at its end and revisions off my desk, I thought I would take some time to do that.)

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If we know that financial crises recur, why can we not prevent them? Minsky said that the financial system was "essentially flawed," but there is more to it than that.

[Minsky] had concluded early on that financial capitalism was inherently unstable ... [E]fforts to restrain financial excess can divert the need to make payment but cannot eliminate it. When instability arises again in the network of payment commitments, it will not appear right in front of our eyes. The next crisis will not be totally different; it will be just different enough to slip through. [@neilson19, 133]

After a crisis there is a retrenchment of regulation. This is resisted by financial vested interests, and retrenchment stops when their power to stop it is once again balanced with those pushing for regulation. My colleague Francisca Oyogoa pointed me to Dean Spade's "Trans law and politics on a neoliberal landscape." Writing on a very different theme, Spade nonetheless said something that resonated with this question of retrenchment:

Another tool I have found useful for this analysis is Angela Harris’s discussion of how the law engages in “‘preservation-through-transformation.’” This concept recognizes that when oppressed groups resist domination, and laws are changed to address their complaints, the law does not actually resolve the oppression; instead, it changes the system just enough to justify and preserve the status quo. [@spade09, 362f.]

Preservation through transformation seems to capture much of what I see in the financial system. And in both cases, the hierarchical configuration (of gender and race in Spade's piece and of payment in Minsky's work) is not itself addressed by the transformation.