So once again the project is recovery, not discovery

Those of us who work from the Left are familiar with a double-bind when making recommendations about poverty and inequality. For example, the World Bank estimates over 1.5 billion people globally do not have bank accounts, many of whom are the rural poor. Yet having bank accounts ties us into a global infrastructure of financialized capitalism and its detriments. Well, then, what is it? Should the rural poor have bank accounts or not? Should they be integrated into global capitalism or not?

Now, the typical response is to veer off, up or down. There are those, of course, who insist this is not a binary choice. While many get bank accounts, others–without or without–work to change the higher-level determinants of financial capital. Then there are those at a lower-reach: Surely, this requires going down to the case level? Bank accounts would clearly be helpful just as in other cases they would be clearly harmful. . .

The latter case-by case looks to be weak beer, until you see the self-harm inflicted when political possibilities are foreclosed by a policy narrative that insists the world is colonized by capitalism(s). Where else are we going to find the counternarratives if not in this really-existing world?

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