Afterword: The dreamwork of capitalism

Arjun Appadurai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Capitalism, normally considered the zenith of scientism, techno-rationality, and calculative reason, can fruitfully be seen as just the opposite of these things. It can be considered the dreamwork of industrial modernity, its magical, spiritual, and utopian horizon, in which all that is solid melts into money. Speculation is the motor of this dreamwork and in this afterword, I discuss how the essays in this section have provoked me to propose this unorthodox lens on capitalism, with inspiration from thinkers such as Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, and Fredric Jameson, all of whom have seen in capitalism the makings of a new eschatology and a new magical imaginary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-485
Number of pages5
JournalComparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Capitalism
  • India
  • Speculation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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