The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 42: Hacking finance: experiments with algorithmic activism

Tuomo Alhojärvi

Abstract

Finance is a word for trouble. Activists often recognize its strategic and game-changing potential. Yet control over finance often feels out of reach. Exploitative and unsustainable financialization seems to continue relatively uncontested at large while the socialization of risks and spread of debt are well-recognized problems. Capitalist finance seems to determine and to escape being determined (otherwise). This chapter examines two hacking initiatives that have burst this capitalocentric bubble by exploring, learning from and rebuilding financial relations otherwise: the activist hedge fund Robin Hood Cooperative and the crypto-technological start-up Economic Space Agency. Through getting intimate with and parasitic upon high-tech finance these organizations have broken the capitalocentric ordering of financial access, opportunity and power. In evolving efforts to reclaim finance as an opening, they have raised jarring questions concerning the ethics, technological politics and spaces of finance (as we knew it).

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