Special Issue: Accounting, Equality, and the Communist Hypothesis
Two-hundred years after the birth of Karl Marx, fifty years after 1968, ten years after the financial crisis, and in face of a spiraling crisis of inequality (Rosanvallon, 2016), it is surely time to review the challenge to the capitaliststatus quo, including that offered by “critical accounting”. Indeed, it is time to renew “the communist hypothesis” (Douzinas and Zizek, 2010; Zizek, 2013), conceived as “a pure idea of equality” (Badiou, 2008a, p. 35), “in our consciousness and on the ground” (p. 42). The communist hypothesis has been enacted at various times in history, separated by reactionary interludes where it has been declared untenable and obscured. In recent decades we have been living through such an interlude of obscurity (Eagleton, 2018), in which alternatives to capitalism have come to seem impossible. Now its growing contradictions including intolerable levels of inequality, mounting ecological crisis, and the financial corruption of politics and the public sphere, seem to provide fertile ground for the resurgence of a radical egalitarianism. To be sure future experimentations with the idea of communism cannot merely repeat the past, the task is, rather, “to help a new modality of existence of the hypothesis to come into being” (Badiou, 2008b, p. 115).
Accounting is not insulated from the flow of history. Accounting numbers have too often played a dismal part in legitimizing and perpetuating the current state of affairs. What role can accounting and accounting academia now play in enacting the idea of pure equality?
This special issue welcomes papers from accounting, economics, history, politics, philosophy and other cognate fields that critically engage with the intersection of communism, equality and accounting. Contributions should of course address the idea of “pure equality” and issues of accounting and accountability; beyond that they might deal with:
Measurement and the promotion or subversion of equality.
Lessons from history.
Academia and the critical accounting project.
Globalisation, new social movements, and paths to equality.
Critique, ideology, truth and fake news.
Equality, radical emancipation, and rights.
Democracy, radical or liberal, populism and revolution.
The “factory” and the “internet platform” as sites of radical change.
Resisting violence, precarity, disenfranchisement and the dismantling of welfare.