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Interregnum, Moribid symptoms, dollar hegemony, cryptocurrency, financialisation, fiat money
The speculative financial services sector and the systemic failures of financial globalisation have prompted a growing call for delinking from the hegemony of the US dollar. These systemic failures have been illustrated by financial mismanagement and the financial crisis of 2007-8. This event paints a dire picture of the consequences associated with poor regulation of the financial sector. This study seeks to interpret these events in terms of Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks and his concept of the ‘morbid symptoms of the interregnum’. According to Babic (2020), these occur when a hegemony and its institutions are ‘dying’, thereby hampering their power. This notion also highlights that the future remains murky, despite public calls for change. Gramsci calls this the ‘new that cannot be born’.
This study seeks to extend this framework to the current state of the dollar hegemony. The ‘morbid symptoms’ we will examine include the call to delink from the speculative high-risk US economy, the emergence of cryptocurrencies, and the politics surrounding fiat money. Some have argued that the emergence of cryptocurrencies could be the ‘new’. However, this study argues that the negative characteristics associated with cryptocurrencies such as cybersecurity concerns and price volatility create ambiguity about whether cryptocurrency is the ideal trajectory. Therefore, it argues that ambiguity and calls for change qualify our current monetary situation to be classified as a Gramscian interregnum.
It also examines the current fiat money discourse by highlighting how the dollar hegemony may be succeeded by another fiat currency. However, it argues that the inflationary shortfalls of fiat money make this a fallible option, thereby perpetuating the ambiguities within the Gramscian interregnum.
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