The Politics of Employment and the Limits of the Recovery

The contested nature of the economic ‘recovery’ has become the central theme of British political debate. The next election, in 2015, will be fought on these terms, with the Coalition government trumpeting its claims of an economic recovery born through austerity, while Labour outlines the limits of the Coalition strategy. It is crucial to approach […]

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The Weekly Sabotage: Week 3

Sabotage and Ownership Last week we considered how the capital as power framework seeks to conceptualize two different forms of sabotage: a general sabotage that limits the potential of humanity in which all business participates and; 2) a particular or differential form of sabotage that is relatively unique to each individual firm.  It should also […]

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First Speaker Series on the Capitalist Mode of Power

*** The First Speaker Series on the Capitalist Mode of Power was sponsored by the York Department of Political Science and the Graduate Programme in Social and Political Thought. Talks were held at York University, Toronto, Canada and the series ran from October to November 2013 *** Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013 Can Capitalists Afford Recovery? Economic Policy […]

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The Weekly Sabotage: Week 2

Last week we looked briefly at the origin of the term ‘sabotage’ and found that it was more associated with the working class than it was with elite power – those who largely shape and reshape the terrain of social reproduction.  In this formulation, workers sabotage while businessmen build useful industry for the community.  In […]

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Targeting buying habits

This is an interesting NYT article about buying habits, market research and advertising. It describes how Target has been able to compile and analyze customer data in order to identify women who are likely pregnant as early as possible. One of the reasons pregnant women are such an attractive market segment, the article states, is […]

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The Weekly Sabotage: Week 1

Welcome to a weekly investigation into the fascinating world of corporate sabotage where human creativity, cooperation, mutual aid and well-being are all held ransom for the profit and power of dominant owners. Every week this column will explore various aspects of what Veblen called ‘strategic sabotage’.  But first, a bit of context. It appears that […]

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No. 2013/01: Bichler and Nitzan, "Can Capitalists Afford Recovery?"

Working Paper No. 2013/01 Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan, “Can Capitalists Afford Recovery? Economic Policy When Capital Is Power” Abstract: Economic, financial and social commentators from all directions and persuasion are obsessed with the prospect of recovery. The world remains mired in a deep, prolonged crisis, and the key question seems to be how to […]

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The Rise of a Confident Hollywood: Risk and the Capitalization of Cinema

James McMahon Abstract This paper investigates the historical development of risk in the Hollywood film business. Using opening theatres as a proxy for future expectations, the paper demonstrates how, from 1981 to 2011, Hollywood has improved its ability to predict the financial rankings of its films. More specifically, the Hollywood film business has become better […]

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Colour Coded Gender

Girls wear pink. Boys wear blue. This seemingly universal gender dichotomy is actually a very recent invention, as this post on smithsonian.com makes clear. At the end of the 19th century, most boys and girls were dressed in ‘gender neutral’ white dresses. These were considered a practical option, convenient for play and easily bleached. Although […]

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Visualizing Racial Segregation in America

Wired has published a series of maps that try to visualize racial segregation in many of America’s biggest cities. From Wired: “The [maps], created by Dustin Cable at University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, is stunningly comprehensive. Drawing on data from the 2010 U.S. Census, it shows one dot per person, color-coded by […]

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The Capitalist Mode of Power: Critical Engagements with the Power Theory of Value

This edited volume offers the first critical engagement with one of the most provocative and controversial theories in political economy: the thesis that capital can be theorized as power and that capital is finance and only finance. The book also includes a detailed introduction to this novel thesis first put forward by Nitzan and Bichler […]

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