Petrodollars and Profit: Rethinking Political Economy through the Middle East

Max Ajl A review of Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bickler’s The Scientist and the Church. Originally published at Jadaliyya Howard Page, a director at what was then Exxon, was once asked, “What would have happened if Iraq production had also surged during the 1960’s,” like that of Saudi Arabia and Iran. He responded, “I admit […]

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No. 2015/04: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘The CasP Project: Past, Present, Future

Abstract The study of capital as power (CasP) began when we were students in the 1980s and has since expanded into a broader project involving a growing number of researchers and new areas of inquiry. This paper provides a bird’s-eye view of the CasP journey. It explores what we have learned so far, reviews ongoing […]

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Video of Jonathan Nitzan's Presentation – The CasP Project: Past, Present, Future

Bichler, Shimshon and Nitzan, Jonathan. (2015). Presentation at York University. 20. October. 2015. The study of capital as power began when we were students in the 1980s and has since expanded into a broader project, involving a growing number of researchers and new areas of inquiry. The presentation explores what we have learned so far, […]

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The Renminbi on the World Stage

DT Cochrane The IMF recently announced that China’s currency, the CYN (Chinese Yuan Renminbi), would be included in the IMF’s basket of currencies, known as the SRD (special drawing rights). The designation comes after China adopted certain reforms in accordance with International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies. The CYN will comprise 11% of the basket, with […]

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Speaker Series on Capital as Power (October-November, 2015)

Organized by the Forum on Capital as Power and sponsored by the York Department of Political Science and Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought (open to all, with refreshments) Existing theories of capitalism, mainstream as well as heterodox, view capitalism as a mode of production and consumption. This speaker series interrogates capitalism as a […]

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The Enduring Power of GE The Enduring Power of GE (Tuesday Nov . 17. 3-5pm)

Abstract or Brief Description General Electric (GE) has demonstrated extraordinary longevity in the upper echelon of U.S. corporations. From 1925 to 2013, the company has never fallen below 10th in the rankings of firms by market capitalization. The only other firm to match this feat is the oil giant ExxonMobil. GE’s durability is remarkable given […]

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Blockbuster Cinema: Hollywood’s Obsession with Low Risk (Tuesday, Nov 3, 3-5pm)

Blockbuster Cinema: Hollywood’s Obsession with Low Risk York University presentation by James McMahon ABSTRACT: Hollywood is obsessed with blockbusters – for 20 years the major studios have been making them, and it appears that blockbuster cinema will be with us for many years to come. This presentation will theoretically and empirically explain how blockbusters, and […]

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Putting Power Back into Growth Theory

Putting Power Back Into Growth Theory BLAIR FIX June 2015 Abstract Neoclassical growth theory assumes that economic growth is an atomistic process in which changes in distribution play no role. Unfortunately, when this assumption is tested against real-world evidence, it is systematically violated. This paper argues that a reality-based growth theory must reject neoclassical principles […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Capital Accumulation: Fiction and Reality’

Abstract What do economists mean when they talk about “capital accumulation”? Surprisingly, the answer to this question is anything but clear, and it seems the most unclear in times of turmoil. Consider the “financial crisis” of the late 2000s. The very term already attests to the presumed nature and causes of the crisis, which most […]

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Di Muzio, ‘Carbon Capitalism: Energy, Social Reproduction and World Order’

Abstract Modern civilization and the social reproduction of capitalism are bound inextricably with fossil fuel consumption. But as carbon energy resources become scarcer, what implications will this have for energy-intensive modes of life? Can renewable energy sustain high levels of accumulation? Or will we witness the end of existing capitalist economies? This book provides an […]

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Capital as Power: Broadening the Vista – (Conference Postponed to 2016)

(Conference Postponed to 2016) The theory of capital as power (CasP) offers a radical alternative to mainstream and Marxist theories of capitalism. It argues that capital symbolizes and quantifies not utility or labour but organized power writ large, and that capitalism is best understood and challenged not as a mode of consumption and production, but […]

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Hager, ‘Corporate Ownership of the Public Debt’

Abstract In various writings Karl Marx made references to an ‘aristocracy of finance’ in Western Europe and the United States that dominated ownership of the public debt. Drawing on original research, this article offers the first comprehensive analysis of public debt ownership within the US corporate sector. The research shows that over the past three […]

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‘The 1% and the Rest of Us’ — Tom Mills Interviews Tim Di Muzio

Tim DiMuzio is lecturer in International Relations and public policy University of Wollongong in Australia. His book, The 1% and the Rest of Us: A Political Economy of Dominant Ownership, examines the insular lives of the global super rich, the socio-economic system they head, and their restless drive to dominate society and nature. NLP’s Tom […]

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Fix, ‘Putting Power Back Into Growth Theory’

Abstract Neoclassical growth theory assumes that economic growth is an atomistic process in which changes in distribution play no role. Unfortunately, when this assumption is tested against real-world evidence, it is systematically violated. This paper argues that a reality-based growth theory must reject neoclassical principles in favour of a power-centered approach. Building on Nitzan and […]

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Malik, ‘The Ontology of Finance: Price, Power, and the Arkhéderivative’

Abstract In what promises to be a significant contribution to political economy, Malik seeks to combine the philosophical understanding of the nature and logic of the derivatives market with an analysis of the entirely novel, structurally-specific mode of capitalist power it expresses. This ambitious ‘ontology of finance’ supplements Ayache’s understanding of the fundamental logic of […]

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No. 2015/03: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Capital Accumulation: Fiction and Reality’

Abstract What do economists mean when they talk about ‘capital accumulation’? Surprisingly, the answer to this question is anything but clear, and it seems the most unclear in times of turmoil. Consider the recent ‘financial crisis’. The very term already attests to the presumed nature and causes of the crisis, which most observers indeed believe […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘The Scientist and the Church’

Abstract The Scientist and the Church is a wide-ranging biography of research, showcasing Bichler and Nitzan’s attempts to break through the stifling dogmas of the academic church and chart a new scientific cosmology of capitalism. Central to the authors’ work is the notion that capital is not a productive economic category but capitalized power, and […]

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