Third Speaker Series on the Capitalist Mode of Power

ABSTRACT Existing theories of capitalism, mainstream as well as heterodox, view capitalism as a mode of production and consumption. The purpose of this ongoing speaker series is to interrogate capitalism as a mode of power. The presentations offer a power theory of personal income distribution (Blair Fix, 2:30-5:30pm, October 17, 2017), explore the power to […]

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Holman and McMahon, 'From Power over Creation to the Power of Creation'

ABSTRACT This article is a critical investigation and application of the aesthetic theory of Cornelius Castoriadis, one of the most important 20th-century theorists of radical democracy. We outline Castoriadis’s thoughts on autonomy, the social-historical nature of Being, and creation — key elements that inform his model of democratic culture. We then develop a Castoriadian critique […]

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'Is the Power of Mass Culture Profitable?', Public Lecture by James McMahon

This presentation will examine how and why political economic theories of mass culture have accumulated, but not settled, methodological issues about the meaning of value and the nature of productivity. Labour is certainly an important factor to any comprehensive study of capitalist mass culture, but it is our assumptions about economic productivity and not the […]

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Park, Hyeng-Joon, ‘Korea’s Post-1997 Restructuring’ Winner of the RRPE Annual Best Paper Award for 2016

*** Winner of the RRPE Annual Best Paper Award for 2016 *** ABSTRACT This paper is a postprint of an article published by the Review of Radical Political Economics (0486613415594147, first published on August 20, 2015 as doi:10.1177/0486613415594147).] This paper aims to transcend current debates on Korea’s post-1997 restructuring, which rely on a dichotomy between […]

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'From Colonialism to Climate Change: The Power to Externalize', Public Lecture by D.T. Cochrane

The history of capitalism is a history of externalization. While benefits were tallied, costs were routinely excluded from accounts. In this presentation I examine the history of externalization as a power process. A history of brutality and destruction marketed as innovation and efficiency, externalization has been the shadowy counterpart to accumulation. From colonialism to climate […]

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No. 2017/04: Bichler and Nitzan, 'Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research'

During the late 1980s, we printed a series of working papers, offering a new approach to the political economy of Israel and wars in the Middle East. Our approach in these papers rested on three new concepts. It started by identifying the Weapondollar-Petrodollar Coalition – an alliance of armament firms, oil companies and financial institutions […]

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No. 2017/03: Fix, 'Evidence for a Power Theory of Personal Income Distribution'

This paper proposes a new ‘power theory’ of personal income distribution. Contrary to the standard assumption that income is proportional to productivity, I hypothesize that income is most strongly determined by social power, as indicated by one’s position within an institutional hierarchy. While many theorists have proposed a connection between personal income and power, this paper is the […]

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Bichler and Nitzan, Supelano, Un Modelo CcP Del Mercado De Valores (A CasP Model of the Stock Market)

SPANISH ABSTRACT La mayoría de las explicaciones de las alzas y bajas del mercado de valores se basan en la comparación de la lógica “fundamental” subyacente de la economía con los factores exógenos que supuestamente la distorsionan. Este artículo presenta un modelo radicalmente distinto, y examina el mercado de valores desde la perspectiva del poder […]

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Comment on Can Capitalists Afford a Trumped Recovery?

The following commentary on Nitzan and Bichler’s piece ‘Can Capitalist Afford a Trumped Recovery?’ first appeared on the blog Pension Pulse, written by Leo Kolivakis. Earlier this week, I hooked up for a lunch with George Archer and Jonathan Nitzan, two friends of mine who also had previous stints working at BCA Research. I enjoyed our lunch […]

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Baines, 'Accumulating through Food Crisis? Farmers, Commodity Traders and the Distributional Politics of Food Crisis'

ABSTRACT This paper considers the domestic and international ramifications of financialization and grain price instability in the US agri-food sector. It finds that during the recent period of high and volatile prices, the average income of large-scale farms reached the earnings threshold of the top percentile of US households, and agricultural commodity traders markedly outperformed […]

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Fix, 'Energy and Institution Size'

ABSTRACT Why do institutions grow? Despite nearly a century of scientific effort, there remains little consensus on this topic. This paper offers a new approach that focuses on energy consumption. A systematic relation exists between institution size and energy consumption per capita: as energy consumption increases, institutions become larger. I hypothesize that this relation results […]

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No. 2017/01: Cochrane, 'Differentiating Diamonds'

In 1939, the De Beers diamond company faced a dire situation. The company’s accumulation had been dwindling for decades. The Great Depression not only pushed diamond sales to historic lows, it shifted American attitudes around consumption and thriftiness to the detriment of the luxury object. In this article, I bring together Liz McFall’s assertion that […]

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Spiegel Online Analysis of Deutsche Bank’s Differential Misfortune

Deutsche Bank was a central figure of the 2008 global financial crisis. While some of its compatriots, such as Goldman Sachs, have re-ascended to the commanding heights of global capital, Deutsche remains a shadow of its former self as seen in the graph below (screenshot from Yahoo! Finance). A comparison of Deutsche Bank (DB) with […]

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