2020/06: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘The Limits of Capitalized Power. A 2020 U.S. Update’

Abstract Until the late 2000s, our work focused primarily on why capitalism should be understood as a mode of power. We argued that capital itself is a form of organized power and researched how capitalists sustain, defend and augment their capitalized power. We called our approach ‘capital as power’ – or CasP, for short. But […]

Continue Reading

Di Muzio & Robbins, ‘Capitalismo de deuda’

Abstract Capitalismo de deuda es un esfuerzo por descifrar cómo la tecnología de la deuda se ha convertido en uno de los mayores obstáculos para las aspiraciones democráticas y racionales de la sociedad moderna. Richard Robbins y Tim Di Muzio muestran que la deuda, entendida como una tecnología de poder, es un engranaje insertado en […]

Continue Reading

The Challenges of Doing Revolutionary Science (Part 1)

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. Science is miraculously improbable. To work, it must fight against a deep human instinct — our desire to conform. As social animals, humans are built to do as others do. Why? Presumably because it’s advantageous. In our evolutionary past, conformist groups beat out non-conformist groups. And so […]

Continue Reading

What if the Government is Just Another Firm? (Part 2)

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. Governments are different than firms, right? Perhaps not. In Part 1 of this series, I argued that when it comes to size, governments behave like they’re ‘just another firm’. In this post, I’m going to extend the evidence. I’ll first show you that as economies develop, governments […]

Continue Reading

Fix, ‘How the Rich Are Different: Hierarchical Power as the Basis of Income Size and Class’

Abstract This paper investigates a new approach to understanding personal and functional income distribution. I propose that hierarchical power — the command of subordinates in a hierarchy — is what distinguishes the rich from the poor and capitalists from workers. Specifically, I hypothesize that individual income increases with hierarchical power, as does the share of […]

Continue Reading

Differential Taxation: The Case of American Banking

Mladen Ostojić Abstract This paper maps an empirical history of corporate profit and taxation in the United States, with a special focus on the differential profit and taxation of banks relative to other corporations. An examination of these trends reveals a striking anomaly within the American banking sector: from the early 1980s until the financial […]

Continue Reading

Kvachev, ‘Unflat Ontology: Essay on the Poverty of Democratic Materialism’

Abstract The paper is dedicated to the problem of flat ontology in philosophy and its relation to the practice in economy. The author argues that flat economy is based on a marginal utility theory of value and presents hierarchical value chains with concentration of power-capital as if they were flat and all the actors involved […]

Continue Reading

How Do You Spot a Crank?

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. I confess that I have a recurring nightmare. In it, I realize that everything I’ve ever written about economics is wrong. Neoclassical economics is not, as I’ve repeatedly claimed, a pile of bullshit. In this nightmare, neoclassical economics is correct. And as a strident critic of neoclassical […]

Continue Reading

Death Anxiety and the Political Economy of Power

THINKING ABOUT DEATH I’ve been thinking a lot about death recently. No, it’s not something that came about because of the global pandemic and my new daily ritual of checking graphs on COVID-19 death tolls around the world. It started a few years back when I became interested in the philosophy of consciousness and thinking about consciousness served […]

Continue Reading

The Power Ethos in the US Military

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. In How Hierarchy Can Mediate the Returns to Education I examined the pay structure of the US military. I found that hierarchical rank is (by far) the strongest determinant of military pay. Here I want to show you that there is a regularity to military pay. In […]

Continue Reading