Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research’

Abstract This essay interweaves two stories—one theoretical and empirical, the other autobiographical. The first story embeds the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the broader political economy of the Middle East and the global accumulation of “capital as power.” The second story narrates the authors’ personal journey to uncover, theorize, and research this enfoldment. The essay explores and […]

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2018/08: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘CasP’s Differential Accumulation versus Veblen’s Differential Advantage’

Abstract This paper clarifies a common misrepresentation of our theory of capital as power, or CasP. Many observers tend to box CasP as an ‘institutionalist’ theory, tracing its central process of ‘differential accumulation’ to Thorstein Veblen’s notion of ‘differential advantage’. This view, we argue, betrays a misunderstanding of CasP, Veblen or both. As we show, […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘With Their Back to the Future: Will Past Earnings Trigger the Next Crisis?’

Abstract As these lines are being written (April 2018), the The U.S. stock market is again in turmoil. After a two-year bull run in which share prices soared by nearly 50 per cent, the market is suddenly dropping. Since the beginning of 2018, it lost nearly 10 per cent of its value, threatening investors with […]

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Kim, ‘Propertization: The Process by which Financial Corporate Power has Risen and Collapsed’

Abstract Elsewhere I argue that the legal concept of property was created in the image of money in the late Roman Republic. Since then, the division of property and contract has been an underlying structure of Western law. The paper argues that a main way of structuring financial corporate power, especially money market funds (MMFs), […]

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McMahon, ‘Is Hollywood a Risky Business? A Political Economic Analysis of Risk and Creativity’

Abstract This paper seeks to explain why Hollywood’s dominant firms are narrowing the scope of creativity in the contemporary period (1980–2015). The largest distributors have sought to prevent the art of filmmaking and its related social relations from becoming financial risks in the pursuit of profit. Major filmed entertainment, my term for the six largest […]

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Fix, ‘Economics from the Top Down: Does Hierarchy Unify Economic Theory?’

Abstract What is the unit of analysis in economics? The prevailing orthodoxy in mainstream economic theory is that the individual is the ‘ultimate’ unit of analysis. The implicit goal of mainstream economics is to root macro-level social structure in the micro-level actions of individuals. But there is a simple problem with this approach: our knowledge […]

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Fix, ‘Hierarchy and the power-law income distribution tail’

Abstract What explains the power-law distribution of top incomes? This paper tests the hypothesis that it is firm hierarchy that creates the power-law income distribution tail. Using the available case-study evidence on firm hierarchy, I create the first large-scale simulation of the hierarchical structure of the US private sector. Although not tuned to do so, […]

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Capital as Power @ Historical Materialism 2018: Panel Series at The Great Transition Conference, Montreal, May 17-20, 2018

The Forum on Capital as Power presents a panel series at the Montreal 2018 Great Transition Conference, May 17-20. The panels include the following papers: 1. ‘What is Capital as Power?’ Shimshon Bichler, Israel and Jonathan Nitzan, Canada 2. ‘Capitalization, Capital Goods and the State of Capital: The Boundaries of Accumulation’ DT Cochrane, Ryerson University […]

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Nitzan & Bichler, ‘El capital como poder. Un estudio del orden y el creorden’

Abstract Las teorías convencionales del capitalismo están sumidas en una profunda crisis: tras siglos de debates todavía son incapaces de decirnos qué es el capital. Tanto liberales como marxistas se refieren al capital como una entidad ‘económica’ que puede ser contabilizada en unidades universales de ‘utilidad’ o de ‘trabajo abstracto’. Pero estas unidades son totalmente […]

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Debailleul, and Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Theory and Praxis, Theory and Practice, Practical Theory’

Abstract In their paper ‘The CasP Project: Past, Present and Future’, Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan invite readers to engage critically with their theoretical framework, known as capital as power (CasP). This call for further research, reactions and critiques is the perfect occasion to raise a few questions that have grown in my mind in […]

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Woodley, ‘Globalization and Capitalist Geopolitics: Sovereignty and State Power in a Multipolar World’

Abstract Globalization and Capitalist Geopolitics is concerned with the growth of transnational corporate power against the backdrop of the decline of the West and the struggle by non-Western states to challenge and overcome domination of the rest of the world by the West. At the centre of the study is the problematic status of the […]

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Di Muzio, ‘The Tragedy of Human Development: A Genealogy of Capital as Power’

Abstract How might an objective observer conceive of what humans have accomplished as a species over its brief history? Benjamin argues that history can be judged as one giant catastrophe. Liberals suggest that this is to sombre an assessment and that human history can be read as a story of greater and greater progress in […]

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Howard, ‘Craftwashing in the U.S. Beer Industry’

Abstract Background: Big brewers, which have experienced declining sales for their beer brands in the last decade, have been accused of “craftwashing” by some craft brewers and their aficionados—they define craftwashing as big brewers (>6 million barrels per year) taking advantage of the increasing sales of craft beer by emulating these products or by acquiring […]

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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 & McMahon, ‘From Power over Creation to the Power of Creation: Cornelius Castoriadis on Democratic Cultural Creation and the Case of Hollywood’

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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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Un Modelo CcP Del Mercado De Valores’

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 capitalizado […]

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DiMuzio & Dow, ‘Uneven and Combined Confusion’

Abstract This article offers a critique of Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancioğlu’s “How the West came to rule: the geopolitical origins of capitalism”. We argue that while all historiography features a number of silences, shortcomings or omissions, the omissions in How the West came to rule lead to a mistaken view of the emergence of […]

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