The discipline of capital

January 12, 2014

The title of this piece might make readers think of capitalist power over the masses. However, in this case, I’m thinking of how capital serves to discipline the decision-makers of capitalism. A recent Globe & Mail article discussed the desire of Canadian banks to keep the corporate bond market going. The banks serve as the … Read more

Brussels Business – A documentary about dominant capital and sabotage in the EU

January 12, 2014

Brussels Business is a documentary about the important role dominant capital has played in the shaping of the European Union from its early days. It explores the secretive activity of big business and lobbying organizations and the role they play in the origination and circulation of ideas and plans for the advancement of corporate interests … Read more

The Weekly Sabotage: Week 4

January 5, 2014

Royal Authority and Private Property Last week we considered the concept of ownership though the work of Veblen and Marx. We noted that the establishment and protection of private property involved the dispossession of the many by the few and that this tendency begins with the appropriation of humans (slavery) and land for private profit.  … Read more

hand bells

Competition and Cooperation in the World of Hand Bells

December 28, 2013

A recent episode of Planet Money describes a long running feud between two makers of hand bells. The story itself was interesting. However, two parts jumped out at me as relevant to CasP. The first was a comment by the host about how most people, when they hear of two companies fighting in court, assume … Read more

The Politics of Employment and the Limits of the Recovery

December 26, 2013

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 … Read more

The Weekly Sabotage: Week 3

December 23, 2013

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 … Read more

First Speaker Series on the Capitalist Mode of Power

December 22, 2013

*** 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 … Read more

The Colour of the Sun: A Metaphor for Methodology?

December 19, 2013

Found this video when browsing Boing Boing. Originally posted by NASA, this video is fascinating. It may also stand as a metaphor for the methodological problems in political economic theory. Consider part of the explanation behind the video: “As the colors sweep around the sun in the movie, viewers should note how different the same … Read more

The Weekly Sabotage: Week 2

December 10, 2013

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 … Read more

‘Rigging’ the market for fun and profit

December 9, 2013

The EU has fined a selection of European and U.S. American banks €1.7 billion for rigging major interest-rate benchmarks. The article notes that the benchmarks – Libor, and the Tokyo and euro area interbank – are used in the pricing of hundreds of trillions of assets. The problem, according to the prosecutors, is that bankers … Read more

Targeting buying habits

December 2, 2013

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 … Read more

Low Capex, High Market Cap: A New High for Corporate Sabotage?

November 29, 2013

Found amongst some recent market commentary the chart above seems to be quite striking evidence in favour of the Capital as Power framework. The data series have been put together by the investment bank UBS, based on their broad (though not comprehensive) global stock coverage. UBS has charted two lines: a) the stock market returns … Read more