Home Forum Political Economy Credit Ratings and New Approaches to Capital Reply To: Credit Ratings and New Approaches to Capital


Dear Byron,

I don’t know how much you know about CasP, so my answers here are very general.

1) How does CaSP interpret headlines of S&P upgrades and credit ratings in general? Within the CaSP framework, what do these indicators mean, and what are their effects for the broader political economy, its population, businesses, and governments.

When I worked at the BCA Research Group, most editors dismissed the rating agency reports as lagging indicators: belated reflections of what the ‘market’ (read analysts and capitalists) has already expressed through the buying and selling of financial assets weeks and months earlier. I agree with this assessment, though I’d add that the rating agencies do serve a role: they offer a consensus benchmark for the ‘appropriate’ lending/borrowing premiums for different countries and companies. In generating this benchmark, though, the rating agencies – just like the capitalist organizations and governments they serve – are slaves to the capitalized worldview and rituals that CasP analyzes and criticizes. In this sense, the common bedeviling of these agencies as a discretionary imperial hand of the West is exaggerated if not totally misplaced in my view.

2) Does CaSP offer any new ways of acting within capitalism? Whether resisting it, or working with it, does CaSP offer new ways for the proletariat or businesses? Or does it only offer a better theoretical understanding of capitalism?

As advocates of human autonomy and voluntary collaboration, Shimshon and I resent power and sabotage as such. And as scientists, our research tells us that the effect of capitalized power on much of humanity and its environment tends to be negative and — because capitalized power knows no bounds — potentially disastrous (I use ‘tends to’ and ‘potentially’ because the issues here are never simple). For these reasons, we think capitalism should be changed and, if possible, replaced by a more autonomous and directly democratic human collaboration. And although we haven’t done much work on this subject ourselves, the very gist of CasP research indicates, by way of negation, what a better society might want to resist and move away from.

Form more on these issues, see our 2018 paper, ‘Theory and Praxis, Theory and Practice, Practical Theory’ https://bnarchives.yorku.ca/539/

As a bonus, it would be nice to relate answers to other political economic theories (Marxism and Liberalism).

On the relation between CasP on the one hand and Marxism and liberalism on the other, see our 2023 piece: ‘The Capital As Power Approach. An Invited-then-Rejected Interview with Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan’  https://bnarchives.yorku.ca/799/