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Jesús Suaste Cherizola wins the 2021 RECASP Essay Prize for his paper “From Commodities to Assets:
Capital as Power and the Ontology of Finance.”
Assets are a crucial concept of the practice and mindset of the capitalist class. Critical analyses of capitalism, however, tend to admit that the exchange of commodities is the foundation of the analysis of capitalism. This article takes a different approach. I claim that assets offer a solid starting point for a scientific research of capitalism. The analysis of assets allows us to elaborate a general description of economic transactions and, to that extent, it lays the groundwork for reconceptualizing the field of finance. These two issues are closely related. The answer to the question, ‘what are assets?’, will give us the coordinates to address the question: ‘what is finance?’
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