Capital as Power: The Movie

For a general discussion of topics relating broadly to power and political economy (e.g., capital-as-power, Marxism, neo-classical economics, institutionalism).

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Capital as Power: The Movie

Postby joefrancis » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:24 pm

I had funny experience today. I found my two apolitical, non-newspaper, non-book reading housemates watching 'Zeitgeist: The Movie'. I wasn't too sure about the film (it made me want to fact-check everything), but it did start me thinking...

One of the most frustrating things about being an academic is that not many people are going to read what you write. Lots of people, however, watch documentaries. Could there, then, be some possibility of making a Capital as Power documentary, in which the 'CasP' worldview is set out? Is there anyone at York with any experience in documentary-making?

(We might, of course, have to think of better title than the one suggested above. How about: 'CasPers: The Friendly Political Economists'?)

Thinking back to the presentations I saw at UMass, some could make interesting documentaries: for Troy's on De Beers, there would be lots of archive footage of diamonds adverts, as well as old footage from South Africa of important guys with big moustaches; Tim Di Muzio's would capture the imagination because everyone cares about the environment; mine could arouse some interest in Argentina; Sandy's would be highly topical; and so on. Moreover, Jonathan and Shimshon's own work would guarantee controversy.

Anyhow, that was an idea that I wanted to throw out there.
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Re: Capital as Power: The Movie

Postby dtcochrane » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:37 pm

Joe,
I share this thought on the power of documentaries. If they're well done, they'll reach quite broad audiences. I could see how a CasP documentary might work, especially in view of the current crisis-for-some (that could be the title). Document how little economists, mainstream or critical, know what they're talking about, and how the little talked about value theory is one of the primary culprits.

CasP can be presented as a theory without the same pretense to totalising that neoclassicism & marxism claim, but one that a) takes the observable numbers seriously, and b) demands consideration of the qualitative processes that generate those numbers, both the process of assessment and the processes being assessed. In making such a documentary, we could also have an opportunity to hear from market participants how they understand capital, accumulation and the world. I suspect it would sound very CasP-like. Although such a project, for me, would have to wait until post-PhD, I think it's something to consider and perhaps start putting the pieces together.
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Sabotage & Creordering

Postby dtcochrane » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:17 pm

I think we should find as many examples as we can of 'sabotage' to highlight how capital is power and not productivity.

Here's an example from an interview with Mohamed El-Erian, an investment fund manager. He's just another in a long line of managers that are supposedly sooth-saying visionaries of 'the market.' Of course, once he's shown to be mortal, another will be transplanted to maintain the illusion that such vision is possible, rather than being a matter of luck and the odds, as is usually the case when it's not a matter of criminality. Anyway, in response to a question about his assertion that inflation will come back, he notes the following example:
"So you think, Okay, there's a recession going on - I should be able to buy a plane ticket cheaply. And initially you can. Then suddenly they take a lot of planes out and park them in the desert. They take the supply out, and you get inflation coming back."

That's creordering sabotage if I've ever seen it.
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Re: Capital as Power: The Movie

Postby joefrancis » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:47 am

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Re: Capital as Power: The Movie

Postby sanha926 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:17 pm

I love this idea. Something stated in non-academic terms on the origins of capital in the Italian City-States and the eventual fusion of private and state finance through government bonds would be interesting as well. We could pose it as a radical alternative to .

It would help us to bridge the ancient and modern (capitalist) forms of power.
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Re: Capital as Power: The Movie

Postby tdimuzio » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:30 am

Dudes,

A documentary about Capital as Power should defintely be done. I've talked to Jonathan about this years ago and he seemed interested. The only problem was that I didn't have the finance to pull it off at the time - nor, come to think of it, did I have the time either. I do however, have experience making one short documentary back in the day: http://www.andrewjamespaterson.com/cata ... -on-it.pdf

All you basically need is a Mac, a decent video camera and a good script. The difficulty is with archival footage. Unless it's in the public domain, it costs money and people are paid big bucks to chase down who owns what, to get permission to use the footage, and then make sure they get paid. It can be a pain in the ass, but it can be done.

The questions are of course 1) budget and finance, 2) script, 3) time-frame. If it's done well, it might even win a few awards at doc festivals - after all The Corporation won something like 26 international awards.

If you want to get this off the ground, might I suggest checking out financing at the Canada Council for the Arts. Oh, and I have a good friend who is a producer for a documentary film company in Toronto, so I can put you in touch with him if that helps and you're serious.

Best to all,
Tim
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Re: Capital as Power: The Movie

Postby Calm » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:33 pm

If you ever get around to putting a documentary together, I have lots of video content which you could use.

I have 7 thousand video clips @ 804GB.

I could post a document listing them by title if you were interested.

I also have a document listing them with complete descriptions and pertinent details/links but it is about 2 thousand pages in length.

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