2018/08: Bichler & Nitzan, 'CasP's '"Differential Accumulation" versus Veblen's "Differential Advantage"'

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, CasP’s […]

Continue Reading

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), […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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, […]

Continue Reading

2018/04: Martin, 'The Autocatalytic Sprawl of Pseudorational Mastery (version 0.12)'

According to Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan capital is not an economic quantity but a mode of power; it could be sumarized as: “Capital is power quantified in monetary terms”. So, what do we do when we “quantify”? What is the nature of “money” in a capitalist society? And, indeed, what is “power” in the […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Howard, 'Craftwashing in the U.S. Beer Industry'

ABSTRACT 1) 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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Holman and McMahon, 'From Power over Creation to the Power of Creation'

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 […]

Continue Reading