2020/04: McMahon, ‘Reconsidering Systemic Fear and the Stock Market: A Reply to Baines and Hager’

ABSTRACT A recent New Political Economy article by Baines and Hager (2020) critiqued Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan’s capital-as-power (CasP) model of the stock market (Bichler & Nitzan, 2016). Bichler and Nitzan’s model of the stock market seeks to explain how financial crises are tied to the (upper) limits of redistributing income through power. Bichler […]

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Fix, 'Dematerialization Through Services: Evaluating the Evidence'

ABSTRACT Dematerialization through services is a popular proposal for reducing environmental impact. The idea is that by shifting from the production of goods to the provision of services, a society can reduce its material demands. But do societies with a larger service sector actually dematerialize? I test the ‘dematerialization through services’ hypothesis with a focus […]

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2019/01: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Differential Accumulation versus Veblen’s "Differential Advantage" (Revised and Expanded)'

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. First, we are not […]

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Capitalism’s Deniers

Originally published at Real World Economics Review Blog. from Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan A new, capitalism-denying book is on the shelves, and it makes a stunning discovery: ‘Capitalism without competition is not capitalism’! Distortions: Capitalism Denied Capitalist crisis, like climate change, tends to breed ‘capitalism deniers’. The problem, argue the deniers, lies not in capitalism but in […]

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Fix, 'The Aggregation Problem: Implications for Ecological and Biophysical Economics'

ABSTRACT This paper discusses the dimension problem in economic aggregation, as it relates to ecological and biophysical economics. The dimension problem consists of a simple dilemma: when we aggregate, the observer must choose the dimension of analysis. The dilemma is that this choice affects the resulting measurement. This means that aggregate measurements are dependent on […]

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2018/09: Fix, 'Energy, Hierarchy and the Origin of Inequality'

Where should we look to understand the origin of inequality? Most research focuses on three windows of evidence: (1) the archaeological record; (2) existing traditional societies; and (3) the historical record. I propose a fourth window of evidence — modern society itself. I hypothesize that we can infer the origin of inequality from the modern […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, 'Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research'

ABSTRACT This essay interweaves two stories—one theoretical and empirical, the other autobiographical. The first story embeds the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the broader political economy of the Middle East and the global accumulation of “capital as power.” The second story narrates the authors’ personal journey to uncover, theorize, and research this enfoldment. The essay explores and […]

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2018 Capital as Power Essay Prize

2018 Capital as Power Essay Prize First Prize $1000 Second Prize $500 Third Prize $300 http://www.recasp.com/essay-prize The Review of Capital as Power (RECASP) announces an annual essay prize on the subject of capital as power.  The best paper will receive a prize of $1000. A prize of $500 will be awarded to the second best contribution, while […]

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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 […]

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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), […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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