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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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 […]

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Fix, 'Energy and Institution Size'

ABSTRACT Why do institutions grow? Despite nearly a century of scientific effort, there remains little consensus on this topic. This paper offers a new approach that focuses on energy consumption. A systematic relation exists between institution size and energy consumption per capita: as energy consumption increases, institutions become larger. I hypothesize that this relation results […]

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Bichler and Nitzan, 'A CasP Model of the Stock Market'

ABSTRACT Most explanations of stock market booms and busts are based on contrasting the underlying ‘fundamental’ logic of the economy with the exogenous, non-economic factors that presumably distort it. Our paper offers a radically different model, examining the stock market not from the mechanical viewpoint of a distorted economy, but from the dialectical perspective of […]

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No. 2016/07: Bichler and Nitzan, 'A CasP Model of the Stock Market'

Most explanations of stock market booms and busts are based on contrasting the underlying ‘fundamental’ logic of the economy with the exogenous, non-economic factors that presumably distort it. Our paper offers a radically different model, examining the stock market not from the mechanical viewpoint of a distorted economy, but from the dialectical perspective of capitalized […]

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Park and Doucette, 'Financialization or Capitalization? Debating Capitalist Power in South Korea in the Context of Neoliberal Globalization'

ABSTRACT The article reviews debates concerning financialization in South Korea, with a focus on ongoing arguments between liberal, post-Keynesian, institutionalist and Marxist economists. It argues that post-Keynesian and institutionalist perspectives in particular neglect important class processes through which the financial circuit operates within the Korean economy, especially the power of Korea’s large, family-led conglomerates, or […]

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No. 2016/03: Di Muzio and Dow, "Uneven and Combined Confusion: On the Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism and the Rise of the West"

This article offers a critique of Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancioğlu’s How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism. We argue that while all historiography features a number of silences, shortcomings or omissions, the omissions in How the West Came to Rule lead to a mistaken view of the emergence of capitalism. […]

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