The birth of capitalized credit money is inextricably bound with war

Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler Originally published on Twitter During the twilight of feudalism, wars, whose cost soared in tandem with their material scope and unit price, were the most financially demanding expenses. Changing military technologies, beginning with the crusades and continuing with the Hundred Years War, made it increasingly necessary to rely on hired […]

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Fix, ‘Das Ritual der Kapitalisierung (The Ritual of Capitalization)’

Abstract Wenn man genau hinhört, kann man zuhören, wie Jeff Bezos immer reicher wird. Da ist es schon wieder, dieses Geräusch. Eine weitere Milliarde in Bezos‘ Kassen. Lassen Sie uns diesen Klang des Geldes mit ein paar Zahlen belegen. Seit 2017 ist das Nettovermögen von Bezos um etwa 4 Millionen Dollar pro Stunde gewachsen – […]

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2021/06: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘The Capitalist Degree of Immortality’

Abstract This note offers some speculative ideas worth considering. One of the key features of all hierarchical civilizations is their rulers’ fear of death. This fear was famously narrated in the ancient myth of Gilgamesh – the Sumerian king who realized that, like all other humans, he too was destined to die and embarked on […]

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Mouré, ‘Soft-wars: A Capital-as-Power Analysis of Google’s Differential Power Trajectory’

Soft-wars A Capital-as-Power Analysis of Google’s Differential Power Trajectory CHRIS MOURÉ October 2021 Abstract The capital as power framework, developed by Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler, argues that the aim of business is not ‘profit maximization’ but the differential accumulation of social power. Using this framework as a theoretical starting point, I analyze the differential […]

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Why Scorcese is right about corporate power, Part 2

Originally published at notes on cinema James McMahon Part 1 introduced Scorcese’s argument in his Harper’s essay, which was about much more than Fellini. The first part also explained how we can connect Scorcese’s essay to the drive in the Hollywood film business for major film distributors to differentially accumulate, i.e., beat a benchmark that […]

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Big money, nuclear subsidies, and systemic corruption

By Cassandra Jeffery1 and M. V. Ramana2 The “largest bribery, money-laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people and the state of Ohio” came to light during an unexpected press conference in July 2020 in Columbus. Speaking haltingly and carefully, US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers announced “the arrest of Larry Householder, […]

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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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On the Power Theory of Capitalism and Differential Accumulation

Ken Zimmerman This piece was originally posted on the Real-World Economics Review Blog here and here. Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan are Israeli political economists. Together they’ve created a thought-provoking power theory of capitalism and theory of differential accumulation. The theory is not “pie-in-the-sky,” but is based in their analysis of the political economy of […]

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Sharp, ‘Corporate Urbanization: Between the Future and Survival in Lebanon’

Abstract If you look today at the skyline of downtowns throughout the Middle East and beyond, the joint-stock corporation has transformed the urban landscape. The corporation makes itself present through the proliferation of its urban mega-projects, including skyscrapers, downtown developments and gated communities; retail malls and artificial islands; airports and ports; and highways. Built into […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘With Their Back to the Future: Will Past Earnings Trigger the Next Crisis?’

Abstract As these lines are being written (April 2018), the The U.S. stock market is again in turmoil. After a two-year bull run in which share prices soared by nearly 50 per cent, the market is suddenly dropping. Since the beginning of 2018, it lost nearly 10 per cent of its value, threatening investors with […]

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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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2018/04: Martin, ‘The Autocatalytic Sprawl of Pseudorational Mastery’

Abstract 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 […]

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Di Muzio, ‘The Tragedy of Human Development: A Genealogy of Capital as Power’

Abstract How might an objective observer conceive of what humans have accomplished as a species over its brief history? Benjamin argues that history can be judged as one giant catastrophe. Liberals suggest that this is to sombre an assessment and that human history can be read as a story of greater and greater progress in […]

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DiMuzio & Dow, ‘Uneven and Combined Confusion’

Abstract 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 […]

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