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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2021/01: Mouré, ‘Soft-wars: The Differential Trajectories of Google and Microsoft – a Capital as Power Analysis’

Abstract According to the capital as power framework, pecuniary earnings, or profits, are a symbolic representation of the struggle for power between different capitalist groups. In this struggle, capitalists measure their own power differentially – that is, relative to other capitalist entities. The focus on differential power, expressed in differential earnings, leads firms to try […]

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

Abstract 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 […]

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2018/08: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘CasP’s Differential Accumulation versus Veblen’s Differential Advantage’

Abstract 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, […]

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No. 2017/01: Cochrane, ‘Differentiating Diamonds: Transforming Knowledge and the Accumulation of De Beers’

Abstract In 1939, the De Beers diamond company faced a dire situation. The company’s accumulation had been dwindling for decades. The Great Depression not only pushed diamond sales to historic lows, it shifted American attitudes around consumption and thriftiness to the detriment of the luxury object. In this article, I bring together Liz McFall’s assertion […]

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No. 2016/5: Cochrane, ‘Disobedient Things: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill and accounting for disaster’

Abstract Analysis of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the accumulatory decline of BP demonstrates both the analytical efficacy of the capital-as-power (CasP) approach to value theory, and the irreducible role of objects in the process of accumulation. Rather than productivity per se, accumulation depends on control of productivity. Owners’ control is over both the human […]

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No. 2016/02: Cochrane, ‘Why Diamonds and De Beers?, or The Need for Accumulation Studies’

Abstract I successfully defended my dissertation in December. This served as the introductory presentation for the defence. In it, I explain what I tried to do with the dissertation, the methods I used, and the larger project I hope it is initiating. Specifically, I suggest there is a need for accumulation studies as a field […]

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Malik, ‘The Ontology of Finance: Price, Power, and the Arkhéderivative’

Abstract In what promises to be a significant contribution to political economy, Malik seeks to combine the philosophical understanding of the nature and logic of the derivatives market with an analysis of the entirely novel, structurally-specific mode of capitalist power it expresses. This ambitious ‘ontology of finance’ supplements Ayache’s understanding of the fundamental logic of […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘The Scientist and the Church’

Abstract The Scientist and the Church is a wide-ranging biography of research, showcasing Bichler and Nitzan’s attempts to break through the stifling dogmas of the academic church and chart a new scientific cosmology of capitalism. Central to the authors’ work is the notion that capital is not a productive economic category but capitalized power, and […]

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Baines, ‘Encumbered Behemoth: Wal-Mart, Differential Accumulation and International Retail Restructuring’

Abstract This chapter draws on, and develops, some aspects of the capital as power framework so as to provide the first clear quantitative explication of the company’s power trajectory to date. After rapid growth in the first four decades of its existence, the power of Wal-Mart appears to be flat-lining relative to dominant capital as […]

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No. 2014/04: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Still About Oil?’

Abstract During the late 1980s and early 1990s, we identified a new Middle East phenomenon that we called ‘energy conflicts’ and argued that these conflicts were intimately linked with the global processes of capital accumulation. This paper outlines the theoretical framework we have developed over the years and brings our empirical research up to date. […]

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Wal-Mart’s Power Trajectory: A Contribution to the Political Economy of the Firm

Wal-Mart’s Power Trajectory A Contribution to the Political Economy of the Firm JOSEPH BAINES March 2014 Abstract This article offers a power theory of value analysis of Wal-Mart’s contested expansion in the retail business. More specifically, it draws on, and develops, some aspects of the capital as power framework so as to provide the first […]

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