Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Unbridgeable: why political economists cannot accept capital as power’

Abstract The theory of capital as power (CasP) is radically different from conventional political economy. In the conventional view, mainstream as well as heterodox, capital is seen a ‘real’ economic entity engaged in the production of goods and services, and capitalism is thought of as a mode of production and consumption. Finance in this approach […]

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2020/02: Bichler and Nitzan, ‘The Capital as Power Approach. An Invited-then-Rejected Interview with Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan’

Abstract This interview was commissioned in October 2019 for a special issue on ‘Accumulation and Politics: Approaches and Concepts’ to be published by the Revue de la régulation. We submitted the text in March 2020, only to learn two months later that it won’t be published. The problem, we were informed, wasn’t the content, which […]

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The Allure of Marxism … And Why It’s a Mistake

Originally published on Economics from the Top Down. Karl Marx is probably the most important social scientist in history. But while his influence is beyond compare, Marx’s legacy is, in many ways, disastrous. Few thinkers have inspired so many people to commit crimes against humanity. Think of Stalinist gulags. Think of the Ukrainian famine of […]

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Theory and Praxis, Theory and Practice, Practical Theory

Theory and Praxis, Theory and Practice, Practical Theory CORENTIN DEBAILLEUL, SHIMSHON BICHLER and JONATHAN NITZAN April 2018 Abstract In their paper ‘The CasP Project: Past, Present and Future’, Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan invite readers to engage critically with their theoretical framework, known as capital as power (CasP). This call for further research, reactions and […]

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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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Bichler & 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. 2016/01: Debailleul, Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Theory and Praxis, Theory and Practice, Practical Theory’

Abstract This working paper contains an intervention by Corentin Debailleul and an extended reply by Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan. The exchange was first posted on the Capital as Power Forum in January 2016. Debailleul’s original questions are articulated at greater length here, while Bichler and Nitzan’s reply is reproduced as is. Citation Theory and […]

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No. 2015/03: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Capital Accumulation: Fiction and Reality’

Abstract What do economists mean when they talk about ‘capital accumulation’? Surprisingly, the answer to this question is anything but clear, and it seems the most unclear in times of turmoil. Consider the recent ‘financial crisis’. The very term already attests to the presumed nature and causes of the crisis, which most observers indeed believe […]

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No. 2015/02: McMahon, ‘Marxism, Culture and the Measurement of Value’

Abstract Various studies of mass culture use the Marxist labour theory of value to conceptualize how capital is being accumulated from cultural production and its broader social and immaterial dimensions. However, there is a significant methodological problem that lingers. The issue stems from the concept of economics and, more technically, the definition of capital. If […]

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Can Capitalists Afford Recovery?

Can Capitalists Afford Recovery? Three Views on Economic Policy in Times of Crisis JONATHAN NITZAN and SHIMSHON BICHLER October 2014 Abstract Economic, financial and social commentators from all directions and of various persuasions are obsessed with the prospect of recovery. The world remains mired in a deep, prolonged crisis, and the key question seems to […]

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The Colour of the Sun: A Metaphor for Methodology?

James McMahon Found this video when browsing Boing Boing. Originally posted by NASA, this video is fascinating. It may also stand as a metaphor for the methodological problems in political economic theory. Consider part of the explanation behind the video: “As the colors sweep around the sun in the movie, viewers should note how different […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Capital as Power: Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism’

Abstract Conventional theories of capitalism are mired in a deep crisis: after centuries of debate, they are still unable to tell us what capital is. Liberals and Marxists think of capital as an economic entity that they count in universal units of utils and abstract labour, respectively. But these units are totally fictitious: they can […]

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The 1%, Exploitation and Wealth

The 1%, Exploitation and Wealth Tim Di Muzio interviews Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan SHIMSHON BICHLER, JONATHAN NITZAN and TIM DI MUZIO September 2012 Abstract Tim Di Muzio interviews Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan about how their ‘capital as power’ framework fits with the Occupy Wallstreet movement, the Marxist theory of exploitation, and the origins […]

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