The Capital as Power working paper series showcases cutting edge research on the political economy of capitalist power. The series is open to a wide-range of issues: theoretical, empirical, historical or contemporary. The aim is to stimulate debate and discussion on the capital as power framework. If you are interested in submitting a working paper, please email us and put “Working Papers” in the subject line.

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

July 1, 2020

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 … Read more

2020/03: Bichler and Nitzan, ‘Manuscripts Don’t Burn’

June 2, 2020

ABSTRACT The French Revolution changed the world. In the new order, the masters no longer need Monsieur Fouche and the thought police. They don’t need guillotines to clip brains and scissors to censor pamphlets. They don’t need strategic-studies institutes to manage oppression and navigate conflict. Instead, they prefer to subsidize ‘cultural pluralism’ and ‘critical studies’, … Read more

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

June 2, 2020

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 … Read more

2020/01: Fix, ‘Economic Development and the Death of the Free Market’

May 27, 2020

ABSTRACT Free markets are, according to neoclassical economic theory, the most efficient way of organizing human activity. The claim is that individuals can benefit society by acting only in their self interest. In contrast, the evolutionary theory of multilevel selection proposes that groups must suppress the self interest of individuals. They often do so, the … Read more

2019/02.1: Fix, 'How the Rich are Different: Hierarchical Power as the Basis of Income Size and Class'

November 29, 2019

This paper investigates a new approach to understanding personal and functional income distribution. I propose that hierarchical power — the command of subordinates in a hierarchy — is what distinguishes the rich from the poor and capitalists from workers. Specifically, I hypothesize that individual income increases with hierarchical power, as does the share of individual … Read more

2019/04: Hager and Baines, 'Jurisdictional Tax Rates: How the Corporate Tax System Fuels Concentration and Inequality'

November 14, 2019

ABSTRACT Corporate concentration in the United States has been on the rise in recent years, sparking a heated debate about its causes, consequences, and potential remedies. In this study, we examine a facet of public policy that has been largely neglected in current debates about concentration: corporate tax policy. As part of our analysis we … Read more

2019/03: McMahon, 'Selling Hollywood to China'

April 15, 2019

ABSTRACT From the 1980s to the present, Hollywood’s major distributors have been able to redistribute U.S. theatrical attendance to the advantage of their biggest blockbusters and franchises. At the global scale and during the same period, Hollywood has been leveraging U.S. foreign power to break ground in countries that have historically protected and supported their … Read more

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

January 30, 2019

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 … Read more