Blog

Capital as Power and Freelance Creative Work 2: Capital as Power, risk-aversion and the avoidance of uncertainty

October 17, 2014
tightrope

Mainstream critiques of contemporary capitalism conducted in the wake of the Great Recession tend to indict  a number of factors. Perceived short-termism. The dangerous compulsion to speculate. An attraction to growth for growth’s sake. The propensity towards the greedy and rapid accumulation of riches. But other critiques undermine this common narrative. These responses to recent … Read More

Capital as Power and Freelance Creative Work 1: Rhythms of Risk and Responsibility in Freelance Creative Work

October 8, 2014
Tips-to-remember-in-freelancing

This series of blogs applies Nitzan and Bichler’s theory of capital as power to the empirical concern of freelance work in the creative industries. It reports some findings from a research project I conducted earlier this year. The research was part of a three month Short-Term Scientific Mission funded by EU COST Action 1202 The … Read More

Speculation vs Hedging: A False Dichotomy?

September 25, 2014
CBOT

How do we make sense of the role of different participants in futures markets? According to the conventional wisdom, market participants can be put into two different categories: hedgers and speculators. Hedgers, such as farmers and other commercial entities, assume positions in the futures market that are equal and opposite to their positions in physical markets. … Read More

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Publications

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

March 16, 2014
walmart_protest

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 clear quantitative explication of the company’s power trajectory to date. After rapid growth in the first four … Read More

No Way Out: Crime, Punishment and the Capitalization of Power

January 14, 2014
prison

The United States is often hailed as the world’s largest ‘free market’. But this ‘free market’ is also the world’s largest penal colony. It holds over seven million adults – roughly five per cent of the labour force – in jail, in prison, on parole and on probation. Is this an anomaly, or does the … Read More

The Capitalist Mode of Power: Critical Engagements with the Power Theory of Value

August 26, 2013
Benjamin-Franklin-U.S.-$100-bill

This edited volume offers the first critical engagement with one of the most provocative and controversial theories in political economy: the thesis that capital can be theorized as power and that capital is finance and only finance. The book also includes a detailed introduction to this novel thesis first put forward by Nitzan and Bichler … Read More

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Working Papers

No. 2014/03: Baines, “The Ethanol Boom and the Restructuring of the Food Regime”

July 16, 2014
writing

Working Paper No. 2014/03 Joseph Baines, “The Ethanol Boom and the Restructuring of the Food Regime” [A shorter version of this paper is forthcoming at The Journal of Peasant Studies] The agrofuel boom has brought about some of the most significant transformations in the world food system in recent decades. A rich and diverse body … Read More

No. 2014/02: Fix, “Rethinking Profit: How Redistribution Drives Growth”

April 7, 2014
writing

Working Paper No. 2014/02 Blair Fix, “Rethinking Profit: How Redistribution Drives Growth” Using a combination of heterodox economics and biophysical analysis, this paper investigates the relationship between economic distribution and the growth of material throughput. Empirical results show that the growth of “useful work” correlates with redistribution towards pro fit. Furthermore, increases in energy consumption are correlated … Read More

No. 2014/01: McMahon, “Capitalist Power, Distribution and the Order of Cinema”

March 18, 2014
writing

Working Paper No. 2014/01 James McMahon, “Capitalist Power, Distribution and the Order of Cinema” In this paper, the structure of Hollywood film distribution will be analyzed through the lens of risk. In both its technical and conceptual senses, risk is relevant to the study of Hollywood’s dominant firms. In the interest of lowering risk, the business … Read More

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Critical Mass Forum

Research • Re: Decomposing Dominant Capital

October 24, 2014

That's a beautiful chart, Blair, and a step forward in the analysis of the Compustat ranking.The next question to address is why firms leave/enter the ...

Research • Decomposing Dominant Capital

October 23, 2014

Giving an abstraction a name tends to give it concreteness. For instance, when I think of "dominant capital", I tend to think of some sort of ...

Political Economy • Re: On the brilliance of economists

October 18, 2014

Before I copy my remarks on flat-Earth economics (taken from “On the Conservation-within-Capitalism Scenario”http://dematerialism.net/CwC.html), here ...

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