a novel political economy
This book offers a radical alternative. According to the authors, capital is not a narrow economic entity, but a symbolic quantification of power. It has little to do with utility or abstract labour, and it extends far beyond machines and production lines
|저 자 : 조나단 닛잔ㆍ심숀 비클러||발행일 : 2009.06.17|
출판사 : Routledge
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 both think of capital as an ‘economic’ entity that they count in universal units of ‘utils’ or ‘abstract labour’, respectively. But these units are totally fictitious. Nobody has ever been able to observe or measure them, and for a good reason: they don’t exist. Since liberalism and Marxism depend on these non-existing units, their theories hang in suspension. They cannot explain the process that matters most – the accumulation of capital.
This book offers a radical alternative. According to the authors, capital is not a narrow economic entity, but a symbolic quantification of power. It has little to do with utility or abstract labour, and it extends far beyond machines and production lines. Capital, the authors claim, represents the organized power of dominant capital groups to reshape – or creorder – their society.
Written in simple language, accessible to lay readers and experts alike, the book develops a novel political economy. It takes the reader through the history, assumptions and limitations of mainstream economics and its associated theories of politics. It examines the evolution of Marxist thinking on accumulation and the state. And it articulates an innovative theory of ‘capital as power’ and a new history of the ‘capitalist mode of power’.
Jonathan Nitzan is Professor of Political Economy at York University, Toronto, Canada. He is the co-author (with Shimshon Bichler) of Capital As Power: A Study of Order and Creorder, published 2009. Their writings focus of the nature of capital in capitalism and provide an alternative view to that of Marxist and neoclassical economics. In their theory capital is the quantification of power. Central to their theory is the concept of differential accumulation where firms strive to profit more by beating the average profit level.
Shimshon Bichler is an educator who teaches political economy at colleges and universities in Israel. Along with Jonathan Nitzan, Bichler has created an engaging power theory of capitalism and theory of differential accumulation in their analysis of the political economy of wars, Israel, and globalization.
List of illustrations
1 Why write a book about capital?
Dilemmas of political economy
2 The dual worlds
4 Deflections of power
The enigma of capital
5 Neoclassical parables
6 The Marxist entanglement I: values and prices
7 The Marxist entanglement II: who is productive, who is not?
8 Accumulation of what?
PART III Capitalization
9 Capitalization: a brief anthropology
10 Capitalization: fiction, mirror or distortion?
11 Capitalization: elementary particles
Bringing power back in
12 Accumulation and sabotage
13 The capitalist mode of power
PART V Accumulation of power
14 Differential accumulation and dominant capital
17 Differential accumulation: past and future