Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/157973
Authors: 
Nitzan, Jonathan
Bichler, Shimshon
Year of Publication: 
2009
Series/Report no.: 
RIPE Series in Global Political Economy
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 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'.
Subjects: 
absentee ownership
accumulation
benchmark
bond
bourgeoisie
breadth
business enterprise
capital
class
corporation
cosmology
credit
creorder
crisis
debt
deflation
depth
differential
dissonance vs. resonance
dominant capital
duality
elementary particles
equilibrium
exploitation
feudalism
fictitious capital
finance
globalization
goodwill
government
green-field
hologram
hype
industry
inflation
institutionalism
labour theory of value
liberty
markup
mergers and acquisitions
mode of power
mode of production
neoclassical economics
neo-Marxism
nomos
normal rate of return
oppression
political economy
politics vs. economics
price
productive vs. unproductive labour
productivity
profit
real vs. nominal
risk
sabotage
securities
skilled vs. unskilled labour
socially necessary abstract labour
space
stagnation
stagflation
state of capital
stocks
surplus value
tangible vs. intangible assets
technology
uncertainty
utility
utils
URL of the first edition: 
ISBN: 
978-0-203-87632-9
Creative Commons License: 
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca/
Document Type: 
Book

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