Economic growth is tightly correlated with the concentration of power in the hands of large corporations. Why? The capital as power framework provides potential answers that turn mainstream theory on its head: growth seems to be intimately related to the formation of hierarchy.
The current crisis, economists argue, happened due to a 'mismatch' between financial and real capital. The problem is the mismatch itself does not exist. The very distinction between 'real' and ‘financial’ capital is entirely fictitious.
Theorists and policymakers from all directions and of all persuasions remain obsessed with the prospect of recovery. For mainstream economists, the key question is how to bring about such a recovery. For heterodox political economists, the main issue is whether sustained growth is possible to start with. But there is a prior question that nobody seems to ask: can capitalists afford recovery in the first place?
This presentation will explore the linkages between corporate power and inequality, arguing that both the level and pattern of inequality in Canada closely shadow the differential power of capital.
Why does Hollywood lack originality? Why is Hollywood cinema so repetitive? This presentation will theoretically and empirically explain why Hollywood's so-called risk-aversion is strategic. The decline in risk is a sign of how the major distributors have been able to exercise greater and greater control over the social relations of cinema.
Through the early-20th century, the power of the De Beers’ diamond cartel was dwindling. Its resurrection came with WWII. The company’s reversal of fortune required the construction and maintenance of relations with romantic couples, industrial diamond users, multiple government agencies and diamonds themselves. This presentation will examine De Beers’ accumulation and the translation of these qualitative relationships into capital.
Economic, financial and social commentators from all directions and persuasion are obsessed with the prospect of recovery. The world remains mired in a deep, prolonged crisis, and the key question seems to be how to get out of it. The purpose of our paper is to ask a very different question that few if any seem concerned with: can capitalists afford recovery in the first place?
What does modern finance tell us about systemic fear and the future of capitalism?
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 ‘free market’ require massive state punishment? Why did the correctional population start to rise in the 1980s, together with the onset of neoliberalism? How is this increase related to the upward redistribution of income and the capitalization of power? Can soaring incarceration sustain the unprecedented power of dominant capital, or is there a reversal in the offing?
Existing theories of political economy, liberal as well as Marxist, see capital as a dual entity. According to these theories, the "real" essence of capital consists of material/productive commodities, while the "financial" appearance of capital either accurately mirrors or fictitiously distorts this underlying reality. We reject this duality. Capital, we argue, is finance, and only finance. In its modern incarnation, capital exists as forward-looking capitalization, a universal financial ritual that discounts expected future earnings to a singular present value.