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 'ecomic' 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 n-existing units, their theories hang in suspension. They cant explain the process that matters most - the accumulation of capital. This book offers a radical alternative. According to the authors, capital is t a narrow ecomic 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 vel political ecomy. It takes the reader through the history, assumptions and limitations of mainstream ecomics and its associated theories of politics. It examines the evolution of Marxist thinking on accumulation and the state. And it articulates an invative theory of 'capital as power' and a new history of the 'capitalist mode of power'.
Jonathan Nitzan teaches political economy at York University in Toronto. Shimshon Bichler teaches political economy at colleges and universities in Israel.
Jonathan Nitzan, Shimshon Bichler
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Date of Publication
Social Studies: General
RIPE Series in Global Political Economy
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
29 black & white illustrations, 3 black & white tables, 29 black & white line drawings