"In Capital as Power Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler address one of the oldest theoretical conundrums in the discipline of political economy -- the theory of capital -- with a view to supplying a more satisfactory answer to the question 'what is capital?' While the work clearly fits into the tradition of radical political economy it is not easy to place it in any one school, and this for very good reason: Nitzan and Bichler are trying to create a new approach to political economy." - Brennan, Jordan. 2009. Review of "Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder." Canadian Journal of Political Science 42 (4, December): 1057-1058 "Capitalism is the 'natural reality' of the day: we live in and with its beauty and perplexities. As of now, we seem to be helpless before its gigantic leap forward and submit ourselves to its power. The rules by which we abide, the morals we keep and the very life we love to cherish all sprout up, engage, adjust, fight in and with the different manifestations of capitalism, and owe much debt to its intricate legacies. But do we know what capitalism really is? And how do we know that what we know of capitalism is accurate? This book brilliantly examines and rigorously analyses these very old questions of political economy and the theoretical attempts to define capitalism in its political, social and philosophical sense, situating them in the classical political economy of the 18th and 19th centuries." - Vineeth Mathoor, Review of Nitzan and Bichler's "Capital as Power" By Capital & Class, 2011, Vol. 35, No. 2 (June), pp. 337-340.
The purpose of this book is to explain capital as a form of power. Capital is the central institution of capitalism - and yet, surprising as it may seem, we do not have a satisfactory theory to explain it. Without a clear definition of capital we cannot fully understand how capital works, why it accumulates and how it drives the capitalist order. The authors argue that the first step is to stop thinking of capital and capitalism as matters of 'economics', but as the language in which the capitalist ruling class thinks about, conceives of and shapes society.Written in a language accessible to experts and non-experts alike, this book is divided into three parts: Part I offers a novel critique of mainstream and Marxist theories of capital. (The failure of existing theories of accumulation lies in neglecting power, or in treating it as external to capital). Part II reverses this bias by bringing power back in, by making it the central feature of capital. Part III focuses on the accumulation of power.Capital represents the extent to which capitalists can control, shape and transform society against opposition.
For this reason, the accumulation capital must be understood in relative rather than absolute terms and this section articulates this relativity and its significance. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, political economy, economics and international relations.
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