A New Cosmology for Analyzing Capitalism and the Global Order. Review of Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder

A New Cosmology for Analyzing Capitalism and the Global Order. Review of Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder
Warren, Bill. (2019). Amazon.com. 29 August. pp. 1-2. (Review; English).

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Abstract or Brief Description

FROM THE REVIEW: Capital as Power is a fascinating book because it dares to challenge conventional wisdom while offering a coherent and persuasive theory as a replacement. This is especially what I liked about this book. It's easy enough to criticize the world and say that things are terrible. That seems to be a favorite pastime for just about everybody nowadays. But it's far more difficult to offer a comprehensive alternative that plausibly explains, through engaging theoretical and empirical analysis, how much of the world works. That's what Nitzan and Bichler have done with this masterpiece.

[…]

This is one of the greatest works in political economy to have come out in this century. I especially like that they analyze economics as a social construct rather than as an objective scientific discipline, which it most certainly is not. Having said that, I don't agree with Nitzan and Bichler on everything. For one, they have a basic causality problem: if all human history simply boils down to a power process, then what explains the power process itself? Where does that come from, what are its causal antecedents? You cannot really answer this question without stepping, one way or another, into the material realm of energy flows and conversions. In other words, you can't explain the causation of a social process by repeatedly invoking some other social process, because that leads to an infinite regress. Eventually there has to be something outside of human society that has a powerful impact on the evolution of society itself. There must be a series of bridges between the ecological realm and human civilization, but Nitzan and Bichler don't really bother with any of that. Their central theory, however persuasive, will always remain provisional and incomplete until a more comprehensive theory comes along that integrates changes in the natural world with changes in human societies.

Language

English

Publication Type

Review

Commentary on

Capital as Power. A Study of Order and Creorder.
Nitzan, Jonathan and Bichler, Shimshon (2009). RIPE Series in Global Political Economy. Routledge. (Book; English).

Keywords

capital capitalism capitalization cosmology finance political economy power

Subject

BN Methodology
BN Money & Finance
BN Resistance
BN Value & Price
BN Business Enterprise
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Civilization & Social Systems
BN Conflict & Violence
BN Cooperation & Collective Action
BN Distribution
BN Ecology & Environment
BN Institutions

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

16 Sep 2019 22:42

Last Modified

16 Sep 2019 22:44

URL:

http://bnarchives.yorku.ca/id/eprint/618

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