This is an introductory guide to the theory of capital as power (CasP). It is intended primarily for those who are new to the subject and want to know where to begin.
CasP offers a radical alternative to mainstream and Marxist theories of value and capitalism. It argues that capital symbolizes and quantifies not utility or labour, but organized power writ large, and that capitalism is best understood and challenged not as a mode of production and consumption, but as a mode of power.
An accessible introduction to this approach is offered in Dutkiewicz’s 2013 interview with Bichler and Nitzan. The interivew spells out some of the main arguments of CasP, contrasts these arguments with liberal and radical approaches to political economy, and situtates the various debates in the historical context of capitalist development:
A more analytical presentation of these themes is provided in the following paper by Bichler and Nitzan and the accompanying two-part radio interview with Nitzan:
For readers ready to tackle a 400-page doorstopper, the most extensive exposition of the CasP approach, including theory, method and empirical research, is offered in:
A cross section of articles by Bichler and Nitzan – dealing with, amog other topics, the asymptotoes of power, the financial megamachine, capitalist crises, energy conflicts, imperialism and financialism, crime and punishment, inequality, exploitation and wealth, and science and academia – is collected in the edited volume:
Over the years, CasP has developed into an expanding project, with a growing number of contributions by various researchers from around the world. The following two articles and video presentation examine the past, present and future of this project. They trace the evolution of CasP from its inception in the 1980s, canvas the breadth of ongoing CasP research (and offer a detailed bibliography), propose future research trajectories, and contemplate the connecton between CasP theory and praxis:
The items listed in this overview offer a broad introduction to the subject of capital as power. If you are interested in further suggestions or more specific recommendations, please write to Jonathan Nitzan (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Shimshon Bichler (email@example.com).
You can also visit, participate in and contribute to our three related websites: (1) The Review of Capital as Power (RECASP), which publishes scholarly articles on CasP (and offers an annual essay prize); (2) Captial as Power, which contains a blog, forum, working papers, data, conferences, speaker series and other events; and (3) the Creorder section on YouTube, which offers CasP-related videos.