Notes on the State of Capital (Reprint)

Notes on the State of Capital (Reprint)
Bichler, Shimshon and Nitzan, Jonathan. (2010). Dissident Voice. 27 March. (Article - Magazine; English).

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These notes are transcribed from a commentary on a paper by Sean Starrs, titled 'State and Capital: False Dichotomy But Still Inter-Related'. Both the paper and the commentary were presented as part of an integrated panel series on 'Capital as Power', held at the 36th Annual Conference of the Eastern Economic Association in Philadelphia, February 26-28, 2010.

Sean Starrs claims that we need to discard our notion of the 'state of capital'. The gist of his argument is simple enough. Capitalist societies, he says, involve a myriad of power relations, many of them very important. These relationships, although often linked to the logic of capital, are distinct from that logic and therefore cannot be reduced to it. And since we are talking about separate social processes, we cannot encompass them all under the same rubric. His conclusion: the notion of a totalizing mode of power – which we call the state of capital – must be dispensed with.

The notes attempt to clarify. They seek to explain, first, what we mean by a 'mode of power', and, second, why we use this concept in the first place. The sequence of our presentation is as follows. We begin by contrasting two spatial conceptions of the state. We then explain the notion of capitalization, which in our view represents the logic of the state of capital. And, finally, we flesh out the argument with a series of historical examples.



Publication Type

Article - Magazine

Commentary on

Seven Integrated Panels on "Capital as Power": Timetable and Program
Bichler, Shimshon and Nitzan, Jonathan. (2010). (Other; English).


capital capitalization China environment power public debt state war


BN Civilization & Social Systems
BN Money & Finance
BN Conflict & Violence
BN Theory
BN Ideology
BN State & Government
BN Methodology
BN Civil Society
BN Comparative
BN Institutions
BN Power
BN Ecology & Environment
BN Region - Asia
BN Space
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Value & Price

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

30 Mar 2010

Last Modified

09 Apr 2016 22:00


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