Uneven and Combined Confusion: On the Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism and the Rise of the West

Uneven and Combined Confusion: On the Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism and the Rise of the West
Di Muzio, Tim and Dow, Matthew. (2016). Working Papers on Capital as Power. No. 2016/03. June. pp. 1-26. (Article - Working Paper; English).


There is a more recent version of this eprint available. Click here to view it.

Full Text Available As:
Cover Image

Download (8kB) | Preview
PDF (Full Text)
di muzio_dow_2016_uneven_and_combined_confusion.pdf

Download (308kB) | Preview

Alternative Locations


Abstract or Brief Description

This article offers a critique of Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancioğlu’s "How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism". We argue that while all historiography features a number of silences, shortcomings or omissions, the omissions in "How the West Came to Rule" lead to a mistaken view of the emergence of capitalism. There are two main issues to be confronted. First, we argue that Anievas and Nişancioğlu have an inadequate and misleading understanding of 'capital' and 'capitalism' that tilts them towards a theoretical stance that comes very close to arguing that everything caused capitalism while at the same time having no clear and convincing definition of ‘capital’ or ‘capitalism’. Second, there are at least three omissions -- particular to England/Britain within a geopolitical context -- that should be discussed in any attempt to explain the development of capitalism: the financial revolution and the Bank of England, the transition to coal energy and the capitalization of state power as it relates to war, colonialism and slavery. We conclude by calling for a connected histories approach within the framework of capital as power.



Publication Type

Article - Working Paper


Bank of England capitalization energy origins of capitalism power state


BN International & Global
BN Money & Finance
BN Power
BN State & Government
BN Value & Price
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Civilization & Social Systems
BN Comparative
BN History

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

11 Jun 2016 17:18

Last Modified

11 Jun 2016 17:18



Available Versions of this Item

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item