The Capitalist Degree of Immortality

The Capitalist Degree of Immortality
Bichler, Shimshon and Nitzan, Jonathan. (2021). Working Papers on Capital as Power. No. 2021/06. December. pp. 1-5. (Article - Working Paper; English).

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Abstract or Brief Description

This note offers some speculative ideas worth considering. One of the key features of all hierarchical civilizations is their rulers’ fear of death. This fear was famously narrated in the ancient myth of Gilgamesh – the Sumerian king who realized that, like all other humans, he too was destined to die and embarked on a desperate quest to annul his mortality . According to Lewis Mumford, this quest for immortality is the main reason why society’s rulers are forever obsessed with building and fortifying power hierarchies – or ‘megamachines’, as he called them. Controlling these megamachines, Mumford argued, is the rulers’ way of playing God, a futile yet all-possessive effort to conquer the future and live forever. In capitalism, the rulers finally figured out how to do it – sort of.



Publication Type

Article - Working Paper


capital capitalization future immortality power


BN Methodology
BN Money & Finance
BN Myth
BN Power
BN Time
BN Value & Price
BN Capital & Accumulation
BN Civilization & Social Systems
BN Culture
BN Institutions

Depositing User

Jonathan Nitzan

Date Deposited

24 Dec 2021 21:40

Last Modified

07 Jan 2022 00:31


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