Re: [OPE] CAPITAL AS POWER: free PDF download

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Sun Dec 19 2010 - 08:24:13 EST

There seems to be a certain irony here. The assertion that capital is power has a respectable classical pedigree, Smith asserted that monetary wealth was power, specifically the power to command the labour of others. If they were to give a measurable correlate to power they would do well to follow Smith. But in doing so they would have to abandon their opposition to the labour theory of value, since in Smith's case the power is a power over labour and there is a direct correlation between amount of money and amount of labour commanded. This correlation, Bichler and Nitzan deny, thus depriving their theory of the realistic foundation that Adam Smith had.
From: [] On Behalf Of Dave Zachariah []
Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2010 11:43 PM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: Re: [OPE] CAPITAL AS POWER: free PDF download

On 2010-12-16 04:37, Allin Cottrell wrote:
>> Bichler& Nitzan's claim that "labour values, just like utils,
>> cannot be shown to exist" is hard to sustain.
> I agree, but "hard to sustain" is putting it mildly!

Leaving aside Nitzan & Bichler's poor criticism of Marxist political
economy for a moment. I watched Nitzan's presentation of 'Capital as
Power' which convinced me that their alternative framework has little to
offer since it rests on the most extreme form of historical-idealism.
'Power' rests simply on the beliefs of the agents! Nitzan admits this
when answering the first question during the Q&A, saying 'power
relations are only in our heads'.

Moreover, their criticism of the theoretical status of labour-value
becomes incomprehensible when one has a look at their own supposedly
measurable quantities 'normal rate of return', 'risk' and 'hype' (!).

//Dave Z
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Received on Sun Dec 19 08:30:12 2010

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