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Can Capitalists Afford Recovery?


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Speaker(s): Professor Jonathan Nitzan
Chair: Dr Sandy Hager

Recorded on 27 May 2014 in STC S75, St Clements.

Theorists and policymakers from all directions and of all persuasions remain obsessed with the prospect of recovery. For mainstream economists, the key question is how to bring about such a recovery. For heterodox political economists, the main issue is whether sustained growth is possible to start with. But there is a prior question that nobody seems to ask: can capitalists afford recovery in the first place? If we think of capital not as means of production but as a mode of power, we find that accumulation thrives not on growth and investment, but on unemployment and stagnation. And if accumulation depends on crisis, why should capitalists want to see a recovery?

Jonathan Nitzan is a professor of political economy at York University in Toronto and co-author, with Professor Shimshon Bichler, of Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder.

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