Publication Details

Shimshon Bichler, Jonathan Nitzan and Tim Di Muzio (2012), ‘The 1%, Exploitation and Wealth: Tim Di Muzio interviews Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan’, Review of Capital as Power, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 1-22.

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The Bichler & Nitzan Archives


Tim Di Muzio: You argue that the capital as power framework does not offer a general theory of society but an incisive account of how capitalists shape and reshape our world through the logic of differential capitalization and accumulation. As you well know, the Occupy Wall Street movement has organized under the banner ‘We are the 99%’, opposing what they refer to as the global 1%.

Could the capital as power framework be conceptualized as the political economy of the 1%? If not, do you see any way in which the capital as power framework could contribute to a critical political economy of the 1%? Does your latest article on the asymptotes of power speak to any of these debates?

Shimshon Bichler & Jonathan Nitzan: Your question invokes the century-old dilemma of what kind of determinism we can impose on society and the world more generally. This dilemma emerged largely as a consequence of the second scientific revolution and parallel developments in logic and mathematics, and it remains largely unresolved. Is there a ‘general logic’ to be discovered, or is ‘reality’ fractured into multiple and possibly contradictory patterns? Should we adhere to the traditional identitary-ensemblist logic of Cantor’s set theory, or should we follow Castoriadis’ notion of the magmas – those fuzzy groupings that include yet extend beyond the traditional logic and that allow the nomos to partly defy the determinism of the physis (Castoriadis 1987: Ch. 7)? Are we to look for a singular totality, or should we follow Bohm’s framework of infinite enfoldments (Bohm 1980; Bohm and Peat 1987)?