‘Growing through Sabotage: Energizing Hierarchical Power’


12 Aug , 2020  

8Growing Through SabotageThe CasP project has identified numerous such paths of differential accumulation through strategic sabotage. A partial list of these paths includes higher unemployment that redistrib-utes income in favour of capitalists (Bichler and Nitzan 2014a); decelerating employment growth that shifts income in favour of the top 1% of individuals (Nitzan and Bichler 2014a)and assets in favour of the top companies (Bichler and Nitzan 2016b; Malik 2014; Baines and Hager 2020); higher inflation that tends to undermine the standard of living and sense of security of the underlying population while redistributing income in favour of capital in gen-eral and dominant capital in particular (Nitzan and Bichler 2002, 2009); waves of mergers and acquisitions that hinder greenfield investment while redistributing income in favour dominant capital (Nitzan 2001); lower growth of plant and equipment that, contrary to re-ceived convention, accelerates the growth of market capitalization (Nitzan and Bichler 2009; Bichler and Nitzan 2015a); militarization and the bourgeoning arms trade that fuel conflict while redistributing income in favour of the leading military contractors (Bichler and Nitzan 2001; Nitzan and Bichler 2002, 2007); periodic Middle East energy conflicts that implode the region and destabilize the world while redistributing income in favour of oil-producing gov-ernments and the leading armament and petroleum firms (Nitzan and Bichler 1995; Bichler and Nitzan 1996, 2015c); the globalization of ownership that pits national populations against each other while boosting differential accumulation and deepening local and global inequalities (Nitzan and Bichler 2002; Park 2013, 2016; Park and Doucette 2016); rising food prices and higher food-price volatility that cause mass hunger in developing countries while raising the differential incomes of the world’s leading grain-trading companies and large grain producers (Baines 2014, 2015, 2017); the widespread automation of investment algorithms that amplifies financial instability by leveraging the fear-and-greed cycle for dif-ferential gain (Nitzan and Bichler 2014b); the proliferation of junk food that fuels a global obesity epidemic while bloating the differential profits of food and pharmaceutical conglom-erates (Albritton 2009; Howard 2016; Bichler and Nitzan 2016a); the ways in which sabo-tage helps capitalizeeducation (Kivisto 2016); the growing restrictions on Hollywood’s ar-tistic autonomy that debilitate audiences while reducing the differential risk of the major studios (McMahon 2013, 2015, 2018); the sabotage inherent in the capitalization of art in general (Malik and Phillips 2012); the apartheid regime in South Africa and the occupation of Palestine by Israel that for half a century underwrote the differential accumulation of gold-mining conglomerates in the former and military-financial holding groups in the latter (Nitzan 1996; Nitzan and Bichler 2001); the incarceration of a record number of Americans to secure the country’s deepening income inequality (Bichler and Nitzan 2014b); the adver-tising that has entire societies dance to the capitalized tune of the advertisers (Cochrane 2015, 2017); the history of sabotage in different modes of power (Di Muzio 2018); the redis-tributive role of conspicuous consumption (Di Muzio 2015); the leveraging of government debt in favour of the top 1% and their leading corporations at the expense of the underlying population (Hager 2014, 2015, 2016; Di Muzio and Robbins 2016); the financial deregulation that destabilizes the capitalist order while boosting the differential profits of the banking sector (Ostojić2015a, 2015b); the impact of differential taxation on corporate concentration and income distribution (Hager and Baines 2020); sabotage in developmentand geopolitics(El Khoury 2015; Woodley 2015); the list goes on and on. The breadth and depth of these examples leave little doubt: capitalism is indeed born in chains and lives in shackles. Strategic sabotage is integral to its very logic and daily practice. Everywhere we look, we see capitalized power bound up with restrictions, inhibitions and limitations.

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