3Is finance productive or “parasitic?”

1 Finance as the seizure of others’ income

Let’s summarize what we have discussed so far in the two previous chapters. First, the idea of the capitalist as an absentee and functionless proprietor who receives income in the form of absolute rent by taking advantage of the scarcity of capital can traced back to the original work of Ricardo. Second, this divorce of the capitalist owner from the production process paves the way for the approaches that conceive of them as inhabitants of the financial sphere who benefit by making profit through the seizure of income created in “real” production. In this sense, the absentee capitalist owner functions like an old fashioned usurer, circumventing the accumulation ...

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