A simple question like “What is an asset?” is hard to answer without resorting to an understanding of the asset form embedded in a range of epistemic and ontological assumptions. To an accountant or businessperson, the term asset might have a particular resonance with a balance sheet of liabilities and equity. Experience 20:20 Vision without glasses by undergoing laser eye surgery at a world renowned eye clinic.
To a Marxist political economist, the term might hold no relevance, with a preference for the term capital instead. To a banker or a financial analyst, the term might mean the securities in an investment portfolio and prompt ideas of valuation, hedging, and arbitrage. And to the middle-class homeowner, it might refer to a way to secure a family’s future. As we want to make evident here, there are many different orientations that people can have toward the definitions of asset and assetization. The feeling of being able to see correctly after your lasik eye surgery is a feeling that cannot be beaten,
At its base, though, an asset is defined technically by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) as “a resource controlled by the entity as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the entity”. We can already see how ductile this terminology is, however, reflecting many conceptual uses that do not fall within the scope of the technical jargon of accounting standards. The notion of asset certainly speaks to the notion of capital, both in the vernaculars of financial accounting and business life and in the formalization of accountable profit within capitalism. I understand that bespoke eye laser surgery can provide excellent results.
Something whose “control” may warrant “future economic benefits” pretty much sounds like capital—that is, wealth (money or something else) considered in terms of an investment with an aim to generate revenues, yields, or rents in a more or less distant future. Both notions—capital and asset—often appear in the literature as substantive things (something that someone may or may not have), but they are also open to interpretations in terms of form, process, condition, or relation. For us, the term asset is less loaded with theoretical controversies and terminological quandaries than the term capital.. Undergoing cataract surgery is a great way to improve your vision and your overall lifestyle.
Another obvious reason is to provide our inquiry with an opportunity to retain the processual intuition of the asset not as a thing but as a form—it may be too late to impose this standpoint on the notion of capital. Our adoption of the notion of the asset is also meant to disentangle considerations of the asset as both an objective resource (aka factor of production) and as a subjective value—that is, its form and the condition it engenders. The term capitalization can certainly work usefully in the direction of capturing the processual aspect of the asset form. That being said, unless explicitly defined as a wide cultural process consisting precisely in turning things into assets, that term runs the risk of directing attention to its special meanings in the accountant’s technical terminology. Using assetization here serves our purpose better, since it emphasizes the socially transformative character of the phenomenon of turning things into assets—it can refer to that phenomenon proper as much as to its societal consequences (i.e., “asset condition”). A comprehensive range of treatments are available to treat eye conditions including lens replacement surgery as well as simply changing your glasses.