Aleksander Buzgalin
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Andrey Kolganov
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Obsolete postmodernism
The dialectics of non-linear, multi-scenario social transformations
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This chapter sets out to show that the methodologies of positivism and post-modernism do not permit an understanding of the modern market and capital, and doom scholars to achieving no more than descriptions of external forms. The next part of the chapter is devoted to criticism of the general expansion of economics and of its continuation, so-called ‘economic imperialism’. The authors demonstrate that in the area of theory, ‘economic imperialism’ leads to the reduction of an increasingly wide range of social and humanitarian research to a narrow functional description of the interactions between different actors within the market. In the field of practice, its effect has been to strengthen market fundamentalism. Finally, the original contributions of the authors include their analysis of the now-prevalent version of orthodox economic theory, which they designate ‘market-centrism’. As the authors see it, this approach identifies the economy in general with one of its historically possible forms, the market, and reduces all non-market economic relations to market ‘failures’.

The authors’ achievements include their success in revealing the specific advantages of using the dialectical method for studying transformational systems, which are characterised by a patchiness of social time and space; in demonstrating that the historical process is fundamentally nonlinear; and in showing that a multi-scenario approach is required to comprehend it. This methodology is used to study the process of the ‘sunset’ of capitalism and the nonlinear dialectics of the evolution and involution of goods, money, and capital.

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