Aleksander Buzgalin
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Andrey Kolganov
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What drives the development of technology and the economy
Production relations vs. productive forces, social creativity vs. activism
in Twenty-first-century capital
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Continuing in this vein, and building on their innovations in the field of the dialectics of transformation, progress, and regression, the authors propose the hypothesis of possible stages (genesis, developed state, ‘sunset’) and models (mutations) of different economic systems (pre-capitalist and capitalist). This helps them to show the importance of understanding the nature of the world of (social) estrangement (in Marx’s terminology, pre-history, ‘the realm of [economic] necessity’) as a whole. The authors consider it no accident that the ‘sunset’ of the capitalist mode of production coincides historically and logically with the ‘sunset’, that is the overcoming, of the ‘realm of necessity’. This hypothesis is supported by analysis of the interaction of productive forces with the relations of production. The authors show not only the direct, but also the reverse couplings involved in this interaction. In particular, they reveal the socio-economic mechanisms responsible for the formation of particular types of productive forces, the incentives at work, and the limits to the development of these forces.

The contradiction of social being in which a person acts both as the creator of history and as a function of objectively alienated social forces has been discussed in our previous works, and should be considered under the rubric of philosophical rather than of political and economic provisions. We argue that this contradiction underlies historical progress and regression, and determines the main features of the Marxist concept of the human individual.

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Twenty-first-century capital

Critical post-Soviet Marxist reflections

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