‘Late capitalism’
Stages of development
in Twenty-first-century capital
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In this chapter the authors identify the historical place and character of what they term the ‘modern market economy’ as the space-time of the ‘sunset’ of the system of capitalist production relations. This allows them to define the nature of ‘late capitalism’ as a space-time negation of capitalist production relations within the framework of this system, and to provide a theoretically and historically grounded periodisation of this era. Within the evolution of late capitalism, the following main stages are distinguished. First is (1) the ‘undermining’ of the basics of capitalism, under the sway of monopoly capitalism (imperialism). During this period (2) humanity has experienced the decades of the mid-twentieth century (characterised by fascism and social-reformism), and (3) the era of neoliberal revenge, globalisation and financialisation. Before us now is (4) the period of the increasing development of forms of negative transformation in the direction of conservatism, involving the retreat of classic capitalist exploitation in response to the mass use of ‘human’ and ‘social’ capital and the extraction of intellectual rents as capital exploits the cultural wealth of humanity.

The authors systematise the changes in the system of social productive forces that result in the material and technical determination of the production relations of ‘late capitalism’. The basis of these transformations is seen to consist in the development of the creative content of labour. These provisions furnish the basis for exploring new forms of goods, money, and exploitation, and for systematising the global problems of humankind.

Twenty-first-century capital

Critical post-Soviet Marxist reflections


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