Twenty-first-century reproduction
Inequality and the ‘useless economy’
in Twenty-first-century capital
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The final chapter reveals the peculiarities of the reproduction of capital in the twenty-first century. Major attention is devoted to new aspects of the structure of social reproduction. Two sectors are distinguished: the useful sector, in which goods that aid the development of technologies and human qualities are created, and the useless sector, where the goods created consist of junk: simulacra, fakes, and other phenomena that do not contribute to the progress of humanity, society, or technology. These goods consist mainly (but not exclusively) of phenomena created in the areas of finance, marketing, bureaucratic management, and so forth.

A second crucial aspect of reproduction in the twenty-first century is the transformation of the general law of capitalist accumulation. The chapter shows that along with the direct consequence, the growth of socio-economic inequality, there is also another consequence: a reduction of this inequality to the extent to which, as a result of the social activism of working people, a socialisation of capitalism takes place. The chapter proposes a new way of formulating the general law of capitalist accumulation: there is an inversely proportional relationship between the expansion of the hegemony of capital on the one hand, and the degree of progress of the creatosphere and of the social creativity of working people on the other.

Twenty-first-century capital

Critical post-Soviet Marxist reflections

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