The starting-point for the book is its chapter on methodology. Found here are not only critiques of conventional Soviet Marxism-Leninism and post-modernism, but also a new rethinking of the classic dialectic. For the most part, however, the book focuses on revealing the new quality now assumed by commodities, money, and capital within the global economy. The market has become not only global, but a totalitarian force that is not a ‘socially neutral mechanism of coordination’. It is now a product of the hegemony of corporate capital, featuring the growth of new types of commodity: information, simulacra, and so forth. The book demonstrates the new qualities acquired by value, use value, price, and commodity fetishism within this new market, while exploring the contradictions of non-limited resources (such as knowledge) and the commodity form of their existence.
Money is now a virtual product of fictitious financial capital, possessing a new nature, contradictions, and functions. This analysis of the new nature of money helps to reveal the essence of so-called financialisation.
Capital has become the result of a complex system of exploitation. In the twenty-first-century context this exploitation includes the ‘classic’ extraction of surplus value from industrial workers combined with internal corporate redistribution of income by ‘insiders’; international exploitation; and the exploitation of creative labour through the expropriation of intellectual rent.
of critical Marxism has been summarised by Aleksandra Yakovleva ( 2014 ). This idea of Marx's was widely known in critical Soviet Marxism and is now being developed by the present authors (Buzgalin and Kolganov 1998 ), Vadim Mezhuev ( 2007 ), Vladislav Inozemtsev ( 1998a, 1998b ), and others. In the West the idea has been expressed in recent decades in the work of Alvin and Heidi Toffler ( 2006 ), Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri ( 2000 , 2004 ), and Slavoj Žižek and Costas Douzinas ( 2010 ). The core idea is familiar to most people in the common ‘ownership’ by
. The systematising of these provisions, together with a discussion of the main trends of research in post-Soviet Marxism, provides a starting point for our elaborations. As we develop the traditions of critical Soviet Marxism (in post-Soviet left circles this legacy is referred to increasingly often as ‘Ilenkovist’), key provisions of the method of ascent from the abstract to the concrete and of the historical-genetic approach are being re-actualised in our work . In particular, applying the historical-genetic method to the
the limits of what is possible and knowable? 8 As a hegemonic movement capable of changing tactics and engineering passive revolutions, liberalism has been more politically astute on this fundamental point than any of its rivals. Idealism makes an epistemological discovery that is crudely inverted in Soviet Marxism-Leninism and effectively hi-jacked in different ways by liberalism in its various classical, humanist and
spheres of social life, and not just to the economy. This new commercialisation emerged after the period of relatively wide market restrictions and active social regulation in the second half of the twentieth century. One of the widely used analogues of this term in post-Soviet Marxism is ‘market fundamentalism’, which as far as we know was, paradoxically, coined by George Soros ( 1998 ). The most important of the fundamental contradictions of such market fundamentalism catapults the antagonisms of the epoch of imperialism to a higher level. Its resolution requires the
the reader to not think of anarchism as a “word order” as one would Sovietism, Marxism, or Republicanism, but rather to “think of anarchism as an individual orientation to yourself and others, as a personal approach to life” (CrimethInc. Ex-Workers’ Collective 2001, 34). Contemporary insurrectionists have repeated such charges, reminding us that Bonanno himself argued that “Anarchism isn’t a definition that, once reached, can be guarded jealously … safe and conserved” (Rodríguez 2011b). This highly open and individualistic approach to anarchism’s orientation
short step from Nietzsche to Heidegger, post-structuralism and postmodernism. 27 In the process of gradually emancipating subjectivity from all external and objective constraints, humanity liberates itself from the yoke of metaphysical estrangement from the world and finds itself at the centre of all things. In Soviet Marxism, humanity establishes its dignity against metaphysical abstraction and bourgeois law by way of the
representatives of critical Soviet Marxism (Khessin 1964b ), value is a category reflecting only, and exclusively, the relations of commodity production. That is why Marx stated dozens of times that value and use value are two aspects of a commodity , and not of any product. Value is a historically specific category, like any other category of commodity production. Such an understanding of categories – as reflections of historically specific production relations, as shown at the beginning of the book – is the alpha and omega of the Marxist methodology; this stands in contrast