ArticlePDF Available

Capital after Capitalism: The Evolution of the Concept of Capital in the Light of Long-Run Sustainable Reproduction of the Species

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

The capitalist mode of production has fulfilled a most astonishing “historical mission” for the human species. It enabled an explosion of labor productivity gains and the discovery of new utility dimensions. But this progress came at the price of an accompanying explosion of contradictions, of unequal benefits and burdens across global and local classes of humans. This article sets out to explore what will happen if capitalism is finally ending, if its mission collapses. Following the tradition of Hegel and Marx, it can be assumed that a large part of the capitalist algorithm simply will have to vanish. But as history shows there also always is a remainder of a mode of production that in an inverted form becomes part of the next progressive mode of production. To identify what “Capital after Capitalism” could be, what has to be abolished and what might survive in which form is a central prerequisite for a proper understanding of the coming revolution of the current mode of production. Since each step on the ladder of global social evolution is also a step in social human consciousness, this step in understanding implies a direct impact in guiding the actions to accomplish this turnover.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... But what can happen is a temporary backlash by a third World War, which today evidently also includes the risk of an extinction of the human species. As the twentieth century, experience showed the danger comes from a dynamic in class formation that is driven by ideological warfare 16 . To understand the workings of this type of dynamic processes, a kind of "social cancer," it is necessary to study empirically a rather wide set of conditions, which allow its emergence and can speed up its growth. ...
... As argued elsewhere-and contrary to Tony Blair's exclamation "we are all middle class now"any consistent theoretical concept of social value necessarily provides a sharp border between 17 See Ref. [15]. 18 Compare [16] for a definition of the capitalist algorithm. Figure 1. ...
... 23 See also (Hanappi, 2018). 24 In (Hanappi, 2018c) the question of the enduring role of capital in such a future setting is posed. ...
... Compare(Hanappi, 1986(Hanappi, , 2018c for a detailed treatment of the stages of capitalism. 7 Alfred Sohn-Rethel has provided an illuminating account of the economic processes accompanying the takeover of the Fascists, see(Sohn-Rethel, 1978). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
This policy paper combines a large number of acute contemporary problems in political economy and shows that it is possible to bring them under one broad common umbrella: The choice between humanism or racism. To do so more fine grained definitions of humanism and racism are put forward. From that theoretical perspective the possible policy options for further European Integration are discussed. It is argued that Europe could be a role model for global evolution if it is possible to overcome racism and to use diversity as a creative force. As a driving agent for such a development the emerging class of organic intellectuals is identified.
... Common properties of the grammars of all languages might well tell us something about the properties of human brains, since human individuals think by using languages, compare(Chomsky, 2006).27 Compare(Hanappi, 2018a(Hanappi, , 2019a(Hanappi, , 2019b for very preliminary attempts to sketch some aspects. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the emergence of complexity as duplicated evolutionary process. The first procedural source of complexity is the quantum jump of the evolution of the human species when it started to maintain certain brain-internal models of its environment. The second-parallel-procedural origin is the evolution of a communication structure, a language, with which an already existing group of primates could frame their internal models. In contrast to definitions of complexity which use the concept in the context of theoretical physics, this approach reveals some perplexing properties of model-building for a special subject of investigation; namely the human species: All adequate models of political economy (economics is just the sub-discipline that freezes political dynamics) have to be complex. Since today's mainstream economic theory lends its formal apparatus from the mathematics of Newtonian physics, it misses the most essential features characterizing human social dynamics, i.e. its complexity 1 .
... Die von Marx eingeführte Periodisierung der Geschichte in Produktionsweisen wird also weiter verfeinert indem etwa die Produktionsweise Kapitalismus in mehrere SSA gegliedert wieder. In ähnlicher Weise wurde sie in (Hanappi 1986(Hanappi , 2018 in die drei Stufen -Handelskapitalismus, Industriekapitalismus, integrierter Kapitalismus -gegliedert. Gordons SSA beziehen sich allerdings stärker auf nationales institutionelles Rahmenwerk und sind daher eine feinere Gliederung (genauer Bezug nehmend auf die territoriale Ausbreitung des Kapitalismus) als die drei erwähnten Stufen. ...
Article
Full-text available
Der Beitrag gibt einen kurzen Überblick der Entwicklung politisch-ökonomischer Theorien in Marx’ Tradition und stellt darauf aufbauend die Frage nach deren kontemporärem Stellenwert. Dabei werden insbesondere vier Ausprägungen unterschieden: Matrix Marxismus, Makroökonomischer Marxismus, evolutionstheoretischer Marxismus und synthetischer Marxismus.
Article
Innovation in theory building usually follows the prescription of “normal science” as described by Thomas Kuhn in his account on the history of theoretical physics – see Kuhn (1962). What already had been postulated by Descartes (compare Descartes, 1637) as a signum of science, namely the systematic advance towards smaller, more specialized, partial problems that are easier to solve, this procedure still prevails in the social sciences till today. Contrary to this piecemeal engineering approach, Joseph Schumpeter made the character mask of the revolutionary entrepreneur to his hero of progress – at least as far as innovation in the production of commodities is concerned (Schumpeter, 1911). Of course, history shows that both forms of innovation are alternating: If the slow advance and broadening of a prevailing mainstream gets stuck and the contradictions it produces start to accumulate quickly, then it is time for a revolution – in the material world (compare Hanappi & Wäckerle, 2016) as well as in its scientific correlate. It is time for a metamorphosis. In which direction a theoretical innovation in times of metamorphosis shall point clearly has to remain an unanswered question. The best characterization of its general methodological form still seems to be Schumpeter’s dictum. It is a new combination of (existing) elements. The existing elements typically should concern burning problems of the troubled mainstream (compare Hanappi, 2016), and the adjective “new” means that they so far are not connected to each other in the stagnating mainstream approach. The global political economy as well as its theoretical reflection in mainstream theory undoubtedly currently is in a state that calls for a revolutionary metamorphosis. This paper therefore sets out to develop a new combination of three seemingly unconnected ideas, which each address a fundamental contradiction. The first idea concerns the contradiction between the rich and the poor parts of the global economy, the second idea concerns the driving force of progress of the human species and its impediments, and the third idea concerns the contradiction between syntax and semantics of the formal representation of the first two contradictions. Contrary to papers in “normal science,” which in a conclusion propose a solution for their research question, this paper avoids to pretend a finite horizon of its arguments. As is appropriate for a proposed theoretical innovation it just offers a new open-ended contribution to the rapidly evolving discourse in the middle of metamorphosis.
Chapter
Schon seit der ersten vormodernen städtischen Zivilisation der Sumerer in Mesopotamien spielen Gelder eine zentrale Rolle im gesellschaftlichen Leben der Menschen. Nichtsdestotrotz konnte sich Geld erst innerhalb der kapitalistischen Produktionsverhältnisse zum zentralen organisatorischen Prinzip der politischen Ökonomie entwickeln. Eine Bedingung für die Metamorphose verschiedener Geldformen ist dabei die Kommodifizierung.
Book
This book was originally published by Macmillan in 1936. It was voted the top Academic Book that Shaped Modern Britain by Academic Book Week (UK) in 2017, and in 2011 was placed on Time Magazine's top 100 non-fiction books written in English since 1923. Reissued with a fresh Introduction by the Nobel-prize winner Paul Krugman and a new Afterword by Keynes’ biographer Robert Skidelsky, this important work is made available to a new generation. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money transformed economics and changed the face of modern macroeconomics. Keynes’ argument is based on the idea that the level of employment is not determined by the price of labour, but by the spending of money. It gave way to an entirely new approach where employment, inflation and the market economy are concerned. Highly provocative at its time of publication, this book and Keynes’ theories continue to remain the subject of much support and praise, criticism and debate. Economists at any stage in their career will enjoy revisiting this treatise and observing the relevance of Keynes’ work in today’s contemporary climate.
Article
In this paper we present the major theoretical and methodological pillars of evolutionary political economy. We proceed in four steps. Aesthetics: In chapter 1 the immediate appeal of evolutionary political economy as a specific scientific activity is described. Content: Chapter 2 explores the object of investigation of evolutionary political economy. Power: The third chapter develops the interplay between politics and economics. Methods: Chapter 4 focuses on the evolution of methods necessary for evolutionary political economy.
Chapter
The last decade has seen a revival of the “long-term” in economic theory construction. After years of short-term oriented macroeconomic modelling and advices for the fine-tuning of economic policy severe crisis symptoms in the world economy broke some illusions in the control of market economies and called for long-term oriented explanations. In my view the majority of these new approaches can be grouped in two schools: a neo-schumpeterean school and a school in marxist tradition.