Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Capitalists@Work (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

How does capitalism end?

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

 We know the answer Marx gave:

  1. capital becomes concentrated in the hands of a small number of people;
  2. advances in technology, and the drive for profit, leads capitalists to shove ever more of the proletariat into unfulfilling jobs or outright unemployment, and consequently “immiserated”;
  3. at the same time, advances in technology lead to extraordinary surpluses of material produce;
  4. at a certain point (the “extraordinary surpluses” play a very big role in determining the timing), the global proletariat spontaneously and universally intuits that any change whatsoever in political structures would leave them better off (“things can only get better“, © N.Kinnock 1992), and this popular mood indeed results in a “revolutionary” end to the (capitalist) political edifice.

Several aspects of this don’t meet basic plausibility tests – in particular, why the resulting new political “settlement” would be at all, err, comfortable for anyone, i.e. whether the universal proletarian intuition is in fact correct - but as a sci-fi narrative it stacks up as well as most. 

Well, here’s another answer to the ‘end of capitalism’ question, and it claims rather better scientific credentials than poor old Marx, limited as he was to what he gathered from 1848 Germany, Engels’ take on England, and what he could find in the Reading Room at the BM.   They both do claim to have made something scientific out of history.  And, like Marx’s version, this narrative reckons to have taken into account various earlier “revolutions” or upheavals – except it claims a vastly greater database.  My precis:
  1. some sort of seismic upheaval (think Black Death / massive technological breakthrough) results in a “money-pump” effect: a heretofore middling sector of the community that has been outside the ruling elite suddenly gets very rich, and/or very “qualified” (e.g. they can now all read, or all get university degrees) ;
  2. said nouveau riche are now “credentialled” to join the ruling elite – at least, that’s how they see it.  But the existing elite doesn’t consider there are any vacancies, thank you very much.  So there’s “overproduction of elite”, an Elite Surplus;
  3. the ES, a capable and confident bunch, are pretty pissed off about their being kept away from what they see as their entitlement to get hands on the levers of power, so they work to seize them by Other Means;
  4. for this purpose they naturally light upon two strategies, potentially complementary: (a) take over an existing political party; (b) enlist (by way of cannon fodder) the immiserated lower classes, of which there will always be plenty in almost any regime, though their degree of restiveness will clearly vary from time to time;
  5. this may sometimes result in a fairly painless transfer of power, but on other occasions will result in something much bloodier. 

Where does this come from?  It’s an erudite bloke of Russian extraction called Peter Turchin, who’s peddling a new book.  A good interview here, by the redoubtable Aaron Bastani.  

Worth pondering.  I recall discussions we’ve had here following the 2011 riots, along the lines of: the stroppy British mob has no political leadership – but wait for an officer-class to emerge from the ranks of disaffected, over-educated graduates who can’t find the kind of work or wealth they feel they are entitled to.  The Turchin thesis seems to fit this nicely – rather better than Marx’s, anyhow.  

Personally, I can take Turchin’s as a compelling narrative approach to all manner of historical upheavals, with some genuine explanatory value: BUT without definitive predictive capability.  The difference is, unlike Marx, this guy doesn’t seem to be claiming any – which speaks well for him.  (Even better, he’s also a big fan of constructive competition.)  Marx, along with most economic forecasters, is all too easily ridiculed for his forecasting failure.  The real reason for laughing at Marx, however, is his claim to have come up with a new Science.

What do the rest of the capitalists here think?  Does Turchin define our imminent demise?  



Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Nootropic

Mushrooms are having a moment. One fabulous fungus in particular, lion’s mane, may help improve memory, depression and anxiety symptoms. They are also an excellent source of nutrients that show promise as a therapy for dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases. If you’re living with anxiety or depression, you may be curious about all the therapy options out there — including the natural ones.Our Lion’s Mane WHOLE MIND Nootropic Blend has been formulated to utilize the potency of Lion’s mane but also include the benefits of four other Highly Beneficial Mushrooms. Synergistically, they work together to Build your health through improving cognitive function and immunity regardless of your age. Our Nootropic not only improves your Cognitive Function and Activates your Immune System, But it benefits growth of Essential Gut Flora, further enhancing your Vitality.


Our Formula includes: Lion’s Mane Mushrooms which Increase Brain Power through nerve growth, lessen anxiety, reduce depression, and improve concentration. Its an excellent adaptogen, promotes sleep and improves immunity.

Shiitake Mushrooms which Fight cancer cells and infectious disease, boost the immune system, promotes brain function, and serves as a source of B vitamins.

Maitake Mushrooms which regulate blood sugar levels of diabetics, reduce hypertension and boosts the immune system.

Reishi Mushrooms which Fight inflammation, liver disease, fatigue, tumor growth and cancer. They Improve skin disorders and soothes digestive problems, stomach ulcers and leaky gut syndrome.

Chaga Mushrooms which have anti-aging effects, boost immune function, improve stamina and athletic performance, even act as a natural aphrodisiac, fighting diabetes and improving liver function.

Try Our Lion’s Mane WHOLE MIND Nootropic Blend 60 Capsules Today. Be 100% Satisfied or Receive a Full Money Back Guarantee. Order Yours Today by Following This Link.

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.