The idea of capitalism was flawed from the start in its reification of a so-called stage of history. The confusion over the modern transition (in the sense of the eonic effect, or otherwise) is a part of the problem. The rise of the modern was not as such the same as that of capitalism, which preexisted modernity. We see most of the innovations of capitalism in ancient Greece, in a context however that still suffered from slavery. The influence of Adam Smith here is an indication of a transvaluation of values (to use Nietzsche’s term) that has subsequently become a curse as ethical reasoning goes haywire. Adam Smith’s insights are significant but the overall effect of this kind of new economic reasoning was a faustian bargain in the end, and that end is our current time-frame.
Capitalism not a stage of economic history?
R48G: capitalism is not a stage of (economic) history: marxist production theory is misleading and making the problem worse…did Marx/Engels fumble the ball? April 5th, 2017 •
Was capitalism a mistake…? We are probably dead by capitalism so the answer is clear…
The whole emphasis of Marxism is confused: the way that capitalism was turned into a stage of history as a stage of production ended up giving it a status it didn’t deserve and is one aspect of its persistence in the sense of Marx’s concealed bourgeois tendencies assuming this stage of production must exhaust its potential before moving beyond itself,
a disastrous gift to the fanatics of capitalist futurism. The potential of this set of fake systems could never be exhausted and the truer circumstance is that this fake stage of history will terminate a planet.
The emergence of ‘capitalism’ is relative: in a fairly general definition, it goes back to the
Neolithic or beyond and is present in all phases of civilization. The equivocation here over capitalism as a modern phenomenon is simply another case of its ‘relative’ transformations, and the onset of the industrial revolution along with the ideology of such as Adam Smith and the invention of new kinds of financial instruments created the illusion that a new capitalist era had somehow replaced feudalism as a new stage of history.
The study of the eonic effect demonstrates a more complicated picture in which economic systems in various stages and formats are embedded in a larger social context. Marx and Engels understood all this until they misunderstood it with the creation of
‘historical materialism’. A more realistic picture is that capitalism is a set of innovations inside a larger system and that its nefarious character, the object of immediate protest, created the need for an new kind of social system that could control its rogue character. Capitalism was always a rogue process and there was never any reason that the whole of humanity was to be subjected to market forces in the name of the laws of history was a gross fallacy and a decided fumble by Marx/Engels.
Marx/Engels were however pretty clear in the 1848 period of the dangers of the situation and the need to act at once to move to a new type of system.