Cognitive Capitalism by Yann Moulier-Boutang

By Yann Moulier-Boutang

We are living in a time of transition, argues Yann Moulier Boutang. however the irony is this isn't a transition to a brand new form of society known as 'socialism', as many at the Left had assumed; relatively, it's a transition to a brand new form of capitalism. Socialism has been left at the back of by means of a brand new revolution in our midst. 'Globalization' successfully corresponds to the emergence, considering 1975, of a 3rd type of capitalism. It doesn't have a lot to do with the commercial capitalism which, on the aspect of its beginning (1750-1820), broke with previous kinds of mercantile capitalism. the purpose of this publication is to explain and clarify the features of this 3rd age of capitalism. Boutang cash the time period 'cognitive capitalism' to explain this new type of capitalism. whereas this suggestion continues to be a operating speculation, it already offers a few uncomplicated orientations and anchor issues that are indispensible for political motion. The political economic system which was once born with Adam Smith now not deals us the opportunity of figuring out the truth that's being developed sooner than our eyes - specifically the price, wealth and complexity of the realm financial system D and it additionally doesn't allow us to house the demanding situations that look forward to humanity, no matter if ecological or social. This publication hence seeks to place us onto the trail of a provisional politics and morality in a position to facing this new nice Transformation.

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Sample text

We have now come to the point where we can enter fully into the economics of cognitive capitalism. We shall see the extent to which the situation has changed: not only for the worse, as the many prophets of doom, disappointment and disillusion keep assuring us, but equally by way of opening up new virtualities. 2 W h at cognitive capitalism is not The changes taking place in capitalism are too obvious not to have been noticed by the analysts. Several explanations have been pro­ posed to account for them.

The positive or negative effects arising from the contemplation of a painting by Picasso or Vermeer in an art gallery may be many. A stretch of yellow wall may lead someone to the writing of A la recherche du temps perdu in one case, or, associated with the yellow of M unch’s ‘The Scream’, it might lead a different visitor to suicide. In fact the concept of externality was only a limited case in its evocation by neoclassic theory. The purpose of the market alloca­ tion of goods and services - in the face of individual producers or consumers driven by the pursuit of maximum profit or satisfaction with a minimum investment - was to lead to a revelation of individual preferences and to a calculation that would set a price and arbitrate on quantities available.

Such as the potential for innovation. N ot only do these elements exist, even though it’s hard to identify them tangibly, but above all they become hegemonic. Not that they are somehow more noble (the capitalist really doesn’t give a damn about that), but they contain the domi­ nant part of the exchange value of the goods. We call these elements by different names: research and development (R&D) potential, intellectual capital, organisation, customer databases, intellectual property rights, image, confidence, stock exchange surplus value and so on.

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