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Vjeran Katunarić orcid id ; Odjel za sociologiju Sveučilišta u Zadru, Zadar, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 115 Kb

str. 135-149

preuzimanja: 797



This contribution to the discussion about Dag Strpić’s book Karl Marx and
the Political Economy of Modernity focuses on the author’s assessment that
the weakening of US economic hegemony is questionable, especially with regard
to the future prospects of capitalism (and its development), and prefers to
speak of a “redesign” thereof. Accordingly, this article analyses in detail three
aspects of capitalism redesign: the causal, the contingent and the functional
aspects. Regarding causality, the partial redistribution of leading roles in
world economy is caused by the introduction of new methods, from industrial
and media technology to financial speculations and new wars – which make
profit-making possible. Regarding contingency, the shift in the centre provides
opportunity for a small number of countries, such as China, India and
Brazil, which are endowed with capitalist “talent” (in the sense of combining
the policy of resource mobilization with elements of positive evaluation of labour
in the local culture), to climb the ladder of successful development. The
functional aspects indicate the favourable effects of the shift in the centre not
only for newcomers to the club of the most developed, but also to the USA.
The financialization of (primarily American) economy, along with giving over
leadership to other industrial powers in many branches of industrial production,
and in the rate of economic growth – i.e. with a “new division of labour”
in the centre – gives to the US some sort of “aristocratic” status in the world of
capitalism. Such a status is not incompatible with the cyclic process of capitalism
development. Instead of a dialectical leap toward socialism, it rather
aspires to a partial restoration of feudalism, as a global order of strong states
in the centre and weak or apparent states on the margins. This, however, is not
the worst possible ending of modern history. If a much more pronounced decline
of US economic power in favour of the newcomers were to occur, this
would probably strengthen the brutality of capitalism rather than weaken it.
Provided that, in the EU, the trend of further decomposition of the welfare
state is stopped, and the indispensable balance between the requirements of
economic growth and of social solidarity and general well-being is restored,
only a genuine and comprehensive “Europeanization” of the capitalist system
could make possible the emergence of a global capitalism with a human face,
and probably also of a world state which would provide for a balanced development
of all parts of the world.

Ključne riječi

capitalism; United States of America; Dag Strpić; causality; contingency; functionality

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