Consumer Capitalism by Anastasios Korkotsides

By Anastasios Korkotsides

An first-class addition to Routledge’s powerful culture of publishing unparalleled books in heterodox economics, this cutting edge and groundbreaking quantity attracts at the paintings of Schumpeter, Marx and Sraffa, 3 of the main influential economists of all time. It bases worth on a unmarried, inwardly felt shortage, the shortage of lifestyles, which shoppers scramble to event extra of via inner most ownership of the manufactured from socially contributed human time-space, within the type of wisdom embodied in commodities. This coercive urge, which seems to be outwardly as ‘commodity fetishism’, units the context of ‘utility’ and self-interest, implicating shoppers within the plunder of every other’s toil and of the earth, exhibiting that capitalistic development surveys existential misery instead of welfare.

Existential motivational uniformity joins the possible disparate individualistic goals right into a race for progress, whereas markets advertise sort and innovation. Markets help intake techniques to combination with Schumpeterian creation techniques as shoppers attempt to foresee industry stipulations and constitution their expenses in the direction of gaining positional virtue. those clarify the structural dynamics of elevated roundaboutness via adjustment of costs and insist to an evolving techno-structure.

A worthy source, this ebook unfolds a brand new imaginative and prescient of financial theorizing in the course of the severe fundamentals of agent behaviour.

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Qxd 6/3/07 24 7:01 PM Page 24 Theory, society and consumption these, orthodox economics drew attention away from anything that could mar the image of capitalism. But that came at a cost: the cost of failing to explain even such basic facts as GDP growth, letting silently pass that if there is more to divide amongst us, we will all climb higher on the happiness ladder en masse, and there will be less social friction. But such nice upshots are not true if the game is zero-sum, so there must be something else to the growth hysteria.

And as we will explain, for a choice to be capitalistically meaningful it must produce further scarcity: a deeper, wider sense of deprivation, in final analysis a deprivation of life. In human sciences, a perspective to human behaviour has been adopted that places emphasis on individuals affecting the conditions of their own development within an evolving social background, which reflects back and acts on those same individuals. The individual takes cognizance of its own self by its reflection on society.

The ‘intrinsic powers of human inventiveness’, as Polanyi (1966/83: 81) referred to them, cannot be quantitatively accounted for, or put to rest. Since what the mind produces cannot be known before it is produced, the associated fundamental uncertainty obliges agents to exercise choice. This bears on all theories. Fundamental to Marx were the concepts of value and surplus. To fix the notion of value and make it measurable needs a concept as yardstick, from outside the system proper: a reference system and a unit of measurement.

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