The End of Modernity: What the Financial and Environmental Crisis Is Really Telling Us

By Stuart Sim | Go to book overview

4
Marx was Right, But …

Marx’s economic theories decreed that capitalism would collapse once the working classes came to realise the full extent of their exploitation by their unscrupulous employers. When that came to pass, they would then rise up against the political system that supported the capitalists’ interests and overthrow their oppressors, instituting the dictatorship of the proletariat where they owned the means of production and banished exploitation once and for all. Although communism did succeed in taking over the political system, and means of production, in large parts of the world over the course of the first half of the twentieth century (Russia, China and Eastern Europe, for example), capitalism itself never did collapse as Marx had forecast, despite a series of severe socio- political and economic crises in the form of wars and recessions. The Great Depression, for example, really ought to have ignited a rebellion, having revealed the glaring contradictions underlying the system. Marxist theorists have speculated at length as to why capitalism has nevertheless managed to hang on, and have come up with some ingenious solutions, such as the concept of hegemony. The details of the concept will be discussed below, but it enabled theorists to argue that the revolution Marx had prophesied had merely been delayed for a while, assuring supporters there was nothing wrong with Marx’s actual projections or the theories that had generated them: the dictatorship of the proletariat was still on its way.

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The End of Modernity: What the Financial and Environmental Crisis Is Really Telling Us
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Preface ix
  • Part I - The End of Modernity? the Cultural Dimension 1
  • 1 - Introduction- the End of Modernity 3
  • 2 - Modernity- Promise and Reality 24
  • 3 - Beyond Postmodernity 38
  • Part II - The End of Modernity? the Economic Dimension 55
  • 4 - Marx Was Right, but … 57
  • 5 - Diagnosing the Market- Fundamentalism as Cure Fundamentalism as Disease 71
  • 6 - Forget Friedman 102
  • Part III - Beyond Modernity 121
  • 7 - Learning from the Arts- Life after Modernism 123
  • 8 - Politics after Modernity 139
  • 9 - Conclusion- a Post- Progress World 161
  • Notes 183
  • Bibliography 205
  • Index 216
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