The Value Foundations of Post-Capitalism: from the “Mode of Having” to the Individualism of Self-Actualizing Personalities?

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy and Law, Ural Branch of RAS.
Address: Russian Federation, Екатеринбург
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 12

The article raises the question of the possible value foundations of a post-capitalist society. The author criticizes attempts to associate post-capitalism exclusively with the values of friendship, cooperation, solidarity, voluntary action for the benefit of others, etc. The article examines how getting rid of material necessity led Western societies to deepen individualism and spread all kinds of practices of self-expression. Moreover, with the development of social media, these practices have increasingly spilt over into a struggle to attract attention. Personalities turn into something that is “produced” (practices of "self-branding"), is designed, promoted and scaled. As a result, instead of the expected “communism of knowledge” and the corresponding communitarian social values (A. Gorz), we observe the opposite trend: movement towards even greater individualism, but now in the sphere of creativity and self-realization (production of “intangible” goods), in which pleasure and prestige are associated with attracting attention, with personal exclusivity and media influence. This suggests that, perhaps, the means proposed by some modern theorists (full automation of production, payment of unconditional income to everyone, etc.) may not be enough to implement the egalitarian version of post-capitalism.

Keywordspost-capitalism, capitalism, post-materialism, social values, socialism, communism, personality revolution, creative self-realization, social media, social revolution
Publication date24.12.2021
Number of characters38991
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