The Value Foundations of Post-Capitalism:
from the “Mode of Possession” to the Individualism of Self-Actualizing Personalities?
Cand. Sci. (Polit.), Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Philosophy and Law, Ural Branch of RAS, Yekaterinburg, Russia email@example.com
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 self-expression practices. 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 an 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.