Post-Capitalism and Class Transformation in Modern Society: from a Liberator Class to a New Antagonism?

Post-Capitalism and Class Transformation in Modern Society:
from a Liberator Class to a New Antagonism?

Davydov D.A.

Cand. Sci. (Polit.), Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Philosophy and Law, Ural Branch of RAS, Yekaterinburg, Russia

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For citation:

Davydov D.A. Post-Capitalism and Class Transformation in Modern Society: from a Liberator Class to a New Antagonism?. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 6. P. 3-13


The article raises the problem of the perspectives of class analysis as a tool for studying postcapitalist trends in modern society. Attempts to consider in these tendencies the signs of the emergence of a new liberator class, whose mission is to establish a new social order, free from class antagonisms, are criticized. It is argued that today a new antagonistic social formation is emerging, and this is evidenced by the expanding sphere of competition for self-realization and a new scarce resource – attention. The concept of a new class stratification is presented: on those who are in the center of public attention (the personaliat) and those who, due to objective reasons, do not have the necessary opportunities for public self-presentation (the impersonaliat). It is shown that the emerging social relations are characterized by the main features of class antagonism: a) productive activity that goes beyond the capitalist mechanisms of accumulation and distribution turns into a massive competitive (and alienating) struggle for scarce goods and resources; b) there are a number of structural factors that contribute to significant inequality in the distribution of key scarce goods and resources; c) the new social reality is conditioned by the relations of exploitation.

social class; class analysis; Marxism; post-capitalism; class struggle; precariat; personaliat; social formations


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Content No 6, 2021