Capitalism's Future

Alienation, Emancipation and Critique


Editors: Daniel Krier and Mark Worrell
Capitalisms’ Future: Alienation, Emancipation and Critique frames 21st century economic and social possibilities in a dialogue between two forms of critical social theory: Marx’s critique of political economy that analyzes capitalism and the critique of political psychology that analyzes authoritarianism. Contributions from social theorists in sociology, philosophy, and cultural studies are brought together to dissect and critique capitalist crises, left-liberalism, left-Thatcherism, resistance to risk-pooling, idealist philosophy, undemocratic social character, status wages and authoritarian spectacles. Throughout, Marx’s centrality to critical social theory is confirmed, both alone and in in powerful combination with Adorno, Durkheim, Dubois, Lacan, Veblen, Weber and others. This book outlines conjoined critiques of commodity-fetishism and authority fetishism as the emancipatory agenda of 21st century critical theory. Contributors are: Kevin S. Amidon, Graham Cassano, Tony A. Feldmann, Daniel Krier, Christian Lotz, Patrick Murray, David Norman Smith, Tony Smith, William J. Swart, and Mark P. Worrell.
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Biographical Note

Daniel Krier (Ph.D. University of Kansas) is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University where he teaches sociological theory. He has published a book Speculative Management: Stock Market Power and Corporate Change (SUNY) and numerous articles on finance capital, political economy, critical theory and historical sociology. Mark P. Worrell (PhD University of Kansas) is Associate Professor of sociological theory at SUNY Cortland and has authored books on war, terror, and The Frankfurt School and the revolutionary potential of the American labor force during World War Two. Worrell has published widely in critical social theory journals including Telos, Rethinking Marxism, Fast Capitalism, Logos, and is currently an Associate Editor at the journal Critical Sociology.

Table of contents

Acknowledgement Notes on Contributors Introduction Daniel Krier and Mark P. Worrell TOWARDS A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF CRITICAL THEORY 1. Capitalism’s Future: Self Alienation, Self-Emancipation and the Remaking of Critical Theory David Norman Smith SECTION 1: CAPITALISM’S FUTURE AND THE CRITIQUE OF POLITICAL ECONOMY 2. Beyond Left Liberalism: A Critical Look at Proposals to Reform the Capital/Wage Labor Relation Tony Smith 3. Left Thatcherism: Recent Critical Theory and Post-Marxism(s) in the Light of Marxian Social Ontology Christian Lotz 4. Capital’s Reach: How Capital Shapes and Subsumes Patrick Murray 5. Easing the Encumbered Subject: Security, Speculation and Capitalist Subjectivity Kevin Amidon and Daniel Krier SECTION 2: CAPITALISM’S FUTURE AND THE CRITIQUE OF POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY 6. The Idolatry of Mind: Durkheim’s Critique of Idealism Mark P. Worrell 7. Social Character in Western Pre-Modernity: Lacanian Psychosis in Wladyslaw Reymont’s The Peasants Daniel Krier and Tony Feldmann 8. Pragmatism's Status Wage and the Standpoint of the Stranger Graham Cassano 9. Dark Spectacle: Authoritarian Performance and the Commodity Form William J. Swart and Daniel Krier Index


This book will appeal to those interested in capitalism, Marxist theory, political authoritarianism, alienation, commodity-fetishism in the fields of sociology, philosophy, political science and cultural studies.