Cognitive Capitalism by Yann Moulier-Boutang

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By Yann Moulier-Boutang

We are living in a time of transition, argues Yann Moulier Boutang. however the irony is this isn't a transition to a brand new kind of society known as 'socialism', as many at the Left had assumed; really, it's a transition to a brand new form of capitalism. Socialism has been left in the back of by means of a brand new revolution in our midst. 'Globalization' successfully corresponds to the emergence, due to the fact that 1975, of a 3rd form of capitalism. It doesn't have a lot to do with the commercial capitalism which, on the aspect of its start (1750-1820), broke with previous sorts of mercantile capitalism. the purpose of this publication is to explain and clarify the features of this 3rd age of capitalism. Boutang cash the time period 'cognitive capitalism' to explain this new type of capitalism. whereas this idea continues to be a operating speculation, it already offers a few simple orientations and anchor issues that are indispensible for political motion. The political economic system which was once born with Adam Smith not bargains us the potential of knowing the truth that's being built sooner than our eyes - particularly the worth, wealth and complexity of the realm economic climate D and it additionally doesn't let us to accommodate the demanding situations that anticipate humanity, no matter if ecological or social. This booklet hence seeks to place us onto the trail of a provisional politics and morality able to facing this new nice Transformation.

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Standard economists extract themselves from this predicament by saying that, while not everything has a price, every­ thing has a cost, and at the same time they put their reliance on the public authorities. The trouble is that, to calculate a long-term cost in a situation of fluctuating interest rates, one is led to make possibly questionable assumptions at each of the interdependent link points. The financialisation of the economy is a response to this growing complexity and globalisation of interpretational processes.

Thus a company’s use of resources that are not recognised or have become scarce, such as the pure water of rivers, without taking into account the pollution caused by that usage and the cost of renewing these resources, this renewal being undertaken either by the company itself or by some public body, allows that company to benefit from externalities - in just the same way as the bee and the bee­ keeper in John M eade’s example benefit from the flowers in the nearby fields. Logically speaking, in a complete calculation of net wealth produced, one would have to subtract some externalities (in the sense of social or environmental costs of growth) and add others (in the sense of advantages that accrue to companies from levels of public investment, or of the benefit that the collectivity draws from the fact of the quality of the population).

But what is, in fact, an externality, since we are now about to make a lot of use of that word? 1 gives a broad definition, to which the reader may refer. Let us content ourselves here with a simpler definition: whenever a transaction T j15 between two agents A and B results in the production of an EXj effect on another party or parties that are not taken into account, one has a production of externalities or external effects. In current terminology we refer to collateral effects, by-products or joint production.

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