UNDERSTANDING CAPITALISM: CRISES AND PASSIVE REVOLUTIONS
Authors: LI, XING; HERSH, JACQUES
Source: Competition & Change, Volume 6, Number 2, June 2002 , pp. 193-212(20)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:This article has two objectives: First, it attempts to provide a framework for understanding capitalism's resilient adaptability through analysing the roles of liberal democracy and ecological environmentalism. Both are conceptualised as capitalism's passive revolutions in response to emerging crises - processes of constituting and reconstituting conditions for production and reproduction. Liberal democracy is seen as a political restructuring strategy aimed at producing social control with less coercive measures as well as depolitising social contradictions and economic crises. Ecological environmentalism is argued to be capitalism's ecological restructuring attempt at the economic level in order to rescue an economic system at an impasse and to resolve the contradictions between production relations/forces and the externalities of production.
Second, the article aims to conduct a critical analysis of what are considered to be passive revolutions taking place within capitalism in order to uncover their hidden mystifications, contradictions and distortions in the promotion of certain policies, practices, values, cognitions and symbols which are considered to be supportive of the existing capitalist political and economic system. The working assumption is that, due to capitalism's modus operandi which is primarily based on capital accumulation, democratic principles and environmental concerns will eventually have to submit to this inherent imperative.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Research Center on Development and International Relations, Institute for History, International and Social Studies, Aalborg University, Fibigerstraede 2, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark
Publication date: June 2002