Postmodernity and Mass Culture

  • Alan Swingewood


As I have argued, Marx locates capitalism as a specific economic system contextually and historically, its structure analysed in terms of a hierarchy of elements centred around imperatives of production. Specific laws — those relating to the centralisation of production, the fusion of finance and industrial capital, the falling rate of profit — regulate its internal workings. While the logic of capitalism appears anarchic — individuals pursuing their own selfish interests within a market situation — the inevitable destruction of old communities and traditions, history as a set of random events — there exists an underlying structure based in system logic and historical necessity. Marx advances a coherent historical narrative in which antagonistic social classes struggle for power and legitimacy in order to impose their own ideology on the whole of society. As one of the master narratives of modernity, capitalist industrialisation has as its agents the internal contradictions of the system itself.


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© Alan Swingewood 1998

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  • Alan Swingewood

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