We live in a time of transition, argues Yann Moulier Boutang. But the irony is that this is not a transition to a new type of society called ‘socialism’, as many on the Left had assumed; rather, it is a transition to a new type of capitalism. Socialism has been left behind by a new revolution in our midst. ‘Globalization’ effectively corresponds to the emergence, since 1975, of a third kind of capitalism. It does not have much to do with the industrial capitalism which, at the point of its birth (1750-1820), broke with earlier forms of mercantile capitalism. The aim of this book is to describe and explain the characteristics of this third age of capitalism.<br /><br />Boutang coins the term ‘cognitive capitalism’ to describe this new form of capitalism. While this notion remains a working hypothesis, it already provides some basic orientations and anchor points which are indispensible for political action. The political economy which was born with Adam Smith no longer offers us the possibility of understanding the reality which is being constructed before our eyes Ð namely the value, wealth and complexity of the world economic system Ð and it also does not enable us to deal with the challenges that await humanity, whether ecological or social. This book thus seeks to put us onto the path of a provisional politics and morality capable of dealing with this new Great Transformation.<br />
"Valuable for the way it prompts readers into asking uneasy questions about the nature of the economic system we live in."
LSE Politics Blog
"What drives contemporary capitalism? Moulier Boutang provides a convincing answer in his account of the rise of a turbocharged complex of practices which he calls cognitive capitalism which is intent on calling the collective intelligence provided by brainpower and computing power to its cause. A theoretical must for anyone who wants to understand the modern world."
Nigel Thrift, University of Warwick
"Yann Moulier Boutang presents a bold analysis of the ongoing 'great transformation' of capitalism. Writing from the perspective of the socialization of labor, he offers a systematic examination of the dense, complex, and contradictory relation between emergent modes of capitalist control and appropriation and collective cognitive labor-power expressed through new information and communication technologies. This new terrain of confrontation conceptually and practically subverts our received understandings of labor, property, and value. Relations between material and non-material, mental and manual, economic and social, individual and society are recast in unprecedented ways that transform the conditions and possibilities of social life. Cognitive Capitalism is essential reading."
Dale Tomich, Binghamton University
"This book counters the risk society's negative externalities with the possibility of positive externalities of information. This is cognitive capitalism's new, networked public space, an informational commons. In the terminal crisis of neoliberalism, Moulier Boutang gives us a new critical political economy - and a media theory - of hope."
Scott Lash, Goldsmiths, University of London
Number Of Pages: 200
Published: 7th March 2012
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 16.1 x 2.438
Weight (kg): 0.508