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date: 27 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This entry begins with a summary of the almost universally accepted “standard view” of technological change in capitalism. Marx’s alternative account of the role of technology in capitalist society is then presented, followed by a survey of essential tendencies regarding technological change associated with each phase in the circuit of capital. The chapter concludes with an examination of four long-term consequences of technological change in the course of capitalism’s historical development: environmental crises, limits to wage labor as a social form, severe global inequality, and persisting overaccumulation difficulties. Together they establish that more than ever the fundamental question confronting our historical moment is the stark alternative: “Socialism or barbarism?”

Keywords: technology, intellectual property right, overaccumulation, war on labor, valorization

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