G. Hanappi, E. Hanappi-Egger:
"Gramsci meets Veblen: On the search for a new revolutionary class";
Journal of Economic Issues,
Veblen´s attempt in (Veblen, 1899) to provide an update of class analysis was not only provocative for most of his mainstream colleagues. It also was a critique of a class analysis of Marxists who reduced the interdependence between economic basis und ideological superstructures to a simple causal link from the former to the latter. Veblen´s emphasis on the necessity to take into account what he calls culture reoccurs later in Antonio Gramsci´s theoretical innovations: the class struggle for cultural hegemony, and the importance of the organic intellectual as ferment for class emergence. Gramsci was experiencing the catastrophe of the mass movement of Fascism - classic analysis of social classes clearly was in urgent need for an extension to be able to explain class evolution.
Capitalism now again is in deep crisis. This paper suggests that the drivers of the next revolutionary break will be social classes again - partially newly emerging classes. We will graft ideas of Veblen on concepts suggested by Gramsci to enhance the theoretical toolbox necessary to understand contemporary global class dynamics.
Evolutionary political economy, emergence of classes, ideology
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