The Triumph of Late Capitalism

Some contemporary leftists love to talk about “late capitalism” as if the system were in its dying stages, destined to land on the trash heap of history as socialism triumphs.

This is BS, or at best wishful thinking.

The phrase has been around for many decades but was more recently popularized by Fredric Jameson, author of Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991).

It appears to most of us that history is moving in the other direction, with capitalism finding ways of developing in a variety of ways in purportedly socialist countries, for good or for ill.

Consider contemporary Russia, which abandoned its supposed socialism for an old-fashioned form of crony state capitalism. Russia needs a trust-busting Teddy Roosevelt type more than another Lenin. 

I agree with those who argue that such systems are really closer to fascism, but I think it's confusing overkill to use that term.

China’s leaders continue to cling to the term "communism" while fostering instead an even more classic sort of capitalist entrepreneurship.

Cuba continues to discourage individual enterprise but it flourishes nevertheless. In Vietnam capitalism also flourishes, competing directly with China. Even in North Korea the economy is being propped up by profit-seeking individual enterprises. 

Those who describe contemporary Western economic systems as part of “late capitalism" sound as quaint and unplugged from reality as apocalyptic religious types who have been preaching for centuries that we are living in the latter days.

Capitalism has many problems, but it is metastasizing, not fading away. All around the world greedy profiteering is triumphing over working for the common good, with precious few nations moving in the other direction.

I detest almost everything that Stephen Miller has said and done in the Trump administration, but I have to admit I agree with most of what he wrote in in his Washington Examiner article “Why Liberals and Socialists Love to Harp on ‘Late Capitalism.’”

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