Market Feudalism and Scientific Capitalism

Baruch Gottlieb
3 min readDec 28, 2021

--

As Michael Hudson and others have pointed out over the last ten years, The well-known trajectory in Marx whereby societies evolve in their productive modes from Feudalism to Capitalism to Socialism to Communism, has stalled at the first stage, not, as is commonly understood, at the second. The first stage, during which aggressively innovative capitalists would do away with the impeding and odious institution of rent extraction, destroying the feudal mode in the emancipation of capitalist genius never happened. Instead, as CB McPherson well describes in the “Real World of Democracy ‘’ the burgeoning liberal businessmen, assumed the feudal mode, becoming landlords and monopolists themselves, in order to enjoy superprofits from both exploitative production and rent. The old feudals were democratised into the form of contemporary bourgeois dictatorships we have today. Dmytri Kleiner calls this tendency capitalist false consciousness: instead of emancipating their potential as capitalists to truly bring about a world of innovation and abundance, they dream and scheme of being kings and lords, and intervene in state to impede free competition.

So we do not live in a capitalist world today, but rather a later stage of feudalism: “market feudalism.” We have the market where the proletarianised workers sell their labour to capitalists, but, rather than the elegant free-market utopia imagined by radical capitalists Hayek and von Mises, instead of the spontaneous action of the market determining how business takes place, we have hybrid rentier-capitalists with false consciousness competing not to outdo each other in innovation and productive efficiency but in accumulating feudal-mode territorialities, in real estate, in institutions like IP and of course in the bourgeois state. The persistence of the feudal mode distorts the intentions of businessmen to accumulate power instead of improving business methods. For this reason capitalism has not fulfilled its double destiny, it has not provided a world of plenty for the commonality because it has not destroyed the feudal mode, instead it has become increasingly wasteful and wanton.

Only in a place like China, where the feudal mode was first, in the process of revolution, put under the discipline of the state, has the feudal mode, while not destroyed, been largely subordinated to the interests of the commonality. Having subjugated and taken an unassailable position of discipline over the feudal mode, the Communist Party of China ironically has emancipated capitalism in China to be truly innovative and dynamic, and to reveal its intensely informative capacities as foretold by Hayek and von Mises. The Chinese communist party ensures the emancipation of capitalism and the freest market in the world by having absolute hegemony over the feudal and capitalist modes. As can be seen in the Evergrande bankruptcy proceedings, the disciplining of Alibaba and Didi, and cautious policy on cryptocurrency, the economists in the Communist Party of China are able to intelligently foresee and mitigate crises which, in bourgeois dictatorships, create economic disaster and hurl their majorities again and again into destitution and hardship from which the time-honoured solution is commonly a war. The CPC can be said to be practicing scientific capitalism and scientific feudalism in the interest of peaceful and sustainable prosperity for all.

socialism is science applied to the economy

--

--