Contemporary Leftist Debates on Late Capitalism: Capitalism with Many Adjectives

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Khorapin Phuaphansawat


Since the 2010s, leftist scholars have revived, reviewed, and re-interpreted criticisms against capitalism. Countless academic contributions have been made in order to better our understanding of the so-called late capitalism. In their findings, these critical works analyze distinctive and novel forms of the 21st century capitalism. On the one hand, capitalism, whether early or late one, still shares similar fundamental characteristics. It refers to a type of society in which capital circulation and accumulation are dominant forces determining every aspect of our lives. Causing contradiction and inequality, capitalism is thus inherent in crisis. On the other hand, capitalism has been adapting, expropriating new spheres, and intensifying its exploitative features. This article explores current leftist debates on late capitalism. Remarkably, capitalism has been adjectivized in different fashions which concerns contemporary global politics, for instance, communicative capitalism, cannibal capitalism, and fossil capitalism. As these thinkers have proposed, capitalism with various adjectives has achieved in creating new opportunities for capitalist class, transnational corporations, and political elites to “free-ride” and “expropriate” our social life, care, and natural resources. Although this late capitalism is striving to accumulate more and keep widening the gap, it sabotages its own pre-condition, self-destabilizes, and will eventually self-cannibalize in the near future.


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Phuaphansawat, K. (2023). Contemporary Leftist Debates on Late Capitalism: Capitalism with Many Adjectives. Journal of Social Sciences Naresuan University, 19(1), 345–373.
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Author Biography

Khorapin Phuaphansawat, Department of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University



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