the memeification of the phrase really confuses the actual meaning/theory behind why current capitalism is "late stage" and what that is meant to mean. It gets tacked onto just... anything involving capitalism or exploitation as though this were not present in earlier-stage capitalism too.

"Late Stage Capitalism" probably would more accurately be called "Late stage Neoliberal Capitalism" since as we've seen Capitalism has ways to reform itself with modifications, but only to a limit

Rosa Luxemburg, in "Reform of Revolution", highlights that while Capitalism can keep itself afloat by continuously growing into new markets, new geographies, etc. in order to delay the busts and crises built into Capitalism; there is still only finite markets, finite geographies. A crisis will come

Late Stage Capitalism is where we are now where Capitalism is struggling to squeeze itself into the few remaining markets the few remaining geographies, and especially in Very Developed countries it looks absurd

So we see like, Facebook creating weather balloon internet tethers in remote villages so they can advertise baby formula to squeeze out the last remaining wealth not already plundered by imperialism. We see in America start-ups trying to create absurd products like proprietary juice bags w/ a special squeezing machine because the market is already so saturated with nonsense that innovating to turn a profit and break into the game is becoming increasingly difficult


The marketization of Attention which @petercoffin often talks about is a good example of Late Stage Capitalism attempting to innovate a new way to solve the contradictions in capitalism. Workers can't afford to buy the product of their own labor; so create ways to profit without workers spending any money at all! Turn the customers into the products. Another example is the profit model of make something, give it away for free, get huge "potential for profit", then get bought by a big company (see: tumblr)

Credit is the classic example of Capitalism trying to innovate and revive itself, but Rosa Luxemburg in Reform or Revolution gets real into why credit is just a band-aid that lengthens the time between crises, but the crises are still inevitable and the contradictions remain. Capitalism is stronger than Marx predicted but Marx was not wrong. We can see that Rosa Was Right (and therefore Marx Was Right) when we look at the 2008 Great Recession where Credit blew up in our faces and made Everything Worse

like Rosa Luxemburg basically predicted the 2008 100 years before it happened using Marxian Economics. Wild yeah? Marxists from Marx through Rosa through Lenin knew Capitalism is unsustainable without even getting into the fact that the Earth has finite resources to exploit and without the scientific knowledge to predict climate change which will inevitably reduce Capitalism back to some sort of neofeudalism unless we can bring about socialism (this is what Rosa means by "Socialism or Barbarism")

(It's like vaguely racially tinged/these days makes us think of 19th century beliefs that some ways of living are for "savages"; perhaps an updated version of the quote for today would be Socialism Or It's Gonna Get Even Fucking Worse)

Anyway, *that's* late stage capitalism

I mean yes technically all capitalism today is late stage i just think specifically mentioning "late stage" is confusing unless you're trying to emphasize the late-stageiness of it.

"My job building houses doesn't pay enough for me to buy a house" isn't late stage capitalism specifically, that's just literally classic capitalism

Addendum: A lot of Marxists and Socialists see Universal Basic Income as not being socialist at all but actually a new innovation of Capital to keep capitalism alive longer, similar to the invention of Credit. Another "oh... you don't have money??? uhhh what if we... gave you money... so you could give it back??" sorta scheme. Ultimately UBI alone maintains private control of the means of production, landlords, profit, etc. and is still a band-aid on a fundamentally flawed system that must be replaced

@shel CLASSIC Capitalism

LATE STAGE Capitalism


(I'm sorry, this is contributing nothing to the conversation.)

@gaditb try New Capitalism with an all new recipe and it's *subsidized* by social democratic keynesian economics for a more stable flavor which shit oops why did the market crash again fuck fuck

@shel Thanks for the clarification on all of this!

So I guess late stage is specifically when we see bizarre and cursed things like that one startup company which wanted to give rich old white folks transfusions of blood from young people for... some reason.

@InvaderXan Errr yeah I mean late stage is just the stage we're in but making late stage into a meme was kinda originally about highlighting the Desperation of capitalism. shit that just screams like "fuck!! why isn't this working!!"

@shel it is very much a band-aid for the system, but one that if done right could allow workers to take back control. It would end people needing to continue to work a highly exploitative job just to keep a roof over their head and food on the table.

@shel ty for this thread that was starting to annoy me

I'd been wondering what the hashtag meant; it often seemed just to express a wish that capitalism would be over soon. Thanks for clarifying the ideas behind it!

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