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Late Capitalism is a term that gets bandied about every time I read the works someone who has studied postmodernism, so I decided to do some research on it. It turns out that people can mean different things when they say this term:

  • The broadest meaning refers to the Capitalism of the letter half of the 20th century. The rise of multinational corporations, corporate oligarchies with a corresponding decrease in the power of the people and the state are pretty classically correlated with this concept. Note that rise of an estado corporativo could be included in this as well.
  • When you are talking to a marxist, they are referring to Marx's or Lenin's description of this time, which is all of the above, with an extra emphasis on monopolies, imperialism, and oppression.
  • More recently, it has started referring specifically to a post-industrial economy, which really needs a writeup all its own, but can be summed up as an economy that has moved from big smokestacks and pig iron to information exchange and multiculturalism.
All of which can be summed up as: monstrously big and powerful companies making life weird and not necessarily good.

Help was garnered from the internet on this one, in particular the glossary of Words of Art, located at http://www.ouc.bc.ca/fiar/glossary/gloshome.html

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