This article https://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/newproposals/article/view/2017 from Neo-Marxian peer-reviewed journal applies the Marxian thesis "technological breakthrough changes social-economic relations" both to the evaluation of contemporary s.c. socialist countries and to the evaluation whether the Leninist totalitarian countries were socialist or communist countries in the original Marxian sense.

There are 2 important points.

The first point. This view considers the social-economic formations like gatherer-hunter society, slavery, serfdom, capitalism and - ultimately - postcapitalism (socialism, communism or any other form of postcapitalism) as very distinct forms of society. And it also tries to explain these differences by the existing technological factors and scientific knowledge.

The second point. This article argues, that Marx considered both the true socialism (which can emerge from the appropriate technological advancements only) and the crude socialism (when one tries to recreate the social-economic relations of the socialism without the necessary technological advancements).

My question is - does the contemporary orthodox (i.e. non-heterodox) economic literature and literature of political economy consider such thesis about the changes of social-economic relations in any way? One answer could be that the contemporary economic literature just ignores such thesis, because the differences among social-economic formations are non-essential from the economic point of view (of course, the differences from the legal or humanitarian point of view are almost incomparable). I.e. one can safely apply contemporary DSGE models to the slave societies of ancient Greece or Rome. As one will be apply DSGE models to the future postcapitalist societies? Of course, there can be other answers which I can not even imagine, that is why I am asking this question.

NBER article https://www.nber.org/papers/w30172 is one example in which the contemporary non-heterodox economists are not making a big fuss about the role of job and about the unconditional income/dividend. The authors of this article just suggest almost unimaginable scenarios, but they are not considering such scenarios to be connected to the distinct social-economic formations and they don't invoke the Marxian terminology. So, this strand of literature can suggest that there may be no need for the Marxian notions of social-economic relations to describe truly different social-economic relations as perceived from the point of view of the common people.

Important note: May question asks for the non-heterodox answers and interpretations only. No Marxian, no heterodox suggestions, please.

  • $\begingroup$ I assume by "peer-reviewed" you mean that Neo-Marxists review each others contributions? I wonder what the benchmark is for that journal. $\endgroup$
    – BrsG
    Aug 28, 2022 at 6:17
  • $\begingroup$ Also, irrespective of whether Marx was the first to study the relationship between technological advances and socia-economic relations, are you suggesting that mainstream economic historians, or just mainstream economists, are not at least acknowledging that, say, the industrial revolution has changed the world? $\endgroup$
    – BrsG
    Aug 28, 2022 at 6:21


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