The Institute for Critical Theories of Supermodernity was founded in 2015. Its goal is to problematize the heritage of Marx’s critique of political economy in such a non-Marxian era as the early 21st century. Its theoretical and empirical focus is on the historical fate of modern and supermodern capitalism (“supermodern capitalism” is one where: a) modern man’s idealization, discovered by Weber, that, if we just desire, everything in our lives can be calculable and predictable, is no longer practically true; and yet b) the Galilean idealization of the mathematizability, and hence technologizability, of nature still remains). This ambivalence demonstrates that in practice we live around the limit at which ecollapse is imminent, caused by the capitalist economy, and the metamorphosis of classes into races. This ecollapse was set as a possibility as soon as the fateful encounter took place between modern capitalism and Galilean science in modern technology. This brings critical theory back to the problem: how can we think capitalism through historical limits? The solution we offer is the so-called theory of mediating structures.
The abandonment of Marx’s modernist dogmas casts a serious doubt on his theories of value and of surplus value – theories that cannot be circumvented but are obviously dubious. Instead of the famous, albeit dogmatic, understanding of capital as c+v+m, the theory proposes to think it as c+v+V+m-z, where V is the power of labour that generates innovations in production (but not in circulation) conceived as variable capital, and z is the ecological devaluation of capital. Marx’s uncritical idealizations are that 1) V=0 and hence surplus value is produced in exploiting every labour power; and 2) that z=0 (thus ecollapse occurs at z>m). The procedure proposed in the critical discussions of Marx’s theories of value and surplus value can be generalized, with some reservations, as follows: Schumpeterization of Marx, Marxization of Schumpeter.