The institute poses as a problem the inheritance of the Marxian critique of political economy in a non-Marxian time: the beginning of the 21st century. Our activities – theoretical and empirical – are concentrated on the historical fate of both modern, as well as supermodern capitalism (“supermodern capitalism” is understood as a capitalism in which (a) the idealization of the modern person, uncovered by Weber, whereby—-if we only desired so—-everything in our life can be calculated and predicted, is no longer a practical truth; and yet despite this (b) the Galilean idealization of the mathematization (and from here in turn, towards the technologization) of nature still is.)
This ambiguity suggests that in practical terms, we live around limits, across which awaits an ecolapse precipitated by the capitalist economy itself, and the metamorphosis of classes into races. This is an ecolapse which is implanted as a possibility at the fateful meeting of modern capitalism with Galilean science in modern technology. This brings critical theory back to the problem: how can we think capitalism through historical borders? The solution that we propose is the so-called theory of structures of mediation.
To refuse Marx’s modernist dogmas means to place his theories of value and surplus value under serious doubt; theories that cannot be circumvented, and yet are obviously suspect. Instead of the celebrated, but dogmatic thinking of capital as c+v+m, our theory proposes the thinking of capital through c+v+V+m-z, where: V is variable capital, which has transformed into labor power that precipitates innovations in production (but not in circulation) as variable capital; and z denoting the ecological devaluation of capital. The uncritical idealizations of Marx are that (1) V=0, and from here, that surplus value is produced during the exploitation of every labor power; and (2) that z=0 (with the consequence that ecolapse occurs at z>m). The procedure which is presented during our critical discussion of the Marxian theories of value and surplus value can be summed up—with qualifications—this way: schumpeterization of Marx, marxisization of Schumpeter.
From here follow the accents upon which we have concentrated our attention, currently and in the three years ahead:
* theory of intermediary structures (a general critical theory following the Marxian logic in the problematization of structures such as politics, science, information, etc.).
* discussion of the problem of the borders between modern and supermodern capitalism, through the staging of a critical dialogue between Marx and Weber, in a time that is neither Marxian, nor Weberian.
* a return to the problem of thinking about capitalism through historical borders (abandoned by quite a number of critical theories), as a problem of the so-called ecolapse.
* a renewal of the Marxian labor theory of value and the theory of surplus value, through the Schumpeterian theory of innovation.
* the thinking-through of the consequences for the Marxist “critical history of technology” posed by biotechnologies (and above all, the so-called enhanced human), and the accelerating acceleration of life.
* a return to the problematic of the logics of the dialectical, in light of a renewed analytic of time.