Davydov D. A.

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  • 4, 2021

    • From Power of the Worthy to Power of the Popular: Splendors and Miseries of Meritocracy in a New Technological Era

      The article is devoted to the study of the phenomenon of meri tocracy, which arouses considerable interest today both in political journalism and academia. The article shows that meritocracy has largely become the ideo logy of modern neoliberal elites, and therefore often serves as a cover for the actual plutocracy. Although the framework of cognitive capitalism witnesses a certain movement towards meritocratic principles of the formation of elites, it simultaneously prepares ground for the emergence of a kind of “trap of meritocracy”, when, for a number of reasons, the layer of “educated and talented” turns into a hereditary caste.

      At the same time, according to the author, the future hardly belongs to meritocrats, no matter how well they fit into the realities of the high-tech economy. New developments in artificial intelligence are jeopardizing many forms of intellectual work, leading to a cut-throat competition for a decreasing number of high-paying jobs. In turn, the bourgeois world of labor is being replaced by a post-capitalist world of idleness and creativity as the production of intangible goods. The rapid development of social media makes emotional and social intelligence, as well as the ability to achieve popularity and influence through media activities, increasingly important. In other words, modern technology makes life difficult for cognitive elites, while opening up enormous opportunities for very different social groups. In this regard, the author puts forward a hypothesis according to which popularity will become a key criterion for the formation of elites in the foreseeable future rather than merit. Postcapitalist personocracy will gradually replace bourgeois meritocracy, which, however, does not exclude the possibility of the preservation of the myth of meritocracy, implying that those who can skillfully attract attention will be assigned various merits.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2021-103-4-100-114

      Pages: 100-114

  • 4, 2020

    • Revolution of Personality, or the Rise of Personaliat

      The idea of the post-capitalist society has long been associated with the “grassroots” struggle of the exploited classes for a society that is free from all forms of domination and exploitation. D.Davydov does not consider this approach scientific and proposes one should change the lens of research and focus on what is happening at the level of the elites, where the new world is slowly maturing and new relationships are often intertwined with the old ones.

      The article is devoted to the justification of the argument, according to which the development of the post-capitalist social relations has been going on for a relatively long time — as the rise of people who “possess a personality” (personaliat). The author demonstrates that the unfolding processes can be explained by the deep economic changes — the transformation of creativity into the predominant source of consumer values. The author elaborates the idea that the essence of the knowledge economy is not capitalist or even is anti-capitalist, but at the same time he suggests that it is the nature of social relations around creative activity that should be considered rather than creative activity per se. From his point of view, despite the fact that the consequences of such activities complicate the functioning of the capitalist economy, the demise of the old economy does not mean that somewhere beyond the horizon we will have a cloudless non-antagonistic future. It is much more relevant to view post-capitalist transformation as the gradual rise to dominance of those who possess power over public attention.

      The author starts the article with a brief “history of personality” and after that demonstrates how the depersonalized world was gradually “colonized” by creative public figures. According to his conclusion, today we witness a large-scale transformation of the Political, which is associated with the trend that representatives of personaliat assumed roles of key actors in the political process. Power is transferred from those with money to those with personality. However, this shift in itself hardly guarantees the establishment of an egalitarian social order that has overcome all forms of alienation and inequality. Moreover, at the moment such prospect looks doubtful.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-99-4-68-89

      Pages: 68-89