Automation, Capitalism and the End of the Middle Class

1st Edition

Jon-Arild Johannessen

Routledge
Published April 30, 2019
Reference - 70 Pages - 11 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367257248 - CAT# 309432
Series: Routledge Focus on Economics and Finance

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Summary

In this book, the author argues that a new form of capitalism is emerging at the threshold of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He asserts that we are in the midst of a transition from democratic capitalism to feudal capitalism and highlights how robotization and innovation is leading to a social crisis for the middle classes as economic inequality is on the rise.

Johannessen outlines the three elements – Balkanization, the Great Illusion, and the plutocracy – which are referred to here as feudal structures. He describes, analyzes, and discusses these elements both individually and in interaction with each other, and asks: "What structures and processes are promoting and boosting feudal capitalism?" Additionally, the book serves to generate knowledge about how the middle class will develop in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It shows the various effects of robotization on the middle class, where middle class jobs are transformed, deconstructed, and re-constructed and new part-time jobs are created for the middle class.

Given the interest in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the book will appeal to students of economic sociology and political economy as well as those in innovation and knowledge management courses focusing upon the emerging innovation economy. The topic will attract policymakers, and the accessible and engaging tone will also make the book of interest to the general public.

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