Our rental future:
global outlines of a labourless society?

Martianov V.S.

Cand. Sci. (Polit.), Director, Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the RAS, Yekaterinburg, Russia martianov@instlaw.uran.ru

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For citation:

Martianov V.S. Our rental future: global outlines of a labourless society?. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 5. P. 141-153


According to the consolidated economic projections, not only in Russia but also on the global horizon of the future there are outlines of a new social structure – the rental society. Global markets show their geographical limits, competition for market outlets intensifies, and a new wave of technological automation and robotics for the first time ever, excludes from the economy more jobs than creates. The preсariat and the unemployed are growing in numbers and may potentially become a new majority. Principles of stratification related not so much to possession by the citizens of the capital or labor resources, as to individual access to a predominantly non-economic sources and mechanisms of social rents distribution are radically changing. This is an image of a society without mass labor, economic growth and influential middle class, where the poor social strata are in want of the social state, distributing a guaranteed rent. But at the same time this growing need for the social state cuts its availability. Therefore, in the context of capitalism a growing number of citizens are considered superfluous, and prospects for their welfare are frequently associated with the mechanisms of the increasingly popular concept of a universal basic income, replacing the less affordable welfare state. This causes a growing demand for a strong state and an egalitarian society, which keeps weakening the neoliberal discourse insistence on the advantage of the self-regulating economic markets. It is crucial to prepare for the coming rental future, a different social structure, new economic and political contradictions and possible ways for their mitigation.

future; rental society; preсariat; stratification; labour; neoliberalism; the welfare state; universal basic income


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Content No 5, 2017