Friday wrote:Can you elaborate? I'm not sure what you're getting at.
Are you trying to say that all Capitalism is "End-Stage" or?
Okay, really simplified version here.
So, per classical capital-C Communist doctrine (in this case, the original Das Kapital, by Marx), there's the idea that Communism is the logical evolution of Capitalism, and that Capitalism goes through progressively more self-destructive stages until Communism simply becomes a natural next stage and *happens*. Stuff like Maoism or Leninism are essentially alternate doctrines in part because they represent a "shortcut" to Communism and there are many Communists who will tell harangue you that that's why those past movements failed. That's the academic history anyway.
So anyway now it's [CURRENT YEAR], and everything is MEMES because JOKES, GUY! But also we live in The Worst Timeline so we need a good laugh and also maybe some hope. This led to the gallows humour about the truly ridiculous neo-Gilded-Age stories we see every day in the paper being an indication that we're all living in that promised age of "End-Stage Capitalism", i.e. that things are so bad that we really are in that process of that self-destruction.
Most of the people using "End-Stage Capitalism" now are not Communists, obviously, though the ones who started using the phrase as a meme were at least aware of what the phrase referred to. So these jokes are not really anyone actually propounding that we're about to trip and fall into Glorious Communism. They do however predicate some sort of apocalyptic belief that our current situation is untenable (like, duh), and if there's one thing I know about apocalyptic beliefs it's that they're pretty much all really just a warped and fucked up sense of hope that comes to the truly desperate.
The thing is, it's not just a form of hope, it's also a form of learned impotence; "What do you expect *me* to do about *THE APOCALYPSE*? Geez!", It implies the person has, on at least some level, already given up on the idea of actually doing anything.
(A small number of the jokers ARE full-on True Believer capital-C Communists, but they're just annoying and have been around forever anyway).