The article reconstructs an aspect of the neoliberal transformation that has been overlooked by social sciences: the transformation of the mechanisms of capitalist accumulation. After the Second World war, it has been assumed that capitalist accumulation, albeit its strategies and tools can change, is always a productive one. By the end of the 1970s, however, productive accumulation, or the tendency to accumulate surpluses through the recursive enlargement of the productive bases of capitalism, has been progressively replaced by financial accumulation. Not only has there been an expansion of financial activities, but production activities - even in the foundational economy - have been increasingly oriented by the logic of financial activities: short-termism, shareholder value maximization, and the transformation of profit into rent. The article shows that this trend is the basis of the transformation of the organization and work observed over the past thirty years, as well as the growth of inequality. In conclusion, the article proposes some guidelines for a research program on the enrichment economy, underlining the importance of the foundational economy as a suitable space for its overcoming.
Keywords: Financial accumulation, work, enrichment economy, foundational economy