Even the sharpest problem focus cannot help but sharpen the problem. Thus, the key to our understanding of alternatives to capitalism and alternative forms of capitalism is not in the on-going problematization of the dominance of the economic principle. Rather, the question addressed in the present form-theoretical argument is as to which distinctions we need to draw in order to be at all able to observe capitalism. Answering this question, we show that capitalism is a form that can only be unfolded in the medium of functional differentiation. In resituating the economy as only one out of ten function systems, we demonstrate that both pro- and anti-capitalist concepts of society imply an economy-bias and, consequently, a neglect of the remaining function systems. We therefore suggest that the observation of both alternatives to capitalism and alternative capitalisms calls for a stronger focus on the non-economic function systems. Finally, we present an outlook on a way to more than three million alternatives of and to capitalism.
capitalism form theory functional differentiation systemic constellations paradox