History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Review of Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism

July 21st, 2016 · No Comments

Inherent economic dynamics versus the decision/choice to create a new postcapitalism

The issue of postcapitalism has to be seen from two angles: the inherent dynamic, if any, of a system moving beyond itself, and the choice/decision of those in the system to change or abolish it completely. In the final analysis it is a speculative guess that the current system stuck in its neo-liberal dystopia has the seeds for a transition to something else. We should remain wary of such claims because while they can offer insights into the dynamics of capitalism we can more safely predict that if the system tends to transcend itself those who stand to profit will reestablish it.
The book nonetheless contains much to reckon with and is refreshingly eclectic in a spread of ideas which may or may not amount to confirmation of thesis. At the end however we seem to return to postcapitalism done the old fashioned way, a revolution, which is a choice/decision to operate not according to economic deterministic logic, but the logic of values set in advance to create a system where people are not subjected to the oblivion chosen for them by gangs of thugs called ‘capitalists’, and their organ grinder’s monkey, the economist.
Economists specialize in looking past values to what a system does, and how it will undergo noble intentions, but we are arriving at the point where the whole game has to perform according to those values or be judged obsolete. We have burnt out a whole planet in the name of capitalism’s ‘successes’, but must notice that after all of that the system now trends toward the abolition of middle classes. To say nothing of the imminent climate crisis.
Still, the cogency of the author’s many speculative ‘wild goose chases’ might be useful for leftists if they can hope to ride the momentum of the system itself toward the phase of ‘post…’.

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