Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone profound changes - economic cycles that veer from boom to bust - from which it has always emerged transformed and strengthened. Surveying this turbulent history, Paul Mason's Postcapitalism argues that we are on the brink of a change so big and so profound that this time capitalism itself, the immensely complex system within which entire societies function, will mutate into something wholly new.
At the heart of this change is information technology, a revolution that is driven by capitalism but, with its tendency to push the value of much of what we make toward zero, has the potential to destroy an economy based on markets, wages, and private ownership. Almost unnoticed in the niches and hollows of the market system, swaths of economic life are beginning to move to a different rhythm. Vast numbers of people are changing how they behave and live, in ways contrary to the current system of state-backed corporate capitalism. And as the terrain changes, new paths open.
In this bold and prophetic book, Mason shows how, from the ashes of the crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable economy. Although the dangers ahead are profound, he argues that there is cause for hope. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape the future.
©2016 Paul Mason (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
there's a decent overview over economic history from a (mostly) Marxian perspective, while also bringing in some other heterodox economic thoughts. In large parts, however, it's mostly the common (correct, but not very new or fruitful) bashing of neoliberalism.
There are some good impulses of thought about potential drivers towards a new economic system, but everything remains very blurry there, and there's no strong reason why this "postcapitalism" might not simply be a new variety of capitalism.
Stressing the transformative importance of networks and infotech is certainly valid, how things might fall into place or what might or can result from this is less clear.
The very determinant voice of the narrator also is not too helpful for deeper clarification - while it's good in order to persuade someone,, the approach should be about presenting causal linkages and clear-cut arguments.
It is an inspiring listen, though; and the point about a middle ground between revolutionary overhaul and adjustment visa bits and pieces can't be repeated often enough.
very interesting perspective. really liked it until the lay chapter. his analysis is spot on, however his recommendations are too biased towards the green movement. he also seems to discount how far tech will take us to address the problem of global warming. lastly, his trust in government for solutions seems to me a bit overdone, almost as if they are made up of benevolent kings. all that said I do recommend reading this book for all is flaws, it nails the problems we are beginning to face as a society.
Since I am convinced that capitalism is reaching its sell-by date, I was interested in the author's thoughts on Postcapitalism. What I found was a leftist polemic, stereotypically full of misstatements, one-off examples and disgust for the bad guys. There may be some good ideas in here, but I could not get through the biases.
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