Four Futures

Life After Capitalism
Narrated by: Bob Souer
Length: 3 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: Money & Finance, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (135 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Peter Frase argues that increasing automation and a growing scarcity of resources, thanks to climate change, will bring it all tumbling down. In Four Futures, Frase imagines how this postcapitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism, socialism, and exterminism might actually entail. Could the current rise of real-life robocops usher in a world that resembles Ender's Game? And sure, communism will bring an end to material scarcities and inequalities of wealth - but there's no guarantee that social hierarchies, governed by an economy of "likes", wouldn't rise to take their place.

A whirlwind tour through science fiction, social theory and the new technologies already shaping our lives, Four Futures is a balance sheet of the socialisms we may reach if a resurgent Left is successful - and the barbarisms we may be consigned to if those movements fail.

©2016 Peter Frase (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    86
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    81
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    70
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A Compilation of Other Books and Movies

A decent introduction to economic and social trends, but I was expecting a bit more than a summary of popular movies and books. Peter Frase cites Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut, Elysium, and other works to explain the ideas of communism, socialism, and capitalism. I would have preferred to read those instead.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great read for futurists

Loved it. Great narrator. Easy read. Amazing content. Perfect for people who like pondering the future.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A clean, conscise and refreshing exploration

Positing--as he describes it-- two socialisms and two barbarisms. Two heavens and two hells. Frase delves into the possibilities of four ways the future might play out. He classifies them as:

Communism: a world of abundance and equality

Socialism: a world of scarcity and equality

Rentism: a world of abundance and inequality

Exterminism: a world of scarcity and inequality

Using refreshing examples from pop culture right beside carefully researched study on economics, history and upcoming technologies, Frase lays out how we could end up in each world, and its various functions and priorities. Heads up, this is not  a get-out-the-guillotines rail against capitalist society, at all. It's simply an observation that all societies change, and that the current model depends on a system of inputs that aren't going to be out there forever. Technology is also changing the types of work there are to do with human hands. Society will change. That's a given. This book discusses what it can change into.

I'll say this up front: I listened to the audiobook, and man the reader is dry. It nearly turned me off what is a really engaging and interesting book. Cogently put and up front about everything, Futures doesn't try to stay scientifically objective: it engages with the fact that we want one of the good futures. The question is how to get them. And it lays out solid suggestions on that, as well as delving into lots of pop literature and movies on the subject. This had a leavening effect on what could have been a really stolid work. The author even made Disney world jokes. I was a little thrown by the fact that the book decided to start with the good futures and end with the worst outcome of all, but the approach works, leaving us with a balanced and cautious optimism tempered by warnings for what to watch out for going forward.  I found it approachable and often fun, if a little prone to be ponderous. But I guess a little pomposity is impossible to avoid in a work like this.

What I like best about this book is its stress on the importance that tech isn't going to decide our future: people will. In the mindsets we cultivate within our societies, the choices we make as individuals and nations, and the stories we tell, we're shaping the future every day. It also reminded me, as a writer, to keep working hard to tell hopeful stories. Because, as this book says 'we can all imagine the end of the world, but few of us can imagine the end of capitalism'.
This is a clean, concise and refreshing exploration of futures, with a pragmatically optimistic outlook. Well worth the read

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A book well thought out piece

I can't help but feel increasingly nihilistic after reading this book. The rich are just going to kill us all.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

short and sweet

needed a short listen, but this was so filled with thought provoking ideas and those ideas were so well referenced that I must buy the book. I look forward to going deep on the possible futures introduced here.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

The topics are complex but is written clearly in simple language. Definitely a good book for the more political-conscious societies nowadays. Love the simplicity, comprehensiveness and also the occasional jabs of sarcasm :)

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bavani T.
  • Bavani T.
  • 02-24-18

awful narrator

The narrator was terrible - not engaging at all. The book itself wasn't that great either - the concept was brilliant, and the way it was structured was nice (an introduction, four chapters for each of the four futures and then a brief conclusion) but the writing was not great - was lacking in clarity.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dan Godley
  • Dan Godley
  • 02-08-18

Interesting But Short

Very interesting book to listen to. At first I thought the performance was a bit off putting as his style is so robotic (something that becomes fairly ironic as you realise some of the books content). In actual fact, the performance was just as clear and easy to follow as the writing style. Would definitely recommend just be aware of the length before buying - it is very short.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-19-19

Engaging and thoughtful

A strong and entertaining work, willing to side step ossified dogmas on the left, while still full throatedly left-wing. My only complaint is that the author seemed a little to intent on convincing us of his erudition. More focus on analysis and less focus on being the man who has read everything would be nice.