Anthony Signorelli: The Postcapitalist Manifesto

Image result for bridge with stairs

A Unique Time in History
For the first time in 500 years, we could actually change the capitalist system. I mean replace it, not just revise it. I mean get rid of capitalism and create something new. And it is all happening because of the digital revolution. Virtually everyone on the cutting edge of social change has dreamt of this time. This is our moment to fix the systemic injustices, exploitations, violence, and hierarchy that plague society. Whether your focus is racial injustice, labor equity, sexual identity, poverty, climate change, feminism, sustainable land use, or indigenous culture, the dream has been to change the system. Well, “the system” is called capitalism, and we stand on the threshold of a dramatic, historic transformation. The driving force in this change is surprising. It is not socialism or communism. It is not religion and its moral concerns. It is not even our global political structures. Rather, this once-amillennium opportunity is being driven by capitalism itself and its relentless pursuit of digitalization. As I will show, that pursuit of digitalization will cause markets to malfunction, labor to become valueless, and investment to become meaningless. The logic of capitalism will stop working. This has never occurred before, and because of it, we have the opportunity to shape the future as no generation since the Renaissance.

But there is NO GUARANTEE!
Capitalism will be challenged as never before—that is for certain—and the new digital world will offer an alternative paradigm. Nonetheless, capitalism will fight back. It will wail and gnash its teeth; it will thrash its body against the emerging alternative. It will resist and attempt to impose its own alternative, which could be far worse than capitalism as we know it. Set aside a few minutes to read this manifesto. Take notes and write down your questions. See for yourself how this moment in history offers us the opportunity to shape a new world unlike anything that has come before. Our time is now.

The Opportunity No One Is Talking About
What I am about to share with you is something even society’s elites are beginning to understand, but dare not say. Here is the basic truth: Capitalism is driving digitalization, automation, and robotic production into the core of our society. It must do so because success in capitalism requires it. Everyone knows this will change everything, but the secret no one tells you is this: As a result of these changes, capitalism can no longer function. And if capitalism cannot function, it will be replaced. And if capitalism will be replaced, what will it be replaced with? You see, we are at a unique moment in history. The last big change in our economic system occurred about 500 years ago when feudalism—the system of lords, dukes, and kings—began to break down, and a new system known as capitalism began to take root. Since then, capitalism has become the dominant economic system in the world.
 Now we are on the brink of capitalism’s collapse, and it will be replaced as well.

Four Transformations: The Postcapitalist Opportunity
 As activists, environmentalists, and social theorists, all the problems we are concerned about— racism, sexism, homophobia, climate change, war, and so on—have the same root cause—the capitalist system. The collapse of the capitalist system will not just change our relationship to capitalist principles, it will actually replace these principles altogether. q Where capitalism is built on hierarchy, the postcapitalist world is built on egalitarian networks. q Where capitalism is built on violence and coercion, the postcapitalist world is built on voluntary participation. q Where capitalism is built on extraction, the postcapitalist world will be built on conversion. q Where capitalism is built on scarcity, the postcapitalist world is truly abundant because it provides infinite supply at no cost. These new principles—egalitarian networks, voluntary participation, conversion and virtual connections, and digital abundance—are the organizing principles for the new postcapitalist world. By replacing the old principles, these new ones provide the possibility of a completely new way of organizing society. And yet… It is entirely possible that we lose this opportunity. Capitalism will also be driven toward digital monopoly and the control of network platforms. It will be driven to maintain its global hegemony. It will attempt to sustain itself according to its own crumbling principles. Eventually, it won’t work; but eventually could be a long time. That is why I am publishing this manifesto now. This transition, which is both inevitable and undefined, provides us with the greatest opportunity in 500 years to shape a new economic system that addresses the problems, injustices, and unfairness of the old capitalist system. We have the opportunity to tear out the core principles underlying bigotry. We have a chance to change the ethic so that no one profits from environmental degradation or destruction. Indeed, we can define a new system that frees individuals from the shackles of job-defined offices and enables them to live to their highest and greatest potential. Yet, to take advantage of these opportunities, we need to see them clearly, understand them, and know where to take action and why it will work. This manifesto points the direction. You see, it will be up to us—the activists, environmentalists, and social theorists—to define what will replace capitalism. From foundational principles to specific policies and legal frameworks, everything is on the table. There is a competition brewing for the new dominant ideas—capitalism will certainly try to sustain itself—and a new set of ideas, generally known as postcapitalism, will arise to compete with capitalism. This is our opportunity to define those ideas, but this opportunity will only last for a while. The moment is upon us. In fact, it is already happening.

Where We Are Today
The Four Pillars of Capitalism Capitalism is based on the four principles of hierarchy, violent coercion, extraction, and scarcity, and it uses all of these principles to define social, political, and economic relationships. I call these four principles “pillars” because they are the foundation of a capitalist perspective. All of capitalism’s power and all of its problems derive from these four pillars.

The first pillar is hierarchy. Capitalism requires a hierarchy so that power can flow through the system. Organizations are set up as a hierarchy of offices, with each office exercising power over a certain realm of activity, which often includes other offices beneath it. The office on top exercises power over the office on the bottom, and often the bottom office is an individual employee. All corporations are structured this way. All militaries are structured this way. All governments are structured this way. It doesn’t matter who the people are that fill those offices; it only matters that the office be competently filled by someone who is responsible for carrying out that office’s tasks. In this way, hierarchy has defined our economic relationships for centuries. But hierarchy goes much deeper, too. As a structural component of the capitalist society, it defines how the power flows, not just in business, but also in social and political relationships. In fact, it is so endemic to our culture that, in the mainstream, we tend to view hierarchical relationships as “normal,” and hierarchy becomes the basis of social power differentials in our society.

Violent Coercion
The second pillar is violent coercion. Capitalism is fundamentally coercive. It uses violence to coerce people into compliance, especially in the various forms of labor. Violence breaks strikes and peaceful protests; it drives conquest and the control of resources; it is the root of destruction in the natural environment; and violence was the core of slavery. Finally, violence is the threat behind the rule of law that enables police, as representatives of the state, to keep order, and which too easily devolves into the brutality against people lower in the hierarchy, thus displaying the negative, abusive side of the Rule of Law. Violence has nearly always involved the dehumanized image of one’s enemy, and the practice of violence usually habitualizes dehumanization. For those involved, it is easier to hate and to kill when indigenous populations are viewed as “savages,” or when they believe that “the only good German is a dead German,” as many soldiers did during WWII, or when young black men are perceived as threatening criminals by law enforcement and the media. This dehumanization is a central part of most social ills.

The third pillar of capitalism is extraction. Capitalist success depends on access to the resources needed to be extracted through activities like mining, oil drilling, agriculture, and logging and clear-cutting. This principle makes capitalism intensely geographic, and led to the development of previously nascent ideas of private property and state control of territory—over time, states came to control territory so that private land ownership could be defended, and lumber, mining, and mineral extraction rights could be exercised. Perhaps like no other principle, this one shows the interconnections between the capitalist system and our current forms of government. Extraction and exploitation are required in an economy that uses things up—either by burning them or using them to produce something else, which also gets used up. Extraction is further magnified by capitalism’s imperative to grow—endlessly, into new markets, and for the purpose of maintaining profits. Extraction, then, is tied to the consumption economy—capitalism needs people to burn, waste, and dispose more and more resources every day so that the economic activity of extraction can march forward.

The fourth and final pillar is scarcity. The capitalist market depends on the scarcity of goods and services because limited supply creates competition among buyers. When capitalism manufactures a product, it creates one unit of the product, and if more than one person wants that product, then competition arises. This competition among buyers creates demand and pushes up prices and profits, both of which are good for the capitalists. Without scarcity, the market cannot function, and capitalists cannot sell their goods.

The Foundation
Activists, environmentalists, and social theorists have long known that the roots of our current challenges trace back to these four principles. In their writings, these people describe how hierarchy, violence, and dehumanization, for example, provide the roots of racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia. They show that extraction, violence, and scarcity support mining, drilling, and deforestation. In other words, the systemic oppression described by activists and critics derives directly from the capitalist system and its core principles. Just as the strength of capitalism has been an obstacle to social change in the past, the disintegration of the system now presents a tremendous opportunity for social and environmental change. As capitalism crumbles, a new system can be created that does not systemically support racism, misogyny, climate change, war, environmental degradation, and homophobia. The last time this happened, feudalism crumbled and capitalism emerged to reorganize society. This time capitalism will crumble, and it is up to us to shape postcapitalism, which will reorganize society once more.

How Do We Know Capitalism Will Collapse?
Capitalism will not be able to continue on its centuries-long path of gradual, continuous growth because of three discontinuities emanating from its own intrinsic logic. Those discontinuities are: q The inability to price digital products q The inability to create demand among superfluous workers q The inability to account for externalities A break in the capitalist system is inevitable because capitalism must create digital products, eliminate labor wherever possible, and it must never account for externalities. Both at the macroeconomic level and at the individual business level, these three imperatives drive behavior, occur simultaneously, and undermine the foundations of capitalism. Astonishingly, capitalism has no mechanism for dealing with any of these three discontinuities.

The Problem with Digital Products
We are in the midst of a digital revolution which is likely to create a digitalized economy. While this may seem innocuous, the first discontinuity is that markets cannot figure out how to handle digital products—and they never will. To understand what I mean, I need to take a brief detour into how markets set prices under capitalism and show you how those same mechanisms do not, and indeed cannot, work for digital products.

How Prices Are Determined in Capitalism
Capitalist markets set prices using the law of supply and demand. This law states that prices are determined by the ratio of supply to demand. Hence, the higher supply is in relation to demand, the lower prices will go. The more demand increases over supply, the higher prices will go. It is a simple concept. While the pricing mechanism of supply and demand suggests that prices fluctuate as supply and demand change, there is one limit: Prices below the cost of production cannot be sustained. Rational businesses will not produce at a loss, so the cost of production functions as a real-world limit on how far market prices can decline. When businesses opt out because prices go too low, production stops, supply goes down, and that makes prices rise again.

What Happens to Supply and Demand in a Market for Digital Products?
Digital products have a unique feature—they have no cost of production. Think of ebooks, for example. Once an ebook is on a server, it can be downloaded one time or a million times at no difference in cost to the producer. This fact creates a problem for markets in two ways. First, if the cost of production is zero, then there is no downward limit to prices until the product is essentially free. Second, supply is infinite. In other words, the limited supply (or scarcity) on which pricing depends has turned into abundance. There is infinite supply. Under these conditions, the law of supply and demand can no longer accurately price products in the marketplace, and prices fall until the products are free. In other words, the market function on which capitalism depends no longer works. It is one thing to think of ebooks and music, but the reality is that all products are increasingly digitalized and susceptible to the same dynamics. As products continue to take on more and more digital components, or as they become completely digitalized (thereby replacing traditional products), markets in those products will break down—just like it did with ebooks. On the open internet, there are millions of free ebooks, PDFs, videos, and other digital products, thereby demonstrating the reality of a digitally abundant market in which prices collapse to zero. Here is the problem: When products are free, the entire rationale for capitalist investment no longer makes sense. Capitalists don’t invest to sell free products, and they don’t pay workers to produce free products. Capitalism requires the capability of a profit, but no profit is available when the market cannot create a price. The economy can handle a few product categories collapsing in price, but as digitalization spreads to construction, cars, clothing, and even food production—all of which are currently happening—capitalism ceases to function in any meaningful way.

Automation Eliminates Labor
The second discontinuity is automation and robotic production. Here is an example of the impact: In 2016, Adidas announced that it is opening a new production facility in Germany to replace some factories in southeast Asia. They are not doing this by reducing labor costs—they are doing it by eliminating labor costs. They are replacing people with robots. The new factory will ultimately produce 500,000 pairs of shoes per year, and it will employ only 160 people, none of whom actually make the shoes. For capitalists, production without labor is a dream. The problem is that while production robots do not need to be paid, they also do not buy things. Capitalism depends on consumption to drive its economic engine, so if no one has a job, they also have no income; and if they have no income, who is going to buy the products?

Climate Change—The Inescapable Reality
The third discontinuity is the inability to account for externalities. Externalities are the byproducts, garbage, waste, and pollution that a company generates but doesn’t have to pay for. Externalities come in the form of pollution, systemic financial risk, social problems, disease and debilitation, and wasted energy. For all of capitalism’s history, these externalities were treated as unfortunate byproducts which were largely someone else’s problem—the people downstream, the government, the poor and poverty-stricken, or the indigenous inhabitants. And they remained ignored as someone else’s problem so long as capitalists didn’t need to pay for them. Climate change is caused by centuries of pollution diffusing through the atmosphere and trapping heat, much like a greenhouse does. This pollution has always been treated by capitalism as an externality. But now that climate change is affecting everyone everywhere on earth, and scientists tell us that we are nearing the point where the balance is tipped and continued climate change will take on its own life, the pollution causing climate change has ceased to be an externality. Instead, it is a fact demonstrating that the externalities must be accounted for. There is no escape—not for the wealthy, not for the poor, not for business, labor, or consumers, and not for anyone in any given country. It cannot be made into someone else’s problem anymore. It cannot be privatized. Eventually, we swelter together or perish in catastrophic climate events. In essence, climate change means capitalism has run its course.

The Inevitable Collapse of Capitalism
One would think that, given these three realities (digitalization, automation, and climate change), the capitalists would change course. Maybe, but here is the problem—they cannot help themselves. The capitalist system intrinsically requires all actors to consistently drive costs of production down in order to increase profit margins and stay competitive. As digitalization happens, they all have to digitalize to keep up. The same is true of robotic production—anyone producing without robots will not be able to compete. Likewise, capitalist elites cannot even acknowledge climate change because then they would have to acknowledge that the global capitalist project has brought humankind to the brink of collapse. For business, incurring the expense of unilateral action on climate change makes it impossible to compete. Capitalism cannot stop its own relentless juggernaut because to do so is to repudiate capitalism at its very essence. This is what makes the collapse inevitable. Digitalization, robotic production, and ongoing pollution in the form of greenhouse gases will continue to feed the three discontinuities, and there is no way for capitalism to stop it. In essence, capitalism has established a race toward its own end. On one hand, climate change could lead us to a catastrophic collapse, probably through a series of catastrophic events, such that capitalism cannot continue because society, or the planet itself, is radically changed. On the other hand, capitalism careens toward a technological future that undermines its own principles, and a new type of society arises from that challenge. One way or another, capitalism comes to an end.

The Four Transformations in Detail: Our Postcapitalist Opportunity
The opportunity for transformation lies in the earliest possible move to postcapitalist principles. We need to articulate, celebrate, and advance these ideals, and while they are inevitable, it is not inevitable that humanity will be in good shape when it does. To review, the four transformations are as follows: q Capitalist hierarchy is replaced by postcapitalist egalitarian networks. q Capitalist violent coercion is replaced by postcapitalist voluntary participation. q Capitalist extraction is replaced by postcapitalist conversion. q Capitalist scarcity is replaced by postcapitalist abundance. By replacing the old capitalist principles, the new postcapitalist principles offer the possibility of a completely new way of organizing society. Words are one thing, but what do these ideas actually mean? And how will they change our society?

Transformation 1: The New Networked World
Networks are the opposite of hierarchy. Rather than hierarchical offices, which outlast the individuals who occupy them, networks are made up of relationships and connections between real people. In a network, when the person disconnects, all their relationships do as well. When networks become the dominant mode of organizing society, thereby replacing hierarchy, our whole way of thinking about the world will change with it. In a hierarchy, the predominant social currency is power as expressed in the exercise of the power of the office. In a network, the predominant social currency is influence, as expressed in one’s ability to influence opinion, ideas, and people. Whereas hierarchy spurs competition for the limited number of positions of power, networks open the possibility of unlimited connections and an abundance of influences from many different sources. Thus, networks create a completely different mental model of the world—one in which power dynamics are almost incomprehensible because there is no hierarchical mental model to support it. Without any sense of the privilege of office, what is the value of creating an imagined office of racial or ethnic supremacy? In networks, the projection of influence occurs through connection, not through domination. New mental models actually do change the system of oppression in the minds of everyone.

Transformation 2: Voluntary Collaborative Production
Voluntary production collaboratives like Wikipedia, Linux, and Sugar CRM are on the forefront of the rejection of violence and capitalistic coercion. Collaborative production communities create products because they want to participate in them. They are totally voluntary, they produce products of great value, and the products are usually free. Because they are free, however, no one can exert control. Rather, these communities create and adopt standards for participation collaboratively and largely self-police for compliance. Postcapitalism offers the chance to model society based on voluntary participation rather than coercion, and in so doing, to subvert the ideology of violence. Voluntary collaborative production means that people are doing what they want to do, not what they are forced to do by a method of organizing society that they never asked for or wanted to be a part of. Although it may be difficult to imagine, poverty begins to lose meaning in such a world. Labor equity issues vanish. People are doing what they want to do.

Transformation 3: Conversion
 Where capitalism must extract and exploit, postcapitalism will convert. The difference is that while extraction uses things up, conversion does not. Conversion is what happens in the digital world. We convert sunlight to power, we convert digits to words, we convert air into life when we breathe it. The source for conversion is in infinite supply—sunlight, digits, and air. If I get some, it doesn’t mean there is less for you. We don’t sell the source; we simply experience it. The ethic of conversion completely transforms our use of resources, what we need, and how we get it, and brings to a close the ongoing juggernaut of resource exploitation around the world. Instead of fighting or competing over a scarce resource, the economy is driven by these conversions. When the paradigm shifts, we will find more and more opportunities for conversion of abundant resources rather than exploitation of limited ones. Capitalist activities like pollution and conquest come to an end because they are valueless, and hence, conversion is the key factor putting an end to climate change and the war on indigenous cultures in the new postcapitalist world.

Transformation 4: Abundance
 Finally, capitalist scarcity disappears and is replaced by abundance, and this change brings an end to the deadly competition of capitalism. In fact, the whole idea of competition will fail to make sense anymore. There will always be enough, and we will always have it accessible. Instead of markets pricing scarce goods and services, they will simply be available on an asneeded basis, whether it is food, transportation, or housing. It will be freely given because the new postcapitalist wealth will not be based on “transfers” but rather on the engagement and conversion of the abundance that is given to us. This can be the basis for the elimination of poverty and oppression of all kinds.

These Principles Change Everything
 Just as the pillars of capitalism—hierarchy, violence, extraction, and scarcity—form the foundation of the world we have today, replacing them with networks, collaborative production, conversion, and abundance will lead to a very different, postcapitalist world. The exact outcome of that world is not known, but if these pillars and principles do in fact change, there are many new possibilities. We will explore a few now.

The End of Systemic Fear
 Consider the four principles that underlie capitalism: hierarchy, violence, extraction, and scarcity. How can one view the world through anything other than a lens of fear? That some people do is a testament to their strength, their good fortune in life, and the good work they have done to achieve success. But it doesn’t change the reality that the main tone of life in such a world is fear—fear that I won’t get my share, fear that someone will take mine from me, fear that my opportunity will disappear. This fear is critical to understand because it is the emotional source feeding sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia. It underlies war and competition. It makes us forsake our fellow human beings, forsake the natural world, and even forsake our own lives in an endless pursuit of an unachievable security. Fear is sustained by capitalism’s hierarchical worldview, the competition resulting from scarcity, and of course, the violence endemic to the system. Where is the fear in egalitarian networks, voluntary collaborative networks, conversion, and abundance? How does oppression sustain itself without fear? Without scarcity? Without competition for survival? Postcapitalism will transform the core principles of society and it will be experienced as a relief from fear. When fear dissipates, it is possible for the whole apparatus of systemic oppression to fall away.

The End of Climate Change
The conversion economy is going to replace the extraction economy; the only question is if it will happen soon enough to stop climate change before it becomes irreversible, or worse, before it becomes self-reinforcing. According to climate scientists, runaway climate change takes hold at an average temperature increase of two degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. They also tell us we are halfway there. This problem cannot be fixed by doing less of what causes it; it will only be stopped by meeting society’s needs in a qualitatively different manner. The conversion economy converts highly abundant resources such as sunlight into the energy we need, so that in the conversion economy, there is always enough energy, there is no scarcity, and there is no pollution. That is how climate change can be solved. But let’s be clear here: The change that is necessary isn’t just a new technology. Improvements in the power conversion technology of solar is important, but if deployed within a capitalist paradigm, it either will not work or will cause related problems that will perpetuate the climate problem. Building solar farms is not a solution, putting solar panels on your roof is. Solar farms disconnect production from consumption (a capitalist paradigm), whereas the rooftop production moves production to consumption in a new postcapitalist paradigm. In other words, we need to move past the capitalist paradigm and into a postcapitalist conversion economy. When this happens, just think of the possibilities! With no extraction and no scarcity, the geography of mineral resources becomes irrelevant. There’s no need for big state control, or pipelines, or power plants. Mining comes to an end. Clear-cutting is no longer necessary, nor is it even profitable. To make it happen and to fulfill this promise, we will need to work at it. Universal

Basic Income—The End of Poverty and Coerced Labor
Digitalization and the free economy of the future will inevitably clash with the capitalist economy of the present; transition periods are like that. As an answer to job losses, poverty, and the need for consumer demand, many people are proposing a universal basic income. The idea is that every human being receives a stipend each month for simply being alive. No work, no minimum wage, no strings attached. You get a check from the government every month because you are alive. Basic income is an obvious answer to poverty, unemployment, and maintaining consumer purchasing power. But equally, it creates a basis for the flowering of art, creativity, and entrepreneurship. Think of it—what would you do if you didn’t have to worry about being out on the street without income, nowhere to live, and no food to eat? What business might you try? What art might you create? Would you just hang out with friends and enjoy life? Universal basic income has the power to unleash the passion of creativity and the joy of leisure without making it subservient to the commoditized world of the market. You will never have to work at a job you hate just to make ends meet. Basic income is just one of the ideas coming from the postcapitalist world. It is an idea to explore and to advocate. New ideas are also being developed by many theorists, activists, and intellectuals. Fostering these ideas through creation, networks, and advocacy is the goal of the postcapitalist project today.

 Direct Democracy and the End of Power
 Mandates The end of hierarchy as an organizing principle also means the end of hierarchical representative democracy. Hierarchy created government offices with their duties and powers, and whether intended or not, these offices have effectively ensured that government does the business of the powerful elites long before it thinks of doing the so-called “people’s business.” In other words, representative democracy is uniquely effective at supporting capitalism. The digitalized, postcapitalist world of the future will likely replace representative democracy with direct democracy, wherein citizens vote on laws and bills directly using the internet. For example, Congress (or Parliament) might be expected to develop and negotiate the bills, but approval or denial comes from the people themselves. The digitalized, networked world enables the mechanism, and the postcapitalist collaborative production model normalizes that kind of communication and activity. Personally, I think this new model is coming sooner than most people think. As government fails to do its job, ballot initiatives are moving away from issues of charter or constitution and becoming the defacto mechanism of the people to have a voice. Combine this frustration with the breakdown of the supporting structures of capitalism, and it would appear that direct democracy is not far away—despite its potentially enormous logistical and participatory challenges.

The Power of Ideas—Turning Promise Into Reality
Whatever we may hope for in the transformation of the four principles of capitalism, the hopes are only possibilities. Activism and fighting the powers that be will not be effective. Resistance is not enough. We have to start with the engaged readers, the thinkers, and the theorists—people like you. We need to create a conversation and a thought environment in which the new ideas become the basic assumptions of reality, while the old principles wither away. Historical shifts don’t happen in movements; they happen when dominant ideas change. This is not a battle over an issue. Rather, we are in a war for history. Postcapitalism represents the most challenging notion in social theory today. It affects every aspect of society—religion, social structures, politics, economics, safety nets, military motivations, and business. Careers will be affected. Cities will change. New methods of living will make our present look as quaint to the future as the peasantry of old looks to us today. A new world is going to emerge no matter what; the question is whether it tips into dystopic possibilities or turns toward opportunities for a better world. To shape it into the better world, we need to understand the most exciting opportunities and most innovative possibilities that are emerging—and they are all over the place! We just need to know, explore, read, and think for ourselves about what could be. We need imagination. We need ideas. So, the first order of business is simple:

Download your own FREE sampler of Speculations on Postcapitalism.
You will love reading these essays. I promise it will take your mind to new places so you can see new possibilities. The sampler is a selection of 8 of the 23 essays in the book. The titles include:
- A Guide to Our Future
-The Coming Collapse of Capitalism q Supercomputing: A Capitalist response to the Postcapitalist Threat - Does Postcapitalism mean Post-Democracy? 
-Postcapitalism, Networks, and the new Post-State world - A Postcapitalist Solution to Climate Change
-Abundant Digital Food
Problems and Opportunities in the Universal Basic Income Dream Download it and read them. The essays collected here are the foundation for the road ahead. You can get these essays absolutely free here.

 Allow me to put this in perspective...

Today, even as you read this manifesto, capitalism is reshaping itself to maintain power in response to digitalization. So-called “platform capitalism” is becoming what steel and railroads were in the “robber baron” age. Companies are jockeying for monopolistic control of the platforms on which all these networks will exist. You can see it in Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix, for example. Or, they are moving to consolidate control over the digital pipes that tie us together—companies like Comcast and CenturyLink are trying to gain control in what they euphemistically call their own version of “preserving an open internet.” Still others are fighting to attain ownership of genes they did not produce and of water that is not theirs. These moves are standard for capitalism trying to control a market in monopolistic fashion. If they win, the old principles probably endure. And, if they win, the primary reason will be the lack of compelling alternative ideas.
It is our ideas—yours, mine, writers still to publish, and those of the general public—that will ultimately shape the new postcapitalist world. Ideas shape the opportunity in all the areas of change most people care about. For example: q What climate change activist would not like to rewrite the rules for the global economy? That chance is here. q What racial justice activist would not like to build a society on egalitarian, nonhierarchical principles? We have that opportunity now. q What peace activist would not like to eliminate the underlying drive for war—natural resource acquisition and control? The chance to do this is now. q Who would not want to end poverty through a basic income for all? We are on the verge of this revolution. It all depends on our ideas. Let’s create better ideas. The time is now. 

Niciun comentariu: