Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Is Capitalism about to disappear?

An interesting article appeared on VICE yesterday: "Scientists Warn theUN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise"

The article summarizes (perhaps somewhat inaccurately) a draft
research report commissioned by the UN for next year's UN Global
Sustainable Development Report. 

This draft report, argues that climate change presents an immediate danger that requires "a rapid system-level transformation towards global sustainability", but that
this transformation cannot be effected by markets, nor by states acting
reactively to solve economic and energy crises. Contrary to what the
VICE article suggests, the research report does not suggest ditching
capitalism itself, but rather getting "a group of progressive states to
take the lead" in funding proactive measures to reorient the economy
towards "life-improving and emissions-reducing goals rather than
abstract economic goals".

However, the VICE article does go on to discuss other reports and books
that do treat some notion of post-capitalism, or at least where
capitalism is currently headed. It mentions Paul Mason's book
Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, in which it is theorized that
advances in artificial intelligence and information technology are
reducing the costs of production to the point that we will eventually
live in an age of "mass abundance, beyond the price system and rules of


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