The end of capitalism by Paul Mason, July 16, 2015, The Guardian
Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian
The information economy is an economy of abundance that puts in question the assumptions, myths, priorities and paradigms of the past quantitative economy of scarcity. www.openculture.com gives us 700 free movies, 700 free E-books and 450 audio books and indirectly challenges the hard-nosed culture of exploitation, enrichment and conspicious consumption. The 26 community centers in Vancouver B.C. are an antidote to hyper-individualistic, solipsistic culture that makes “free” and “shared” into tabood realities and shared and solidarity into intrusions.
Why should we not form a picture of the ideal life, built out of abundant information, non-hierarchical work and the dissociation of work from wages?
Millions of people are beginning to realize they have been sold a dream at odds with what reality can deliver. Their response is anger – and retreat towards national forms of capitalism that can only tear the world apart. Watching these emerge, from the pro-Grexit left factions in Syriza to the Front National and the isolationism of the American right has been like watching the nightmares we had during the Lehman Brothers crisis come true.
We need more than just a bunch of utopian dreams and small-scale horizontal projects. We need a project based on reason, evidence and testable designs, that cuts with the grain of history and is sustainable by the planet. And we need to get on with it.
Postcapitalism is published by Allen Lane on 30 July. Paul Mason will be asking whether capitalism has had its day at a sold-out Guardian Live event on 22 July. Let us know your thoughts beforehand at theguardian.com/membership.