The Postcapitalist Manifesto: How Robots, Digital Products, and Automation Could Give us Basic Income, Meaningful Work, and a Climate Change Solution
a book by Anthony Signorelli
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that "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."
Rising inequality could eventually push us over a cliff into revolution like France in 1789 and Russia in 1917—goodbye democracy, hello Feudalism
If we do not transform to postcapitalism, we may regress to Feudalism
This short ebook is for you if you have been looking for the opportunity to contribute to real change and make it count. It shows why this moment is unique in history for shaping a new world. We have not had a disruption like the one that we are in the midst of since feudalism gave way to capitalism. Just as the core principles of feudalism gave way to powerful new capitalistic ideas, capitalist principles are crumbling as they confront the principles of a digitalized, postcapitalist world. As they do so, the opportunity for shaping change has arrived.
This manifesto explores radical new ideas—the disruption of capitalism, the promise of direct democracy, the impact of social disruption, economic disruption, and market disruption. It shows how the main principles of capitalist society—private property, hierarchy, coercion, extraction, and scarcity will give way to digital principles like egalitarian networks, voluntary collaboration, and abundance. The system really is changing, and you have the opportunity to understand how, help shape the future, and prepare yourself for the changes ahead.
Post-capitalism includes a number of proposals for a new economic system to replace capitalism, examine more advanced forms, or otherwise speculate on the fate of the current form of the social order. According to some Classical Marxist and some social evolutionary theories, post-capitalist societies may come about as a result of spontaneous evolution as capitalism becomes obsolete. Others propose models to intentionally replace capitalism. The most notable among them are socialism and anarchism.
According to some Classical Marxist and some social evolutionary theories, post-capitalist societies may come about as a result of spontaneous evolution as capitalism becomes obsolete
In 1993, Peter Drucker outlined a possible evolution of capitalistic society in his book Post-Capitalist Society. The book stated that knowledge, rather than capital, land, or labor, is the new basis of wealth. The classes of a fully post-capitalist society are expected to be divided into knowledge workers or service workers, in contrast to the capitalists and proletarians of a capitalist society. In the book, Drucker estimated the transformation to post-capitalism would be completed in 2010–2020. Oh well, predicting the future is a road paved with land mines!
In Drucker-think, it is time for nations—but more especially individuals being responsible—to respond appropriately to the transition from capitalist to post-capitalist civilization, i.e., The Third Wave. It is up to us to make sure that the change is about what a society can do with individually applied knowledge of the knowledge age, rather than misused power of the nation-state and others. In our own lives, says the author, “This is a time for action.” He says many Toffleresque things that amount to demassification, decentralization, and the rise of the knowledge-based civilization with knowledge-based economies.
How Will Capitalism End?: Essays on a Failing System sees a dark future: "a new dark age of dictatorships and warlords."
If we ever lose our alternative media websites and publishers and rely only on propaganda-laced mainstream media, all is lost and fascistic stormtroopers will be goosestepping their way to our door (the last time we saw Trump walk, we detected a bit of a goosestep)
The Third Wave No other book has helped so many understand late 20th century chaos and confusion so well as this book by Alvin Toffler. No other book has given so many people, thinkers, leaders, countries and groups so many opportunities to understand, integrate, plan and then act on their new contexts in wise and beneficial ways. No other book has helped guide the world through times of trial as much as this one has. And finally, no book has ever allowed so many decision makers to become so prescient and proactive with regards to the fast-changing world; leaders have so often had to be content with being guessers and hopers who must take a reactive stance to world/national/local events. In the book one learns about the three waves of change and the struggles between them, First Wave agriculural society versus Second Wave industrialized mass society versus Third Wave information age, knowledge age, diversified/decentralized society.
Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis George Monbiot gives us a thrilling new route to a better society. A toxic ideology of extreme competition and individualism has come to dominate our world. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that re-engages people in politics and lights a path to a better future. See also Alfie Kohn's The Case Against Competition.
Peter Frase argues that increasing automation and a growing scarcity of resources, thanks to climate change, will bring Capitalism tumbling down
Four Futures: Life After Capitalism (Jacobin) Peter Frase argues that increasing automation and a growing scarcity of resources, thanks to climate change, will bring it all tumbling down. In this book, Frase imagines how this post-capitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism, socialism and exterminism might actually entail.
Frase envisions exterminism as a sort of Terminator scenario in which the automation that might have led to life without work leads instead to mass executions
The Post-Corporate World There is a deep chasm between the promises of the new global capitalism and the reality of social breakdown, spiritual emptiness, and environmental destruction it is leaving in its wake. In this important book, David Korten makes a compelling and well-documented case that capitalism is actually delivering a fatal blow not only to life, but also to democracy and the market. Capitalism is an engine of wealth creation for the wealthy, but for the average citizen, it's an engine of wealth reduction. Korten's book illuminates the ways in which the institutions of capitalism are programmed both to deny and to deepen our environmental and social crises. See Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power.
The ladder of class mobility is rigged—the rich stay rich and the nonrich stay screwed
The oligarchs of capitalism are actually delivering a fatal blow not only to life, but also to democracy
"PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future In the book, Paul Mason discusses the existential threat posed to capitalism by the digital revolution. He argues that the digital revolution has the potential to reshape utterly our familiar notions of work, production and value; and to destroy an economy based on markets and private ownership. In fact, he contends, this is already happening. He points to parallel currencies, co-operatives, self-managed online spaces, even Wikipedia as examples of what the postcapitalist future might look like. Mason argues that from the ashes of the global financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy."
"Neoliberalism, then," says Mason, "has morphed into a system programmed to inflict recurrent catastrophic failures. Worse than that, it has broken the 200-year pattern of industrial capitalism wherein an economic crisis spurs new forms of technological innovation that benefit everybody. . . . By creating millions of networked people, financially exploited but with the whole of human intelligence one thumb-swipe away, info-capitalism has created a new agent of change in history: the educated and connected human being." (Source: The end of capitalism has begun, Paul Mason, the Guardian) Also see The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
"Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work Neoliberalism isn’t working. Austerity is forcing millions into poverty and many more into precarious work, while the left remains trapped in stagnant political practices that offer no respite. Inventing the Future is a bold new manifesto for life after capitalism. Against the confused understanding of our high-tech world by both the right and the left, this book claims that the emancipatory and future-oriented possibilities of our society can be reclaimed. Instead of running from a complex future, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams demand a postcapitalist economy capable of advancing standards, liberating humanity from work and developing technologies that expand our freedoms."
Neoliberalism isn’t working. Austerity is forcing millions into poverty and many more into precarious work
In the face of modern conditions, revolution is inevitable. The rampant inequality that exists between the political and corporate elites and the struggling masses; the destruction wreaked upon our environment by faceless, careless corporations; the steady stripping away of our civil liberties and the creation of a monstrous surveillance system—all of these have combined to spark a profound revolutionary moment. Corporate capitalists, dismissive of the popular will, do not see the fires they are igniting. See Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt.
In the face of modern conditions, revolution is inevitable. Corporate capitalists, dismissive of the popular will, do not see the fires they are igniting
The author of this book, The Postcapitalist Manifesto: How Robots, Digital Products, and Automation Could Give us Basic Income, Meaningful Work, and a Climate Change Solution, Signorelli, reminds us that "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. . . . 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. 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."
We have a chance to change the ethic so that no one profits from environmental degradation or destruction. A new set of ideas, generally known as postcapitalism, will arise to compete with capitalism
The four transformations to postcapitalism are:
- Capitalist hierarchy is replaced by postcapitalist egalitarian networks.
- Capitalist violent coercion is replaced by postcapitalist voluntary participation.
- Capitalist extraction is replaced by postcapitalist conversion.
- Capitalist scarcity is replaced by postcapitalist abundance
As Signorelli explains, representative democracy is very effective at supporting capitalism. However, as capitalism dies from its own dysfunction and excesses (which cause global warming, pollution, exploitation of other countries, war, violence, and a whole panoply of other ills), it will continue serving the elites rather than the people. Since this type of irresponsibility is species suicide, 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. We like the theory of representationalism but in practice our so-called Congresspeople were and are just whores of the corporations, and that will not work in postcapitalism. If people cannot find within themselves the moral fiber to represent the interests of the people, then the people will just have to represent themselves. If representatives choose the health of corporations instead of the health of the environment, then we the people must fire them and directly choose a capitalism that reprioritizes their values so the environment is the prime concern.
Capitalism will continue serving the elites rather than the people. Since this type of irresponsibility is species suicide, the digitalized, postcapitalist world of the future will likely replace representative democracy with direct democracy
The four transformations to postcapitalism will require a new or revamped Constitution because the government will be restructured to serve the people. The Founders warned that corporations and elites getting too much power and influence could be a problem, but they didn't know how to write effective safeguards into the document, so they fixed it so we could use the amendment process to deal with that. One thing for sure—allowing corporations to have rights like people was a horrible error. And letting corporations use money to influence elections and legislation was and is plain stupid. (See Supercapitalism.) In what universe will government officials and representatives be immune to the temptations of cash? Answer: the universe where all money or favors are seen as illegal bribes that are punishable by huge fines and jail time. Government officials MUST begin serving people and never corporations.
Capitalism will try to prevent change—loss of power—so it will be the old riddle of: How do you take power from the elite? The same way you take a banana from a 900 pound gorilla: very carefully
Capitalism will do everything it can to prolong any changes, and to protect extraction, hierarchy, violence, and scarcity as the core principles of society—its existence depends on it, says Signorelli. So it is up to the people to push postcapitalism with all their might. Today, capitalism defines the thought environment—as the author frames it, and if we are to reshape the world, we have to create, promote, sharpen, and clarify a new thought environment. This is another way of saying that the propaganda from the mainstream media will not only continue to push capitalism but continue to push the idea that Apple, Amazon, Comcast, Microsoft, CenturyLink, Facebook, Netflix are monopolies that should be allowed to continue to exist as organizations that control our access to information and our networks and our thoughts about these things so that we remain mind-controlled sheep being told what we want and whether it's okay for them to spy on us and track us as though were were all criminals. See The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion, and The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking.
The public relations industry in the United States focuses on controlling the public mind, and not on informing it—this is the workhorse of capitalism
Advertising is part psychological manipulation, part mind control, but always capitalism's main tool
Fly #353242252 reporting: Citizen #312,756,972 doesn't seem to be hiding a thing—my conclusion is that she's clean; but just to be sure I think I'll hang around a bit longer!
Once they create the technology, can the thought police be far behind NSA's outrage of spying on us decent citizens?
The author asks us "Are you going to let other people make all the decisions and turn what could be an era of unprecedented human freedom into a dystopic world of sameness, flatness, grayness, and domination by the very few?" About 500 years ago, we went from feudalism to capitalism. Are we going to let a few elites rule us and degenerate into a new and depressing form of feudalism or transform humanistically into the postcapitalism that will save our planet from being killed due to egregious greed and save our people from being turned into mindless organic robots, doing what we can to please our elite masters? Democracy as we know it has been losing to the greedy oligarchs for decades. Capitalism has turned into a tool of the elites to serve the elites while it exploits the ciitizens. We have a great challenge before us: transformation to postcapitalism without bloodshed. Push their patriotism buttons, letting them know they can keep their wealth but can no longer grow at our expense and at the expense of the environment.
Are you going to let other people make all the decisions and turn what could be an era of unprecedented human freedom into a dystopic world of sameness, flatness, grayness, and domination by the very few?
Postcapitalism can save our planet from being killed due to egregious greed and save our people from being turned into mindless organic robots, doing what we can to please our elite masters
The transformation to postcapitalism must be based on egalitarianism, voluntary participation, conversion, and abundance, and we will base it on the new paradigms of networks and collaboration. He could have added the paradigm of the ecological-holistic movement in science, environmentalism, and ecology in general. This Third Wave paradigm is slowly trying to replace the mechanistic-reductionistic paradigm of the Second Wave. Toffler championed the Third Wave and Fritjov Capra and many others championed the ecological-holistic paradigm.
The transformation to postcapitalism must be based on egalitarianism, voluntary participation, conversion, and abundance, and we will base it on the new paradigms of networks and collaboration
We disagree with the author that Americans can create, promote, sharpen, and clarify a new thought environment as well as live by digital principles like egalitarian networks, voluntary collaboration, and abundance because they think better thoughts and protest and make plans and have meetings and good intentions. The transformation to postcapitalism is about more than what The Postcapialist Manifesto discusses. It is about transformation of character to allow and enable postcapitalism to work. The U.S. isn't raising citizens compatible with community, peace, democracy, egalitarianism, cooperation, and win-win values. The author fails to notice the 900-lb. deal-breaker growling in the corner. This country is raising hypercompetitative, win-lose warriors itching for a fight. Unless that is addressed, the transformation to postcapitalism is a nonstarter. Signorelli may not know what to do about this, but we do.
This country is raising hypercompetitative, win-lose warriors itching for a fight. Unless that is addressed, the transformation to postcapitalism is a nonstarter
So why are we raising win-lose warriors that are comfortable making war rather than peace? Why are we not raising win-win peacemakers that help the world be a safe and happy peaceful place of love, not hate, and cooperation, not violence? It takes win-win people to make democracy, freedom, family, and community work well. Which is why democracy, freedom, family, and community are all degenerating. See Flat-gradient Nurturance versus Steep-gradient Nurturance, Teachers Say Unnurtured Kids Aren't Ready for School—We Say Unnurtured People Aren't Ready for Survival, Building a Community of Citizens: Civil Society in the 21st Century and The Responsive Communitarian Platform.
The U.S. is raising win-lose-obsessed warriors who are making perfect cannon fodder for neocons' warmongering wet dreams
While doing everything in Signorelli's book to usher in the transformation to postcapitalism, boycott elections full of neoliberal lying frauds and, above all, nonviolently RESIST the oppression, fake news, lying leaders and elite corporatocracy lackeys masquerading as good people who have our interests at heart. Resist neocon warmongers using us as cannon fodder to promote wars that line their pockets with blood money. Refuse to participate. Resist environment wrecking policies as well as phony tax reform that takes more from us only to give more to wealthy, elite oligarchs and their lackeys.
Resist neocon warmongers using us as cannon fodder to promote wars that line their pockets with blood money—refuse to participate
Now for some Q and A.
Q: If we raise angry, frustrated, win-lose warriors itching for a fight, what are they going to be like when they become responsible adults? If they become leaders, what are they likely to lead us into (with the neocons cheerleading them from the side)? If they become politicians, will they support peace proposals or war proposals, including those that manifest being at war with the environment? What effect will all of this have on our world?
If we raise angry, frustrated, win-lose warriors itching for a fight, all we'll ever know is war; war is U.S.'s religion
A: If we raise warriors, what will happen is war. Warrior-minded leaders will start wars. Warrior-minded politicians will support starting wars. A world full of win-lose, angry warriors will continue to act like warriors until tragedies of massive magnitude scare us into peace or until our war with the environment backfires and we kill the oceans and lakes and wildlife and soil and plants and atmosphere and then the few of us that are left lay around gasping, starving, shivering and bleeding, asking ourselves: Well—did we WIN yet?
Once our war with the environment and each other kills the world, the few of us that are left will lay around gasping, starving, shivering and bleeding, asking ourselves: Well—did we WIN yet?
It is the author's hope that we will "Work with us to build the thought environment—develop ideas, write essays and reports, and lay down the groundwork for a different type of society. We can do this and create the world we want for all people." This website details the sociological aspects needed for the transformation to postcapitalism. Especially our utterly unique novel The Forest Through The Trees.
The Forest Through The Trees