Original source: The end of capitalism has begun
"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 argument in this article is based on the notion that access to information is getting humanity out of Capitalism. But access to information is limited around the world. Tell a garment factory worker in Bangladesh that they live in a post-capitalist era because, in theory, they could get a better job. Or even worse (let’s take that criticism closer to home), tell a Walmart or Mc Donalds worker that they don’t need to be "slaves to the wage”… and of course you will be laughed at. The problem with this article is that it imagines a post-capitalism as something that only a few can be conscious of: the few who are in the upper echelons of a capitalist society, those with access to a lot of information, those who can actually think differently precisely because they have the resources to do so. In other words, what the author is arguing is that, from the Capitalist producer point of view, this is a different type of Capitalism… but the rest of society continues to “thrive” under the ideas, systems of exploitation (material and information) made from above??? Dear gents and ladies, this is Capitalism at its best!
It baffles me that someone with any sense of history or with any grasp of social reality would write something like this. As the author of the article himself acknowledges (yet he does not actually sees his own ideas under the same critique), this is all Capitalist idealism. For instance, it’s as if saying that upstarts and businesses based on information that is (once again, in theory) freely available and “social” (such as Yelp, Uber, eBay, etc.) are not Capitalist and are not driven by profit. This is just ridiculous!
That this all is something rather new, I agree. But this is not leading world politics, how businesses are done, or people’s life expectations towards the Left (as the author seems to assume) to anywhere new. If anything, Capitalism has become much more brutal in the last few years. Something new IS emerging, but there’s nothing that shows me that this is something that will liberate people from the oppression of capitalists, the “neo-ludittes” (as the author calls them) or systems in place. The biggest problem in Capitalism, in my opinion, is that it is an ideology that is prevalent in how people in this system (us all reading this) imagine the world. A capitalist world, from within this ideology, makes sense: we have to work hard to one day have lots of money, the market can do what the state is really bad at, trickle-down-economy works, corruption is literally a “corruption of the system” and not its norm, etc. In this new post-capitalism the author of the article is talking about there’s nothing that suggests any of this is going away. As long as we imagine the world in this capitalist way, there is no future for any real alternative. For the sake of the world, I hope that I’m very wrong.