What Is After Capitalism Anyway?
May 3, 2019 8:49 AM   Subscribe

“I believe that the best candidate for an essential “something” in democratic socialism is the ethical passion for social justice and radical democratic community.” The Birth of Social Democracy and the religious origins of European socialism. (Commonweal) “If we, as socialists, adopt this kind of too-snarky, radicaler-than-thou mentality, which obviously we can all slip into at times, we’ll alienate the potential base that could actually make a better country and a better world.” The Editor of Jacobin on the Evolution of American Socialism (New Yorker, Chotiner Q&A) Worker Cooperatives Part 1: Widening the sphere of democracy (58:00) Part 2: Democratic Economy, The Mondragon Corporation and Coperative Jackson (57:00) Inside the “most neoliberal country on Earth”, a Chilean town models actually existing common ownership. “Anyone who is not an owner of the means of production is on our side of the class struggle. ” (Jacobin) Nicos Poulantzas tried to envision how the left could simultaneously champion rank-and-file democracy at a distance from the state and push for radical transformation from within it. (Dissent)

“ Thus, in this sector too, a growing number of people support the democratic way to Socialism. I want to emphasise here that our attitude to the middle classes, to the small and medium sized businesses, is not a tactical manoeuvre. We are persuaded that services and the provision of certain goods must rely at present – as they have done in the past – on private enterprise. A Socialism which did not take this into account would impose on the public a drop in its standard of living, since only private enterprise can satisfy a whole string of mass necessities. It would be a Socialism with precious little room in it for public acceptance.“ What Is Eurocommsunism (1978)

What Is Democratic Socialism Anyway Previously.
posted by The Whelk (13 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Singularity
posted by sammyo at 9:03 AM on May 3, 2019 [6 favorites]

China is showing what comes after the current system: a fusion of state and corporate power. The only question for each country or region will be in what proportion, with America landing somewhere further on the corporate end of the spectrum.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:19 AM on May 3, 2019 [7 favorites]

Yes, I sadly agree with Sangermaine. If our trajectory is anything to go by, corporatism as the new oligarchy is the future. We may be fortunate that it comes with benefits like universal health care, etc., but those will still be mediated by market forces.

There will always be a carve-out for small-c capitalism, as trade on the individual level has been undertaken among humans for millennia. But the overriding structure will be a consolidation of power between the government and the corporations.

In fact, this is already the case in the US to a great degree.
posted by darkstar at 9:46 AM on May 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

God I didn't mean to sound that cynical and defeated. I still hope for a sort of democratic socialism like the Norwegian system. But it's going to take some sort of "shock" to the current system to override the corporatism already baked in. I thought the Great Recession of 2008 would have done it, when the US economy teetered on the edge of collapse. But it didn't. It's still business as usual.

Perhaps if we actually have a real collapse, rather than a recession, then whatever comes out of the ashes of that will be able to defeat the currently entrenched forces, and put into place a more socialized system. Sad to think that is what it would take, but it's like a swimming pool: once it starts to go south, incremental measures aren't going to fix it. It needs a shock or, to mix a metaphor, a reboot, to fix the problem.
posted by darkstar at 9:53 AM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm afraid that if we/when we have "a real collapse, rather than a recession" the US won't get lucky with another FDR. I'm afraid of something much darker.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:46 AM on May 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

There's plenty of other ways. I'm co-founder of a not-for-profit cybersecurity consultancy, and we've been so successful that we've created a bootstrap to help others do the same.

Radically Open Security and Nonprofit Ventures
posted by DreamerFi at 11:23 AM on May 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think you only need to look at the crisis of democracy that is the current EU to see the flaws in “democratic socialism”. It’s not democratic, and it’s not socialism either! Just a sickening corporatist elitist fudge.
posted by Middlemarch at 2:00 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

"Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Singularity"

This kind of summarizes and describes the overall thrust of Joe Haldeman's "Forever War."
posted by GoblinHoney at 2:33 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

The EU was never intended to be a democratic socialist ...government? It’s a series of trade agreements, central banks, and standards?
posted by The Whelk at 2:42 PM on May 3, 2019 [9 favorites]

Zmag had a whole series on left visioning, what ten years ago? I still find that relevant day to day.

One of the products was Participatory Economics, as a kind of frame for evaluation--is the economy something that we can participate in? or, why aren't people showing up to my meetings for the rev?
posted by eustatic at 5:27 PM on May 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by eviemath at 7:26 PM on May 3, 2019

It's both astounding and frightening that something can become so pervasive, so dominant, that most people can't imagine any alternative.

When children are born into slavery, how can they contemplate freedom? Even when they see other people who are free, they can't even wish that freedom could be possible for them.

The little book Capitalist Realism shines a light on this strange phenomenon and helped me understand possibilities beyond our broken and exploitative political and economic systems.
posted by ascii at 8:43 AM on May 4, 2019 [5 favorites]

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