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Well, nothing like the reality of a Trump presidency to get one writing again.
In times such as this blogging is a small comfort, something to help one sift through the fog. And so, in order to kick it in gear after a long hiatus, I’m planning to share a few block quotes from some of 2016’s best reads.
I’ll start with Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future. Mason certainly isn’t right about everything, but I think he is spot on when it comes to the future of work and how technology or the “network society” is undermining the price system and so, ultimately, capitalism itself.
According to Mason, we are in a state of transition. Further,
It can be a shock to find out capitalism has not always existed. Economists present ‘the market’ as the natural state of humanity. TV documentaries re-create in fantastic detail the Egyptian pyramids or Beijing under the emperors, but gloss over the totally different economic systems that built them. ‘They were just like us,’ dads confidently tell their kids as they wander around the Herculaneum exhibition in the British Museum – until confronted by the statue of Pan raping a goat, or the wall painting of a couple having a threesome with their slave.
When you realize that capitalism once, did not exist – either as an economy or a value system – a more shocking thought arises: it might not last for ever. If so, we have to get our heads around the concept of transitions, asking: what constitutes an economic system and how does one give way to another (217)?