Any new thinking that is described by The Telegraph as "deeply misguided" must be worth at least a second look and that's certainly the case for postcapitalist theory. Paul Mason's book, published in early 2016 sets out its stall and offers a variety of perspectives - economically, socially and politically - arguaing the case that it is time to move forward and adopt new models. Mason's conclusions point to a point in time when we should be seeking ways of ushering in the postcapitalist economy by :
- Ditching neoliberalism
- Suppressing high finance
- Reversing austerity
- Investing in green energy
- Promoting high waged work
Paul Mason says "Once capitalism can no longer adopt to technological change, postcapitalism becomes necessary. We need a coherent project based on reason, evidence and testable designs, one that cuts with the grain of economic history and is sustainable in terms of our planet. And we need to get on with it."
Paul outlines ideas for a new holistic model, one that eschews high finance, low wages, secrecy, militarism, intellectual property, carbon-based energy, the 'democracy' of riot squads, corrupt politicians, magnate-controlled newspapers, the survelliance state, shareholder profit as a primary motivator and replaces it with something more dynamic, based around a new kins of human being who is educated and connected. Work done at the design stage can reduce mistakes in the implementation stage, using a modular project design ethos.
"The network effect" .. the more people join the network, the more useful it becomes to everybody. The new communication networks put the means of production into the hands of many people. They can blog, make movies, distribute them, self-publish e-books and create a million-strong audience before the traditional publishers know they even exist. Stuff that human beings value can now be done by individuals who interact with each other socially rather than as market actors through the price system. This leads to the rise of non-market mechanisms via decentralised action by individuals working through co-operatives and voluntary forms of organisation and creates new forms of 'peer to peer' economics - money is either absent or not the main measure of value.
Collaborative production comes to the fore, there are no property or management hierarchies.