Sometimes The Guardian gets things so right, but other times they get things oh so wrong that one wonders what substance they are abusing now. This is one of those oh so wrong times: The end of capitalism has begun
Image Credit: Welcome to an age of sharing. Illustration by Joe Magee
Not that they are (perhaps I should say ‘he is’, Paul Mason, the writer of this piece) wrong about the end of Capitalism, the writing has been on the wall for that for quite some time. But you can’t end ‘something‘ and then call whatever replaces it ‘post-something‘. It neither makes sense nor grabs the attention. It simply means ‘what comes after‘ or ‘the absence of‘ something, which could well mean ‘nothing‘.
‘Nothingism‘, is that what we are being led to expect?
There has to be a meaningful name for what comes after Capitalism …and it has to be a real something, not an absence of something. What could it be?
Well, I will tell you what it won’t be. It won’t be anything even remotely like what this article suggests, which is a Techno Utopia where through the wonders of Information Technology nobody has to work. It’s all automated, don’t you know. And don’t expect to see the proposed ‘new kind of human being’ slated in the article. I wouldn’t be holding my breath to see the dream neighbour, the ideal friend, or beautiful people everywhere, or what he calls a ‘sharing economy‘.
Does this guy not know that with the collapse of the Capitalist paradigm, already teetering, and whatever it is (I can think of a number of things, acting jointly or severally) that provides the impetus to pass the necessary tipping-point-of-no-return, everything else (society, commerce, finance, economy, industry, agriculture, you name it…) will inevitably collapse in a heap as well.
In that very same moment, Information Technology will become a historical concept, fondly remembered for a short while and then forgotten completely and forever. Technology – the same. Jobs – the same. Money – the same. Processed Food – the same. Take-away – the same. Everything, physical or virtual, made by the current society – the same.
So, where is the Techno Utopia spoken of in this article going to come from? Listen carefully – IT ISN’T COMING.
Maybe I hit the nail on the head earlier when I flippantly suggested that the next new thing would be Nothingism. No, that can’t be. But what’s a word that describes living simply, living locally, producing your own food-shelter-clothing, caring for and sharing with your nearby friends and neighbours, your local community? I’m not sure there is a name for that. Localism? Maybe. It doesn’t seem to cover everything I am envisaging. Sharingism? Maybe. Whatever that is. There would have to be a more fitting, less forced, word that carried the same meaning.
Maybe there doesn’t need to be a name. Maybe it’s the end of -isms.