Although we may not realize it, some experts suggest that we might already be living in a post-capitalist society where the capitalist system, which dates back to the 19th century, no longer exists. While we can’t know this with absolute certainty, there are some interesting developments that could indicate such an economic shift has already occurred or will occur in the near future. Read on to learn more about why this change might have occurred and what it means for your current way of life.
Living in a Post-Capitalist Society: What Does it Mean for Us? – by Maxwell Alexander, MA, BFA, BS, EIC, Hudson Valley Style Magazine
The birth of post-capitalism
Post-capitalism is an economic and social system that is supposed to be free from the grip of capitalism. It’s the idea that capitalism, as we know it, is coming to an end. The first time this term was used was by Guy Standing when he talked about post-capitalist society in 1989. He said that society would be less market-driven than it is today. In this new post-capitalist society, people will have more control over their lives and what they do with their time. This idea has been evolving ever since, with thinkers like Erik Olin Wright and Robert Reich proposing new ways of structuring the economy based on innovation and the common good rather than the accumulation of profit. Although, in my opinion, philosophers of the past could not fully predict what kind of impact advances in technology and the final technology of all technologies (Artificial Intelligence) will have on human civilization.
One way post-capitalism can come about is through deliberate creation or crisis which we see left and right wherever we go nowadays. Another way post-capitalism can happen is through disruptive technologies such as 3D printing and AI which provide alternatives to current production practices. These technologies disrupt capitalist markets by driving down costs for both inputs and outputs, threatening capitalists’ power to demand high prices for goods in return for production loans – money needed to get started in the business. Disruption also creates opportunities for workers who are displaced during periods of rapid technological change because they find themselves without the skills required by the new workplace. Will they need to participate in any sort of productive work though when the whole concept of money/capital is becoming irrelevant and wouldn’t they need to focus on more creative endeavors than slaving away in factories and offices?
The key features of post-capitalism
Post-capitalism is hard to define because the term is so broad, but there are some key features. One is that it’s seen as the successor of capitalism or at least an alternative system to capitalism. The second is that it has less emphasis on ownership and property. The third key feature of post-capitalism is that it has less emphasis on the traditional idea of work. Instead, the idea of a post-capitalist society includes cooperative production, collaborative consumption, and the ever-increasing value of creativity and innovation. However, this does not mean post-capitalist societies do not have inequalities or hierarchies. Some theorists suggest that rather than owning things we should think about what we can access and how much time we want to spend with those things. A post-capitalist society might include more focus on human needs rather than capitalist needs (needs like food, shelter, health care, wellness, and education). Another way to think about a post-capitalist society is one where resources are shared equally among all people, although not in the same way as it was outlined in socialist philosophy.
The benefits of post-capitalism
The end of capitalism may be near, but that doesn’t mean that our world will descend into chaos. There are many benefits to living in a post-capitalist society, including more free time, less poverty, and the ability to do work you enjoy and create without limitations. It’s important to understand that the transition from capitalism will not happen overnight and we should try to prepare for the future ahead of time rather than waiting for something bad to happen. Transitioning from a capitalist society to one without can take years or even decades so it is important to start thinking about what that might look like now. For example, this could include building stronger communities with stronger bonds between people and making sure everyone has enough access to the things they need (shelter, food), and of course, supporting art in all of its forms.
The challenges of post-capitalism
Post-capitalism is an ambiguous term. It can be interpreted as the end of capitalism or a new form of capitalism that is not based on private ownership of means of production. One thing is clear, however; with post-capitalism, there will still be capital, but what kind of capital will be powering the new Creative Economy? We are trying to figure out what that means and what implications it has. Some people argue that a post-capitalist society will be better because everyone would have equal access to resources. Others say that without private property rights and competition, societies won’t have innovation or growth. There’s also the question of how we would know if we’re living in one. The answer could come from looking at how technology affects work in our society. If jobs become more automated because of technology then this could lead to unemployment which makes it hard to measure economic growth through GDP. The economic systems and the metrics we are currently using are obsolete when it comes to describing post-capitalist society. I’d say that happiness could be an amazing and easily measurable metric that could describe one’s success. Currently, the United States is among some of the unhappiest countries in the World, so there is definitely something to think about.
It seems as though if we are living in a post-capitalist society, the potential ramifications are rather significant. Eliminating wage labor and restructuring our economies so that most necessities are free or heavily subsidized, means that people don’t need to work as much and thus have more leisure time on average. This is where the Creative Capital will start growing like crazy because it’s generated and owned by human beings that have been freed from financial slavery. Are we there yet? Not quite, however, we are getting there slowly, but surely!