A 'Big Picture' Blog
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It is inevitable there will be both reactionary pro-capitalist critiques of Paul Mason's theory of PostCapitalism, along with anti-capitalist views frothing in his support. There are too many beneficiaries of the system in the first case, and too few articulate anti-capitalists around, after all, in the second.
To me his theories are devoid of specifics for mid-wiving an otherwise laudable post-capitalist vision, and therefore, more resembles dreaming, not to say fantasy, than prescription. I have real concern over his giddy optimism, and facing the daily capitalist grind of body and soul, I am tempted to say distracting optimism, bordering on 'laissez-faire' delusion—the revolution is already in progress, ye workers of the world, he seems to be saying, techno-determinism has replaced.dialectical materialism, just sit back and enjoy the ride. I'm afraid throwing in a few 'we must do this' and 'the state must do that' hardly mitigates this giddy obfuscation of class war and the more sanguine approaches to overthrowing capitalism. Hoping nicely, what dear Mason seems to be doing, albeit emphatically, doesn't bring about change any more successfully than anything else that has previously failed.
Ask the capitalist machine if they are ready to give up property, monopoly, and extractive profit for a network of peers and a 'project zero' transformation. Ask the governments they own, their wholly or partially owned subsidiaries pretending to act for 'the people,' whether they will not shoot you dead in the street rather than allow the dissolution of capitalism, bloodless or otherwise. As for his 'new man' notion, this seems to me the self-serving 'be the change you want to see in the world,' (something Gandhi never said, by the way), which egotistically and vainly supposes that personal lifestyle choices somehow mysteriously aggregate into social determinism, a fantasy to be sure.