Free E–pub [Postcapitalism A Guide to Our Future] ½ Paul Mason

  • Hardcover
  • 368
  • Postcapitalism A Guide to Our Future
  • Paul Mason
  • English
  • 20 October 2020
  • 9781846147388

Paul Mason ↠ 6 Summary

Free download Postcapitalism A Guide to Our Future Characters ¶ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Paul Mason Paul Mason ↠ 6 Summary Wholly newAt the heart of this change is information technology a revolution that as Mason shows has the potential to reshape utterly our familiar notions of work production and value; and to destroy an economy based on markets and private ownership in fact he contends it is already doing so Almost unnoticed in the niches and hollows of the market system whole swathes of economic life are changing Goods and services that no longer respond to the dictates of neoliberalism are appearing from parallel currencies and time banks to cooperatives and self managed online spaces Vast numbers of pe. Very good effort by the author to recap our modern history and how neoliberalism came into playHowever I wouldn t call it a Guide to Our Future as he barely ever says HOW we could do it but merely mentions the obviousI gave it 2 stars as its title was very misleading I d start by reading the last chapter first to see the author s point of view but the first chapters are very interesting economic history

Free download Postcapitalism A Guide to Our FuturePostcapitalism A Guide to Our Future

Free download Postcapitalism A Guide to Our Future Characters ¶ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Paul Mason Paul Mason ↠ 6 Summary Ople are changing their behaviour discovering new forms of ownership lending and doing business that are distinct from and contrary to the current system of state backed corporate capitalismIn this groundbreaking book Mason shows how from the ashes of the recent financial crisis we have the chance to create a socially just and sustainable global economy Moving beyond capitalism he shows is no longer a utopian dream This is the first time in human history in which euipped with an understanding of what is happening around us we can predict and shape rather than simply react to seismic chang. Paul Mason s 2015 book Postcapitalism A Guide to Our Future provides a striking visualization of a possible exit from the disasters of our current capitalist world system to something else a life affirming empathetic creativity fostering and fun world of cooperative progress But before we get there we need to manage a couple of problems that capitalism has created for us which present as the title to Mason s penultimate chapter suggests a rational case for panic And mind you this book was published before the United States elected a mentally disordered narcissist with the vocabulary of a 4 year old as its President These problems are of course climate change debt overhang demographic dynamics and automationThe picture that Mason paints is starkly visible at the beginning of the twenty first century How will we possibly exit from an apparently inevitable conveyor belt to carbon pollution oblivion How will an aging population maintain social peace How will the reign of fiat money end How will we earn a living when information and the products made from information have zero marginal cost For me Mason s book is marred by a really irrelevant homage to Marx s labour theory of value Irrelevant because what Mason visualizes is closer to the end visualized in Keynes s Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren than that in Capital It is actually closer to the picture that a young Marx painted in the Grundrisse in the famous Fragment on Capital and then ignored or abandoned in Capital This is the problem that if machines become fully implemented in our economy there becomes less and less need for the labour that Marx and Mason imagine is the source of value But let s get to those problems that capitalism has thrown at us first Climate Change The scariest problem is clearly climate change According to the International Panel on Climate Change our climate has warmed by approximately one degree Centigrade since the beginning of the twentieth century That is nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit The World Resources Institute projects that 90% of coral reefs will be in danger by 2030 and all of them by 2050 due to ocean warming and acidification Sea level rise is has recently been projected at over 8 feet by 2100 resulting from melting of land ice in the polar regions These changes will clearly have devastating effects the lives of those that follow us The oceans provide livelihood for tens of millions of us Our coastal cities will need total rebuilding or abandonment as sea levels rise These problems are already happening What can be done to prevent them from doing the most damageThe average carbon dioxide concentration in our planet s atmosphere just reached 400 parts per million See here US Department of Energy measurements of ice cores have shown that Earth s atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration had not been greater than 300 parts per million for 800000 years prior to 1950 Almost all climate scientists that are not working for the fossil fuel industry understand that global warming sea level rise and ocean acidification are due to burning of fossil fuels which transform reduced carbon buried millions of years ago into carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas It is the burning of fossil fuel that causes global warming sea level rise and ocean acidification There is no other cause that accounts for the effects that we have seen See the IPCC reports for example or US EPA pages put together before they are deleted by the Trump administrationThis is a really scary prospect and it is clear that capitalism is the reason it is so difficult to manage Why Simply because capitalism is based on a system of free trade and free enterprise that ignores externalities In a pure capitalist state there is no penalty for dumping pollution into the commons In such a world the capitalist makes a rational case that the long term damage done to others will not come back to harm him leaving him free to enjoy the profits from his investments in the short term Of course as Karl Polanyi made clear such pure capitalism could not long exist The horrors of Dickens s Victorian Age for the poor have since his time been ameliorated to some extent by countervailing actions in the public interest by governments The problem with climate change is that the interventions reuired to curb it are staunchly resisted by the owners of fossil fuel companies who have in the past been subsidized by these same governments and have sufficient power to influence these governments to not take actions that clearly are needed to avert catastropheMason has a clear vision of the problem He references the International Energy Administration which writesPolicy choices and market developments that bring the share of fossil fuels in primary energy demand down to just under three uarters in 2040 are not enough to stem the rise in energy related carbon dioxide CO2 emissions which grow by one fifth This puts the world on a path consistent with a long term global average temperature increase of 36 C The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that in order to limit this temperature increase to 2 C the internationally agreed goal to avert the most severe and widespread implications of climate change the world cannot emit than around 1000 gigatonnes of CO2 from 2014 onwards This entire budget will be used up by 2040 in our central scenario Since emissions are not going to drop suddenly to zero once this point is reached it is clear that the 2 C objective reuires urgent action to steer the energy system on to a safer pathThe same IEA document estimates that world wide fossil fuel subsidies in 2014 were 550 billion four times than subsidies for renewable energy sourcesSo how will this possibly not end badly Well Mason is not convinced that market solutions like carbon taxes will be effective in ameliorating the worst conseuences of climate change What then He writesHowever to meet the critical emissions targets we are going to have to use some centralized control Governments at state and regional level will need to take control and probably ownership of all big carbon producers As the energy distribution grid becomes smart using technology to predict and balance supply with demand it makes sense for the grid to be a public resourceTo this I say Here here but based on personal experience trying to convince a status uo clinging community to purchase its own electrical distribution infrastructure from a fossil fuel giant is a daunting task and this much less than trying to socialize the failing energy companies themselves Demographics and Government Debt Mason points out that the world s populations are aging fastGlobally the population of older people to those of working age will increase In 1950 5 percent of the world s population was over sixty five by mid twenty first century it will be 17 percent the crucial problem is the age dependency ratio the number of retired people compared to the number of those of working age In Europe and Japan there are currently three workers for every one retired person By 2050 the ratio will be one for one And though most developing countries will continue to have mainly young populations China bucks the trend due to its one child policy By 2015 China will be the oldest of the big economies in the world with a projected median age of fifty threeThe problem that Mason sees is that debt overhang caused he thinks by replacement of the gold standard by fiat money has been part of a run up in stock market pricing that cannot continue resulting in great threat to pension funds With an aging population and slower growth and a smaller workforce this seems a spiral to impoverishment With than 50 percent of all private pension money invested in government debt 40 percent of this foreign owned No matter how safe a company pension fund looks now if 60 percent of all countries bonds become junk so that to lend to them becomes a crazy proposition the private pension system will not survive He says Are you panicking rationally yet The Four Waves and Wayward Bolsheviks Mason is very fond of the Soviet economist Nikolai Kondratieff executed by firing suad in his cell in a Stalinist prison in 1938 Kondradieff sreal crime in the eyes of his persecutors was to think the unthinkable about capitalism that instead of collapsing under crisis capitalism generally adopts and mutates In two pioneering works of data mining he showed that beyond short term business cycles there is evidence of a longer fifty year pattern whose turning points coincide with major structural changes within capitalism and major conflicts Thus these moments of extreme crisis and survival were not evidence of chaos but of order Kondratieff was the first person to show the existence of long waves in economic historyMason sees four major waves in modern capitalism up to our current fifth era1 1790 1848 The rise of the factory system with steam powered machinery and canals Peaking and then leading to the depression of the 1820s2 1848 1890s Railways the telegraph ocean going steamers stable currencies and machine produced machinery set the cycle into upwards motion The wave peaks in the 1870s with financial crisis in the United States and a Long Depression 1873 96 in Europe3 1890s 1945 Heavy industry electrical engineering scientific management and mass production start a new wave upwards The break occurs at the end of the first world war leading to hyperinflation in Germany and the Great Depression4 Late 1940s 2008 Synthetic materials mass consumer goods factory automation nuclear power and computing start les trente glorieuses The peak is the oil shock of 1973 leading to a period of instability5 Late 1990s to present Overlapping with the previous wave network technology mobile communications truly global marketplace and information goods start a new wave upwards But it this cycle has stalled according to Mason who thinks it will not lead to a new wave without a structural change to capitalismMason is well schooled on Kondradieff and clearly admires him along with other wayward Bolsheviks like Trotsky and Alexander Bogdanov Bogdanov was the author of the vintage sci fi novel Red Star about a world on Mars where there are no labor shortages and no money an early visualization of a postcapitalist world He was a founding member of the Bolshevik party who was ousted after a disagreement with Lenin Mason says of him Though he could not imagine a computer he had imagined the kind of communism that society based on mental labor sustainability and networked thought might produce What a thought The Robots A good part of Mason s book in especially the important 5th chapter The Prophets of Postcapitalism is devoted to visualizing what happens in our societies as machines become smarter and capable to the extent that livelihoods based on unskilled human labor become untenable Mason discusses important contributors to analysis of this subject by Peter Drucker Schumpter Paul Romer and Marx especially an apparently anachronistic work of his youth from the Grundrisse The Fragment on Machines I will just discuss the latter In this fragment contained in the collection of notes for a future work Marx addresses the uestion of what would happen if the tendency of machines to replace manual labour were extended to its logical conclusion a world without labourThis fragment starts out mixed up in Marx s current version of the labour theory of value roughly that Ricardo s three factors of production land labour and capital really boiled down to just labour neglecting land given by nature the story goes since it takes labour to make machines and build capital But then Marx saysFurther in so far as machinery develops with the accumulation of society s science of productive force generally general social labour presents itself not in labour but in capital The productive force of society is measured in fixed capital exists there in its objective form and inversely the productive force of capital grows with this general progress which capital appropriates free of chargeSo what happens when information general progress is free and machines can make themselves as well as all of the products that you may want He says Capital thus works towards its own dissolution as the form dominating production What replaces capital and remember Marx still sees fixed capital as consisting of labour is information the general progress of science which can be owned by no oneMason sees this as somehow explained by the labour theory of value I will address my puzzlement and appreciation at this in what follows The Labour Theory Chapter 6 of Mason s book presents his extended remarks on the labour theory of value LTV In the words of Adam SmithIt was not by gold or by silver but by labour that all of the wealth of the world was originally purchased and its value to those who possess it and who want to exchange it for some new productions is precisely eual to the uantity of labour which it can enable them to purchase or commandMason admits that Smith assumes that this labour only theory of value applied to primitive societies and that in the newly industrializing world of Smith s late 18th century it was rather a combination of land labour and capital that produced things of value But he insists that Smith was rather being inconsistent He gives the standard paragraph on Ricardo s theory saying that Ricardo who had witnessed the great upsurge of the factory system ridiculed the idea that machines were the source of increased wealth Machines merely transfer their value to the product only labour adds new valueWalras who strongly contradicted Ricardo s LTV is mentioned not for his insistence on scarcity as the source of value which he and I think was his major contribution but as one of the founders of the marginal utility school which is the basis for most all of the economics that followed Actually Walras pointed out that Ricardo had admitted that scarcity had an impact on the value of certain types of products like works of art and fine wines His critiue of Ricardo was not that he was wrong for these types of products but that he failed to see that scarcity is involved in the valuation of ALL products I have discussed the LTV in another post The figure above comes from that post The figure derives from Alfred Marshall s famous economics textbook The various elements of the chart are explained in that prior post I want to point out just one thing about this here The chart shows a demand curve and supply curves assuming different types of return on scale The important thing to note is that the pure LTV has a horizontal supply curve the uantity of labour is the only thing that determines the cost of production according to this pure theory So the price that would be commanded in the market is indifferent to demand If we were producing a product that no one wanted the value of that product by the pure LTV would be the same as if it were in great demand Clearly we know that this is not the case A product that no one wants has no value no matter how much labour went into making it Marx of course was also aware of this objection To get around it he developed an ingenious ruse in my view the concept of socially necessary labour time The basic idea is that the value of a product is the cost of labour to produce it only for products that have social value and includes all of the other things that went into its production Except that Marx assumes that land has not value and that capital is only stored labour So he gets back to labour as the source of all value And a demand curve is smuggled in by the back doorMason explains socially necessary labour time by exampleIf we know what an hour of basic labour costs in Bangladesh the minimum wage pays about 28 US cents an hour we can express it in money Here I will just stick to hours Two things contribute to the value of a commodity a the work done in the production process which includes marketing research design etc and b everything else machinery plant raw materials etc Both can be measured in terms of the amount of labour time they containAgain the assumption here is that land raw materials energy and capital have no value since they are all assumed to be the product of labour alone A brilliant idea except that it seems to me to be a simple example of petitio principii the fallacy of assuming as a premise a statement which has the same meaning as the conclusion Labour is the source of all value because labour is the source of all value This apparent fallacy becomes all the striking since elsewhere in Mason s book he uses the vocabulary of the marginal revolution in making his case that information processing presents us with the prospect of machines that last forever as had been anticipated by Marx in the Fragment on Machines A result of that would be that stuff created by those machines would have zero marginal cost Let s forget the irony for the moment of using insights from the marginal cost revolution of the late nineteenth century to defend a theory of value from the 18th century But this is the crux of Mason s argumentFor the rest of the review see my blog or the comment below

Characters ¶ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Paul Mason

Free download Postcapitalism A Guide to Our Future Characters ¶ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Paul Mason Paul Mason ↠ 6 Summary From Paul Mason the award winning Channel 4 presenter Postcapitalism is a guide to our era of seismic economic change and how we can build a eual society Over the past two centuries or so capitalism has undergone continual change economic cycles that lurch from boom to bust and has always emerged transformed and strengthened Surveying this turbulent history Paul Mason wonders whether today we are on the brink of a change so big so profound that this time capitalism itself the immensely complex system by which entire societies function has reached its limits and is changing into something. By Kate DuguidPaul Mason is that rare creature a left wing optimist He isn t mourning the death of labor power or the rise of machines That s because the two have converged to kill off capitalism Well nearly The British journalist reckons we are close enough to a new order that he has eschewed the hyphen in the title of his new book Postcapitalism Mason is right to uestion whether our current system can handle the looming prospects of climate change long term wage stagnation and sovereign debt crises But his argument that information technology has halted the march of global capital is less convincingThe self described Guide to Our Future has a clear destination 21st century socialism The prescription is partly heterodox free public goods and a guaranteed basic income and partly open source evangelism But Mason won t say exactly how to get there who s taking us or how we ll pay for all the free stuffEver since Karl Marx first spelled out the inherent contradictions he believed would lead to capitalism s inexorable demise the system has defied predictions of imminent collapse It has adapted to downturns and demographic shifts Companies have leveraged technology to create new markets even as other industries dissolved But Mason argues that this chaotic process of constant renewal is now at an end because of two factors the near obliteration of labor power and the nature of the information economyHis labor argument is fairly straightforward When workers had bargaining power workplace innovations created growth If owners of capital tried to cut costs by exploiting employees resistance to wage suppression forced them to pioneer new business models instead But the decline of workers power since the 1980s has led to wage stagnation and low value production in the developed world stalling capitalist ingenuityIt s a stretch to state that the era which gave us the iPhone hasn t been innovative But making machines doesn t matter so much to Mason In the information technology economy the real value isn t in the device but in the knowledge it collects Though Google s main product is its search engine the company derives its worth from the data that users provide when searching for stuff onlineThe marginal cost of these digital packets is close to zero But Google can profit off that information because intellectual property laws allow the company to own it and not share it publicly The same goes for Apple and its 99 cent digital music downloadsIn other words capitalist ownership makes information the basic resource of our current economy artificially scarce even though it is infinitely reproducible The contradiction of attempting to control resources that are abundant and created by input from the public is one that capitalism can t solve For Mason this threatens the whole systemHe points to open source projects like Wikipedia or Linux as alternatives to corporate control The dream is that these projects are the vanguards for a whole system of collaborative projects powered by the voluntary labor of the revolutionary class Yet such examples of online altruism are vastly outnumbered by hyper capitalist Silicon Valley startups that have sucked up billions of dollars of investment by promising to disrupt industries from taxi hailing to hotelsMason s agents of change the digitally networked and highly educated may be creating value for free every time they share a video on Facebook or perform a Google search But that loosening of the relationship between wages and labor looks like an adaptation rather than a subversion of capitalism Claims that the influx of technology into the workplace has decreased the need for human labor also don t stand up to scrutiny US labor productivity hasn t spiked in the past two decades perhaps because offshore workers are still cheaper than some machines or because corporate earnings are returned to shareholders rather than reinvestedTruly cooperative alternatives to corporate distribution may remain sparse until robots really do begin to save us some labor time Even then it s an open uestion whether our connectedness and high levels of education will provoke public intolerance for stagnation exploitation and climate destruction And if they do the path from online solidarity doesn t lead straight to open source sharing In the era of Edward Snowden widespread publication of personal data may be a hard sell Postcapitalism doesn t look like the blueprint for whatever follows the current phase of capitalism but its urgency in the face of potentially apocalyptic change is important in itself Selected Poems undergone continual change economic cycles that lurch from boom to bust and has always emerged transformed and strengthened Surveying this turbulent history Paul Mason wonders whether today we are on the brink of a change so big so profound that this time capitalism itself the immensely complex system by which entire societies function has reached its limits and is changing into something. By Kate DuguidPaul Mason is that rare creature a left wing optimist He isn t mourning the death of labor power or the rise of machines That s because the two have converged to kill off capitalism Well nearly The British journalist reckons we are close enough to a new order that he has eschewed the hyphen in the title of his new book Postcapitalism Mason is right to Takeout Menu Organizer us or how we ll pay for all the free stuffEver since Karl Marx first spelled out the inherent contradictions he believed would lead to capitalism s inexorable demise the system has defied predictions of imminent collapse It has adapted to downturns and demographic shifts Companies have leveraged technology to create new markets even as other industries dissolved But Mason argues that this chaotic process of constant renewal is now at an end because of two factors the near obliteration of labor power and the nature of the information economyHis labor argument is fairly straightforward When workers had bargaining power workplace innovations created growth If owners of capital tried to cut costs by exploiting employees resistance to wage suppression forced them to pioneer new business models instead But the decline of workers power since the 1980s has led to wage stagnation and low value production in the developed world stalling capitalist ingenuityIt s a stretch to state that the era which gave Secrets from the Grave St Martin's True Crime Library us the iPhone hasn t been innovative But making machines doesn t matter so much to Mason In the information technology economy the real value isn t in the device but in the knowledge it collects Though Google s main product is its search engine the company derives its worth from the data that Færeyinga Saga Íslensk úrvalsrit 13 users provide when searching for stuff onlineThe marginal cost of these digital packets is close to zero But Google can profit off that information because intellectual property laws allow the company to own it and not share it publicly The same goes for Apple and its 99 cent digital music downloadsIn other words capitalist ownership makes information the basic resource of our current economy artificially scarce even though it is infinitely reproducible The contradiction of attempting to control resources that are abundant and created by input from the public is one that capitalism can t solve For Mason this threatens the whole systemHe points to open source projects like Wikipedia or Linux as alternatives to corporate control The dream is that these projects are the vanguards for a whole system of collaborative projects powered by the voluntary labor of the revolutionary class Yet such examples of online altruism are vastly outnumbered by hyper capitalist Silicon Valley startups that have sucked Begin Again Now up billions of dollars of investment by promising to disrupt industries from taxi hailing to hotelsMason s agents of change the digitally networked and highly educated may be creating value for free every time they share a video on Facebook or perform a Google search But that loosening of the relationship between wages and labor looks like an adaptation rather than a subversion of capitalism Claims that the influx of technology into the workplace has decreased the need for human labor also don t stand The European Guilds up to scrutiny US labor productivity hasn t spiked in the past two decades perhaps because offshore workers are still cheaper than some machines or because corporate earnings are returned to shareholders rather than reinvestedTruly cooperative alternatives to corporate distribution may remain sparse Destiny until robots really do begin to save Let the Storm Break us some labor time Even then it s an open Instructors Resource Guide with Test Bank for Criminal Justice Today urgency in the face of potentially apocalyptic change is important in itself