Postcapitalism – A Guide to Our Future – Paul Mason

Discussed July 2018, review by Sue Kortlandt September 2018

A very dense book, closely argued, so it needed a fair bit of concentration.  It starts from the premise that neoliberalism is broken and capitalism is failing, and that we have to transition to a postcapitalist project.

The first part of the book explains in detail the history of capitalism, from the earliest machines, workers moving from the land to factories, through to the information revolution.    Mason’s historical perspective, descriptions and analysis are convincing and paint a very believable picture, not just of the past, but the reasons why capitalism in its current form may not be able to adapt to changes brought about by new technology and external shocks, especially climate change.

In part 2, he puts forward the possibility of a postcapitalist project, built around networking on a grand scale, the sharing economy and struggles against hierarchies.  He calls this a transition, and there are the germs of an alternative, but it seems very open-ended – a work in progress.

A thought-provoking book, not easy but worth reading.