Where next for capitalism?

Dawn Foster reviews Paul Mason & Matt Ridley

Is the rise of technology strengthening capitalism or tearing it down? Dawn Foster reviews two new books PostCapitalism, by Paul Mason and The Evolution of Everything, by Matt Ridley.

This piece is from the Winter 2015 issue of New Humanist magazine, which is out now. Reposted with permission. 


In 2008, as Lehman Brothers collapsed, Paul Mason was weaving between the limos, satellite trucks, sacked bankers and bodyguards outside the headquarters in Wall Street. Mason was then economics editor at BBC’s Newsnight: his cameraman wanted to film him “amidst the chaos”. Mason’s latest book, PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, written seven years on, argues that capitalism as an idea is bloated and exhausted, with little power left to continue.

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Mason’s argument rests on the belief that the rise of technology – specifically computers and social media – has undermined traditional capitalist structures. He writes about the emergence of the “networked individual” permanently plugged into the internet, easily able to organise online and grasp complex theories due to immediate access to knowledge. Twinned with the catastrophes of the global banking crisis, climate change and a looming demographic time bomb, this is triggering a transformation from capitalism to “post-capitalism”. Continue reading Where next for capitalism?