Life beyond capitalism

August 12, 2017 0 By Michel Santi

The economy is no longer a job supplier. This paradigm has now come to pass because, in the era of globalisation and the financialisation of our economies, growth no longer goes hand in hand with honourable and fairly paid work but for a minority. The subprime crisis came about fundamentally due to huge loans given out to middle class households in order to give them the illusion that they could maintain their standard of living.

Since then, we have understood that it is now no longer possible to live under the illusion that the gradual increase of our incomes would allow us to live better than our parents, and our children better than us. Since then, we have realised that the middle class – the pillar of our modern democracies – have been taking a beating from these illegitimate debts which have been encouraged by policies in order to maintain social harmony, and which have been lavished by the financial world in order to boost its profits. Capitalism, today, is tearing apart at the seams and is no longer able to produce stable growth, at best presenting deadly episodes marked by the implosions of speculative bubbles.

It is now more than ever time to find an alternative for it, especially given that our economies are now becoming more and more built on the free exchange of information, which is completely incompatible with classical capitalism whose raison d’être is profit, and the means of achieving it is competition. It is therefore urgent to construct an economy which would no longer be based – or based only – on markets and prices. An economy which wouldn’t prevent those who want to work from doing so, but which would also set aside a bigger and bigger number of people to accomplish tasks that robots are now becoming more and more capable of doing. This labour value, deeply rooted in our identity, must now be desacralised.

It would no longer be obligatory to accept degrading tasks. Voluntary work would be ardently endorsed. Personal fulfilment would no longer be owed to work. Material insecurity would finally be eradicated. Robotisation would benefit everybody, not just a miniscule number of people. The left and the right would understand that capitalism is not productive anymore. That it is in fact strictly no longer necessary to produce in this post-capitalist economy of ours, where money has lost its central role and where goods such as information can now be exchanged.

Is it naive to wish for this unbridled capitalism to be gradually replaced by an era of collaboration between economic agents?