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Postcapitalism - Paul Mason

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http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2015/aug/12/paul-mason-capitalism-failing-time-to-panic-video?CMP=share_btn_tw

The neoliberalist capitalist model has resulted in civil wars and economic disaster, and it’s only going to get worse. Unless, Paul Mason argues, we take advantage of the technological revolution we are living through and create a postcapitalist sharing society. If we let prices fall and delink work from wages, we can save the world from disaster

Discuss...........

(as a trivial, or perhaps not, aside I wonder if Mr Mason shares his labour with Channel 4 news for free. I'm guessing not but may be wrong)

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http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2015/aug/12/paul-mason-capitalism-failing-time-to-panic-video?CMP=share_btn_tw

Discuss...........

(as a trivial, or perhaps not, aside I wonder if Mr Mason shares his labour with Channel 4 news for free. I'm guessing not but may be wrong)

Sry, can't watch the viddy, but can you define what neoliberal capitalism exactly means??

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"It is only this way that we can save capitalism itself"

Man, capitalism needs saving? It just exists by itself and quite neatly compared to any alternative outcomes after various state interventions. I understand there are all sorts of more or less romantic ideas to supplant market based redistribution of resources, but the history teaches us that leaving to the market as much as reasonably possible (except enforcement of property rights and a few other things that cannot be exactly privatised) has always created the best outcome for society. Examples to the contrary (a.k.a. the road to serfdom by Hayek) are abound.

Edited by Meerkat

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Sry, can't watch the viddy, but can you define what neoliberal capitalism exactly means??

The "current system".

I don't really want to chip in my personal view 'cause 1. It ain't relevant 2. I'm not a fan of "this time it's different" narratives.....

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I think to a large extent he is correct. But how to facilitate trade between nations if capitalism does not exist to set the pricing mechanism of exchange.

I do feel that at the heart of the problem is the fact that in all the economic models 'labour' fulfils 2 roles that aren't properly split out and therefore is simply seen as a battle between them and the capital holders for a split of the spoils of production....rather than the object of demand.

The 2 roles should be seen distinctly as (1) labour in competition with other means of production such as labour elsewhere or machines.

(2) the object of demand

Whilst we hold onto the idea of competition in (1) driving the object of demand in (2) we will see the ongoing underperformance and eventual failure of capitalism itself. We are seeing the end results of this in real time as the markets for luxury have burgeoned whilst the spending power for the rest has collapsed and the growth of value stores. And we witness government holding to old theories by forcing people and paying them to take up very low value work....less than the total pay it generates.

Hence why I have always supported a means of re-balancing demand away from those individuals who fail to trade in balance with their fellow man and that the best means to achieve this is via a land or wealth tax and a citizens' income. Ideally underpinned with full reserve banking so the money supply is not constrained by credit creation which simply reinforces inequalities.

It is only this way that we can save capitalism itself which requires an interest rate, a price to help us focus scarce resources (I believe that is still needed despite what Mason says) and to restore demand in the economy. I believe we don't lack demand, we lack the means to pay for it.

What you describe would be not post-capitalism, but post-rentierism.

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Postcapitalist sharing society.....should start with large public sector organisations, why some related departments do not talk to each other, never mind sharing resources, political parties are exactly the same.....same for large corporates or families for that matter.......the same or like to think they are, but all in competition with each other........make a start with sorting that. ;)

Edit: Listened to it, makes some very good points....change is happening and will continue to do so....those with power and influence are trying with all their power and might to see they will not come out losing in all this.....but in the end numbers do matter,inequality does matter, education, research, connection and collective power will override the resistance......only time will tell, the journey has begun, no turning back.

Edited by winkie

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Man, capitalism needs saving? It just exists by itself and quite neatly compared to any alternative outcomes after various state interventions. I understand there are all sorts of more or less romantic ideas to supplant market based redistribution of resources, but the history teaches us that leaving to the market as much as reasonably possible (enforcing property rights and a few other things that cannot be exactly privatised) has always created the best outcome for society. Examples to the contrary (a.k.a. the road to serfdom by Hayek) are abound.

"market based redistribution of resources...enforcing property rights and a few other things...best outcome for society"?

You need to explain that as it makes no consistent sense.

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Have you not been following the numbers since about 1979?

I think Errol answered your question if I understood it correctly. To point towards various state interventions as a failure of the market is absurd, wouldn't you agree?

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The "current system".

I don't really want to chip in my personal view 'cause 1. It ain't relevant 2. I'm not a fan of "this time it's different" narratives.....

It's not capitalism we have. It's interventionism. That's the current system - the problem is not "capitalism" part of it, but "neoliberal" side that has distorted markets. To really discuss capitalism one would need to strip off various state monstrosities that capitalists proper need to tackle these days. The main reason the current model has managed to survive so far pretty much unscathed is not despite capitalism, but exactly because of it. The governments have been lucky because of the technological advancements and increase in the productivity of the private sector.

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We haven't had anything near to capitalism in the US/UK for a long time, so the entire premise of Mason's work is wrong.

On the contrary, I'd argue we've had an effective free market (neoliberal) system since the mid 60s. Reckless money creation and speculation in unregulated Eurodollar markets led to the inevitable collapse of Bretton Woods in 1971 and that decade's subsequent stagflation was used to further advance and entrench the ideology of laissez faire and globalisation in the 1980/90s. The erroneous belief that markets and economies self-correct if given sufficient central bank support is merely a New Keynesian magnification of the original crisis.

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"market based redistribution of resources...enforcing property rights and a few other things...best outcome for society"?

You need to explain that as it makes no consistent sense.

Yes, sorry, "except" went missing in front of "enforcing". Thanks for pointing it out.

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On the contrary, I'd argue we've had an effective free market (neoliberal) system since the mid 60s. Reckless money creation and speculation in unregulated Eurodollar markets led to the inevitable collapse of Bretton Woods in 1971 and that decade's subsequent stagflation was used to further advance and entrench the ideology of laissez faire and globalisation in the 1980/90s. The erroneous belief that markets and economies self-correct if given sufficient central bank support is merely a New Keynesian magnification of the original crisis.

Well, laissez faire... how can you call state intervention in the means of exchange system laissez faire? To facilitate government inflationary policies and deficit spending by abandoning last shackles of a free market money system is the fault of laissez faire that actually asks anything to do with the economy to be left alone? Crony capitalism is not not a synonym to laissez faire.

Edit: Find the seminal Greenspan's essay (disregard what he did 20yrs on... power corrupts) from 1966 "Gold and economic freedom". I think the conclusion of that article sums it all up:

"This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard."

Edited by Meerkat

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We haven't had anything near to capitalism in the US/UK for a long time, so the entire premise of Mason's work is wrong.

This

Capitalism would have had me in a nice house for my family in 2011.

The government did not want that and implemented a subsidy for lending FFL, then a subsidy for people with less deposit then myself HTB and whilst buying their own debt to artificially allow interest rates to remain at historic manipulated lows preventing marketing forces from being applied to their toxic assets.

Result I cannot afford a family house now as they have risen 30% in approx 3 years.

I am no economist but that does not seem like rampant free capitalism to me.

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What you describe would be not post-capitalism, but post-rentierism.

To me his argument is about the battle between the forces of decentralisation vs the forces of state-backed rent-seeking monopoly, so, yes, he’s really talking about post rent-seeking rather than the end of capitalism. Bitcoin is a good example of this. Unless someone can take a cut for every transaction, then no one will centrally manage electronic transactions, therefore the decentralisation of transactions results in the end of the rent-seeker. I’ll transact directly with you for free - this is anti-capitalist because it removes the market (in transaction clearing) from the process, and is therefore resisted by the state.
Uber, AirBnB and services like that are also state-backed middlemen - The technology exists to quite easily arrange a ride with the nearest taxi driver without having a middleman take a cut, but that’s currently not permitted at scale by the state. This is setting us for eventual crisis. In a utopian future - once driverless cars exist - taxi drivers can retire to their leisure activities and collect the fares from their robot drivers. In a dystopian future, Uber taxi drivers become unemployed, can’t feed their families and we all hate them for being lazy scroungers, while we laud the billionaire Uber executives for their innovative business models and risk-taking entrepreneurship. Both are extremes, but I don’t think anyone would argue which one of those scenarios we are currently heading more towards.
The trouble is, his “networked individuals” are currently in conflict with the state, and unless you propose some kind of utopian stable anarchic equilibrium, then we require a revolution. Which brings me to my final point. Marxists and anti-capitalists are always arguing that the collapse of capitalism is just around the corner via some kind of revolution. They have always been wrong.

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This

Capitalism would have had me in a nice house for my family in 2011.

The government did not want that and implemented a subsidy for lending FFL, then a subsidy for people with less deposit then myself HTB and whilst buying their own debt to artificially allow interest rates to remain at historic manipulated lows preventing marketing forces from being applied to their toxic assets.

Result I cannot afford a family house now as they have risen 30% in approx 3 years.

I am no economist but that does not seem like rampant free capitalism to me.

WELL SAID.

I feel exactly the same way - the government have put me in no man's land - plenty of savings, but with house prices at ridiculous prices, to buy a family home (I have two kids) as an FTB would be a crazy move - risk 6 figures of savings that have taken 15 years to build, then borrow another £90,000+ on top of that - so basically lose my safety buffer, then get deep into debt, then hope house prices at the very least remain crazy - even in a really crap economy with younger generations coming up who are going to be super-skint and certainly not be able to afford the home I would have been ripped-off buying.

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How very easy it is to risk others money without consequences.......herein lies the problem. ;)

Especially when any risk of losses is picked up by the tax payer which is what neo-liberalism essentially brought in via the small print. It's an ideology which spouts off about small government apart from when the bets go wrong and then nanny must come to the rescue with the taxpayer chequebook.

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It still makes no consistent sense. What enforces property rights, how and for whose benefit?

State. Property rights, contractual obligations and so. What's the puzzle?

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It's an ideology which spouts off about small government .

Which forces exactly even talk about small government in the UK let alone practical implementation??

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State. Property rights, contractual obligations and so. What's the puzzle?

The puzzle is that you criticise interventionism in favour of capitalism, then equate capitalism with free markets and with state-enforced property rights. Which amounts to a mostly free market for everybody except land and capital owning rent-seekers. Like now.

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Which forces exactly even talk about small government in the UK let alone practical implementation??

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/oct/08/david-cameron-conservative-conference

David Cameron today used what may be his final party conference speech before becoming Britain's 53rd prime minister to say he would use power to tear down Labour's big government, replacing it with a stronger society that nourishes personal responsibility, strong families and community.

In a sombre, occasionally emotional hour-long speech, deliberately shorn of new policy specifics, he set out to prepare the nation for the sacrifice necessary to reduce the budget deficit, but also promised a Reaganite revolution that recognised "it has been more government that has got us into this mess".

Attacking Gordon Brown directly, Cameron insisted politics, economy and society were all broken because "government got too big, promised too much and pretended that it had all the answers".

The aim of the speech, his aides said, was to reveal him as a prime minister in waiting, with a clear idea of what modern government can and cannot achieve.

David Cameron??? You know the PM.

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