Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future

Paul Mason. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-374-23554-3
Mason, economics editor for Britain’s Channel 4 News, predicts that a new economic order will rise from the ashes of neoliberal capitalism, and that it will involve a new, digital-savvy, independent-minded workforce motivated by rewards other than money. Already, this new world is appearing—but Mason explains that it has been stalled by neoliberals intent on perpetuating the status quo. At first, Mason’s ideas may appear hopelessly unrealistic and utopian. Yet his passion is so contagious, his prose so absorbing, and his thoughts so intriguing that the reader is soon swept up in his enthusiasm. Parts I and II of the book comprise a fascinating review of the history of economic thought. Part III (where Mason’s credibility declines sharply) describes how we might transition peacefully from capitalism to a new age, one ideally featuring very limited global warming, greatly increased prosperity, and work becoming voluntary. How this is to be practically achieved is scarcely explained; Mason merely observes that weathering digital-era disruptions should be easy compared to, for example, the seismic shift in gender roles effected by contraceptive pills. Nonetheless, this book’s vision for the future, even if unlikely, is absorbing and provocative. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/14/2015
Release date: 02/09/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
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