AQ: Australian Quarterly

Pre-empting Apocalypse?   Postcapitalism as an everyday politics

The term ‘postcapitalism’ signals the possibility that capitalism, both as an economic and geopolitical organisational form, might soon end. Or perhaps even that it has already ended and we are just now becoming cognisant of its demise.

What is significant is that attachments to postcapitalism are occurring across the political spectrum. On the left, the seeds of possibility were sewn in the early part of this century at the World Social Forum, as documented by Gerda Roelvink in Building Dignified Worlds. Here social and solidarity economy movements showcased experiments with non-capitalist forms of economic organisation of all sorts and at all scales.

The fear is that increasing inequality is slowing economic growth and unravelling the very basis of capitalism.

At the other end of politics, the ‘right wing electoral mutiny’ from Brexit to Trump represents a rebuke to forms of capitalist globalisation that do not serve the interests of ordinary people. A kind of militant nationalism is on the rise, a ‘me first’ mentality that may or may not imperil the capitalist class, but will certainly make it harder to respond to the 21st century’s many social and ecological challenges.

As founder of Democracy at Work, Rick Wolff observes, this is the most exciting moment in two generations for those of us interested in a world beyond capitalism. However, given the volatile and reactionary political climate in many countries it is also an incredibly dangerous

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from AQ: Australian Quarterly

AQ: Australian Quarterly7 min read
Young People, Political Knowledge And The Future Of Australian Democracy
Yet irrespective of the age at which they are able to vote, a young person must understand the Australian system of politics and its electoral system to be prepared to confidently participate in the democratic process. The current problem is that man
AQ: Australian Quarterly12 min read
The Problem Of Refugee Immigration
EDITOR FORWARD Australia’s immigration history is rocky, yet while each wave of immigration into Australia has met with teething issues, our country is generally proud to call itself an immigration nation. But when it is refugees that are the immigra
AQ: Australian Quarterly14 min read
Democracy Before Dollars: The Problems With Money In Australian Politics And How To Fix Them
The aspiration of representative democracy is that this distance is bridged by strong mechanisms of accountability and responsiveness, as well as an ethos based on the public interest, all of which seek to ensure that government officials rule ‘for t