Interrogating Post Capitalism -The End of the Future


“It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism” – Fredric Jameson
When it comes to the future our collective imagination is stuck between two depressing poles. One is the vision of an increasingly securitised, authoritarian capitalism of scarcity, borders and concentration camps, a grey and brutal exaggeration of our current moment. The other is total catastrophe, a hobbesian, apocalyptic scenario where we exist in a state of brutal lawlessness in the wake of environmental collapse or nuclear attack.
We have, so the argument goes, lost the ability to think outside of the coordinates of capitalism – constrained by constructed assumptions about what the world is and what it means to be human – and struggle to imagine different possible futures, anything but managed decline or total destruction.
In this session we will interrogate the ideas of Mark Fisher’s “Capitalist Realism” and ask, how constrained are we? Do the coordinates of capitalism really define our thought, or can we already think and act outside of them? Have events over the last decade started to crack open this capitalist realism? If so, what possible trajectories for a post-capitalist world could we find in these thoughts and actions? How can the left reclaim the future as a terrain of inspiring possibility? What kind of counter hegemony – or common sense – might we need to build to mount such a challenge?
Post-capitalism refers to an assemblage of texts that try to imagine what should come next and how we might get there. Mason, Gibson-Graham, Srnicek, Williams, Haraway, Wright and others attempt to reorient left ideas for the 21st century, extrapolating possible future socialisms from the most promising trends of capitalism – mass automation, network production, techno-democracy – by repurposing rather than rejecting technology and contesting the grip neo-liberalism has over progress and modernity. In these three peer led, participatory sessions we will critically explore post-capitalism through the lense of various readings, videos, podcasts and, crucially, our own experiences.”

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