What comes after capitalism?

We have found that the best way of learning is not to be instructed by an ‘expert’, it is to discuss and  listen to the experience and knowledge of others. At CUiSL we welcome everyone interested in learning about Marxism and applying it to analysing real-world problems. We meet on the third Thursday of the month on the top floor of Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon CR0 1BD at 7 pm and finish by 9 pm. There is no indoctrination, no fees and no restricted access – we are a truly open university. Our basic principles are that learning is a collective activity in which we Question Everything.

Our new series of classes starts on Thursday, 20 July when we will be examining the ideas in Peter Frase in his book Four Futures – life after capitalism.(Verso, 2016, ISBN 978-1-78168-813-7). This thought provoking  little book is well worth reading, but there is an excellent summary  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS2lrusOO8E which will enable you to participate fully in the class. It should, however, be possible to engage with the class even if you have not done any preparation for it. Prior registration with an e-mail to cuisl@communist-party.org.uk would be appreciated but is not a requirement of attending.

In Four Futures Peter Frase argues that capitalism will collapse under the twin pressures of global warming and mushrooming automation. But in addition to the outcome envisaged by Marx – socialism from which, aided by the growth in productivity made possible by automation, we can begin to build communism,  Frase proposes three other possible outcomes

  • Socialism under conditions of continuing austerity, this austerity being the result of irrevocable damage to the environment caused by global warming.

  • Rentism under which capitalists, the present owners of wealth, can permanently maintain their control over the working class by monopolising intellectual property. 

  • ‘Exterminism’ –under which automation will enable the capitalist ruling class to do without the rest of us – the Earth’s 6 billion (soon to be former) workers .

These ideas and the assumptions behind them are well worth discussing. Do come along and help us do so.

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