Episode 22: A Post-Capitalist Future––Not by Politics Alone

Brendan interviews Andrew about his With Sober Senses essay, “Not by Politics Alone: Thinking Through a Post-Capitalist Future.” They discuss what’s wrong with thinking that we can transcend capitalism simply through decentralized decision-making, or experimentation, or by putting different people, with different priorities, into power—and why it’s dangerous to put the whole burden of working out answers on the backs of the completely “new people” that revolution will supposedly create. The discussion calls attention to the economic problems that will need to be solved, such as the need for economic coordination, and why they will need to be solved in a different way than under capitalism. Brendan has Andrew explain why he rejects claims that the economic problems can be solved simply through income redistribution and overcoming the wastefulness of capitalism, and why, instead, a new liberatory mode of production needs to be worked out.

The episode’s current-events segment focuses on the Trumpite drive to re-open US schools in the midst of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

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Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

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July 17, 2020

1 Comment

  1. A method with which to collect the necessary information for the shadow prices already exists IMO. One example is car-making, parts and finished cars are no longer pushed through from start to ninsh. Instead, incoming customer orders are used to pull finished cars (and so the parts) through from the end. Wherever there is a continuous flow of production (like in car-making), the underlying principle is called Just-In-Time (JIT) production.

    The same principle is already used by supermarkets. As shelves replenish, information that more is needed is passed back, and new stuff gets delivered. Here, the principle is called Efficient Consumer Reponce (ECR), or, simply, Quick Response (QR).

    IMO, an economic system using these principles could plan itself, at least to some extent, which would increase the accurace of matching supply to demand. So far however, JIT; ECR and QR are used under capitalist production, which means that every supplier wants to maximise production individually. This leads to issues of their own. However, the potential is, IMO, that they could be used to co-ordinate not only supply and demand, but also how much time people spend in production. In other words, production could truly follow demand in a co-ordinated way.

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