Mapping the emerging post-capitalist paradigm and its main thinkers

Posted: 18 January 2016 in Uncategorized
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The folks at BlaqSwans [ht: sm] set out to map what they consider to be the emerging post-capitalist paradigm associated with peer-to-peer movements and some of the key thinkers, both precursors and current influences, of those movements.

Here are the three things they confirmed when they assembled the map:

  • There is much more to this transition that the greenwashing offered by Uber and Airbnb, which are actually not peer-to-peer. This is precisely why we deliberately reused the shape of a honeycomb popularised by the “Collaborative Economy Honeycomb” infographic. It lists startup companies claiming to be part of that ‘sharing economy’, when many really are unbridled capitalism trying to further optimise the existing ‘selling economy’ – nothing wrong with selling but let’s not call it ‘sharing’ with the ethical claims usually attached to it.
  • The intellectual work of theorising this new economy has now reached a critical mass that is too often overlooked by ‘mainstream’ economists, observers, and policy makers who treat it as fringe.
  • Put together, the practical initiatives run at the grassroots level offer a credible sustainable alternative contradicting the eventual perception that the post-capitalist paradigm is a utopia dreamt up by isolated hippies. On the contrary, it is now possible to shop food regularly outside of mass retailers’ distribution networks, it is possible for a major French city like Grenoble, or Barcelona in Spain to be run by grassroots movements, and it is possible for farmers to produce in a biodynamic and commercially viable way to escape the vicious cycle of pesticides and high yields.

While the Community Economies Collective is not cited as an influence, there is a great deal of overlap between their work and the post-capitalist paradigm mapped above.

BlaqSwans also mapped what they consider to be the current capitalist paradigm in the following way:

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The two maps are a very good start. However, I’d like to see more attention to issues of class, especially the way the surplus is appropriated, distributed, and utilized within the current capitalist paradigm and how the problem of the surplus is being managed differently within the emerging postcapitalist paradigm.

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