Book Club: "PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future" by Paul Mason


#1

Grab yourself a copy and we’ll come back here in one month, on the 20th and share our thoughts!


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#2

Haven’t bought this one yet so haven’t had chance to read it. On the plus side, I’m going on holiday so will be able to read a good quantity of books. Will let you know if I find anything interesting.


#3

Well I failed at the first book!

Planning the first finish in the middle of my holiday in Wales with no signal probably wasn’t wise for a start :smiley:

I’m still reading the book and have notes, which I’ll share when I’m done. Still plenty of time to pick up a copy and catch up!


#4

If I spot one around I certainly will. But let me know what you find.


#5

JULY! Wow, I suck at reading. I finished it today.

Here are my thoughts…

The ideas seemed to be based on two basic premises;

  1. The economic theory of Kondrattief
  2. Technology (open source prevalently) means fewer jobs thanks to more automation.

My first thought is that here is a journalist who has stumbled upon an economic theory that seems to make sense and managed to make everything fall into it. Mason actually identifies some issues with the theory but just as quickly brushes them aside. He only briefly touches on alternative theories and is fairly dismissive of them too.

That undermines the whole book for me, because Mason is basing his future outlook lately on this theory, and is asking us to put faith in it.

The second problem is that Mason talks about technology like it’s new. He talks about the internet as if it’s the fucking messiah. He praises open source but in a way that shows he doesn’t really understand it.

This leads him to the common idea that work will be made nearly obsolete by technology, that we’ll all be working 4 hour weeks. This is based on, IMO, the entirely baseless assumption that the information technology revolution is somehow more special than previous technological revolutions.

There are some interesting and useful tidbits but overall it’s misguided fantasism IMO.