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Free Markets Don't Create Free People: Bitcoin's Tech Success Masks Its Failure - CoinDesk
A future where every transaction, financial or social, public or private, is irrevocably encoded in a public ledger which is utterly transparent to those in power is the very opposite of a democratic, egalitarian crypto utopia. Rather, it is the reinstatement of the divine right of kings, transposed to an elevated elite class where those with the money, whether they be state actors, central bankers, winner-takes-all libertarians or property-absolutist anarcho-capitalists, have total power over those who do not.
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25 days ago by petej
Is There Life After Capitalism? - Los Angeles Review of Books
"Despite the vividness of this picture, however, all Mason has to offer as a counterweight is the sheer creativity of young people who “will no longer accept” such futures. He describes the social forces that will drive this youthful, non-class-based rebellion as a “granular, spontaneous micro-process, not a plan.” Postcapitalism is an extraordinary achievement of storytelling, fine-grained and schematic with equal success, critical of early 20th-century Marxism while insisting on the contemporary urgency of Marx’s thought, persuasive in its passion and its intellectual clarity alike. But it founders around the question of the power of education and technology to lead us past the horrors of 20th-century capitalism. On the one hand, Mason knows all too well that post-capitalist stories appeal to a mass readership because they erase or downplay the terrible struggles that have given us the technologies we prize. On the other hand, the concrete suggestions he makes in the book’s final chapter — a universal basic income, nationalizing banks, regulating finance — all leave untouched the problem that what counts as “money” under capital is produced by exploitation. The histories of social struggle Mason is so good at narrating disappear in these bland policy recommendations."
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july 2016 by petej
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