Résumé of the books

A post-capitalist alternative, why and how

A short summing up

The starting point of the discussion is the post-capitalism as it has been put forth in the books of the initiators of this site. The core of this proposal is an economic structure in which money is no longer involved in the production of goods and services and in which income, acquired by labour, investment of capital or deliveries of raw materials, has been replaced by a more or less equally periodic budget for all, the only requirement being the willingness and the obligation to work.

The main advantage of this proposal in comparison with capitalism/ neo-liberalism, is that there is no restriction to economic action other than the capacity of nature and environment. No longer depend actions for a better world upon the question if there is money enough, as under capitalism. In capitalism nothing gets off the ground or there must be first money, money of which there is always far too little available for the satisfaction of the needs of man and nature, mainly because the capitalist has been continuously and necessarily compelled to invest ever more huge amounts of money in production in order not to be ruined in the killing competition with other capitalists.

It is this form of post-capitalism which has been called into question here. Our intention is that reflection on this will eventually end up in a form of post-capitalist alternative, with which humanity, aware of capitalism/neo-liberalism as one of the most shameful facts of history, definitively can liberate itself of this disgrace. It is from a great confidence in the self-cleaning capacity of humanity, that the initiators of this site face the discussion concerning post-capitalist alternatives.

Below follows a more detailed summary of the post-capitalist alternative in our books. The visitors who take the discussion on this site seriously, would do well to read that summary.

A more detailed summing up

We are forced to live worldwide in an economic situation that is not as it should be

We will start this detailed summary with a statement: the technology and knowhow in all kinds of areas have progressed far enough, there are enough people who can deliver the necessary labour, and we are so abound in (raw) materials, that it is possible now and in the future to guarantee all people of this earth a dignified existence in respect for nature.

The only condition to make this happen is the decision to make a choice for an economic order in which these favourable factors can be fully exploited. Unfortunately, obviously humanity hasn’t made that choice up to now, as appears from the worldwide economic reality we have to live in. Instead of the guarantee of a dignified life for all people, we see an ever greater threat to the existence of mankind and earth. Virtually everyone is aware of the continuing widespread poverty in the world and of the social inequalities that are growing. And the problem of overloading people and the earth, and particular the deterioration of the biosphere, are already “an inconvenient truth” (Al Gore) for almost everyone.

But the real concern and disturbance nevertheless must strike, if we realize that this misfortune in the world should not be attributed to one or an other natural disaster which we are powerless to do anything about, but that it is the result of a man-made order. And how disastrous that order is appears if we comment it more closely with some figures.

Let us examine the existing poverty in the first place. It turns out that 1.2 milliard people must get along with 1 US dollar per day and more than 3 milliard with less than 2 dollars per day. More than one half of the world population – almost all in developing countries – has been forced to live below the poverty line. More than 820 million people starve daily, every three seconds a child dies of hunger, and every day over 30.000 children die of diseases that could have been avoided. Of the people of the poorest developing countries, 43% has no access to clean water, and 64% does not have the most rudimentary sanitation. Moreover, in these areas the traditional state structures erode, ventures, enterprises and (business) concerns are at the helm, exploit the population and broadly open the door for the organized crime, the Mafia, corruption, environmental disaster and epidemics.

But not only developing countries are reduced to poverty, also so-called rich western countries know all about it. In the US and Europe 100 million people are living below the limit of poverty and in the former Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union 80 to 100 million.

Poverty appears not only in absolute, but also in relative sense. Thus the inequality between rich and poor countries has more than doubled since 1960 and raised from 1 to 30 to more than 1 to 80 now. The 358 most wealthy people in the world have more means than the 2.5 milliard poorest people. That accumulation of capital is not only to be found with individuals, but of course especially with enterprises and companies.

Hence, 70% of the world trade is in the hands of only 500 companies and 1% of all the transnational companies owns half of all foreign investments. More and more capital is being found at continually less and less companies. The global economy is thus dominated to a larger extent by fewer and fewer industries that grow larger and larger and that impose to their own advantage their economic power on governments and societies.

Overload of people, nature and environment

The chaos of our economic system also comes to light in the overload of man, nature and the environment. The need in our economic policy for increasing profits, leads to overloading of mankind and earth. Those who have a job are often under great pressure and are many times being exposed to burn-out or are disabled, while so many others are out of work. And the ability to sustain of man, as well as of the earth has been exceeded by far. The need in our economic order of continuously making more profit, leads to an unbridled production, the result being that energy and raw material are being consumed rapidly and nature and environment being seriously damaged. Half of the rivers in the world has been polluted, 15% of the soil affects the same fate and about one sixth of it, or 2 milliard hectares, is even extremely polluted. Since 1990, almost 90 million hectares of rainforest have been cut down. The emission of greenhouse gases and other noxious and detrimental gases, grows steadily and contributes to the warming up of the earth and the frequent natural calamities which can adopt a disastrous impact in the near future. And concerning biodiversity: 12% of the bird species and about a quarter of the mammals are being threatened in their survival. Around 2050, the year in which – according to a non- binding agreement of the G8 in Heiligendamm – the CO2-emission worldwide should be reduced by half, already a million species of plants and animals shall be extinct. The earth is an increasingly less suitable place for life.

Furthermore there are the recurrent economic crises and recessions. The prevailing economic order has a very unbalanced growth, i.e. a growth that will always be alternated with severe crises in the making of profit by companies. These crises are being transferred to the population, especially the poorest part of it, while the (mostly short-term) growth in profit almost entirely benefits the rich and the companies, owned by the capitalist.

The question that matters

So far, we give nothing but a restricted enumeration of the severe problems of the economic order we are forced to live in. The economy which has been called into question here is the free-market economy or capitalism, since the 1980s also called neo-liberalism. This order has also led to certain results, or rather, under social pressure and resistance there has been booked also progress, such as the rise in average life expectancy and the fall in infant mortality and the reduction of illiteracy. But in the light of the above-mentioned problems these results fade.

The question that matters is whether the obvious solution to these social and ecological problems can be sought and pursued within the prevailing capitalist economy, or on the contrary, whether this system causes these very problems, even deepens them, and therefore stands in the way of an effective approach? It is obvious that the advocates of capitalism/neo-liberalism, cost what it may, are denying that this economic system would be the cause of those problems. On the contrary, they emphasize that a freely functioning of capitalism will solve all those problems through the much-boasted “invisible hand” of Adam Smith.

The original intentions of Adam Smith are violated in favour of private greed – the internal dynamics of capitalism – , which originates from human nature in the primeval ages to survive at the cost of everyone and everything. The latent intention of those advocates is the defence of the vested interest of the elites of capitalism/neo-liberalism, i.e. the private owners, i.e. the capitalists. This, and its derivative visions, neglect the dynamics of capitalism, in which there is wealth because there is poverty, there is development because of underdevelopment, and in which a healthy environment has been subordinated to profit pursuit.

In these views the cause of social and ecological problems, or at least the most plausible cause, is not looked for where it is to be found, namely in (international) capitalism. As long as capitalism/neo- liberalism dominates the economic stage of the world, social and ecological problems can only be deepened and not solved. The existing capitalist economy offers no solution, it is itself the problem. Capitalism is to its core identical to the problems it causes, it could not do without exploitation of men and nature, it is precisely there that it makes its big profits. Without exploitation and the problems that result, capitalism doesn’t exist. Let us clarify in brief on the basis of some of the key features of that system.

The most important features

One of the most important features of capitalism is that owners or capitalists invest their capital in production resources, also labour, in order to produce services and goods which are sold on the market. Capitalists don’t invest their capital from considerations of philanthropy. They do so on account of well-understood self-interest, that is, with the aim to achieve more than the amount they invest. The difference is called profit. This is of course not a one-time profit, but the continuous movement of profit. The overriding principle is making profit, always more profit.

That pursuit of gain has not been realised by prices that exceed the real value. This is a persistent and widespread misunderstanding. In reality the pursuit of gain is based on the principle that labourers don’t get a wage for a part of their labour. They produce more value in the production process than what they are paid. The difference is called surplus value. This surplus, that part of labour for which a worker doesn’t get paid, is the source of the capitalists profit. These profits will be realised by selling on the market commodities that contain surplus value. By selling, that surplus value of commodities is being converted in money. That’s the way surplus value is being realised in profit. The capitalists put the profit, that is based on unpaid labour of others, which means exploitation, in their own pocket and enrich themselves this way.

The capitalists can wish all sorts of things – especially of course self-enrichment – but the capitalist practice is obstinate. It turns out not to be easy or even possible, to convert surplus value in sufficient profit (money). Properly speaking, capitalism isn’t capable of gathering sufficient profit to survive in the long run. In the end its downfall is inevitable and only a matter of time. What are the ins and the outs of this fate, why leads in the end the forming of surplus value (exploitation) as a basis on which an economic system has been founded, as well as the converting in money by selling commodities that contains surplus value, always to crises and ultimately the swan-song? Three factors play a predominant role:

1. First, there is the everlasting shortage of purchasing power. As stated, surplus value arises because the worker receives a wage that is lower in value than the value created in the production. The logical and actual consequence is that the sum of the paid wages is lower than the total value being brought about in the production process. The ultimate consequence is that not all value can be converted into profits. The purchasing power is indeed too small. The result is overproduction. And from products which contain surplus value but can not be sold, no profit can be derived. Limitation of purchasing power leads to a crisis of overproduction and together with a critical stage in the realization of profit. Exports can offer temporal help, until the poor purchasing power also strikes elsewhere and in the concerning sectors.

2. The crisis in formation of profit is not only the result of the ever-present lack of purchasing power, but also of the harmful influence of the increase in wages. Although it is the capitalist’s interest to keep the wages as low as possible – the less the wages the more the surplus value – increases in wages nevertheless occur. If economy – sometimes – flourishes and causes therefore a great demand for labourers, the price of labour and consequently of wages rises. But this promptly causes a crisis. For increase in wages diminishes the surplus value and this value is the source of profit. Economic boom raises the price of labour, diminishes in this way the surplus value and consequently the profit..

3. And then there is yet a third factor which keeps the capitalist from sleep due to the bad luck in the formation of profit. That factor is the so-called tendency of the rate of falling profits. The rate of profit indicates on the ratio between profits and costs. The higher the profit and the lower the costs, the greater the rate of profit. The reverse applies of course also: the lower the profit and the higher the costs, the lower the rate of profit.

It goes without saying that every capitalist strives for the highest rate of profit, but in fact he is constantly dealing with the opposite. The rate of profit namely has the permanent tendency to fall. This has to do with the killing competition amongst the capitalists mutually. A system such as capitalism, in which capitalist enterprisers can only convert surplus value in profit by selling commodities on the market, leads irrevocably to a killing competition. A euro or dollar can only be spent but once. It concerns here a rock-hard fight among capitalists, whereby the victory of that one capitalist brings the other to ruin: killing competition.

In order not to be ruined in this rivalry, the obvious strategy of the capitalist is to produce cheaper in order to oust his colleague- producer/competitor from the market. That cheaper production has to be pursued in enhancing the efficiency of the production process. And this more efficient production process has to be achieved by investing in labour saving technological innovation: the so called capital intensive production. Such engines work more efficiently and faster than humans, making much human labour superfluous and therefore providing for a substantial saving of wages. The capitalist is capable now to produce in a cheaper way and thus stands up to his competitors. But this endeavour is of vital importance for every capitalist.
If manufacturer A makes the same sort of products of the same quality as manufacturer B, but sells them at a lower price on the market, then A shall take that part of the market from B. In his turn and in order to regain that part of the market, manufacturer B will be forced to offer his commodities at a price lower than that of A. But A in his turn won’t take it lying down, etcetera. In other words, constantly striving for perfect and more efficient machinery is a continuing issue and vital to all the capitalists. This never ending spiral of investments in technological development is inextricably linked with capitalism. But the consequence is indeed that an ever greater part of the profit has to be put in capital intensive production and that the level of profit increasingly comes under pressure. If the capitalist is intending to keep his profit on the same level, or even better, wants to expand, it is only possible:

  • by producing ever more,
  • finding markets for it,
  • and enhancing further the grade of exploitation of men and nature.

But nature is already at its last gasp by capitalist exploitation, and the purchasing power of the people all over the world has already been exhausted because of the forming of capitalist surplus value. And as far as markets concerns, there are almost no markets left, except the state, who is being forced to serve the interests of the capitalists and capitalism by privatisation, deregulation and “liberalisation” of the world trade.
In other words, there are almost no outlets left, whereas the capitalist has to sell more and more in order to survive. In the tendency of the rate of falling profits, we see the third factor that explains why capitalism not only brings about the ecological en social problems, but also deepens them, and therefore cannot offer a solution.

The three factors we have mentioned here make clear that capitalism is based on three contradistinctions that cause crisis and are held responsible for social and ecological problems:

1. capital-intensive production requires (because of the killing competition) that an ever growing part of capital, of profit, is being invested in the regular acquisition of always more and more com- plicated, numerous and expensive machines. Capital-intensive production as a necessary strategy in the attempt to keep the profit, brings about at the same time a great pressure on the possibilities of making profit;

2. whereas, because of the same capital-intensive production, also jobs get lost and thus the surplus value – the source of profit – is reduced significantly;

3. and by a poor purchasing power, which is related to the unpaid part of labour, discharges and starvation wages, the demand of consumer goods stay behind the supply, which of course is not conducive to profit shaping.

The inevitable conclusion

To make head against those permanent internal contrasts, capitalism/neo-liberalism had to raise the grade of exploitation continuously. And with the help of governments around the world this system succeeds in realising a miracle: take over purchases and fusions (destruction of competitive capital, therefore a form of economic cannibalism), starvation wages (particularly in developing countries) and wages policy in our countries; continually proceeding cuts in social security until it’s totally stripped, mass dismissals in times of crises, demolition of care, environmental damage, the construction of enormous arms industries in order to make capital profitable, imperialistic conflicts and wars on behalf of the disposal of raw materials, degradation of democracy and hence the democratic control of the people, etcetera. Capitalist world economy is moral a total contemptible system, because not only does it cause ecological and social problems, but it also deepens them continuously.
We live worldwide in an economic order that’s not all right. A necessary condition for the solution of the identified problems is indeed not to be found in an adjustment, but in the end of that economic order: exit capitalism.

The necessity of post-capitalism

In spite of its view-false-driven for men and nature, capitalism is, especially in its present form of neo-liberalism, stronger than ever and could spread over the whole world. One of the most important, if not the most important reason, is to be found in politics, but also in civil society. The policy of political agencies worldwide is unambiguously aimed at the promotion and support of the vested interests of capital and the capitalist economy. And for lack of a post-capitalist alternative, almost all civil society organisations have been forced to limit themselves to propose nothing but small changes that have been allowed by neo-liberalism and are easily to integrate. Never has something substantial been put in this system’s way.

Therefore, it could gradually bring the whole world under its pernicious influence. Meanwhile it has got so much power that, for the time being, it has nothing to fear of which economic alternative whatsoever, even a postcapitalist alternative. The world has to abide the moment that capitalism blows up itself. In the meantime we must do our utmost to attain a considerable political and social bearing support for a sound economic alternative. That is to say a form of post-capitalism, which in due time can free capitalism from its agony and prevent its resurrection. Especially, this alternative especially has to exclude the formation of surplus value (the unpaid part of labour). Because it is this very factor which is the main cause of the three internal contradictions which we spoke of above and which is the main cause of the social and ecological problems that capitalism brings about and cannot solve. In our books we offer such a postcapitalist alternative, which is intended to be an incentive for a discussion of such alternatives (also on this website) and at the same time an invitation to possibly come up with some better proposals.

Our proposal of a post-capitalist alternative

The first foundation upon which rests our post-capitalist alternative is the removal of the formation of surplus value. Not only surplus value owes its existence to unpaid surplus labour, (exploitation) and is therefore already objectionable, but also the conversion of goods and services that contain surplus value (profit making) into money on the market, underlies all the problems inherent to capitalism. The way in which our alternative wants to exclude surplus value is in setting up a productive machinery in which money is no longer involved. Get the money from the production of goods and services, and it will be impossible to buy labour. Consequently unpaid surplus labour and therefore also the formation of surplus value can no more occur. And the answer to the question of how production is possible without money, the answer is in general: by putting an end to the acquisition of pecuniary income in the production process. We distinguish three categories of participants who all earn an income in money in the production process:

suppliers and producers of (raw) materials,
money-lenders (capitalists thus) and
working man.

Thus suppliers and producers of (raw) materials get an income from delivering to the production process. The capitalist acquires an income through the formation of surplus value by means of the unpaid part of labour and extracting in this way more money out of the production process than he puts in. And the worker gets an income by offering his/her labour in that production process.
This gives us the opportunity for a more concrete answer to the question how to put an end to acquiring an income in the production process, i.e. how to eliminate the linking of income and commitment in the production process.

That link may disappear when income from supplying and producing (raw) materials and from labour will expire. (Raw)materials and labour are free then. And this in turn brings with it the disconnection of income and undertaking. In such case there is no more need to invest money in purchase of capital goods and labour, because they are free. And when labour no longer has to be purchased, the formation of surplus value via surplus labour is out of question. In a production in which money is no longer involved, surplus value simple can no longer occur.

Now we have been accustomed so much to money as a factor in production and to the link of income and employment in the production process, that it seems obvious that money and economy are linked inextricably with each other. Due to the unlinking of income and involvement in the production, the supply of labour, raw materials and capital would decrease and hence the whole economy, as is the fear, would paralyse. Nevertheless, the phenomenon that money plays such an important role as it does now in capitalism, is not of all times. Money first found acceptance during the slave-owner establishment. In the million years that preceded it, humanity knew an economy without money.

Nevertheless, a diminished employment in the production did not occur there, at least not because of that unlinking, nor was there a reduction of the productive capacity either. Labour and other production resources could be brought together freely in the production process, not impeded by the question whether there was enough money, nor hindered by the fact that wages should have to be paid or incomes should have to be acquired.
More strongly still, one could produce freely and unimpeded, not in spite of, but precisely because money and the acquiring of incomes could not play a role. Exactley because labour and other means of production were free, nothing could hinder an optimal production, obviously in the light of the state of the then available technology. Both from a logical and an actual point of view, the link of income to employment in the production process is therefore not an imperative need. In fact history teaches us that unlinking indeed can benefit production and economy.

The second foundation of our post-capitalist alternative is the so called “periodic budget”: a more or less equal amount in money for everyone, periodically paid.
Already above is stressed that by the disposal of money from the production of goods and services in post-capitalism, consumer goods are free. In principle, those goods can therefore be distributed freely. “In principle”, as we said, for because of the greed of people, consumption would receive huge quantities that would surpass the supporting power of environment and nature. Therefore, partitioning in our post-capitalism cannot be unconditional. The purchase of consuming goods must be in agreement with a reasonable satisfaction of needs according to the standards of time and society the consumer is living in. Greed may not make consumption to surpass these standards.
To those standards belongs in the first place the requirement that the total amount of consumption must be brought in agreement with a production that doesn’t affect the environment more than the earth with the then prevailing technology is able to handle without lasting damage. Such a condition can be fulfilled in a budget, that is an amount in money, remitted periodically to every consumer. Such a budget controls that the total consumption remains approximately within the limit of what is considered as largely sufficient for a real satisfaction of needs in a certain time and in a certain context, whereas at the same time that consumption remains within the boundaries of the environmental supporting power.
The only counter performance for this periodic budget, is the total commonplace that everyone is obliged to work according to talent and ability. It is clear that the amount of the budget does not consist of money that was earned in production earlier. That would be the case in capitalism. In postcapitalism the money has been removed from production. The money of the budget is a currency, that is made available by the government to everyone, and that after spending via the sales-men flows back to the democratic controlled authorities. So, the economic circular course of post-capitalism runs from the government to the consumer, and from the consumer via the supplier of goods and services to the government, after which this motion begins again.

Because of the mutual harmonisation of that budget and the reasonable need satisfaction within the declared limits of environment and nature, it is inevitable to award a value in money amount to the various goods and services, so that the height of the sum of money in the budget can be adjusted accordingly to the indicated limits of environment and nature. The granting of value – the fixing of prices of the various consumer goods – is not determined by the market. In post-capitalism the market doesn’t exist anymore. Value granting is in a sense arbitrary, but with the understanding that those consumer goods for the production of which nature and environment are charged more heavily, are priced higher.

The third foundation of our alternative is the government monitoring of production resources. Just like consumer goods are free in postcapitalism, so are production resources, such as machinery, buildings, ships etcetera. And here too applies that the acquisition of them may not exceed through human greed the real needs or may not more than necessarily charge the environment. The best suitable condition seems to be a control that is carried out by a body, a body which exclusively aims at the public interest. A matter of such super individual importance as the acquisition of production resources may simply not be left to private initiative. This must be supervised by a body that can take justified decisions from an overall picture and moreover thereby is checked by the people. Such an agency is for example a state body that can take such justified decisions.

The blessings

A production process in which no more money is involved so that goods and services are free in principle, the setting-up of a periodic budget that confines consumption to the supporting power of the environment, and a government monitoring the sector of productive resources, these are the determining elements of our postcapitalistic alternative. Now we will outline broadly the blessings of that alternative for people and nature.

Noticeable at first is that in our alternative absolutely no money is involved in the efforts to reach prosperity and wellbeing for everyone in this world. The only requirement is just bringing together the required knowhow, production resources and labour, which as we said, are free. There is no longer need to earn money in the production process, as is the case in capitalism. The only role of money in post-capitalism is to limit consumption to a level on which the supporting power of nature and environment is not being exceeded. Within this framework, there are for the government no restrictions to a maximum commitment for all sorts of care, such as for education and public transport. In post-capitalism no state comes on the rates, like in capitalism. In general applies that the services in all sectors can be supplied freely and with a maximum commitment within the supporting power of the environment. And because of the periodic budget, in postcapitalism we are no longer confronted with problems such as the affordability of pensions and financing social security. Such provisions are no longer needed. For everyone has got the periodic budget at this disposal.

In post-capitalism we also see no mass dismissals and jobless economic growth, as in capitalism. This creates different possibilities for the deployment of labour. Thus everyone who is capable can be employed in the labour process. This offers real prospects for a shortening of the working week, and that without limitation of expenditures. For after capitalism labour is for free and income gets shape in the periodic budget.

It is the democratic task and the reason of existence of politics to be the organized expression of the choices and the will of the people, and to guide the economy according to that will and those choices.

In the process of privatisation, deregulation and liberalisation, the state under capitalism/- neo-liberalism increasingly gave up the economic control and left it to the capital. As a result, the common interest has been trampled on in favour of the interest of capitalists, i.e. making profit.
Post-capitalist economy on the contrary is precisely designed and meant in favour of the common interest, social justice, prosperity and wellbeing for everyone. A post-capitalist state which promotes the economy, thus by definition favours the public interest and is a vehicle of democracy.

In order to disguise the neglect and violation of the public interest by capitalism/ neo-liberalism, the consciousness of people has to be misled constantly and on a mass scale with the message that the advancement of capital interest is the best guarantee for common interest.
In post-capitalism there is no need for such a deception and poisoning of consciousness, because in that economy no other interests are taken care of than those of the people: the general interest.

We have seen how and why in capitalism problems with profit creating lead to growth compulsion, in which the supporting power of nature and environment has been exceeded continuously, systematically and inevitably.
Post-capitalism doesn’t know growth compulsion, because there is no surplus value that has to be converted into money on the market and that leads to killing competition. In post-capitalism there has been some talk of growth if and as far as technologies are being developed that permit a raised production, but where no irresponsible seizure is laid on environment, energy and (raw)materials. Such a raised production can lead to an enlargement of the amount of consumption and corresponding to that to an enlargement of the (value of) the budget.
An other important difference is that in post-capitalism growth is not a necessity without which the economy falls to pieces. In this system one can choose for economic growth at the moment it is desirable and feasible. Here one can choose for extra growth wherever it is needed, for instance in developing countries. And in function of that we can temper and stabilize temporary growth in all places where already a reasonable wellbeing and prosperity prevail, as is the case in the rich western countries.

Sustainable

The course of things in post-capitalism can be defined as “sustainable” in the meaning this term has got in the course of time for the characterization of “development”. Sustainable development has an ecological, economical and social dimension.

  • Ecological sustainability is the corner-stone of sustainable development. The ecosystem may not be so heavily loaded that it becomes permanently disrupted.
  • Sustainable development also covers social aspects. It involves a situation where the interests of all show to full advantage as far as possible, within the limits of course of what is ecologically justified.
  • Economic sustainability refers to the creating and maintenance of an economic system, which can meet the needs of the present and future generations all over the world, even within the supporting power of the environment.

Given these dimensions we can say that “sustainable” is an appropriate characterization of our post-capitalist alternative.

On the way to

As already noticed, capitalism in its current form of neo-liberalism has been so powerful, that it has nothing to fear of which ever economic alternative. In order to introduce a valid alternative, i.e. post-capitalism, we will have to wait for the requiem of capitalism. Unfortunately as this may be, this does not mean that nothing can happen meanwhile or that one cannot attempt little steps forward and smoothe capitalism down (a bit). Each relief of need, no matter how modest, has been ordered. Only that does not carry us a step further to the end of capitalism. What we need is a post-capitalist alternative and a great support for it, that can strike powerful when at some time capitalism blows itself up, and that also is capable to prevent its resurrection. About the question when this will occur, little can be said with certainty. When will capitalists massively withdraw their assets because of a worldwide mistrust in the output of their investments and thus blow up their own monstrosity? Who knows? In any case there are some matters of importance that can facilitate the coming of that post-capitalism and that bearing surface.

1. First of all, it is necessary to start a discussion as quickly as possible about the most practical and appropriate form of post-capitalism. With our publications concerning post-capitalism and our initiative for this website, we want to trigger that discussion.
The meaning of a discussion, but certainly if it concerns economic alternatives, must be that developments are not imposed from above. A movement has got much more chance of success if persons involved can speak their mind and can identify themselves with such a movement. For that reason the way to post-capitalism goes via democratic decision-making.

2. We also want to draw attention the need that ultimately post-capitalism has to be a worldwide movement. Because neo-liberalism itself is worldwide and satisfied with nothing less than the whole world as a market, a post-capitalism that restricts itself to an enclave has no chance to survive. In favour of a global coverage of post- capitalism, political parties can play an important role. But because none of the existing parties has got the readiness to confront neo-liberalism as an economic system, the discussion about neo- liberalism has to be aimed also at the establishment of a new political party, that can promote post- capitalism heartily and powerfully.

3. Generally speaking, on the way to post-capitalism it is recommended to react with creativity to the ongoing and unfolding discussion- process. A tight planning in advance leads generally to failure or a very wearisome course. A creative path is better.

Jo Versteijnen

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