books: Ben Reynolds: The Coming Revolution: Capitalism in the 21st Century; Dauvé

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ZJW
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Jan 18 2019 11:30
books: Ben Reynolds: The Coming Revolution: Capitalism in the 21st Century; Dauvé

I have not read this, but:

Ben Reynolds: The Coming Revolution: Capitalism in the 21st Century.

Reading about the book at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coming-Revolution-Capitalism-21st-Century/dp/1785357093/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 , and seeing

this enthusiastic reaction to it --

Quote:
An amazing book which carefully and extensively sets out its thesis, from an explanation of value to the current climate catastrophe. It asks the three important questions: can we continue with this capitalist economic system? (No) what is the alternative? and how do we get there?

Where other books just prophesize doom and gloom, The Coming Revolution gives us a guide for how we may start to take control, turn things around and together create another world.

-- made me think of something along the lines of one or more of these authors/conceptions: Rifkin, Mason, Zeitgeist, Fresco, Cleaver. (An SPGB review of the new Cleaver book by the way is [url=https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2019/no-1373-january-2019/book-review-rupturing-the-dialectic-the-struggle-against-work-money-and-financialization ]here[/url].

Here some discussion on the Reynolds' book, including an intervention by the author himself:

A discussant there understood Reynolds' book to mean 'Given all the gee-whiz technology of small-scale automated production (like “3-D printers” for plastic goods) — perhaps people will choose a deliberate reformation of social relations.' [A bit like in Doktorow's porno-communist novel 'Walkaway'?]

But Reynolds says no:

'I [...] do not argue that people will simply choose to abandon capitalism and the wage labor system in favor of distributed production on a communist basis. I instead argue that the communistic tendencies inherent in new forms of production are trapped within the fetters of the old system, much as capitalism’s full flowering required a transformation of the entire society. This is why the recommendation in my book is not for people to buy 3D printers, but to organize for social revolution.'

Unrelated to that, here is the table of contents to (the finally published) Gilles Dauvé: ‘From Crisis to Communisation’:

https://aaaaarg.fail/thing/5b4746ee9ff37c1cad622bd7

ZJW
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Jan 18 2019 11:33

Sorry for that mess. The url for the Cleaver review is this: https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2019/no-1373-january-2019/book-review-rupturing-the-dialectic-the-struggle-against-work-money-and-financialization

ZJW
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Jan 18 2019 11:40

And this is the table of contents for the Reynolds' book:
https://aaaaarg.fail/thing/5b7162c59ff37c1e58622be5

alb
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Feb 2 2019 16:04

Just finished reading his book. Reynolds is an anarchist with a good grasp of Marxian economics and makes the case that technological developments within capitalism are paving the way for

Quote:
"A state of society in which wage labour and the production of value have been abolished. Each person contributes what they can according to their abilities and each person receives goods according to their needs."

He calls this society "communism" and says further of it:

Quote:
"a communist society would not compel its members to work for a wage. It would provide goods to its people for free, allowing them to fulfil their needs without having to worry about artificially produced scarcity. Production would be carried on entirely through voluntary work and would be defined by a cooperative spirit."

Good stuff. The trouble is that, despite aiming to show that because of technological developments (3-D printers and automation where those who lose their jobs won't be able to find employment in some other or new section of the economy as with past automation) production based on labour-value will collapse in the course of this century, he doesn't see such a society as being the immediate aim
.
Instead, disappointingly, he sees what he calls "socialism" as the immediate aim as a transition to a communist society. Defined as "a socio-economic system where the means of production are owned by, controlled by and operated for the benefit of the working class", it turns out to be production for the market organised by workers' cooperatives aiming to cover their costs. As he himself points out:

Quote:
"It still requires forms of money, coercive taxation and meaningful scarcity to function."

Proudhon's "People's Bank" is even to be revived.

Disappointing indeed, but nevertheless a straw in the wind that a genuinely communist society is back on the agenda as an item for discussion amongst critics and opponents of capitalism.

ZJW
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Mar 2 2019 04:43

Cleaver's reply to the review, and SPGB's reply to his reply:

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2019/no-1375-march-2019/letter-a-writer-writes/