Post-capitalism is a term used to describe a theoretical economic system that could emerge after capitalism. It is a system that is often associated with the idea of a “sharing economy” or a “collaborative economy,” in which resources are shared more equitably and production is based on need rather than profit. Although the concept of post-capitalism is still largely theoretical, there are several ideas of what it could look like. There are also several ways we can live in a less capitalist way right now.
What is Post-capitalism?
One of the key features of post-capitalism is the emphasis on community ownership of resources. In a post-capitalist society, resources would be owned by the community rather than by individuals or corporations. This could be achieved through the creation of cooperatives or other forms of community-based ownership. This would ensure that resources are distributed more equitably and that the benefits of production are shared more fairly.
Needs over corporate profits
Post-capitalism would also involve a shift from profit-driven production to production based on need. This could involve the creation of local, self-sufficient economies that prioritise the production of essential goods and services. This could also involve a move towards a circular economy, in which goods are designed to be reused or recycled rather than thrown away.
Post-capitalism would also prioritize sustainability and well-being over economic growth. This could involve a shift towards renewable energy sources, a reduction in consumption, and a focus on meeting basic needs such as food, shelter, and healthcare. This would ensure that people’s basic needs are met while also reducing the impact of economic activity on the environment.
The role of technology in Post-capitalism
Another key feature of post-capitalism is the potential for technology to play a major role in the economy. Automation and artificial intelligence could be used to reduce the need for human labour, which would lead to a shorter workweek and more leisure time for individuals. This could also lead to a more efficient use of resources and a reduction in waste.
Some ways to live a Post-capitalism lifestyle now
While Capitalism isn’t going away any time soon, there are some things we can do right now to rely less on extractive business.
Buy less stuff
We don’t need most of the product s and services being marketed to us, and keeping up with the latest fads, fashions and gadgets is just sucking our money away while accelerating climate destruction. If we buy less, we can work less.
Beware of monthly subscriptions and bundle deals on things – these sneaky tactics encourage us to overconsume and keep paying for things we don’t really need or want.
Repairing and reusing items with high carbon cost like laptops and phones is another way to reduce our impact. Many of these devices will work fine for years after offical software support ends.
Corporations are avoiding taxes, exploiting staff and suppliers, wrecking the planet and siphoning off money to shareholders; it’s in their nature to chase growth and cut corners in the name of profits.
Ethical Consumer have constantly updated guides to all kinds of products and services that can help us spend our money with ethical companies. They also dig into who owns who, so we can avoid indirectly giving our money to greenwashing or sneaky corporations that buy up ethical looking companies.
Support local businesses
Local businesses are less likely to do this and supporting them keeps money local and avoids the worst facets of capitalism. Supporting your local zero-waste shop, corner shop, bakery, coffee roaster or butcher takes little extra effort if you’re in a large town or city.
Give away and share rarely used items
Apps like Olio allow us to borrow, lend, give away and sell items that we no longer want or only use ocassionally. Libraries of things are popping up in bigger cities too, so we can borrow things like a battery drill or set of spanners. Hackspaces give us access to tools and equipment that aren’t viable to buy for ourselves.
Overall, post-capitalism is a theoretical concept that offers a vision of a more equitable, sustainable, and democratic economic system. While there is no clear roadmap for achieving this vision, there are things we can do today in order to achieve a more equitable and sustainable future.