HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Four Futures: Life after Capitalism

by Peter Frase

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3071269,890 (3.91)5
'It is easier to imagine the end of the world,' the theorist Fredric Jameson has remarked, 'than to imagine the end of capitalism.' Jacobin editor Peter Frase argues that technological advancements and environmental threats will inevitably push our society beyond capitalism, and Four Futures imagines just how this might look. Extrapolating possible futures from current changes the world is now experience, and drawing upon speculative fictions to illustrate how these futures might look, Four Futures examines communism, rentism, socialism and exterminism-or in other words, the socialisms we may reach if a resurgent Left is successful, and the barbarisms we may be consigned to if those movements fail.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 5 mentions

English (11)  Catalan (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Smart, thought-provoking look at the political economic paths we might take. The author is a Marxist, and some of his sections make or are based on assumptions I don't share (and sometimes find naive or somewhat inconsistent). But this short, crisp work is very useful for anyone looking for frameworks for better understanding the current moment and where we might be headed. ( )
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
Filled with disclaimers about not being a work of futurism, this is nevertheless a nice piece of speculative fiction (or "speculative social science," to use the Frase phrase). A simple two axes do the job of postulating future political economies: scarcity v. abundance, hierarchy v. egalitarianism. Combining pairs serve to illustrate everything from a Star Trek-style communist utopia of plenty to an immiserated, "exterminist" world of rich enclaves and mass suffering.

Obviously, this isn't meant to be a comprehensive future analysis, but as a starting point for trying to build a better world, it's pretty good. ( )
1 vote goliathonline | Jul 7, 2020 |
As current events continue to instill a sense of impending doom over our contemporary lives, seeming to grow every year, I found Peter Frase’s book length essay, Four Futures: Life After Capitalism to be a fascinating and edifying read. In Four Futures, Frase describes the “two specters … haunting Earth in the twenty-first century: the specters of ecological catastrophe and automation,” which while “in many ways diametrical opposites,” exemplify our historic moment, “volatile and uncertain, full of both promise and danger.” A fascinating discussion, in the book Frase attempts to use the “tools of social science” as well as speculative fiction to examine how we imagation our future possibilities and conflicts.

Frase, in the end, envisions four options for the future of our society and uses popular culture as a lens to sketch out how they may operate, to paraphrase a quote Frase includes from Rosa Luxembourg’s 1915 statement regarding the fate of Bourgeois society, “two socialisms and two barbarisms.” Communism, which indicates an abundance of resources thanks to technological advances coupled with a broad equality, Rentism, in which those same technological advances exist but stay shackled to our current economic inequality, Socialism, in which scarcity remains a obstacle but equality maintains society fairly, and Exterminationism, in which the elite finally decide the majority of humanity need no longer exist. All in all this is, I feel, a useful way to look at discussions of imagined futures, and I will be referring back to these “four futures” in my own readings of pop culture dystopias/utopias.

I discuss Four Futures and other books in my latest entry of Harris' Tome Corner, The Anxiety of the Future #1, https://medium.com/@burk0277/anxiety-of-the-future-1-a-future-for-good-or-ill-fb... ( )
1 vote Spoonbridge | Feb 20, 2020 |
Super super short. So there's a lot of places where Frase simplifies or skips things, not least in the framing of "there are Two Crises, automation and climate change, and I'm gonna analyze them along these two axes." But given the limitations/focus I think this book does a pretty good job of imagining and contrasting different societies we could be living in.

Some of the key assumptions that the book rests on:
- automation will dramatically reduce the need for human labor
- capitalism will end, in the sense that it will stop being the basis for a functional society
Which I find mostly compelling, though I'm not sure how much our automation trajectory will be affected by ecological collapse (which are two crises he treats as orthogonal).

There's also some pretty fun stuff that's basically like, "hey, realistically we are kind of far away from seizing the state & the means of production. So in the meantime we can build strength by 'building alternatives to capitalism' and help people exist without depending quite so much on wage labor." Which is a kind of hopeful message, I think. In addition to avoiding the trap of "all we need is revolution," he also avoids a few others:
- ending capitalism will end sexism & racism
- ending capitalism will end hierarchies in general
- automation will mean people work less

And one final note: the four futures he envisions aren't end-points but different states that we can transition between. One could imagine a "rentist" future, with abundance and hierarchy, sliding into an "exterminist" future which then eventually transitions into "communism" for the surviving elite. Room for hope...? ( )
2 vote haagen_daz | Jun 6, 2019 |
A sprightly and astute read. ( )
  kencf0618 | Dec 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Frase, PeterAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Souer, BobNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

'It is easier to imagine the end of the world,' the theorist Fredric Jameson has remarked, 'than to imagine the end of capitalism.' Jacobin editor Peter Frase argues that technological advancements and environmental threats will inevitably push our society beyond capitalism, and Four Futures imagines just how this might look. Extrapolating possible futures from current changes the world is now experience, and drawing upon speculative fictions to illustrate how these futures might look, Four Futures examines communism, rentism, socialism and exterminism-or in other words, the socialisms we may reach if a resurgent Left is successful, and the barbarisms we may be consigned to if those movements fail.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.91)
0.5
1
1.5
2 2
2.5 1
3 11
3.5 1
4 20
4.5 3
5 11

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 170,258,630 books! | Top bar: Always visible