We are at a unique moment in history. Forces far larger than any individual set the stage for the consternation so many feel with the recent flurry of activity undertaken by our new president. Immigration ban, dismantling the health insurance system, assault on sanctuary cities, the closure of information from EPA. Yet these terrible policies arise now because they can; they arise because the core principles of capitalist modernity are waning, and space is opening for new principles to assert themselves.
This is why we need a new idea.
We know it in our bones. Whatever we thought was normal is falling away. The arising fear results from a simple fact—some people in power were prepared for this with a powerful, negative idea of their own, and most of the rest of us were not. We don’t have an idea. We can’t articulate an alternative. So the best we can do is resist.
No doubt, we need to resist, but resistance can only stop, it cannot create. And if we successfully stop this insanity from moving forward, we will be right back where we started—with conditions ready for a new idea to take over, and no new idea available other than the strangely coherent ideologies of hateful stupidity.
So while we must march and resist, we must also think. We must develop the new ideas that will replace not only modern capitalism, but also this sick regression Trump is now foisting upon the country. These things only happen where there is a vacuum of powerful ideas.
As I have written in the Postcapitalist Manifesto, core principles of capitalism are falling—hierarchy, coercion, extraction, and scarcity. Private property and rule of law are being challenged as well. Facts are becoming fungible. Even representative democracy must confront the reality and possibility of challenges—will we replace it with direct democracy? Or a with a ruling junta of powerful elites?
As all these core principles are crumbling, Trump comes in with an answer—MORE hierarchy, coercion, extraction, and scarcity—especially scarcity—and in replacement of rule of law, representative democracy, and facts, he presents his own person as the font of knowledge, law, and power. This became a winning formula only because there is no coherent, widely understood alternative thought environment. We must create such a thought environment if we are to get out of this mess.
Join us at www.postcapfuture.com to keep this moving.