Don’t Be Scared About The End Of Capitalism—Be Excited To Build What Comes Next

By Jason Hickel and Martin Kirk7 minute Read

This story reflects the views of these authors, but not necessarily the editorial position of Fast Company.

These are fast-changing times. Old certainties are collapsing around us and people are scrambling for new ways of being in the world. As we pointed out in a recent article, 51% of young people in the United States no longer support the system of capitalism. And a solid 55% of Americans of all ages believe that capitalism is fundamentally unfair.

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Two new books on the Green New Deal

Does the Green New Deal assume a faith in “green growth”? Does the Green New Deal make promises that go far beyond what our societies can afford? Will the Green New Deal saddle ordinary taxpayers with huge tax bills? Can the Green New Deal provide quick solutions to both environmental overshoot and economic inequality?

These questions have been posed by people from across the spectrum – but of course proponents of a Green New Deal may not agree on all of the goals, let alone an implementation plan. So it’s good to see two concise manifestos – one British, one American – released by Verso in November.

The Case for the Green New Deal (by Ann Pettifor), and A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal (by Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Daniel Aldana Cohen and Thea Riofrancos) each clock in at a little under 200 pages, and both books are written in accessible prose for a general audience.

Surprisingly, there is remarkably little overlap in coverage and it’s well worth reading both volumes.

The Case for a Green New Deal takes a much deeper dive into monetary policy. A Planet To Win devotes many pages to explaining how a socially just and environmentally wise society can provide a healthy, prosperous, even luxurious lifestyle for all citizens, once we understand that luxury does not consist of ever-more-conspicuous consumption.

The two books wind to their destinations along different paths but they share some very important principles…..

Comments from Janet Eaton

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Venice City Council Chamber Floods Minutes After Members Vote Down Climate Crisis Amendment

It seemed like divine intervention—or at least the hand of Gaia. Minutes after the Venetian city council voted down a resolution addressing the climate crisis Wednesday, the council chambers were filled with water for the first time in history, the result of unprecedented flooding in the city due to the highest tides in 50 years.

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Walden Bello: We Have to Move to a Post-Capitalist System

World-renowned scholar Walden Bello on the financialization of the Chinese economy, the middle-class roots of far-right movements, and the urgent need for a radical alternative to capitalism’s crises.

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Urban farming as a response to climate-driven food crises: Cuba shows the way

When countries run short of food, they need to find solutions fast, and one answer can be urban farming.

That was the remedy Cuba seized with both hands 30 years ago when it was confronted with the dilemma of an end to its vital food imports. And what worked then for Cuba could have lessons today for the wider world, as it faces growing hunger in the face of the climate crisis.

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Forged in Fire: Lessons from a California town for a Green New Deal – Naomi Klein

The Chico California plan is one of many similar local initiatives that have sprung up… [and] may be the most politically significant. Because the Chico Green New Deal is based directly on this region’s hard-won experience of living through the 2018 inferno; it was forged, quite literally, in fire. Like its national inspiration, the Chico Green New Deal framework marries rapid decarbonization targets with calls for more affordable housing; a safe and sustainable food system; investments in “clean, 21st century” public transit; green jobs creation, including projects earmarked for the poorest residents; and much more.

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Targeted ads are one of the world’s most destructive trends. Here’s why | Arwa Mahdawi | Opinion | The Guardian

An excellent article on social media advertising, an obstacle to planning for a post growth world.

Targeted advertising, along with the digital economy’s reliance on advertising-based business models, is one of the most destructive trends in the modern world. It has led to a proliferation of fake news and clickbait. It has fuelled surveillance capitalism and normalised pervasive tracking and data-mining

Personalised adverts are not better for anyone. They have turned the internet into a surveillance nightmare. The fact that marketers are able to serve me ads for yoga mats the moment after I’ve booked a yoga class is not worth trading my privacy for. It’s not worth being stalked online by a yoga mat I once clicked on. It’s not worth having my every move analysed by a million activity trackers. It’s not worth having my phone battery drained by the data-guzzling ads that render many parts of the internet borderline unnavigable.

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