We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wallerstein on the End of Capitalism

Click here to access a 55 minute interview with Immanuel Wallerstein from the studios of KPFA in Berkeley, California.
Our capitalist world seems mired in crisis, beset by low growth and instability.  Immanuel Wallerstein, the father of world-systems theory, argues that the current malaise goes beyond the periodic fluctuations of the business cycle.  According to him, capitalism’s days are numbered: in 20 to 40 years it will be gone.  What replaces it may be something better or something worse.  Wallerstein discusses the end of capitalism, as well as resistance to Donald Trump and the recent attack on Syria.
Wallerstein's initial remarks, which I managed to listen to (I'm short of time this morning), were rather abstract, but I think he becomes clearer later on. I do not like to post articles or interviews without having read or listened to them entirely, but I think this has merit. 

I listened to enough to realize that he sees a future human existence in some form or other, but I think as I've argued before that this is not a valid assumption. In fact, I think that it is likely that humans will become extinct either through nuclear wars or climate destabilization to a point that the biosphere will no longer support human life.

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