What would happen if Capitalism was to come to a peaceful end at some point in the coming decades, as I proposed in this post?
Culture is a complex system of communicating vessels, and it would be impossible to shut down capitalism without causing a chain reaction of cultural consequences that are seemingly far away from it: it won’t be enough to imagine a different model for our economy to understand how our world would change.
For example, our way to globalisation is the result of our system of beliefs: we evaluate countries’ success on the base of shared parameters such as GDP, distribution of wealth, life expectancy, access to health care, to education, and so on.
In a world of limited resources we need those measurements: they are our way to make sure resources are available to those who “deserve” them; and we measure deservingness with productivity.
Rather intuitively actually: if you want to utilize resources, you need to produce resources first.
In a Post-Capitalist society, where access to resources is made widely available via near-0 costs of production, a wave of deglobalization would follow, and this would create pockets of extreme localism like we haven’t seen in a long time.
We only judge each other on the basis of productivity because it is our value to make society more and more efficient, we have a goal in mind, and that is the End of Work.
The day when we will reach that goal, we will stop being interested with the contributions made by our neighbour, and we will stop being obsessed with accumulating individual capital.
Our instinct to accumulate capitals rises from the perceived possibility of needing them in the future, in fact we sometimes go to extra length and arguably we devote ourselves to a life of struggle, with the goal to make sure that the day won’t come when we as individual and our families will be out of resources.
Our instinct to judge negatively the grasshoppers as opposed to the ants, is but a byproduct of our current set of values. At the end of the day: who cares what the grasshopper does in its free time, when production is entirely automated with robots?
Not just that, but there’s also another not-so-bright side of it: capitalism is by nature on the look for cheaper and cheaper workforce, and this was often found in developing countries, sometimes with great results for the population (Japan, Korea), sometimes with dramatic social effects. Many of our measurements serve indirectly also as an index for global social injustice, of which capitalism has often been a concurring cause. Not only that, but as the most successful engine available for generating wealth at a global scale, the success of capitalism as a whole, is also measured through the wealth it generated in disadvantaged areas of the world.
So, back on the not-so-bright side: once we reach the end goal of freeing humanity from work, if the psychological backlash of a loss of purpose was to hit more harshly some areas than others; if it was to cause waves of addictions, or of crimes against the person, this would probably not be perceived with a sense of guilt in the same way as some of us perceive poverty today.
Global indifference is a clear risk of a deglobalized culture, but at the same time, pockets of extreme locality would be allowed to re-develop, re-embrace local traditions, stir away from the colonization of culture they are experiencing today and through that, allow for a renaissance of global diversity that we are very much beginning to miss.
In a way, the same Social Media that are under fire in our days for many shortcomings, on the other hand had the merit of igniting the phoenomenon that we call Glocalization: an anticipation of what the good side of deglobalization will be like.