Global capitalism is facing its most severe crisis in decades. If the history of capitalism is one of never-ending transformation, crises often mark before-and-after turning points. The period from 2008 into the third decade of the twenty-first century has been one long protracted crisis that, far from being resolved, has been aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic. This crisis is as much economic (chronic stagnation) as it is political (state legitimacy) as capitalist hegemony breaks down. But the crisis is also existential because of the threat of ecological collapse as well as the renewed threat of nuclear war, to which we must add the danger of future pandemics that may involve much deadlier microbes than coronaviruses.
Can global capitalism endure? Indeed, will humanity survive? These are, to be sure, two distinct questions. It is entirely possible that the system endures even as a majority of humanity faces desperate struggles for survival that will lead many to perish in the coming years and decades.
The agents of global capitalism are presently attempting to purchase a new lease on life for the system through digital restructuring and regulatory and redistributive reform that some among the global elite are advocating in the face of mass revolt from below. A new round of digital-driven restructuring may turbo-charge the economy sufficiently to usher in a period of rising profits and prosperity for the system as a whole, even as billions of people are abandoned.
It is difficult to see how global capitalism can endure in the long run without a much more profound overhaul than is currently on the horizon, involving a reversal of escalating inequalities through a radical downward redistribution of wealth and power. Yet even then, global capitalism will still run up against its inherent contradictions as well as the finite limits of the planetary ecosystem.
Highly scholarly yet specifically crafted to be accessible to an engaged public, this work addresses the present structural crises, the second information age, the global revolt, and what lies ahead: a new epoch of reform and stability, a revolutionary rupture with capitalism, a worldwide fascist dictatorship, or a collapse of global civilization.
Humanity has entered a period of systemic chaos and global civil war and if it is to survive, must overthrow global capitalism and replace it with a form of ecosocialism. The battle over alternative futures is now underway