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Four Futures: Life After Capitalism

Author Peter Frase in conversation with Alyssa Battistoni at Verso Books in Brooklyn, October 13, 2016.

Join Jacobin and Verso Books for the official launch of Jacobin Editor Peter Frase's Four Futures: Life After Capitalism.

One thing we can be certain of is that capitalism will end. Maybe not soon, but probably before too long; humanity has never before managed to craft an eternal social system, after all, and capitalism is a notably more precarious and volatile order than most of those that preceded it. The question, then, is what will come next?

In Four Futures, Frase imagines how this post-capitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism and extermininsm might actually entail.

Could the current rise of the real-life robocops usher in a world that resembles Ender's Game? And sure, communism will bring an end to material scarcities and inequalities of wealth—but there's no guarantee that social hierarchies, governed by an economy of "likes," wouldn't rise to take their place. A whirlwind tour through science fiction, social theory and the new technologies are already shaping our lives, Four Futures is a balance sheet of the socialisms we may reach if a resurgent Left is successful, and the barbarisms we may be consigned to if those movements fail.