Inventing_the_future-max_221 more images image

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work

“A fascinating book about an alternative to austerity.” – Owen Jones
A major new manifesto for a high-tech future free from work.

Neoliberalism isn’t working. Austerity is forcing millions into poverty and many more into precarious work, while the left remains trapped in stagnant political practices that offer no respite.

Inventing the Future is a bold new manifesto for life after capitalism. Against the confused understanding of our high-tech world by both the right and the left, this book claims that the emancipatory and future-oriented possibilities of our society can be reclaimed. Instead of running from a complex future, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams demand a postcapitalist economy capable of advancing standards, liberating humanity from work and developing technologies that expand our freedoms.

Reviews

  • “Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams' project dares to propose a different way of thinking and acting. Given the fizzling of the Occupy moment, a radical rethinking of the anarchic approach is badly needed but just not happening. This book could do a lot of work in getting that rethink going.”
  • “A powerful book: it not only shows us how the postcapitalist world of rapidly improving technology could make us free, but it also shows us how we can organise to get there. This is a must-read.”
  • “Srnicek and Williams demonstrate how a sustainable economic future is less a question of means than of imagination. The postcapitalist world they envision is utterly attainable, if we can remember that we have been inventing the economy all along.”
  • Inventing the Future is exactly what we need right now. With immense patience and care, it sets out a clear and compelling vision of a postcapitalist society. Equally importantly, it lays out a plausible programme which can take us from 24/7 capitalist immiseration to a world free of work.”
  • “A conceptual launch pad for a new socialist imagination…”
  • “Most important book of 2015”
  • “A fascinating book about an alternative to austerity: can't wait to read it.”
  • “Neoliberalism and austerity seem to reign supreme – the idea of a society not run for profit seems impossible. Or does it? The fascinating Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams argues for a radical transformation of society.”
  • “A future free from work might seem unrealistic, but it is actually the elephant in the room that Cameron et al. would rather you ignored. Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’ fabulous study Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (Verso) opened my eyes to the role technology might play in making society possible again.”
  • Inventing the Future is unapologetically a manifesto, and a much-overdue clarion call to a seriously disorganized metropolitan left to get its shit together, to start thinking — and arguing — seriously about what is to be done…It is hard to deny the persuasiveness with which the book puts forward the positive contents of a new and vigorous populism; in demanding full automation and universal basic income from the world system, they also demand the return of utopian thinking and serious organization from the left.”
  • Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, offers an ambitious, thoughtfully creative and meticulously researched blueprint for a new strategy toward building a mass global movement to counter the hegemony of neoliberal capitalism…Srnicek and Williams offer a profoundly thoughtful, meticulously analyzed contribution to this body of work. Most importantly, they offer a glimmer of hope that the future is something that might still be invented by us, not imposed from above.”
  • Inventing the Future is both accessible and original”
  • “I love the way [Srnicek and Williams] talk about a basic income as something really transformative”
  • “As well as books such as Guy Standing’s The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class (2011) and Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism (2015), one recent text is talked about more than most among people interested in UBI. Inventing the Future was published last year and has already created significant buzz in leftwing circles”
  • “This is a book I’ve been waiting for...The purpose of neo-liberalism is to cancel the future, where tomorrow looks exactly like today only with more stuff and more debt. To hell with that! Our lives are too short and too precious to exist in this Matrix. Please read the book, tell others to read it and let’s invent our future.”
  • “In Inventing the Future, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams take on the two key questions of the left, if I can characterise them broadly: why are we so bad at saying stuff, and do we have anything to say? Their diagnoses of the shortcomings of what they call ‘folk politics,’ are perceptive, clear, brutal, but respectful. Their prescription for the future can seem vertiginously sudden—you’ll need to either get on board with a basic citizen’s income, or form a better refutation than ‘it sounds expensive,’ and fast. But critically, they identify our urgent task: to own modernity.”
  • “Srnicek and Williams have courageously drafted a call to re-imagine left politics from top to bottom.”
  • “They argue that, in the future, the workplace won’t exist in anything like the form we have now, and in any case it will have very few permanent workers. Assuming this position, they ask: What would be the social vision appropriate to a jobless future?”

Blog

  • Red Sale 2017

    A special Red Flash-Sale, 50% off these selected books (with free worldwide shipping) until Feb 15, midnight (UTC).

    Click here to activate your discount.


     

    Continue Reading

  • Stuart Hall: Gramsci and Us

    On this day in 1891 one of the most influential Marxists of the 21st Century, Antonio Gramsci, was born in the small town of Ales in Sardinia. Gramsci's work transformed how we think about a Marxist politics. Whereas the Russian Revolution occured in the "backward" Russia, and as such was as much a revolution against the "old regime" as against capital, Gramsci attempted to wrestle with the question of how we build a revolutionary movement in the developed areas of Western Europe. In particular it was his development of the concept of "hegemony" which was to prove the most influential. In this piece, from the great Stuart Hall and published in The Hard Road to Renewal, Hall attempts to expand these insights of Gramsci's to analyse the "regressive modernisation" of Thatcher. In an age where many are tackling the question of how to build a new left modernity, Gramsci and Hall are as relevant as ever.



    Continue Reading

  • What can Star Wars and Star Trek really tell us about the future?

    In an excerpt from his new book Four Futures: Life After Capitalism, Peter Frase discusses how science fiction can help us understand the future.

    One way of differentiating social science from science fiction is that the first is about describing the world that is, while the second speculates about a world that might be. But really, both are a mixture of imagination and empirical investigation, put together in different ways. Both attempt to understand empirical facts and lived experience as something that is shaped by abstract—and not directly perceptible—structural forces.



    Certain types of speculative fiction are more attuned than others to the particularities of social structure and political economy. In Star Wars, you don’t really care about the details of the galactic political economy. And when the author tries to flesh them out, as George Lucas did in his widely derided Star Wars prequel movies, it only gums up the story. In a world like Star Trek, on the other hand, these details actually matter. Even though Star Wars and Star Trek might superficially look like similar tales of space travel and swashbuckling, they are fundamentally different types of fiction. The former exists only for its characters and its mythic narrative, while the latter wants to root its characters in a richly and logically structured social world.

    Continue Reading

Other books by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams