In the previous post, AB gave a clear statement of what our goal is: the search for a politics that “might give us a world without the ‘permanent crisis’ of capitalism”. But she then noted that “we seem at times to be strategizing for the next battle against capital rather than overcoming it.”
I think we need to acknowledge that we’re facing two distinct problems here. First, how to resolve the crisis of neoliberalism. Second, how to transcend capitalism. Unfortunately, for precisely the reasons we’ve been discussing, contemporary subjectivity is manifestly inadequate to the project of overcoming capitalism. What’s more, the struggle to overcome capitalism will necessarily be played out on the terrain shaped by the resolution of the crisis of neoliberalism. That terrain might open a path to overcoming capitalism, or it might throw up new, insuperable obstacles.
Can we safely dismiss the idea that spiraling levels of economic dysfunction and intensifying competition over how to divide a steadily decreasing pool of total global wealth will lead us to the transcendence of capitalism? If so, then the urgent task of the present is to formulate a way out of the crisis — that is, a new regime of capitalist accumulation.
Figuring out how to revive accumulation is certainly distasteful, and given the global failure to solve the increasingly acute environmental effects of accumulation, it’s also quite dangerous. But it does give us the opportunity to try to shape the outcome in a way that could generate the preconditions, of both structure and consciousness, for a politics whose explicit goal is the overcoming of capitalism.
This may be controversial, and I’m open to a different approach, if one could be formulated.