“Newsnight economics editor Paul Mason interviewed Prof Castells in front of an audience at The London School of Economics for BBC Radio 4’s Analysis about his latest book Aftermath: The Cultures of the Economic Crisis.
Prof Castells suggests we may be about to see the emergence of a new kind of capitalism, with businesses growing out of the counter-cultures of the last 20 years. Here are some extracts from their conversation. :
Paul Mason: How big is this culture change?
“It is fundamental because it triggers a crisis of trust in the two big powers of our world: the political system and the financial system.
People don’t trust where they put their money and they don’t trust those who they delegate in terms of their vote.
“It’s a dramatic crisis of trust and if there is no trust, there is no society.
“What we are not going to see is the economic collapse per se because societies cannot work in a social vacuum. If the economic institutions don’t work, if the financial institutions don’t work, the power relations that exist in society change the financial system in ways favoured to the financial system and it doesn’t collapse. People collapse, not the financial system.
“The notion is the banks are going to be alright, we are not going to be alright. So there is a cultural change. A big one. Total distrust in the institutions of finance and politics.
“Some people start already living differently as they can – some because they want alternative ways of life, others because they don’t have any other choice.
“What I refer to is about the observation of one of my latest studies on people who have decided not to wait for the revolution – to start living differently – meaning the expansion of what I call in a technical term ‘non-capitalist practices’.
“They are economic practices but they don’t have a for-profit motivation – such as barter networks; such as social currencies; co-operatives; self-management; agricultural networks; helping each other simply in terms of wanting to be together; networks of providing services for free to others in the expectation that someone will also provide to you. All this exists and it’s expanding throughout the world.”
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AN : Profound treatise ! Do read the whole article and delve further into what is actively happening in this transformational, disruptive thinking area of real economics.