Four Futures of Democratic Socialism

with Peter Frase
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Guest Introduction.

My conversation today is with Peter Frase, author of Four Futures: Life After Capitalism, and member of Jacobin Magazine’s editorial board.

Peter is among the most cogent writers on complex socioeconomic topics I’ve encountered. He dropped out of a sociology PhD program & began writing for a more popular, inclusive audience both through his personal website, and as a frequent contributor for Jacobin Magazine, a leading voice in radical left politics.

We spoke about:

  • The past, present, and future of democratic socialism
  • How economic frameworks create the conditions with human development
  • The technocracy of John Maynard Keynes
  • Universal Basic Income
  • The social contract of a post-work society. What does “post-work” actually mean?
  • What is leisure time for? What kinds of humans do we wish to become?
  • Thomas Piketty and the new proposals for progressive taxation
  • Peter’s selection of reading for the foundations & futures of democratic socialism
Time map

7 min ~ What is socialism in the 21st century? What does it want?

14 min ~ John Maynard Keynes’ vision, the good and the bad.

22 min ~ If socioeconomic environments condition particular tracks of human development, how can a revitalized socialism incorporate a focus on human development? What kinds of conditions do we want to build, acknowledging that they always invert to build us?

27 min ~ Universal Basic Income

36:30 min ~ How to pay for UBI

42 min ~ UBI as the capitalist road to communism

57 min ~ What is work? Ideologies that seek to realize themselves through work, contrasted with those than want to transcend work altogether and enter a ‘post-work’ society.

1:00:47 ~ The Fordist Compromise: why the progressive left’s project evolved from chasing shorter working hours to chasing higher wages.

1:04:00 ~ How can we think about making sure the gains of automation are enjoyed by everyone, rather than the small group of people who own the machines?

1:08:30 ~ Is a post-work society achievable now? Or does it depend on the advancement of 3-D printing technology?

1:10:20 ~ What is the social contract in a post-work society?

1:11:60 ~ Why do we want more leisure time? What do we want it for?

1:12:10 ~ The need for new modes of education

1:17:10 ~ Thomas Piketty and recent proposals for progressive taxation in the 21st century

1:20:00 ~ On RadicalxChange

Links from the conversation
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