With respect, I feel CasP is failing of its own radical promise and insights if it does not arrive at the full conclusion that the untrue “representations” – they are actually prescriptions not representations – of money, finance, capital with respect to reality and as calculations for the manipulation of reality ought to be wholly and radically abolished […] The complete abolition of capital and capitalism is an existential necessity, [etc.]
1. Yes, I agree. Capitalism should be radically transformed and, if possible, replaced by a different, saner from of social organization. But you don’t need CasP to draw this conclusion. Marxists, anarchists and many social democrats hold similar views.
2. CasP’s main contribution is to show that capital is power, and that capitalism is a mode of power. But I don’t think these claims per se are enough to assess the pros and cons of capitalized power. Such assessment requires that we figure out, both theoretically and empirically, exactly how, to what extent and with what consequences capital is power and capitalism a mode of power. In my view, this research remains very much in its infancy.
3. These uncertainties do not mean we should not try to change or abolish capitalism. The very imposition of capitalized power and its assorted forms of sabotage is good enough reason to jettison it, even if it doesn’t terminate humanity. But I think we should be careful not to deduce our preferences from ‘CasP findings’. Regrettably, these findings, however promising, require more breadth and depth to replace the existing ideologies and critiques of capitalism.
4. I’m voicing these reservations not to diminish CasP, but to defend it. I think CasP is a very effective template for analyzing — and ultimately changing — capitalism. It helps avoid the difficulties and impossibilities of Marxist materialism and neoclassical utilitarianism while offering insights into crucial processes they serve to hide. But these advantages hinge on keeping CasP a vibrant, open science. Once CasP starts accumulating preset ‘positions’, ‘assertions’, ‘leaders’ and ‘followers’, its science and novelty will fizzle out and dogma will take over.