16 May The Future Left Reading Group Presents: Inventing The Future
Inventing The Future is a landmark work of contemporary social and political commentary that has, since its publication in 2015, reset the course of activism on the Left and inspired a wave of futureward political organizing— our own group, The Future Left, among them. Srnicek and Williams challenge the effectiveness of hyperlocalized “folks politics” for tackling complex, global issues, such as climate change, multinational capitalism, rapid technological innovation, or the erosion of the nation-state. They also explain the limitations of any horizontal politics, of the kind we saw during #OccupyWallStreet, that takes “resistance” as its primary strategy.
The future, according to the authors, has been ceded to the Right, through a decades-long play for hegemony by neoliberal thinkers, thought-leaders, and thinktanks. As such, the Left continually returns to a repertoire of dated historical strategies that fail precisely for their inability to account for emerging social, economic, and technological conditions and orders.
Moving past the “accelerationism” once associated with Srnicek and Williams, Inventing the Future makes concrete demands— such as full automation and universal basic income— but with a measured understanding of the political and social pressures needed to realize them in an equitable post-capitalist world.
Excerpt written by Matthew Donovan and Brandon Avery Joyce of The Universal Research Group.