Moving Beyond Capitalism Working Group
(updated January 2024)
The IIPPE Moving Beyond Capitalism Working Group (MBC WG) aims to bring together researchers from any of the many heterodox economic traditions to study, develop, and critically apply appropriate political economy methodologies and frameworks for transcending capitalism. While the whole IIPPE political economy project is strongly influenced by a non-dogmatic Marxist understanding of capitalism and its barriers to human development, the organization’s intent is to engage across the broad heterodox spectrum of theoretical and applied viewpoints. The MBC WG likewise seeks to engage across the heterodox spectrum with the goal of developing and promoting ideas for a better non-capitalist world.
The IIPPE Moving Beyond Capitalism Working Group will address, along with other issues that present themselves as our work develops:
- The current concrete discussions from different parts of the world on a post-capitalist society or on individual practices and institutions appropriate for such a society. These practices and institutions include the goals that such a society should have and why; social labor practices; induvial contributions to, and procedures for, the distribution of the social product; social decision making and appropriate governance practices and institutions; the necessity of planning and how to do it in a social and participative way; the much debated issue today of whether markets are incompatible with planning, including the difference between markets for goods produced by capitalist circuits of capital and markets as tools for some exchanges used by a planned economy; etc.
- The ideas of Marx and Engels on the society that will transcend capitalism.
- Other ideas from the Marxist tradition on the society that will transcend capitalism.
- Ideas from non-Marxist traditions on the society that will transcend capitalism.
- The issue of the process of moving beyond capitalism, that is, the issue of the transition from capitalism to some post- and anti-capitalist system, both at a general level of analysis, and for given concrete capitalist societies.
- The many different ideas of the SSE (Social and Solidarity Economy) movement (which some advocates present as reforms within capitalism to make it less brutal, while others present them as contributions to transcending capitalism), as one big “current” today among people looking to build a better world.
- The issue of what is the role of the working class in the process of transition, or more generally, who will be the active agents, again both at a general theoretical level of analysis, and for given concrete historically contingent cases, as an important and historically posed part of the issue of the transition beyond capitalism.
- The issue of the theoretical importance of the fight against identity-based oppression (by gender, race, nationality, religion, etc.) in the transition, as part of the fight against capitalism’s central process by which it pursues its goal of accumulating and expanding capital, exploitation. (Presumably there is no discussion of oppression in the post-capitalist society, it will have been eliminated in the transition as one of the goals of the new society.)
- The issue of what role, if any, there is for a “vanguard party” in the process of transition, including particularly what the nature should be of a vanguard party, again both at a general theoretical level of analysis and for given concrete historically contingent cases.
- The need for a continual study and debunking of arguments used by the defenders of capitalism concerning the impossibility or undesirability of moving beyond capitalism.
- The need for a continual consideration of how we can link the activities of the MBC WG, which in the first instance are academic, and the skills and resources associated with those academic studies, to the specific needs of forces engaged in the concrete struggles to move beyond capitalism.
- The positive and negative lessons to be learned from various different 20th century declared national attempts to move beyond capitalism, such as for example the Soviet Union, China, Yugoslavia, and Cuba.
- An evaluation of the declared national attempts to move beyond capitalism now going on, such as for example China, Vietnam, and Cuba.
The initial goal of this working group is to facilitate the sharing of information and the interchange of ideas among academics and/or activists engaged in studying moving beyond capitalism. A first activity of this type will be to develop on our Web page a listing of relevant published and unpublished material. A second activity of this type will be to go on to create a channel for the interchange of ideas and reviewing each other’s work concerning moving beyond capitalism.
This working group is intended to contribute panels to the annual IIPPE conferences, and in time to conferences of other relevant groups. Its next planned activity of the former type will occur at IIPPE’s 2024 Annual Conference in Istanbul in September 2024.
To join into the Moving Beyond Capitalism Working Group contact Al at email@example.com.