Conclusion
Rethinking the relationship between capitalism, communism, and democracy
in The capitalist mode of destruction
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The conclusion recapitulates the central themes of the book as well as the lessons that one can draw from the trajectory of capitalist development. It argues that, in view of the tensions between capitalism and democracy that chapter 7 discussed, further democratization requires the attainment of a democratic classless society consistent with the communist ideal. Noting the potential for an anti-capitalist alliance between “new social movements” and the “old left” that capitalism’s cost–benefit contradiction creates, the book’s conclusion also briefly reviews the obstacles to the formation of such an alliance. Informing this discussion are the historical lessons of the last century, namely the fact that the hope that capitalism can be humanized by democracy has faded as social democracy has retreated and neoliberal restructuring has followed the passing of capitalism’s post-war “golden age.” Facilitated by the end of the Cold War and the capitalist elites’ perceived need to make material concessions to working people, the neoliberal regression reminds us that an effective response to capitalism’s multidimensional crisis requires more than reforming the existing capitalist system. What is needed is a struggle for a democratic classless (as well as genderless and raceless) society conducive to human well-being and the ecological integrity of the planet.

The capitalist mode of destruction

Austerity, ecological crisis and the hollowing out of democracy

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