An interview with Moishe Postone: That Capital has limits does not mean that it will collapse

The anarchist’ understanding of an emancipated society is usually that of a local model. I do not know how one imagines a globe which has been constituted historically now returning to local communities that have tenuous relations with other communities that are not close by. I think that anarchism today can be seen as a misguided if understandable reaction to the kind of bureaucratization of civil society and of the state that is characteristic of advanced capitalism. But it is not adequate to the catastrophe to which we are heading. I think there is a reason why there have been so many dystopian films in the last generation. What we can have is an image of complete social collapse. Capitalism would not necessarily collapse economically, as a system of social mediation of wealth. But the society to which it gave rise would collapse. The result would be a form of social life that would either be Hobbesian — brutal nasty and short (think of Mad Max) — or it would be militarily controlled. We are on the verge of this sort of social collapse. I say this although I am not a friend of theories of catastrophe at all. I do not like apocalyptic visions, they have usually been destructive.


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