Video essay

Video: Is tech killing capitalism?

By Adam Westbrook 31 March 2017
Summary

It's not as crazy an idea as it sounds.

Throughout March here at The Memo, we’ve been taking a good look at the future of finance.

We’ve explored how banking is being shaken up by new digital challengers, visited the British towns launching their own currencies and found out how to Boss It Like the leaders of some of the world’s biggest finance institutions.

We’re rounding up the month by asking a BIG question about the future: is capitalism doomed?

What sounds like a ridiculous question is being asked by more and more economists as the world continues to experience a seemingly never-ending recession.

Wages are flat, economic growth is painfully slow. Earlier this month the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned of a ‘lost decade’ with wages in 2022 being no higher than they were in 2007.

Another study by the OECD warns things could stay this way until 2060.

It’s hard to escape the idea that capitalism has never been so unhealthy.

In 2015 Channel 4 News economics editor Paul Mason published Postcapitalism, which argues that capitalism will die in our lifetime – and that technology will be caught holding the smoking gun.

In computers, Mason says, capitalism has created something that fundamentally undermines it.

Sounds too crazy to imagine? We break down the idea in this short animated video essay.

If tech is killing capitalism then what will replace it? Can we even begin to imagine a world without money?