Today, the very act of thinking about the future has become a problem. What both capitalism and 'really existing socialism’ had in common was the belief in a future where infinite happiness would spring from the infinite expansion of production: sacrifices made in the present could always be justified in terms of a brighter future. And now? The socialist future has been dead since the fall of the Berlin wall. After that we seemed to live in a world where only the capitalist future existed (even when it was under attack). But now this future, too, is having its obituaries composed, and impending doom is the talk of the town. The 'crisis of the future' – that is, of our capacity to think about the future – is born out of these twin deaths: today it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.
With this in mind we've assembled a collection of articles that, in different ways, speak to us about futures. As much as we didn’t want people’s ten-point programmes when, in June 2007 we asked ‘What would it mean to win?’, our interest here has nothing to do with futurology. There are no grand predictions. No imminent victory, because comfort-zone wishful thinking is the last thing anyone needs now; but no apocalyptic doom either. Neither are there any forward-view mirrors where capitalism recuperates everything and always gets the last laugh. We must have the modesty to recognise that the future is unknown, not because today is the end of everything or the beginning of everything else, but because today is where we are. What we do, what is done to us, and what we do with what is done to us, are what decide the way the dice will go. This requires the patient and attentive work of identifying openings, directions, tendencies, potentials, possibilities – all of which are things that amount to nothing if not acted upon – and of finding out new ways in which to think about the future.
1) ‘Introduction: Present Tense, Future Conditional’ by Turbulence
2) ‘1968 and Paths to New Worlds’ by John Holloway
3) ‘The Politics of Starvation: From Ancient Egypt to the Present’ by George Caffentzis
4) ‘6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Antagonism, Neoliberalism and Movements’ by The Free Association
5) ‘Global Capitalism: Futures and Options’ by Christian Frings
6) ‘The Measure of a Monster: Capital, Class, Competition and Finance’ by David Harvie
7) ‘The Abolition of the Parliamentary Left in Italy’ by Sandro Mezzadra, with an Introduction by Keir Milburn and Ben Trott
8) ‘There is No Room for Futurology; History Will Decide’ by Felix Guattari, with an Introduction by Rodrigo Nunes and Ben Trott
9) ‘This is Not My First Apocalypse’ by Fabian Frenzel and Octavia Raitt
10) ‘The Movement is Dead, Long Live the Movement!’ by Tadzio Mueller
11) ‘Network Politics for the 21st Century’ by Harry Halpin and Kay Summer
Art work by Octavia Raitt. Cover design, Kristyna Baczynski.
Copies can be ordered from www.turbulence.org.uk
In Germany, copies are available via Red Stuff www.antifa-versand.de
And in North America, copies are available via PM Press www.pmpress.org
All articles are also available, for free, via our website.
Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to help out with distribution, or would like to translate any of the articles published in this issue. Some translations are already available online. See: www.turbulence.org.uk/translations
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