Mapping Post-capitalist Futures in Dark Times




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Pluto Press


Book chapter

Peer reviewed



This chapter explores the forms through which pathways towards post-capitalism might emerge, situating his argument through the work of George Ciccariello-Maher and his ‘decolonised dialectic’. In doing so, it foregrounds the violent dynamics of exclusion that characterise capitalism as a means to conceptualise how this might present the grounds on which prefigurative practices can generate a forceful rupture with the crises of the present. This chapter argues that these paths exist beyond any inclusive technological utopianism and Western-centric universalisms in a multiplicity of agency rooted in diverse particularisms.

As Wark notes, the question driving politics now is no longer how to ‘manage biopower’ – that living component required for the reproduction of global capitalism – but rather: ‘from whom is the maintenance of life to be withdrawn first?’ (Wark 2014). This is hideously exemplified in recent times. Violent border regimes in Europe and North America oversee those fleeing intersecting crises, withdrawing any ‘maintenance of life’ as they die in deserts or at sea, while the pandemic crisis of Covid-19 has seen governments neglect marginalised communities through reckless approaches to public health, leaving hundreds of thousands dead.

Drawing on the ‘decolonising dialectic’ of George Ciccariello-Maher (2017), the chapter argues that we can fruitfully rethink routes toward an uncertain post-capitalist future from the starting point of these dynamics of exclusion. The drive to exclude, and its centrality to capitalism’s own self-reproduction, creates sites and spaces in which excluded actors organise through the particularism of their exclusion to engender a rupture in and against the prevailing political order. It is, I argue, this understanding of dialectical motion that can better help us to situate possible routes toward post-capitalism in the lived realities of excluded populations in the Global South and beyond.



postcapitalism, political economy, crisis, international political economy, international political economy


Fishwick, A. (2021) Mapping Post-capitalist Futures in Dark Times. In: Adam Fishwick and Nicholas Kiersey (eds.) 'Post-capitalist Futures: Political Economy Beyond Crisis and Hope', London: Pluto Press


Research Institute

Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA)