Society lite

For the decline of capitalism to continue, that is to say, no revolutionary alternative is required, and certainly no masterplan of a better society displacing capitalism. Contemporary capitalism is vanishing on its own, collapsing from internal contradictions, and not least as a result of having vanquished its enemies – who, as noted, have often rescued capitalism from itself by forcing it to assume a new form. What comes after capitalism in its final crisis, now under way, is, I suggest, not socialism or some other defined social order, but a lasting interregnum – no new world system equilibrium à la Wallerstein, but a prolonged period of social entropy, or disorder (and precisely for this reason a period of uncertainty and indeterminacy). It is an interesting problem for sociological theory whether and how a society can turn for a significant length of time into less than a society, a post-social society as it were, or a society lite, until it may or may not recover and again become a society in the full meaning of the term.

—Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End?, (London: Verso, 2016), 13-14.

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