The New Prophets of Capital

Author: Nicole Aschoff
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781781688113
Release Date: 2015-03-31
Genre: Political Science

A deft and caustic takedown of the new prophets of profit, from Bill Gates to Oprah As severe environmental degradation, breathtaking inequality, and increasing alienation push capitalism against its own contradictions, mythmaking has become as central to sustaining our economy as profitmaking. Enter the new prophets of capital: Sheryl Sandberg touting the capitalist work ethic as the antidote to gender inequality; John Mackey promising that free markets will heal the planet; Oprah Winfrey urging us to find solutions to poverty and alienation within ourselves; and Bill and Melinda Gates offering the generosity of the 1 percent as the answer to a persistent, systemic inequality. The new prophets of capital buttress an exploitative system, even as the cracks grow more visible. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The ABCs of Socialism

Author: Bhaskar Sunkara
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781784787271
Release Date: 2016-07-12
Genre: Political Science

Slim, accessible, inexpensive, irreverent introduction to socialism by the writers of Jacobin magazine The remarkable run of self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders for president of the United States has prompted—for the first time in decades and to the shock of many—a national conversation about socialism. A New York Times poll in late November found that a majority of Democrats had a favorable view of socialism, and in New Hampshire in February, more than half of Democratic voters under 35 told the Boston Globe they call themselves socialists. It’s unclear exactly what socialism means to this generation, but couple with the ascendancy of longtime leftwinger Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party in the UK, it’s clear there’s a historic, generational shift underway. This book steps into this moment to offer a clear, accessible, informative, and irreverent guide to socialism for the uninitiated. Written by young writers from the dynamic magazine Jacobin, alongside several distinguished scholars, The ABCs of Socialism answers basic questions, including ones that many want to know but might be afraid to ask (“Doesn’t socialism always end up in dictatorship?”, “Will socialists take my Kenny Loggins records?”). Disarming and pitched to a general readership without sacrificing intellectual depth, this will be the best introduction an idea whose time seems to have come again. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Utopia or Bust A Guide to the Present Crisis

Author: Benjamin Kunkel
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781781683286
Release Date: 2014-03-11
Genre: Political Science

After the financial crash and the great recession, the media rediscovered Karl Marx, socialist theory, and the very idea that capitalism can be questioned. But in spite of the publicity, the main paths of contemporary critical thought have gone unexplored outside of the academy. Benjamin Kunkel’s Utopia or Bust leads readers – whether politically committed or simply curious – through the most important critical theory today. Written with the wit and verve of Kunkel’s best-selling novel, Indecision, this introduction to contemporary Leftist thinkers engages with the revolutionary philosophy of Slavoj Žižek, the economic analyses of David Graeber and David Harvey, and the cultural diagnoses of Fredric Jameson. Discussing the ongoing crisis of capitalism in light of ideas of full employment, debt forgiveness, and “fictitious capital,” Utopia or Bust is a tour through the world of Marxist thought and an examination of the basis of Western society today. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Inventing the Future

Author: Nick Srnicek
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781784780982
Release Date: 2015-11-17
Genre: Social Science

A major new manifesto for a high-tech future free from work Neoliberalism isn’t working. Austerity is forcing millions into poverty and many more into precarious work, while the left remains trapped in stagnant political practices that offer no respite. Inventing the Future is a bold new manifesto for life after capitalism. Against the confused understanding of our high-tech world by both the right and the left, this book claims that the emancipatory and future-oriented possibilities of our society can be reclaimed. Instead of running from a complex future, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams demand a postcapitaiist economy capable of advancing standards, liberating humanity from work and developing technologies that expand our freedoms. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Class War

Author: Megan Erickson
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781781689387
Release Date: 2015-09-08
Genre: Education

What America has at stake when some children go to school hungry and others ride in $1,000 strollers In an age of austerity, elite corporate education reformers have found new ways to transfer the costs of raising children from the state to individual families. Public schools, tasked with providing education, childcare, job training, meals, and social services to low-income children, struggle with cutbacks. Meanwhile, private schools promise to nurture the minds and personalities of future professionals to the tune of $40,000 a year. As Class War reveals, this situation didn’t happen by chance. In the media, educational success is framed as a consequence of parental choices and natural abilities. In truth the wealthy are ever more able to secure advantages for their children, deepening the rifts between rich and poor. The longer these divisions persist, the worse the consequences. Drawing on Erickson’s own experience as a teacher in the New York City school system, Class War reveals how modern education has become the real “hunger games,” stealing opportunity and hope from disadvantaged children for the benefit of the well-to-do. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Future We Want

Author: Sarah Leonard
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
ISBN: 9780805098303
Release Date: 2016-02-02
Genre: Political Science

A stirring blueprint for American equality, from the "breakout stars" (The New York Times) of the young new left Democrat, Republican -- the list of presidential candidates confirms that business is proceeding pretty much as usual. The Future We Want proposes something different. In a sharp, rousing collective manifesto, ten young cultural and political critics dismantle the usual liberal solutions to America's ills and propose a pragmatic alternative. What would finance look like without Wall Street? Or the workplace with responsibility shared by the entire workforce? From a campaign to limit work hours, to a program for full employment, to proposals for a new feminism, The Future We Want has the courage to think of alternatives that are both utopian and possible. Brilliantly clear and provocative, The Future We Want -- edited by Jacobin magazine founder Bhaskar Sunkara and the Nation's Sarah Leonard -- harnesses the energy and creativity of an angry generation and announces the arrival of a new political left that not only protests but plans.

Cyber Marx

Author: Nick Dyer-Witheford
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252067959
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Business & Economics

Assesses the relevance of Marxism in our time and demonstrates how the information age, far from transcending the historic conflict between capital and its laboring subjects, constitutes the latest battleground in their encounter.

Platform Capitalism

Author: Nick Srnicek
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781509504886
Release Date: 2017-05-23
Genre: Philosophy

What unites Google and Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, Siemens and GE, Uber and Airbnb? Across a wide range of sectors, these firms are transforming themselves into platforms: businesses that provide the hardware and software foundation for others to operate on. This transformation signals a major shift in how capitalist firms operate and how they interact with the rest of the economy: the emergence of ï¿1⁄2platform capitalismï¿1⁄2. This book critically examines these new business forms, tracing their genesis from the long downturn of the 1970s to the boom and bust of the 1990s and the aftershocks of the 2008 crisis. It shows how the fundamental foundations of the economy are rapidly being carved up among a small number of monopolistic platforms, and how the platform introduces new tendencies within capitalism that pose significant challenges to any vision of a post-capitalist future. This book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how the most powerful tech companies of our time are transforming the global economy."

Postcapitalism

Author: Paul Mason
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374710699
Release Date: 2016-02-09
Genre: Business & Economics

We know that our world is undergoing seismic change—but how can we emerge from the crisis a fairer, more equal society? Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone profound changes—economic cycles that veer from boom to bust—from which it has always emerged transformed and strengthened. Surveying this turbulent history, Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism argues that we are on the brink of a change so big and so profound that this time capitalism itself, the immensely complex system within which entire societies function, will mutate into something wholly new. At the heart of this change is information technology, a revolution that is driven by capitalism but, with its tendency to push the value of much of what we make toward zero, has the potential to destroy an economy based on markets, wages, and private ownership. Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, swaths of economic life are beginning to move to a different rhythm. Vast numbers of people are changing how they behave and live, in ways contrary to the current system of state-backed corporate capitalism. And as the terrain changes, new paths open. In this bold and prophetic book, Mason shows how, from the ashes of the crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable economy. Although the dangers ahead are profound, he argues that there is cause for hope. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape the future.

Alternatives to Capitalism

Author: Robin Hahnel
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781784785062
Release Date: 2016-05-24
Genre: Political Science

What would a viable free and democratic society look like? Poverty, exploitation, instability, hierarchy, subordination, environmental exhaustion, radical inequalities of wealth and power—it is not difficult to list capitalism’s myriad injustices. But is there a preferable and workable alternative? Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy presents a debate between two such possibilities: Robin Hahnel’s “participatory economics” and Erik Olin Wright’s “real utopian” socialism. It is a detailed and rewarding discussion that illuminates a range of issues and dilemmas of crucial importance to any serious effort to build a better world. From the Trade Paperback edition.

How Will Capitalism End

Author: Wolfgang Streeck
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781784784034
Release Date: 2016-11-29
Genre: Political Science

The provocative political thinker asks if it will be with a bang or a whimper After years of ill health, capitalism is now in a critical condition. Growth has given way to stagnation; inequality is leading to instability; and confidence in the money economy has all but evaporated. In How Will Capitalism End?, the acclaimed analyst of contemporary politics and economics Wolfgang Streeck argues that the world is about to change. The marriage between democracy and capitalism, ill-suited partners brought together in the shadow of World War Two, is coming to an end. The regulatory institutions that once restrained the financial sector’s excesses have collapsed and, after the final victory of capitalism at the end of the Cold War, there is no political agency capable of rolling back the liberalization of the markets. Ours has become a world defined by declining growth, oligarchic rule, a shrinking public sphere, institutional corruption and international anarchy, and no cure to these ills is at hand.

Imagined Futures

Author: Jens Beckert
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674545892
Release Date: 2016-06-07
Genre: Social Science

Consumers, investors, and corporations orient their activities toward a future that contains opportunities and risks. How do these actors assess uncertainty? Jens Beckert adds a new chapter to the theory of capitalism by showing how fictional expectations drive modern economies—or throw them into crisis when imagined futures fail to materialize.

Building the Commune

Author: George Ciccariello-Maher
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781784782245
Release Date: 2016-11-01
Genre: Political Science

Latin America’s experiments in direct democracy Since 2011, a wave of popular uprisings has swept the globe, taking shape in the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring, 15M in Spain, and the anti-austerity protests in Greece. The demands have been varied, but have expressed a consistent commitment to the ideals of radical democracy. Similar experiments began appearing across Latin America twenty-five years ago, just as the left fell into decline in Europe. In Venezuela, poor barrio residents arose in a mass rebellion against neoliberalism, ushering in a government that institutionalized the communes already forming organically. In Building the Commune, George Ciccariello-Maher travels through these radical experiments, speaking to a broad range of community members, workers, students and government officials. Assessing the projects’ successes and failures, Building the Commune provides lessons and inspiration for the radical movements of today. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Entropy of Capitalism

Author: Robert Biel
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004204300
Release Date: 2011-10-14
Genre: Social Science

Within the context of the ecological crisis of the twenty-first century, the book integrates Marxism and systems theory to reveal finance capital and the ‘war on terror’ as complementary responses of a capitalism reduced to parasitising upon symptoms of chaos.

Holy Fire

Author: Bruce Sterling
Publisher: Spectra
ISBN: 9780307796776
Release Date: 2011-06-29
Genre: Fiction

The 21st century is coming to a close, and the medical industrial complex dominates the world economy. It is a world of synthetic memory drugs, benevolent government surveillance, underground anarchists, and talking canine companions. Power is in the hands of conservative senior citizens who have watched their health and capital investments with equal care, gaining access to the latest advancements in life-extension technology. Meanwhile, the young live on the fringes of society, ekeing out a meagre survival on free, government-issued rations and a black market in stolen technological gadgetry from an earlier, less sophisticated age. Mia Ziemann is a 94-year-old medical economist who enjoys all the benefits of her position. But a deathbed visit with a long-ago ex-lover and a chance meeting with a young bohemian dress-designer brings Mia to an awful revelation. She has lived her life with such caution that it has been totally bereft of pleasure and adventure. She has one chance to do it all over. But first she must submit herself to a radical--and painful--experimental procedure which promises to make her young again. The procedure is not without risk and her second chance at life will not come without a price. But first she will have to escape her team of medical keepers. Hitching a ride on a plane to Europe, Mia sets out on a wild intercontinental quest in search of spiritual gratification, erotic revelation, and the thing she missed most of all: the holy fire of the creative experience. She joins a group of outlaw anarchists whose leader may be the man of her dreams...or her undoing. Worst of all, Mia will have to undergo one last radical procedure that could cost her a second life. In Holy Fire, Bruce Sterling once again creates a unique and provocative future that deals with such timeless topics of the human condition as love, memory, science, politics, and the meaning of death. Poginant, lyrical, humorous, and often shocking, Holy Fire offers a hard unsparing look into a world that could become our own. From the Paperback edition.