Four Futures

Author: Peter Frase
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781781688151
Release Date: 2016-10-11
Genre: Political Science

Capitalism is going to end Peter Frase argues that increasing automation and a growing scarcity of resources, thanks to climate change, will bring it all tumbling down. In Four Futures, Frase imagines how this post-capitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism, socialism and exterminism might actually entail. Could the current rise of real-life robocops usher in a world that resembles Ender’s Game? And sure, communism will bring an end to material scarcities and inequalities of wealth—but there’s no guarantee that social hierarchies, governed by an economy of “likes,” wouldn’t rise to take their place. A whirlwind tour through science fiction, social theory and the new technologies already shaping our lives, Four Futures is a balance sheet of the socialisms we may reach if a resurgent Left is successful, and the barbarisms we may be consigned to if those movements fail. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Four Futures

Author: Peter Frase
Publisher: Verso
ISBN: 1781688133
Release Date: 2016-10-11
Genre: Political Science

Capitalism is going to end Peter Frase argues that increasing automation and a growing scarcity of resources, thanks to climate change, will bring it all tumbling down. In Four Futures, Frase imagines how this post-capitalist world might look, deploying the tools of both social science and speculative fiction to explore what communism, rentism, socialism and exterminism might actually entail. Could the current rise of real-life robocops usher in a world that resembles Ender's Game? And sure, communism will bring an end to material scarcities and inequalities of wealth--but there's no guarantee that social hierarchies, governed by an economy of "likes," wouldn't rise to take their place. A whirlwind tour through science fiction, social theory and the new technologies already shaping our lives, Four Futures is a balance sheet of the socialisms we may reach if a resurgent Left is successful, and the barbarisms we may be consigned to if those movements fail.

Strike for America

Author: Micah Uetricht
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781781683262
Release Date: 2014-03-11
Genre: Political Science

The Chicago Teachers Union strike was the most important domestic labor struggle so far this century—and perhaps for the last forty years—and the strongest challenge to the conservative agenda for restructuring education, which advocates for more charter schools and tying teacher salaries to standardized testing, among other changes. In 2012, Chicago teachers built a grassroots movement through education and engagement of an entire union membership, taking militant action in the face of enormous structural barriers and a hostile Democratic Party leadership. The teachers won massive concessions from the city and have become a new model for school reform led by teachers themselves, rather than by billionaires. Strike for America is the story of this movement, and how it has become the defining struggle for the labor movement today. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Communism for Kids

Author: Bini Adamczak
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262339490
Release Date: 2017-03-24
Genre: Political Science

Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism. How could their dreams come true? This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism. Offering relief for many who have been numbed by Marxist exegesis and given headaches by the earnest pompousness of socialist politics, it presents political theory in the simple terms of a children's story, accompanied by illustrations of lovable little revolutionaries experiencing their political awakening.It all unfolds like a story, with jealous princesses, fancy swords, displaced peasants, mean bosses, and tired workers--not to mention a Ouija board, a talking chair, and a big pot called "the state." Before they know it, readers are learning about the economic history of feudalism, class struggles in capitalism, different ideas of communism, and more. Finally, competition between two factories leads to a crisis that the workers attempt to solve in six different ways (most of them borrowed from historic models of communist or socialist change). Each attempt fails, since true communism is not so easy after all. But it's also not that hard. At last, the people take everything into their own hands and decide for themselves how to continue. Happy ending? Only the future will tell. With an epilogue that goes deeper into the theoretical issues behind the story, this book is perfect for all ages and all who desire a better world.

Speculative Everything

Author: Anthony Dunne
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262019842
Release Date: 2013-12-06
Genre: Art

How to use design as a tool to create not only things but ideas, to speculate about possible futures.

People s Republic of Wal Mart

Author: Leigh Phillips
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781786635181
Release Date: 2018-10-23
Genre: Social Science

Are multi-national corporations laying the groundwork for international socialism? For the left and the right, major multinational companies are held up as the the ultimate expressions of free market competition. Their remarkable success vindicates the old idea that our modern societies are too large, too complex and difficult, to be subjected to a plan. And yet, as Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski argue, late capitalism already operates by central planning. The sheer economic weight of multinational, corporate giants means that the decision making of its owners decides the fate of virtually everyone else downstream of them, shaping the fortunes of much of the world. Not only is planning possible, we already have it. Except all the power is concentrated in the hands of a selfish few. Against the dictatorship of capital, The People's Republic of Walmart is a clarion call for a return to collective decision making in all matters economic. With the rise of new computational systems and new capacities for massive, collective enterprises, democratically organizing the economic in the interest of human need rather than in the interests of profit is as great as it ever has been.

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.

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.

AI

Author: Margaret A. Boden
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780191083495
Release Date: 2016-05-19
Genre: Computers

The applications of Artificial Intelligence lie all around us; in our homes, schools and offices, in our cinemas, in art galleries and - not least - on the Internet. The results of Artificial Intelligence have been invaluable to biologists, psychologists, and linguists in helping to understand the processes of memory, learning, and language from a fresh angle. As a concept, Artificial Intelligence has fuelled and sharpened the philosophical debates concerning the nature of the mind, intelligence, and the uniqueness of human beings. Margaret A. Boden reviews the philosophical and technological challenges raised by Artificial Intelligence, considering whether programs could ever be really intelligent, creative or even conscious, and shows how the pursuit of Artificial Intelligence has helped us to appreciate how human and animal minds are possible.