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.

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.

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.

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.

After Capitalism

Author: David Schweickart
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 9780742564992
Release Date: 2011-08-16
Genre: Philosophy

Since first published in 2002, After Capitalism has offered students and political activists alike a coherent vision of a viable and desirable alternative to capitalism. David Schweickart calls this system Economic Democracy, a successor-system to capitalism which preserves the efficiency strengths of a market economy while extending democracy to the workplace and to the structures of investment finance. In the second edition, Schweickart recognizes that increased globalization of companies has created greater than ever interdependent economies and the debate about the desirability of entrepreneurship is escalating. The new edition includes a new preface, completely updated data, reorganized chapters, and new sections on the economic instability of capitalism, the current economic crisis, and China. Drawing on both theoretical and empirical research, Schweickart shows how and why this model is efficient, dynamic, and applicable in the world today.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Refusal of Work

Author: David Frayne
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.
ISBN: 9781783601202
Release Date: 2015-11-15
Genre: Political Science

Paid work is absolutely central to the culture and politics of capitalist societies, yet today’s work-centred world is becoming increasingly hostile to the human need for autonomy, spontaneity and community. The grim reality of a society in which some are overworked, whilst others are condemned to intermittent work and unemployment, is progressively more difficult to tolerate. In this thought-provoking book, David Frayne questions the central place of work in mainstream political visions of the future, laying bare the ways in which economic demands colonise our lives and priorities. Drawing on his original research into the lives of people who are actively resisting nine-to-five employment, Frayne asks what motivates these people to disconnect from work, whether or not their resistance is futile, and whether they might have the capacity to inspire an alternative form of development, based on a reduction and social redistribution of work. A crucial dissection of the work-centred nature of modern society and emerging resistance to it, The Refusal of Work is a bold call for a more humane and sustainable vision of social progress.

October

Author: China Miéville
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781784782795
Release Date: 2017-05-09
Genre: History

Award-winning author China Miéville plunges us into the year the world was turned upside down On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, China Miéville tells the extraordinary story of this pivotal moment in history. In February of 1917 Russia was a backwards, autocratic monarchy, mired in an unpopular war; by October, after not one but two revolutions, it had become the world’s first workers’ state, straining to be at the vanguard of global revolution. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? In a panoramic sweep, stretching from St Petersburg and Moscow to the remotest villages of a sprawling empire, Miéville uncovers the catastrophes, intrigues and inspirations of 1917, in all their passion, drama and strangeness. Intervening in long-standing historical debates, but told with the reader new to the topic especially in mind, here is a breathtaking story of humanity at its greatest and most desperate; of a turning point for civilisation that still resonates loudly today.

No More Work

Author: James Livingston
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469630663
Release Date: 2016-10-28
Genre: Business & Economics

For centuries we've believed that work was where you learned discipline, initiative, honesty, self-reliance--in a word, character. A job was also, and not incidentally, the source of your income: if you didn't work, you didn't eat, or else you were stealing from someone. If only you worked hard, you could earn your way and maybe even make something of yourself. In recent decades, through everyday experience, these beliefs have proven spectacularly false. In this book, James Livingston explains how and why Americans still cling to work as a solution rather than a problem--why it is that both liberals and conservatives announce that "full employment" is their goal when job creation is no longer a feasible solution for any problem, moral or economic. The result is a witty, stirring denunciation of the ways we think about why we labor, exhorting us to imagine a new way of finding meaning, character, and sustenance beyond our workaday world--and showing us that we can afford to leave that world behind.