The Contradictions of Capital in the Twenty-first Century

The Piketty Opportunity

The Contradictions of Capital in the Twenty-first Century

This volume of essays builds upon renewed interest in the long-run global development of wealth and inequality stimulated by the publication in 2014 of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. It brings together an international team of leading economic historians and economists to provide a comprehensive overview of global developments in the theory, practice, and policy of inequality, and its place in the modern world order. The contributors take stock of the key concepts involved - capital, wealth and income, inequality, economic development, financialization - and evaluate the evidence for historical trends in existing national statistical data sources. To the developed economies upon which Piketty drew are added contributions covering Latin America, Africa, India, and Japan, providing a global perspective upon a global phenomenon. The book seeks to provide readers with a deeper awareness and understanding of the significance of equality and inequality in economic development, the varying pace of economic change around the world, and the manner in which this process of change affects the distribution of wealth and inequality in diverse economies. The collection marks an important step in the process of developing Piketty's analytical framework and empirical material, overcoming its limitations and helping to cement a lasting place for inequality in the agenda of growth theory.

The Contradictions of "Real Socialism"

The Conductor and the Conducted

The Contradictions of

What was “real socialism”—the term which originated in twentieth-century socialist societies for the purpose of distinguishing them from abstract, theoretical socialism? In this volume, Michael A. Lebowitz considers the nature, tendencies, and contradictions of those societies. Beginning with the constant presence of shortages within “real socialism,” Lebowitz searches for the inner relations which generate these patterns. He finds these, in particular, in what he calls “vanguard relations of production,” a relation which takes the apparent form of a social contract where workers obtain benefits not available to their counterparts in capitalism but lack the power to decide within the workplace and society. While these societies were able to claim major achievements in areas from health care to education to popular culture, the separation of thinking and doing prevented workers from developing their capacities as fully developed human beings. The relationship within “real socialism” between the vanguard as conductor and a conducted working class, however, did not only lead to the deformation of workers and those elements necessary for the building of socialism; it also created the conditions in which enterprise managers emerged as an incipient capitalist class, which was an immediate source of the crises of “real socialism.” As he argued in The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development, Lebowitz stresses the necessity to go beyond the hierarchy inherent in the relation of conductor and conducted (and beyond the “vanguard Marxism” which supports this) to create the conditions in which people can transform themselves through their conscious cooperation and practice—i.e., a society of free and associated producers.

The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment

The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment

Why does the United States continue to employ the death penalty when fifty other developed democracies have abolished it? Why does capital punishment become more problematic each year? How can the death penalty conflict be resolved? In The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment, Frank Zimring reveals that the seemingly insoluble turmoil surrounding the death penalty reflects a deep and long-standing division in American values, a division that he predicts will soon bring about the end of capital punishment in our country. On the one hand, execution would seem to violate our nation's highest legal principles of fairness and due process. It sets us increasingly apart from our allies and indeed is regarded by European nations as a barbaric and particularly egregious form of American exceptionalism. On the other hand, the death penalty represents a deeply held American belief in violent social justice that sees the hangman as an agent of local control and safeguard of community values. Zimring uncovers the most troubling symptom of this attraction to vigilante justice in the lynch mob. He shows that the great majority of executions in recent decades have occurred in precisely those Southern states where lynchings were most common a hundred years ago. It is this legacy, Zimring suggests, that constitutes both the distinctive appeal of the death penalty in the United States and one of the most compelling reasons for abolishing it. Impeccably researched and engagingly written, Contradictions in American Capital Punishment casts a clear new light on America's long and troubled embrace of the death penalty.

The Great Recession and the Contradictions of Contemporary Capitalism

The Great Recession and the Contradictions of Contemporary Capitalism

The current crisis is one of the great crises punctuating the long history of capitalism, and to be properly understood it is vital to take into account its ongoing structural transformation. This book offers plural perspectives on the Great Recession,

The Contradictions of Austerity

The Socio-Economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model

The Contradictions of Austerity

The great financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing global economic and financial turmoil have launched a search for "models" for recovery. The advocates of austerity present the Baltic States as countries that through discipline and sacrifice showed the way out of crisis. They have proposed the "Baltic model" of radical public sector cuts, wage reductions, labor market reforms and reductions in living standards for other troubled Eurozone countries to emulate. Yet, the reality of the Baltic "austerity fix" has been neither fully accepted by its peoples, nor is it fully a success. This book explains why and what are the real social and economic costs of the Baltic austerity model. We examine each of the Baltic States by connecting national level studies within a European and global political economy, thereby delivering comparative breadth that supersedes localized understandings of the crisis. Thus for each of the three Baltic states, individual chapters explore the different economic and social dimensions of neo-liberal post-communism and the subsequent wider global economic and financial crisis in which these newly financialized economies have found themselves especially vulnerable. The "austerity model" adopted by Baltic national governments in response to the crisis reveals the profound vulnerabilities created by their unwavering commitment to liberalized economies, not least in terms of the significant "exit" of their labor forces and consequent population loss. This book looks beyond basic financial metrics claiming a success story for the Baltic austerity model to reveal the damaging economic and social consequences, first of neo-liberal policies adopted during transition, and latterly of austerity measures based on "internal devaluation." Combined these policies undermine the possibility of longer-term recovery and even social and economic sustainability, not to mention prospects for successful integration in the now-faltering European project that has departed from its "Social Model" roots.

A Theory of Global Capitalism

Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World

A Theory of Global Capitalism

Sure to stir controversy and debate, A Theory of Global Capitalism will be of interest to sociologists and economists alike.

Transnational Conflicts

Central America, Social Change and Globalization

Transnational Conflicts

Capitalism has disrupted the conventional pattern of revolutionary upheaval, civil wars, and pacification in Central America; William Robinson maps the shape of change in the region.

Capitalisms and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century

Capitalisms and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century

This interdisciplinary book examines comparative business systems, institutions, and practices by looking at current developments between firms, nations, and markets in an increasingly globalized world and in the context of the recent financial crises.

Capital and Its Discontents

Conversations with Radical Thinkers in a Time of Tumult

Capital and Its Discontents

Through a series of incisive conversations with some of the most eminent thinkers and political economists of the Left - including Noam Chomsky, David Harvey, Tariq Ali, Mike Davis, Leo Panitch and Ellen Meiksins Wood - Capital and Its Discontents illuminates the dynamic contradictions undermining capitalism and the subsequent potential for its dethroning. Groundbreaking and pertinent, Capital and Its Discontents is destined to become a classic within its field.

Labor and Capital in the Age of Globalization

The Labor Process and the Changing Nature of Work in the Global Economy

Labor and Capital in the Age of Globalization

This book offers a timely analysis of work and labor processes and how they are rapidly changing under globalization. The contributors explore traditional sectors of the U.S. and world economies - from auto to steel to agriculture - as well as work under new production arrangements, such as third world export processing zones. Many chapters analyze changing dynamics of gender, nationality, and class. The contributors explain why more intensified forms of control by the state and by capital interests are emerging under globalization. Yet they also emphasize new possibilities for labor, including new forms of organizing and power sharing in a rapidly changing economy.