Does Capitalism Have a Future?

In Does Capitalism Have A Future , A Global Quintet Of Distinguished Scholars Cut Their Way Through To The Question Of Whether Our Capitalist System Can Survive In The Medium Run Despite The Current Gloom, Conventional Wisdom Still Assumes That There Is No Real Alternative To Capitalism The Authors Argue That This Generalization Is A Mistaken Outgrowth Of The Optimistic Nineteenth Century Claim That Human History Ascends Through Stages To An Enlightened Equilibrium Of Liberal Capitalism All Major Historical Systems Have Broken Down In The End, And In The Modern Epoch Several Cataclysmic Events Notably The French Revolution, World War I, And The Collapse Of The Soviet Bloc Came To Pass When Contemporary Political Elites Failed To Calculate The Consequences Of The Processes They Presumed To Govern At Present, None Of Our Governing Elites And Very Few Intellectuals Can Fathom A Systemic Collapse In The Coming Decades While The Book S Contributors Arrive At Different Conclusions, They Are In Constant Dialogue With One Another, And They Construct A Relatively Seamless If Open Ended Whole.Written By Five Of World S Most Respected Scholars Of Global Historical Trends, This Ambitious Book Asks The Most Important Of Questions Are We On The Cusp Of A Radical World Historical ShiftDoes Capitalism Have a Future?

Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein is a scholar of politics, sociologist, historical social scientist, and world systems analyst His bimonthly commentaries on world affairs are syndicated.

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  • Kindle Edition
  • 208 pages
  • Does Capitalism Have a Future?
  • Immanuel Wallerstein
  • English
  • 22 September 2018

10 thoughts on “Does Capitalism Have a Future?

  1. says:

    In this slim volume, five highly distinguished sociologists assemble to discuss prospects for the end of capitalism Wallerstein the godfather of world systems theory There does seem to be every reason to think we re riding the end of a Kondratieff wave, as well as a period of transition in which the US will no longer be able to play the same hegemonic role it had before On the whole I find Wallerstein s politics very congenial, but I do wonder if he s a bit overconfident in predicting a coming global confrontation between the elites and the people Of course I would love for such a thing to be true It just seems to me a lot of work has to be done before the current chaotic state of the world even becomes legible as such.Randall Collins predicts that technological progress, chiefly Artificial Intelligence, will lead to mass unemployment before the end of the century Here I m extremely skeptical, perhaps in part because I live in the bay area Seeing the culture of tech entrepreneurship up close and personal, I don t think there s any reason to believe we live in an age of innovation Start a moving company on your iPhone and it counts as innovation when in fact it s a fucking moving company, bro For the past half century or so people have been making claims about the imminence of AI overtaking humanity I can see...

  2. says:

    In this book, a self titled quintet of sociologists, revolving around the world systems thinker Immanuel Wallerstein, analyses the current crises of capitalism and its future prospects Is capitalism coming to an end Nobody seems to know But everybody pretends to have an answer or at least used to, not that long ago It used to be commonplace to hold the socialist dialectical view that capitalism was a historical epoch waiting to be undone by the forces of historical necessity Wallerstein and Collins present a sophisticated but no less anachronistic Marxian view of this thesis The three other authors in the work complement their approach sometimes to the point of superfluity but also occasionally although a bit timidly to my taste challenge the historical determinism of Wallerstein and company, embedded in their grand systems theorizing The book thus offers a range of views it oscillates between coldly analytical pessimism, on one hand, and a slightly optimistic vision of capitalism s near future, on the other hand The end result is a mixed bag There is verbosity that hides empirical shallowness, and there is a veneer of analytical jargon that barely masks an ideological commitment The Marxian framework, even in its attenuated and updated form, is largely discredited, and for a good reason and, reading its desperate attempts at relevance, the results continue to disappoint in a predictable way As an attempt at a complex systems theoretical...

  3. says:

    This book gives me lifeLonger review to come

  4. says:

    An interesting book that provides a framework for thinking about the range of possible outcomes in a world that is changing There is no ultimate answer to the question, does capitalism have a future And that s the point The authors acknowledge the futility of saying exactly what will happen in a world dominated by human to human interaction on a global scale But as I said, each author contributes to the range of things that might happen in a world system post capitalism and, importantly, the exogenous and endogenous factors that driving those potential outcomes Anthropogenic climate change is a subject that comes up frequently, though my impression is that these social scientists have discounted the impact hard scientists have concluded will likely happen as a result The authors certainly don t paint the impact of climate change a...

  5. says:

    This is a delicious little work of economic futurology by a collection of five historical sociologists Wallerstein and Collins propose that the capitalist system is experiencing a structural crisis from which it cannot emerge, and by which it will ultimately be undone likely within five decades or so Some of the potential scenarios they present are frightening ones 50% unemployment and popular unrest giving rise to fascist governments, millions of refugees crowding major cities as global warming makes coastal areas uninhabitable, etc Michael Mann is a bit on the fence regarding the survival of capitalism, but he posits several potential future scenarios Derluguian gives an account of the communist experiment of the twentieth century and the reasons for its failure, and Calhoun presents a cautiously optimistic depending on your point of view about capitalism s ...

  6. says:

    The old rules inflating another credit bubble to bail out an insolvent financial sector, increasing taxes on the remaining employed, further centralizing authority and control are no longer working thisarticleappearsWallerstein and his colleagues do not address another possible future, however, one that does with less an economic philosop...

  7. says:

    The five authors present multiple possible pathways by which capitalism may reach its end They also provide context on how it came to be.Wallerstein takes the long view, going back half a millennium, when capitalism reared its head in Western Europe The state had an important role to play in creating and maintaining the capital differential quasi monopolies necessary to the extraction of profit As capitalism came to dominate the world there were plenty of opportunities for investors to make profit But as emerging markets reach maturity, labor demands better conditions, natural resources are exhausted and military power reaches its limits in a multi polar order, investors see diminishing returns Wallerstein thinks this crisis of accumulation, that recurs cyclically and began in the 70s, will only worsen, and bring about the systems terminal crisis.Collins expounds on the dangers of technological displacement through automation of labor He makes the case that we shouldn t complicate the issue with multi causal analyses automation is able to bring capitalism down by itself In the past two hundred years or so, a great deal of manufacturing jobs, the backbone of the modern i...

  8. says:

    Brilliant book for understand what is going on with the system right now and what might be happen in near future.

  9. says:

    EXCERPTSOver the next three or four decades capitalists of the world, overcrowding the global markets and hard pressed on all sides by the social and ecological costs of doing business, may find it simply impossible to make their usual investment decisions.In the last five centuries capitalism has been the cosmopolitan and explicitly hierarchical world market economy where the elite operators, favorably located at its geographical core, were in a position to reap large and reasonably secure profits But, Wallerstein argues, this historical situation, however dynamic, will ultimately reach its systemic limitations, as do all historical systems In this hypothesis, capitalism would end in the frustration of capitalists themselves.Capitalism, we contend, is only a particular historical configuration of markets and state structures where private economic gain by almost any means is the paramount goal and measure of success.Immanuel Wallerstein My analysis is based on two premises The first is that capitalism is a system, and that all systems have lives they are never eternal.The priority of accumulating capital in order to accumulate still capital seems to me a thoroughly irrational objective.As Braudel has shown, the truly successful capitalists have always been ...

  10. says:

    I agree with the basic premise of this anthology Current capitalist society is headed for an uncertain future and there is a pressing need to examine possible future pathways for humanity.Unfortunately, on the whole, I m not convinced by the five authors attempt to execute their plan.Wallerstein and Collins both write their respective contributions from an essentially Marxist perspective Wallerstein s analysis draws on his own World Systems approach Far too mechanistic and simplistic for my taste the level of contingency in macro historical developments grossly underestimated Collins chapter dealing with technological displacement of human labour as the likely driver of a revolt against capitalism is concrete, and interesting but not bringing too much novelty to the table given the large and growing literature on this subject.Mann distances himself from all attempts to analyse world society in systems theoretical terms Instead, he proposes a open analysis in terms of overlapping networks of power and interaction ideological, political, economic and military by the way, his brief critiqu...

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