We can all imagine a future where theres more to the American way than our current no-holds-barred capitalism, but will that future ever arrive?
In his new book, Gar Alperovitz, the renowned scholar of politics, economics, and history, predicts that weve reached a major turning point in history. America Beyond Capitalism argues that the first decade of the twenty-first century--challenged by growing economic inequality, the devaluing of civil liberties, and a government unresponsive to the people--is already producing conditions that will force the United States to undergo historic changes.
There have been five major political realignments in American history, from before the Progressive Era to beyond the New Deal. All have occurred in the face of the argument that major change was impossible. America Beyond Capitalism shows that increasing numbers of citizens are also quietly beginning to take meaningful local and national action that can ultimately give explosive force to a new approach.
The fall of communism and the painful ramifications of a globalized market free-for-all have left many yearning for a realistic alternative. Alperovitz makes clear that capitalism and socialism are academic ideas that have never existed in their purest forms anywhere. Our nameless current system, which is a haphazard one, mostly controlled by the largest corporations, is not the only one possible.
If we look closely, America Beyond Capitalism suggests, the basic outlines of an achievable and community-sustaining vision are quietly taking shape--a vision that offers far better market-based ways to use our vast wealth to realize equality, democracy, and liberty.
The rapidchanges of the early 1960s, a time of explosive ferment and new ideas, seemed to come out of nowhere. So, too, did the modern conservative revolution--which once was seen as a marginal political project. Fundamental change, Alperovitz suggests, is the rule, not the exception, in history, including in our own time, here and now.
Eloquently reasoned, passionately argued, and grounded in a wealth of irrefutable facts and data, America Beyond Capitalism offers anyone who wants to take part in this momentous enterprise a new way to think about--and then get to work to help build--a new future.
Author Bio:GAR ALPEROVITZ is the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland and a former Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard and of Kings College, Cambridge University. His previous books include The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New Republic, the Nation, and the Atlantic Monthly. He has appeared on numerous television news programs, including Meet the Press, Larry King Live, The Charlie Rose Show, The OReilly Factor, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Alperovitz is a founding principal of the Democracy Collaborative.