Capitalism

Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic by Robin Hahnel, Erik Olin Wright

By Robin Hahnel, Erik Olin Wright

Publish yr note: First released in 2014 through New Left Project
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What might a practicable loose and democratic society appear like? Poverty, exploitation, instability, hierarchy, subordination, environmental exhaustion, radical inequalities of wealth and tool it's not tricky to checklist capitalism s myriad injustices. yet is there a foremost and possible substitute?

Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy provides a debate among such chances: Robin Hahnel s participatory economics and Erik Olin Wright s genuine utopian socialism. it's a targeted and profitable dialogue that illuminates more than a few matters and dilemmas of an important value to any critical attempt to construct a greater world."

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The crisis of citizenship cannot be overcome in isolation from the social crisis to which it has given birth. The question of what to do with the institutions concerned is insoluble unless the social relationships are profoundly altered; what is necessary is to change the nature of the state in social, not just ‘civic’ terms. This also implies extensive institutional change in the spirit of ‘radical democracy’, but much more than simply that. Towards the New State Paradoxically, the collapse of the old model of the state under the pressure of globalization is opening up prospects for a radical reform of the institutions and structures of power.

10 Finally, the Mondragon group has shown that all these radical principles are compatible with economic efficiency. But has the nature of the Spanish state changed as a result? And is the Mondragon movement not oriented according to general parameters of success and efficiency that are set by the logic of capitalism? The ideologues of self-management have preferred not to think of such matters. In reality, the history of Mondragon provides a quite unambiguous answer to these questions. The rapid growth of the cooperative groups in the 1950s and 1960s occurred simultaneously with the general rise of the Spanish economy and with the modernization of Spanish capitalism.

25 Hutton prefers not to remind his readers, however, that all this would have a certain point only if these agencies were themselves radically democratized. So long as workers, with the help of the state, do not succeed in changing the rules of the game, imposing countervailing limitations on capital, there cannot be any kind of balance, and consequently even the most moderate reformism is impossible. The weakness of the left arises from its unwillingness to use the force of the state against the bourgeoisie.

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