Introduction of the book: The future of capitalism

There is no doubt that capitalism as an economic system has experienced unprecedented economic growth over the past three centuries. Capitalism’s symbol of “grow or die” brought what was expected. But “everything changes and nothing remains.” Capitalism, a victim of its success and the greed it nurtured, has ended. Anyone who sees reality without distorting the lenses can easily understand this by observing what is happening in international politics, economy, and the planet.

There is no doubt that the end of capitalism in its current form is near. The interesting question is what will happen next: a new type of socialism? stable economic system on the edge of the planet? really mixed economy?

These are the topics covered in Th Lianos’ new book. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of humanity. Of course, there is also a hidden concern in many minds about whether they will have the luxury of time to find a new system that will ensure their own survival before the terrible problems of humanity are exhausted.

The main strengths of the book are simplicity and clarity. Despite the seriousness of the issues it deals with, the book is quite easy to read. The author helps the reader navigate the vast literature of ideas by providing facts about the current state of humanity, the main arguments of competing ideas for the organization of society and the economy, and a brief but insightful evaluation of these ideas.

But perhaps the most important strength of the book is that the author incorporates the need for sustainability into the assessment of each system and equips the reader with the tools to ask better versions of the old questions and form their own opinions.

The content of the book can be divided into four sections. The first section presents various views on the future of capitalism: from the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels to Keynes, modern economists, sociologists and political scientists.

The second section examines current information about the state of the planet and the world’s population, focusing on modern capitalism – economic, social and environmental problems.

The third section explains how the Earth’s growing population and limited resources will lead to economic and political changes, small and large wars, and the search for new forms of social organization.

The fourth section describes and evaluates some of the alternative models that have been proposed, namely the stable economy, participatory socialism, development, eco-socialism and Oskar Lange’s communist model.

The reader will enjoy reading, but at the same time will be disturbed by the ideas of the book. Not because of the author’s own pessimism, but because the lack of pessimism (or the deliberate avoidance of it) has allowed human societies to live and dream beyond their means. This has ultimately created self-destructive societies – societies that do not care not only for large parts of the current population, but also for future generations of humans, non-human animals, and the environment. It created fragile societies that did not realize the costs of their decisions on other people, other animals, and nature. But… world GDP has increased eight times (in real terms) in the last 60 years. Just thinking, one would expect that at least 7/8 of the problems people faced in 1960 would be solved today. does;

Bringing together the question of sustainability and the limits set by the planet and technology awakens – this is the fake political discourse today about the world, the economy and how we should live, and ultimately no democracy, equality, justice, conservation of nature and the weak. Man has become the greatest enemy of his species.

One might say – paraphrasing Gandhi – the quality of a civilization is determined by how it treats the weakest. In the book, poverty and inequality are the main criticisms of each system, but the use of sentient beings – non-human animals – as means of production (that’s what “exploitation”) and the continued destruction is not mentioned. one of the habitats of non-human animals still living freely in the wild. Because no economic system recognizes other animals as members of a moral society, their interests do not figure in Mr. Lianos’ discussion of the future of capitalism.

However, this debate stems from descriptions of overconsumption and environmental destruction caused by a growing human population with increasing individual and collective needs, and the moral values ​​that humanity has tried to promote but failed to succeed. Hunger, all kinds of inequality, war conflicts, misery, pain. They exist now and they show the low quality of our culture. Considering what we do to non-human animals and nature, the quality of our culture is even lower.

I wonder if there is a political figure in his country or in some corner of the Earth who has achieved something positive in these matters without burdening others? One thing is certain: the global economic boom has come at the expense of the weak of all kinds, and politics as usual has not served the interests of all equally. The Erinyes, who will destroy the present system, have already been born and breathe into us.

Reading the book, you feel that what we need is not a strong economy, but an alternative organization of society and political discourse that unites people and ensures peace. Politics should create other arguments, other ethics, other goals than today. Thus, the debate about the future of capitalism clearly reveals the need to focus on more humane and more sustainable goals when talking about the economy, “development” and the “welfare” of societies. The economy should become a tool of self-destruction, “development” and prosperity should not be determined by some monetary index, but by democracy, justice, equality.

That, I think, is the conclusion of the book. We must see the goals of humanity as “different”. If we don’t, we write a modern version of the Erysichthon myth that appears in the epilogue.

I’m not alone in thinking that it’s time to think a little differently about the future of our societies – I’m sure this book will serve as a wake-up call and a unifying call to action, regardless of political denomination.

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