❰Read❯ ➪ Does Capitalism Have a Future? Author Immanuel Wallerstein – Motyourdrive.co.uk



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 no reason why this is likely to come true in the next fifty years Other sorts of catastrophes seem much likely to happen first Michael Mann seems to think capitalism itself is an overrated concept Thinks that if capitalism comes to an end it will not be due to any inherent contradictions to the process of capital accumulation, but rather such endogenous factors as nuclear war or ecological catastrophe, which would mean the end of human civilization as a whole My own feeling is that while nuclear war is possible and ecological catastrophe probable, neither is likely to hit like an asteroid or alien space invasion Rather, each will come be mapped onto and enmeshed in the conditions of the preexisting social order, particularly the extreme inequality and stratification that is the product of our capitalist civilization Georgi Derluguian a Russian gentleman with a really fantastic essay on the downfall of the Soviet system Grappling with the legacy of the Soviet Union is a difficult task While some on both the left and right talk of the danger of forgetting the crimes of really existing communism, it seems to me the greater problem is how we ought to remember its many significant accomplishments while still maintaining a radically different vision of socialism.In any case, the main application of Derluguian s essay to today is that however capitalism might end, it won t be much like the end of communism For all the significance of the US as faltering global hegemon, capitalism is not identifiable with a single state in the way that communism was Craig Calhoun shies away bold predictions His essay is mostly a review of the history of neoliberalism, the financialization of the economy, roots of the Great Recessions, and prospects for transition and recovery This book provided the initial impetus for Wolfgang Streeck s monumental How Will Capitalism End Essays on a Failing System There Streeck respectfully reviews his colleagues, yet his own answer is a decisive improvement over theirs While he agrees we are in a period of epochal transition, he can see no reason to agree with Wallerstein s apparently a priori optimism Streeck provides at once the most plausible and the gloomiest account of capitalism collapsing from the weight of its own entropy.


  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 view of history, Wallerstein s paper is certainly interesting, but Michael Mann s centrist and economically literate paper is convincing If the book did not include the balanced views of Mann and Calhoun, this would get 2 stars There is no massive range of views on display, here, despite the presence of five authors The discussion is between Marx and Piketty or, at most, Keynes All the authors, agree, for example, that neoliberalism is a terrible thing That the authors especially the Marxists among them are unable to distinguish neoliberalism from conservatism, or even the mere class interest of the ruling class, is not surprising, considering the pedigree of this view but it is still lamentable, since it distorts the analysis A fairer account of neoliberalism, as an engine of humanitarian progress ive politics , would have made the analysis interesting Where are all the dissenters Hopefully not in the Gulag The authors have done their homework, and they often have a pretty good B level grasp of the general trends of economic, social and ecological development They pass for academics which is good, because that s what they are But, at the same time, the unoriginal predictions about climate change scenarios and editorial musings about the scourge of neoliberalism are quite boring and bland A systems level theorist can apparently get away with knowing a little about a lot and with showing off this knowledge like a proud peacock with embarrassingly ordinary charms Such second handedness , combined with the heard it all before leftist framework, makes some of the essays read like best of entries of uninspired Guardian editorials and The Nation diatribes.What s worse, the question of capitalism s future is not answered The open ended nature of predictions is disappointing if unsurprising Very little is predicted that is not vague and or trivial Vagueness is understandable, considering the complexity of the forces at play in the world But it begs the question, does capitalism even denote a coherent system that can be analysed If we forgo the notion of historical determinism, is anything left of the notion of THE capitalism Perhaps the sociologists are simply grasping at straws at trying to define the undefinable However, there is one big prediction Committing to a specific prediction of a major crisis of capitalism around the years 2030 2050 as Wallerstein and Collins do is, at least, one clear falsifiable hypothesis We shall see, I guess or not will we be able to know the end of capitalism when we see it While the end is nigh prophecies have proven to be quite premature, the self evident but oft forgotten notion that world history goes through phases of radical transformation remains a fruitful one All the assumptions that people hold dear are liable to be overturned in the future History is change It remains important to analyse the push and pull of the various forces that hold societies together and inevitably pull them apart The Marxian lens is a distorted and semi falsified one, but the world system sociological perspective, due to its synoptic and systems building character, has lasting merit Their combination is necessarily cloudy and, at the same time, unnecessarily cloudy, since there are better frameworks out there for people to seek out Nonetheless, there is enough substance here to be worth dipping into, even as an adversary, if you care about the big picture view of economic and social changes As a quintet that plays the same tune, the book is bloated and self congratulatory, so there is no particular reason to read the WHOLE collection I would recommend just reading Mann s and Wallerstein s contributions and perhaps the synoptic, embattled conclusion, where the five authors combine their voices Despite its ideological blindness and occasional drops in quality but no compensating drops in quantity the book can provide some decent reading material, next to some better texts, for grad students learning the meaning of the words juxtaposition , stuffy academia and ideology.


  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 as minute, but they seem to think we have longer to act than we do And they also seem to dismiss the possibility of actual human extinction from a result of anthropogenic climate change Extinction is definitely on the low end of probabilistic outcomes of climate change but the probability is likely uncomfortably higher than most people tend to realize Overall this is an interesting book for people looking for a framework of how to think about the long run, to borrow a vague term from another dismal social science.


  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 ability to change and reform itself All five of them agree, in the concluding chapter, that world capitalism is undergoing a deep structural crisis, and that this likely marks the end of the neoliberal era of state economic policy A fun, short speculative work by five big picture thinkers.


  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 philosophy that rejects GDP as the arbiter of nation state success and embraces the principles of the degrowth movement d croissance in French that is gaining adherents in the developed world Charles Hugh Smith reviews


  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 industrial economy, were replaced by machinery The service sector is about to suffer the same fate The loss of good quality middle class jobs is outpacing the gain, and this gap is only widening In the past, capitalism had several routes of coping with massive job loss technological innovation, opening international markets, financialization, government spending and educational credential inflation These routes are largely exhausted now Capitalism will enter irreversible decline once structural unemployment reaches 50% to 70%, which the author estimates might happen in the next few decades.Mann is reluctant in using overarching narratives of capitalism or imperialism He rejects that the two great economic depressions were the result of a natural law of capitalism, emphasizing instead multiple highly specific causes He is skeptical that the profit rate will fall so much or that employment will not cope with job loss He sees as possible a low growth future capitalism, where the now global middle class, that emerged from the sweat shops of yesteryear, is able to provide the necessary demand to sustain a dynamic economy He considers structural unemployment as of a Western problem Yet he also envisions a pessimistic route, where job loss creates a chronically unemployed large underclass, set apart from the educated and prosperous workforce, in turn set apart from a narrow super wealthy elite He investigates whether sudden and painful changes of phase are possible mainly through nuclear war and climate change.Derluguian recounts the Soviet Unions history The Tsarist empire rested on the wholesale exploitation of the peasantry Two military defeats 1905 1917 brought about the mutiny of the army and police forces In turn, the peasants revolted, the state collapsed and the Bolsheviks were swept into power They were a small group of educated, urban people with limited support outside of the big towns Their isolated position and the haphazard way they came to power engendered ruthlessness They embarked on a tremendous project of modernization and industrialization The state they created was defined, until its fall in 1991, by a conflict between the old guard the nomenklatura and the new guard the liberal intelligentsia When dissolution came, the institutional arrangement, one not conducive to a solution agreed upon by all, produced a catastrophic collapse.Calhoun focuses on the pernicious effects of neoliberalism Neoliberalism is the political and economic theory that has dominated thought in the Western core states for the last four decades It s an ideology that purports that society is best served if private investors are granted as much lee way as possible basically a rehash of 19th century classical liberalism Globalization allowed wealthy elites to undermine domestic political institutions by threatening to move business overseas This has decreased the standard of living and severely aggravated inequality It also contributed to a climate of anxiety and insecurity, where xenophobic and protectionist sentiments flourish The massive shift towards finance, combined with the gutting of bank regulations, destabilized the world economy, culminating in the 2008 global recession The Western governments responded with austerity measures, which only deepened the crisis and fomented popular discontent Calhoun argues that the serious challenges we are facing, such as inequality, climate change or war, are best tackled through a fundamental reform of the economy He sees the end of capitalism less as a sharp demise and as a protracted decline.Despite their differences, the authors agree on a number of key issues Capitalism is facing a series of complex and interrelated pressures, both structural and contingent, that risk pushing it into terminal instability The system hasn t developed reliable mechanisms of coping with these challenges There has to be a serious drive toward better governance and intense mass participation in the decades ahead, if these considerable risks are to be avoided.All in all, this is a fine book.


  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 those who reject specialization in industry, commerce, or finance, preferring to be generalists who move between these processes as opportunities dictate.What is meant by hegemony in a world economy is the ability of one state to impose a set of rules on the operation of all other states, such that there is relative order in the world system.Of the five escape routes from capitalist crisis, continued educational inflation seems to me the most plausible.Virtually all revolutions, up to this point in history, have come not from economic crisis of capitalist markets, but from government breakdown.The future of capitalism might not be tumultuous, but boring.All nation states measure national success by GDP growth and yet this increases environmental degradation That means reining in political elites who believe that they can only retain power by promoting short term growth within the period of a single electoral cycle A low emissions regime would certainly reduce growth in the short run, while hopefully increasing it in the long run, given that in the long run the do nothing business as usual scenario will prove disastrous for the planet and its inhabitants But who lives in the long run Politicians certainly don t nor do electorate Moreover politicians voters still live in the era of nation state sovereignty where there is great resistance to any curtailment of that sovereignty by foreigners.Yet class conflict in a mature industrial society, contrary to the classical Marxist imagery, was not two sided It was rather played out in the triangle of Soviet corporate executives, liberal intelligentsia, and workers Therefore the nomenklatura s best option was to buy off the workers at the expense of the intelligentsia.The effort to buy cheap and sell dear long predated capitalism and likely will last long after.Capitalism generates terrific wealth, in other words, but it does it always with the byproduct of severe illth to use the term coined by John Ruskin in polluted and poverty stricken nineteenth century England It can continue to generate the wealth only as long as the illth is tolerated.


  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 critique of Wallerstein s position hits the nail quite well Thus, Mann s analysis plays out as various probing scenarios It is essentially journalistic rather than genuinely analytical in nature, and not wholly satisfactory For instance, his rejection of Collins argument rest on the rise in overall employment in postwar era until 2007 This is unconvincing since future technological displacement will be driven by AI and machine learning technologies that are at a very early stage today they were or less speculation in the decades leading up to 2007.Derluguian s contribution focuses on the historicity of the Communist revolutionary state in Russia and elsewhere Solid enough and at times enlightening, but the relevance of his analysis to the future of capitalist society is not obvious to me.Finally, Calhoun examines the future prospects for capitalist society Echoing Mann, he argues against the likelihood of collapse and instead discuss various transformation and crisis scenarios Again, an at times moderately interesting but largely journalistic analysis At least to my mind.In my view, the biggest weakness of the book as a whole with the partial exception of Mann and, in particular Calhoun is that it fails to take on the unfolding, multidimensional ecological crisis beyond mere footnotes a curious neglect given these writers mostly materialistic starting point Climate change is of course the centre piece, but also top soil erosion, depletion of water resources and fish stocks, plastic pollution of the oceans, build up of multiresistant bacteria, loss of biodiversity etc etc.


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Does Capitalism Have a Future? download Does Capitalism Have a Future? , read online Does Capitalism Have a Future? , kindle ebook Does Capitalism Have a Future? , Does Capitalism Have a Future? dfc8dec87186 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 WholeWritten 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 Shift