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After Capitalism

2nd Edition

David Schweickart

Since first published in 2002, After Capitalism has offered students and political activists alike a coherent vision of a viable and desirable alternative to capitalism. David Schweickart calls this system Economic Democracy, a successor-system to capitalism which preserves the efficiency strengths of a market economy while extending democracy to the workplace and to the structures of investment finance. In the second edition, Schweickart recognizes that increased globalization of companies has created greater than ever interdependent economies and the debate about the desirability of entrepreneurship is escalating. The new edition includes a new preface, completely updated data, reorganized chapters, and new sections on the economic instability of capitalism, the current economic crisis, and China. Drawing on both theoretical and empirical research, Schweickart shows how and why this model is efficient, dynamic, and applicable in the world today. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 248Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7425-6497-8 • Hardback • August 2011 • $92.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7425-6498-5 • Paperback • August 2011 • $38.00 • (£24.95)
978-0-7425-6499-2 • eBook • August 2011 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
David Schweickart is a professor of philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He holds doctorate degrees in both mathematics and philosophy. He is the author of Capitalism or Worker Control and articles on social, political, and economic philosophy. His work has been translated into French, Spanish, Catalan, and Chinese.
Preface to the Revised Edition
Preface to the 2002 Edition
Chapter 1: Counterproject, Successor-System, Revolution
1.1 The Counterproject
1.2 Successor-System Theory
1.3 Historical Materialism
1.4 Criteria
1.5 Revolution
1.5.1 A Note on Gender
1.6 An Outline of the Argument
Chapter 2: Justifying Capitalism
2.1 What Is "Capitalism"? What Is A "Capitalist"?
2.2 Neoclassical Shenanigans: Marginal Product as Contribution
2.3 Capitalism's White Knight: The Entrepreneur
2.4 Risk and Reward: Playing Reverse-Lotto
2.5 The Utility (And Disutility) Of Deferred Consumption
2.6 Tina
Chapter 3: Economic Democracy: What It Is
3.1 Economic Democracy: The Basic Model
3.1.1 Worker Self-Management
3.1.2 The Market
3.1.3 Social Control of Investment
3.2 The Viability of Economic Democracy
3.3 The Mondragon "Experiment"
3.4 A Note on the Public Sector
3.5 Economic Democracy: The Expanded Model
3.5.1 The Government as Employer-Of-Last-Resort
3.5.2 Socialist Savings And Loan Associations
3.5.3 Capitalists Under Socialism
3.6 Fair Trade, Not Free Trade
Chapter 4: Capitalism Or Socialism? Inequality, Unemployment, Overwork, Poverty
4.1 Workplace Democracy: Some Behavioral Consequences of Structural Change
4.2 Inequality
4.3 Unemployment
4.3.1 A Note on Inflation
4.4 Overwork
4.5 Poverty
4.5.1 Poverty in Rich Countries
4.5.2 Poverty in Poor Countries
4.5.3 A Note on Racism
4.5.4 A Note On Immigration
Chapter 5: Capitalism Or Socialism? Economic Instability, Environmental Degradation, Democracy
5.1 Economic Instability
5.1.1 A Note on the Current Crisis
5.2 Environmental Degradation
5.2.1 Overpopulation
5.2.2 Food Scarcity
5.2.3 Pollution/Climate Change
5.3 Democracy (Lack Thereof)
5.3.1 A Note On Anticommunism
5.3.2 A Note On Liberty
5.3.3 A Note On Political Parties
Chapter 6: Getting From Here to There
6.1 Economic Democracy as an Orienting Device
6.1.1 How the World Looked Then (2001)
6.1.2 How the World Looks Now (2011)
6.1.3 A Note on China
6.2 An Economic Democracy Reform Agenda
6.2.1 Democratizing Labor
6.2.2 Democratizing Capital
6.2.3 Toward Full Employment
6.2.4 Toward Fair Trade
6.2.5 Democratizing Democracy
6.3 From Reform to Revolution
6.3.1 Radical Quick
6.3.2 Somewhat Slower (With Concern This Time For Stockholders)
6.3.3 Slower Still (Without a Financial Meltdown)
6.4 A New Communism?
6.5 A New World
Over some 30 years, Schweickart (Loyola Univ. Chicago) has defended and developed a vision of a democratic market socialism as a viable alternative to capitalism. With PhDs in both mathematics and philosophy, Schweickart has the tools to critically evaluate relevant arguments, both economic and ethical. In the first edition of After Capitalism (2002), Schweickart sought to present his case in a manner accessible to a general audience and to academic specialists. The second edition remains accessible to a general audience, but adds valuable discussions on the instability of capitalism, the current global crisis, different responses to this crisis in different parts of the world, and what may be an emerging Chinese version of market socialism. As in his earlier works, Schweickart writes with vigor and clarity. He has a gift for presenting abstract and complex material in a way that nonspecialist readers can understand. Readers who finish this book not yet ready to embrace Schweickart's vision for the future nonetheless will have a much richer understanding of the current crisis, the underlying causes of the crisis, and alternative possibilities. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.

Schweikart’s book After Capitalism is an imaginative handbook for creating a socialist American society that succeeds capitalism. It describes in down-to-earth detail a replacement for capitalism that he calls "economic democracy” and how we can bring it about. The book is an entertaining and informative tour de force, with a lot of careful thought behind it. Only reading it can do justice to its complexity.
The Bloomington Alternative

For anybody who thinks that capitalism leads to economic and moral catastrophe David Schweickart’s book is a formidable critique of capitalism and an excellent exposition of economic democracy as a new mode of production which may supersede the system in which we live. After Capitalism is a book full of hope for the critics of capitalism and a book which must be read by all socialists. It shows that there is a valuable alternative to capitalism and argues that the labour managed firm is better that the capitalistic one for a number of reasons, all of great importance. A system of democratic firms is the realization of socialism according to a marxist vision and, after the breakdown of central planning in Eastern Europe, may contribute to the revival of marxism in a new democratic form. After capitalism is an accessible book for students and anybody who is interested in politics and explains also the way we may follow to realize the new system.
Bruno Jossa, University of Naples

David Schweickart's After Capitalism is both visionary and practical. Lucidly written, its serves well in the college classroom or in a discussion group of workers wanting to know what socialism is all about (I've tried it, and they loved it!). This new addition enhances the first by dealing with the current meltdown, and offering an alternative to all concerned with winning the battles for democracy. It's simply the best modern book on the topic.
Carl Davidson, Steelworkers Associates and National Co-Chair of Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism

By far the most sophisticated, detailed and illuminating book yet to appear on a new vision for 21st century socialism. Must reading for anyone serious about building a meaningful progressive future.
Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism

Any revolutionary movement has to contend with three cardinal questions: What's wrong with the present system? What does a worthy successor look like? And how do we get there? After Capitalism by David Schweickart provides clear and compelling answers to all three, delivered in a wonderfully engaging and understandable style. If you've ever wondered whether we can do better than capitalism, read this book!
J. Todd Wilson, California State University