A People's Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist Economics
Marxian Economics and its relevance to a better world and socialism has been my passion since I became an adult. My expertise in this subject, such as it is, has been sharpened by the study of Marx and Engels’ great works, but also by the efforts of so many others since; some of whom are included in my five best books. But above all, it is the knowledge that in this world of nearly 8 billion people, most do not have a happy and fulfilling life but face daily toil and struggle to live (and die). Humanity has the power and technology to do better; we just need to organise our social and governmental structures to achieve it.
Setting out from an unapologetic Marxist perspective, The Long Depression argues that the global economy remains in the throes of a depression. Making the case that the profitability of capital is too low, and the debt built up before the Great Recession too high, leading radical economist Michael Roberts persuasively presents his case that this depression will persist until the profitability of capital is restored through yet another slump.
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We think you will like The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy, and Workers' Inquiry and Global Class Struggle: Strategies, Tactics, Objectives if you like this list.
From Benjamin's list on economics, religion, and society.
Bell, one of the greatest sociologists of the twentieth century, argues that having the right culture is essential for capitalism (or any other economic or political system) to flourish – and I certainly agree. But he goes further: he worries that over time the economic gains that capitalism delivers end up undermining the cultural conditions that allow capitalism to flourish in the first place. His book is about the role of culture more broadly, not religion in particular, but religion certainly fits within the overall argument.
From Dietrich's list on the economic challenges of the 2020s.
I like this book because it takes a giant step back and asks what “the economy” means. What we measure, and what we choose to classify as “economic activity”, is a choice, not a given. By opting to classify some things as true economic activity (e.g. finance) but others as not (e.g. raising kids) we implicitly make choices about economic policy, as it can only deal with what it can count. It opens up the idea that we could stop and think about what should matter to the economy, and what may not.
From Kari's list on labour and workers fighting against all odds.