By Robin Hahnel, Erik Olin Wright
Publish yr note: First released in 2014 via New Left Project
What might a manageable unfastened and democratic society seem like? Poverty, exploitation, instability, hierarchy, subordination, environmental exhaustion, radical inequalities of wealth and gear it isn't tricky to checklist capitalism s myriad injustices. yet is there a foremost and doable substitute?
Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy offers a debate among such probabilities: Robin Hahnel s participatory economics and Erik Olin Wright s genuine utopian socialism. it's a precise and worthwhile dialogue that illuminates various concerns and dilemmas of an important significance to any critical attempt to construct a greater world."
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Additional resources for Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy
2]. In later discussion, with respect to poor countries, taxation of the agricultural sector (especially taxation of dominant classes), and shifts in the inter-sectoral terms of trade (especially the net barter terms of trade, or the relationship between prices in the two sectors) took on considerable significanceY This has clear, potential relevance for the historical transitions we are considering. It directs attention towards agriculture's crucial role in supplying a real surplus, in the shape of both food and raw materials, as well as a financial surplus in the form of either savings or tax revenue.
The very diversity encountered itself, or, rather, its extent, constitutes the general historical puzzle. This is so at least within the rubrics of political economy. It is not that diversity has been ignored. On the contrary, it has, as I suggest in the next chapter, been part of the major Marxist writing on the agrarian question since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But the diversity encountered is unexpected in its complexity and in the plurality of forms which it encompasses.
As with Lipton (if we make that comparison, see note 21), a particular argument is made, and runs through the whole presentation. Here, however, Brenner docs not seek to bolster the argument by citing evidence from as large a number of countries as possible. But neither does he present discrete and separate case-studies, to provide the basis for an eventual set of conclusions and generalisations. Rather, the argument is presented at some length, and then illustrated by a reading of the evidence of a limited number of cases, back-to-back, so speak: now England, now France, now Germany; or now Eastern Europe and now Western Europe; and so on.