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Against Austerity: How we Can Fix the Crisis they Made Paperback – March 19, 2014

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0745333281 ISBN-10: 0745333281

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is essential and powerful reading -- Paul Mason, Culture and Digital Editor of Channel 4 News and author of 'Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere' (Verso, 2012) As so-called 'austerity' continues its rampage, it's patently obvious that it can't fix the economy. So why have the ConDems stuck with it? Eschewing the comforting liberal critique that it's all a mistake, mere economic illiteracy, Seymour incisively uncovers just what kind of strategy austerity really is: its aims, its methods, its victims - and how to fight it. -- China Mieville 'A readable and useful guide to the interrelationship between austerity, neoliberalism, and the state at the level of strategy and ideology... The book has much to offer in terms of a sober and nuanced analysis. This goes especially in the UK where the trend towards nostalgia, wishful thinking, and resisting empirical and strategic reconsideration is so strong.' -- Matthijs Krul, The North Star 'Richard Seymour's Against Austerity provides an excellent and accessible critique of austerity - how it relates to class, the state and ideology - and advocates new types of organisation and resistance to it.' -- Dan Smith, Morning Star 'a must-read primer for old hands in the class struggle and newcomers alike.' -- Louis Proyect, Counter Punch 'This book is a powerful beginning, a crucial reference point for any left analysis of the anti-austerity struggle.' -- Alan Sears, New Socialist Webzine 'Against Austerity is a timely book that will appeal to informed, intellectually-minded activists.' -- Ian Sinclair, Peace News

About the Author

Richard Seymour is the author of Unhitched: the Trial of Christopher Hitchens (2012), American Insurgents: A Brief History of American Anti-Imperialism (2012), The Meaning of David Cameron (2010) and The Liberal Defence of Murder (2008). His writes regularly for the Guardian and runs the popular blog Lenin's Tomb.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (March 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745333281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745333281
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sean on April 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Quite useful in explaining the specificity of austerity as a class strategy and providing an actual analysis of the state and the function of ideology. The prose was also a joy to read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Douglas W. Greene on March 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book does an excellent job in showing how the capitalist class uses austerity as a means to rework society via class, ideology and the state to serve their interests. If you know anyone who believes the 'common sense' surrounding discussion of austerity, then this book pulls back the veil to show the real forces at work. Confroning the reality of what we are up against, Seymour does not offer up easy answers or sterile dogmas on how to fight back, but looks at some of the ways we can build resistance and alternatives in the fight back.

Worth your time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on July 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
“Against Austerity” by Richard Seymour offers a timely, intelligent and passionate perspective on the austerity struggles in Britain. Mr. Seymour is an influential journalist and author who articulates an incisive, working class perspective on the critical issues of our time. Although Mr. Seymour discusses austerity using multiple points of reference, it is probably helpful for American readers to have some basic knowledge of U.K. politics to fully appreciate the author’s key points, narrative and rhetoric.

More than anything, Mr. Seymour argues that austerity is a manifestation of upper class power. Mr. Seymour explains how the state chose to implement cheap credit policies at the urging of the big banks in order to keep an increasingly unstable capitalist system afloat. Yet, neoliberals have somehow succeeded in casting blame for the crisis on the working class who have been forced to shoulder the burden in the form of benefit cuts and increased taxes, like it or not.

Mr. Seymour draws on the work of Antonio Gramsci to help us understand our moment in history. Although one might hope for radical change in the midst of economic crisis, Gramsci’s maxim that the ‘traditional ruling class’ is always best positioned to exploit crisis has been proven true. The New York City financial crisis of the 1970s, Mr. Seymour contends, was a harbinger of things to come as the banking sector exploited crisis to wring huge concessions from labor and profit from the marketing of the city’s indebtedness. In that light, today’s austerity policies illustrate how capital intends to leverage the 2008 banking crisis.
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