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America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy, 2nd Edition Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Democracy Collaborative Press / Dollars and Sense; 2nd edition (November 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984785701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984785704
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gar Alperovitz (born May 5, 1936) is Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, College Park Department of Government and Politics. He is a former Fellow of King's College, Cambridge; a founding Fellow of Harvard's Institute of Politics; a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. Alperovitz also served as a Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and as a Special Assistant in the Department of State. Alperovitz is a founding principal of The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, and a member of the board of directors for the New Economics Institute (NEI).

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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By George Marin on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
First published prior to the housing collapse, financial crisis, and great recession, this book was originally years ahead of its time. At a time of relative (or perhaps perceived) prosperity, it predicted longer term economic pain and political stagnation (2nd ed.; pp. 6-7); At a time of relative (or perhaps perceived) social tranquility and political lethargy, it anticipated popular upheavals and political realignment (2nd ed.; p. 8 & 236); At a time when inequality was generally ignored or considered an acceptable byproduct of a successful economy, it used the language of 2011's "Occupy Movement" to criticize a system in which "the top 1 percent now garners for itself more income each year than the bottom 100 million Americans combined," (2nd ed; p. 1) and proposed a new model "based on the judgment that greater equality, greater individual economic security, greater amounts of free time, and--upon this basis--the reconstitution of a culture of common responsibility are ultimately required if we are ever to reorient our community and national priorities in general" (2nd ed; p.234); At a time when most were focused solely on political change at the top (replacing President George W. Bush), it explicitly identified as its central argument the belief that the early years of the 21st century would involve a serious debate about systemic questions and that actual events would open the space for a bottom-up movement towards eventual systemic change (2nd ed; p.234); And critically, when such efforts were not seriously considered in mainstream discourse, it identified an expanding set of community wealth building and democratizing initiatives as possible building blocks for the next system (2nd ed; part II).Read more ›
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By J.P. Franks on January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
If I were to propose a way to put the United States, and the rest of the world, on a path towards a sustainable economy and a liveable, humane, and vibrant society, I would begin like this: First, I would nationalize the media, revising the constitution to institute the media as a democratically-controlled, de jure fourth branch of government. I'd then turn to the nationalization of the banks, energy companies, and all other natural monopolies, creating a democratic governing structure for nationalized industries equally responsive to their workers and the public at large. Then I'd cut the military by 80% or so, re-purposing "defense" companies with government contracts to build a sustainable energy infrastructure, and a sustainable agriculture system. Maybe then I'd focus on democratizing university governing structures while increasing funding both to eliminate tuition fees and to equip them to produce far more graduates with advanced degrees to form the core of a massive increase in adult education nation- and worldwide. Oh, and then there's the matter of instituting maximum work weeks and work-sharing requirements, to both increase free time and eliminate unemployment.

Unfortunately, taking a flight of fancy such as this soon puts one in the position of a Wiley E. Coyote, pausing and looking down to realize that he has left the ground beneath him a while ago, and is now hundreds of meters above the floor of a canyon. As one plummets down, reality becomes clear: the next presidential election will be between a Mormon private equity capitalist and a milquetoast reformer with the daring of an ostrich and a big crush on financiers. There. Is. No. Hope.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By KDelphi on February 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I figure there must be some reason I feel this way and, maybe some other folks would agree, so they have a right to hear it. It seems to me that,despite it's title, this book does not "move beyond capitalism" at all, but simply suggests a new name for more reformism and so-called "third way" socialist Capitalism. Many of the things that the author suggests 'cannot be done", he admits, are "given the current environment". Well, given how much things have changed in the short period since the book was originally written, I think that offering folks more Keynesian style, disappointing "reform", through individual "co-ops", etc is to set the Left up for another series of tiny victories, in areas where it is, for the most part, not needed most (ie WASP middle class, well educated suburbs); then the Captains of the Universe can resume their life mission of rolling back anything we achieve.

Folks, comrades, countrymen---it is now or never. Trust a poor urbanite. We are just not buying it anymore and, yes, there are things worse than making an attempt to save millions of seemingly powerless ppl who did absolutely nothing to deserve this fate. Let's fight back and end Capitalism now! If we fail , at least we really tried and refused to leave behind the poor and powerless, the uneducated working classes, the homeless, etc....the only alternative I see to revolution is secession. There is no "fix" to this, things will change. We can choose how they will change or suffer (more of) the consequences. IMHO

That is just how I see it and plenty of others in my position do also.
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