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Business as Usual: The Economic Crisis and the Failure of Capitalism Paperback – May 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (May 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861898010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861898012
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Business as Usual is a superb achievement. In this highly accessible book, Paul Mattick offers an outstanding theoretical and empirical account of the ongoing crisis, its devastating implications for the majority, and a brilliant indictment of the failures of mainstream economics at the levels of theory and policy guidance. Business as Usual also shows how and why these dismal failures should no longer deter the search for transformative alternatives.”

(Alfredo Saad-Filho, University of London )

“For anyone who is unsatisfied with the usual explanations of the current economic crisis – greed and fraud, deregulation, financialization, etc. —and is looking for a deeper explanation, this book is for you.  Mattick demonstrates (without jargon and with great clarity) that the root causes of the current crisis lie in the fundamental nature and dynamics of capitalist economies, and places this crisis within the illuminating historical context of recurring capitalist crises since the early 19th century.” —Fred Moseley, Mount Holyoke College

(Fred Moseley )

“This lucid and thoughtful study is not just another important contribution to the rapidly expanding literature on the current economic crisis, though it is that as well. With historical depth and penetrating analysis, it seeks to reveal what is ‘wrong with the mainstream approach to understanding current economic affairs,’ tracing the roots of financialization of the economy and export of production with their increasingly harmful consequences, and the looming environmental crisis that overshadows everything, to their roots in fundamental structural features of the state capitalism that has taken many forms in the modern era.  It provides a grimly realistic picture of what may lie ahead unless there is a radical transformation of the social order from production for profit to pursuit of human ends, based on ‘shared social decision-making . . . outside the constraints of the business economy,’ hence a major step towards true democracy.”

(Noam Chomsky )

"This is a fine book. It argues against the illusion that the current crisis is just a bonfire of contingent market forces, exposes economics as the dismal science that it is, and opposes the idea that capitalism is not some sort of economic mechanism that, if expertly regulated by those in the know, works well for the benefit of all. Mattick has to be congratulated not just for writing an immensely rich account of the current crisis but, also, for doing so with immense historical insight, theoretical cunning, and astute political judgement."

(Werner Bonefeld, University of York )

About the Author

Paul Mattick is chair of the Department of Philosophy at Adelphi University in New York. He was previously the editor of the International Journal of Political Economy, and he is the author of Social Knowledge.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Davis on April 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At first when I first saw this book pop up on Amazon.com last year I thought it might be a collection of Paul Mattick Sr's writings on crisis. There was little descriptive info given to make a different conclusion (since publications they added more to the Amazon description). However, the book was actually written by his son Paul Mattick jr (tho they dropped the jr for unknown reasons) who was a member of the councilist group "Root & Branch" during the late 70's & early 80's. Since he since has become a Professor of Philosophy and author of books on post-modernism, I thought the book would come from that perspective. I was wrong. This little book basically gives a history of this crisis and prior crisises of capitalism from a councilist perspective but without labeling it as such. It does this from the perspective of the US and its central role in the world economy. As for solutions, Mattick disses whats left of the Left. He finds hope in the ability of every day folk to take over the ruins of capital and remake it for use in their everyday lives. He draws from the work of Rebecca Solnit (A Paradise Built in Hell) in which she analysed various natural and unnatural disasters. To find common ground in the reaction of the victims to organize themselves outside of the State and find solidarity with fellow victims to overcome their loss. BTW, I recommend readers of this blog to read Solnit's work. Over all, I recommend this book. Its a good summary of Marxist economic theory in everyday language and applied to the current crisis. jim davis
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CB on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paul Mattick is a fantastic speaker. I highly suggest to anyone interested in the recent recession: watch his youtube videos and recent discussion for the Platypus society. Moreover, he writes as clearly as he speaks. However, when it comes to actually comprehending the financial crisis in intimate detail, I somewhat prefer Andrew Kliman's presentation, which has far more statistics, and graphs, and the feeling of a solid well thought out presentation and all encompassing theory. Mattick is more or less giving the reader a spotty historical account of the booms and bust of the capitalist mode of production; which is very interesting, and very hard to do in a mere 100 pages. That said, because he spends so much time on the history of capitalism, much of the actual recession is somewhat left out. And because it is more or less a history book of the overall problems of capitalism, the nuance that each boom-bust cycle deserves, it also somewhat left out.

Still, it's overall a good book, and can be read in a matter of hours. It's also good to see people like Mattick and Kliman offering a very unique take on capitalism, and how it operates. So, purchase Kliman for an intimate understanding of our recession, purchase Mattick for a sleek history of why capitalism is prone to erratic behavior (although by always being erratic, one could say it's also always stable).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thadius Lambert on June 14, 2012
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Must read for anyone who is even closely intrested in where the US is heading and how bad the problem really are
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By howardyork on March 9, 2013
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If you are looking for insight into the structural inadequacies of late stage capitalism this is a good place to start.
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