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The capitalist manifesto, Hardcover – 1958

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (1958)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006AVE5E
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,053,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 1997
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an extremely powerful and pithy
explanation of how capital and labor interact
in modern capitalism. It argues that wealth
tends to concentrate because capital is more
productive than labor, and so it calls for
policies to compensate labor with capital instead
of cash.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Drew Field on March 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Capitalist Manifesto was written during the Cold War, when capitalism and communism were competing economic systems. In part one, Lou shows where he thinks Karl Marx made his big mistake and says:

The path the capitalist revolution will take faces in exactly the opposite
direction from that taken by the communist revolution. It seeks to diffuse
the private ownership of capital instead of abolishing it entirely. It seeks
to make all men capitalists instead of preventing anyone from being a
capitalist by making the State the only capitalist.

Part two of the book is Lou's program for the "capitalist revolution." It would help households become owners of corporate shares. They would pay for the shares through bank loans. Dividends on the shares would first repay the loans. After that, the dividends would be a major source of household income.

Each element of the program calls for new legislation. One major government program would make credit easily available for households to invest in businesses. A "Capital Diffusion Insurance Corporation" would be federally chartered, to insure against some of the risks, such as the failure of a business to sell all of a securities offering and the catastrophe to a borrower from multiple business failures. This insurance is intended to lower the bank's interest rate so that the borrower's loan payments would be less than the expected dividends on the shares.

To provide cash for loan repayment and household income, corporations would be required to pay out their entire net income in dividends. (Younger businesses could retain earnings for growth and reserves against risks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Vitols on January 25, 2015
Format: Paperback
This mature, rational examination of what kind of economy a modern democracy needs to have is even more relevant today than it was in 1958.

I bought this book in 2010, a well-worn hardback that had belonged formerly to the University of Keele ("withdrawn from stock" is stamped faintly over the bookplate). I guess not enough people in Keele were borrowing it. But they should have been: for this is a work of cogent economic and philosophical analysis of the growing predicament of the United States, and, by extension, all other developed industrial economies. That predicament, as the authors see it, is that the form of capitalism that has evolved there is fundamentally inconsistent with a free and democratic society, and if things are simply allowed to progress along the same path, this inconsistency must eventually produce a society that is entirely unfree and undemocratic. That is, it will produce a totalitarian socialist state--a state in which all political and economic power is concentrated in the hands of the ruling elite, as was the case in the USSR at the time when these men were writing, and as is the case today in countries such as Cuba and North Korea.

The United States becoming like the USSR--or North Korea? Alarmist hogwash! Adolescent hyperbole! That's what I would think if I were simply presented with the propositions I've stated above. But these authors, Louis O. Kelso and Mortimer J. Adler, are the opposite of writers who might engage in such rhetorical tactics; these are serious, deep thinkers, steeped in the ideas of the Great Books.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bernie HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books that need to be read from front to back. No fair peeking to see "Who done it."

Louis O. Kelso caries you step by step through the pitfalls of political systems including capitalism to a more robust form of political freedom that can only be achieved with economic freedom. Who owns the Alaskan pipeline? What is leisure and how does it benefit humanity? We are moving out of a labor-based world and need to adjust our way of thinking.

Many economic problems seem black or white. This book takes a third path alternative. For the most part this may only works on paper. However, there are practical examples.

This book is an eye opener and you will look at what you see on TV and read in a new way. Do not confuse this system with any previously read book.

While reading this you must take in account that it was written a while ago. Be sure to catch up with the changes and a newer understanding by reading "The New Capitalists: A Proposal to Free Economic Growth from the Slavery of Savings."
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AnasHindi on April 12, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great condition
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