- Capa dura: 368 páginas
- Editora: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (9 de fevereiro de 2016)
- Idioma: Inglês
- ISBN-10: 0374235546
- ISBN-13: 978-0374235543
- Dimensões do produto: 16,2 x 79 x 603,2 cm
- Peso de envio: 717 g
- Avaliação média: Seja o primeiro a avaliar este item
- Lista de mais vendidos da Amazon: no. 134,158 em Livros (Conheça o Top 100 na categoria Livros)
Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future (Inglês) Capa dura – 11 jul 2016
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Hey wait a minute. Isn’t this supposed to be a review of an economics book? It is, and for me all those exclamations are true. In spite of the fact that I usually think economics is opaque and boring, I found this book to be positively riveting.
Like a lot of people, I’m worried about what’s going on in today’s world. The Arab Spring never bloomed; Occupy Wall Street petered out; the upcoming US election seems mired in chaos. We’re supposed to have recovered from the 2008 recession, but most new jobs can’t pay the bills. Every year breaks a record for world’s hottest, but certain political and corporate leaders still deny the existence of man-made climate change. Our population is getting older, poorer, and deeper in debt. What to do about the rising number of immigrants threatens many nations. So when Diane Rehm interviewed Paul Mason about his book, I decided to buy it. I wanted to hear more about his take on why we’re in this situation and what we can do about it.
Mason begins by reviewing humankind’s turbulent economic history: feudalism, industrial capitalism, the rise and destruction of the labor movement, the booms and busts of neoliberalism, the phenomenon of today’s “precariat.” These are the stressed-out people forced to work two jobs, who have lost or will never get a pension, who are acutely aware of how monopolies, outsourcing, or their company moving overseas make his or her job extremely precarious. Many workers are expected to be “at work” on their smartphones even when traveling or at home, and—even worse—are forced to “live the dream of the firm they work for.” In spite of our rising productivity, it’s now clear that actual wages are in decline, except for the 1%.
Mason then takes a look at how capitalism evolved in the last 200 years. It was mind-expanding for me to see how economic systems evolve and change just like human beings do. Today’s capitalism, the author points out, is in its fifth great wave. It’s trembling on the edge of becoming something new: postcapitalism.
Why is this happening? The answer, basically, is because our planet has to meet several great challenges it never faced before: climate change, ageing, the information network, and massive immigration. Business as usual won’t be able to meet these challenges.
So what will? What does this new mutation of capitalism look like? Mason says we’re already seeing it through models like the non-profit Wikipedia, Creative Commons, and Open Source. These share a communal nature, “free to use, but impossible to grab, own, and exploit.” Because of the unprecedented availability of free information on the internet, people are able to form artisanal local businesses, publish e-books, join global communities, share videos, get the equivalent of a free college degree. Information, one of the most valuable commodities available to human beings, isn’t scare anymore, but free to all.
Like any great novel, this book builds and builds into an explosive climax. Using the nitty-gritty facts of history and economics, Mason reveals what postcapitalism can mean to us and our future.
There’s tons more in in this book that I can’t even begin to deal with here. Whenever I read a book I think I’m going to review, I jot down notes: what grabs me, what new thing I learn, how it coincides with what I’ve noticed in the world and why it bothers me or gives me hope. For this book, I took six pages of notes. It’s hard to review a book in which you struggle to assimilate a new idea when, on the next page, the author is already using the new idea as the foundation for yet another new idea.
This book isn’t an easy read, but boy is it an exhilarating ride! At the end—when we finally get the answer to the question “who’s going to save us?”—I actually yelled Yay!
--review by Veronica Dale, author of Blood Seed,
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