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Author: Jürgen Kocka
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1474271065
Size: 10.65 MB
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Capitalism has been a controversial concept. In the second half of the 20th century, many historians have either not used the concept at all, or only in passing. Many regarded the term as too broad, holistic and vague or too value-loaded, ideological and polemic. This volume brings together leading scholars to explore why the term has recently experienced a comeback and assess how useful the term can be in application to social and economic history. The contributors discuss whether and how the history of capitalism enables us to ask new questions, further explore unexhausted sources and discover new connections between previously unrelated phenomena. The chapters address case studies drawn from around the world, giving attention to Europe, Africa and beyond. This is a timely reassessment of a crucial concept, which will be of great interest to scholars and students of economic history.


Author: Jürgen Kocka
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 140087341X
Size: 69.22 MB
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In this authoritative and accessible book, one of the world's most renowned historians provides a concise and comprehensive history of capitalism within a global perspective from its medieval origins to the 2008 financial crisis and beyond. From early commercial capitalism in the Arab world, China, and Europe, to nineteenth- and twentieth-century industrialization, to today’s globalized financial capitalism, Jürgen Kocka offers an unmatched account of capitalism, one that weighs its great achievements against its great costs, crises, and failures. Based on intensive research, the book puts the rise of capitalist economies in social, political, and cultural context, and shows how their current problems and foreseeable future are connected to a long history. Sweeping in scope, the book describes how capitalist expansion was connected to colonialism; how industrialism brought unprecedented innovation, growth, and prosperity but also increasing inequality; and how managerialism, financialization, and globalization later changed the face of capitalism. The book also addresses the idea of capitalism in the work of thinkers such as Marx, Weber, and Schumpeter, and chronicles how criticism of capitalism is as old as capitalism itself, fed by its persistent contradictions and recurrent emergencies. Authoritative and accessible, Capitalism is an enlightening account of a force that has shaped the modern world like few others.

Taming Capitalism Before Its Triumph

Author: Koji Yamamoto
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191059684
Size: 57.14 MB
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This study examines the darker side of England's culture of economic improvement between 1640 and 1720. It is often suggested that England in this period grew strikingly confident of its prospect for unlimited growth. Indeed, merchants, inventors, and others promised to achieve immense profit and abundance. Such flowery promises were then, as now, prone to perversion, however. This volume is concerned with the taming of incipient capitalism — how a society in the past responded when promises of wealth creation went badly wrong. It reveals a history of numerous visible hands taming incipient capitalism, a story that Adam Smith and his admirers have long set aside. The notion of 'projecting' played a key role in this process. Thriving theatre, literature, and popular culture in the age of Ben Jonson began elaborating on predominantly negative images of entrepreneurs or 'projectors' as people who pursued Crown's and their own profits at the public's expense. This study examines how the ensuing public distrust came to shape the negotiation in the subsequent decades over the nature of embryonic capitalism. The result is a set of fascinating discoveries. By scrutinising greedy 'projectors', the incipient public sphere helped reorient the practices and priorities of entrepreneurs and statesmen away from the most damaging of rent-seeking behaviours. Far from being a recent response to mainstream capitalism, ideas about socially responsible business have long shaped the pursuit of wealth, power, and profit. Taming Capitalism before its Triumph unravels the rich history of broken promises of public service and ensuing public suspicion — a story that throws fresh light on England's 'transition to capitalism', especially the emergence of consumer society and the financial revolution towards the end of the seventeenth century.

A Marxist History Of Capitalism

Author: Henry Heller
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351023160
Size: 71.39 MB
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Henry Heller’s short account of the history of capitalism combines Marx’s economic and political thought with contemporary scholarship to shed light on the current capitalist crisis. It argues that capitalism is an evolving mode of production that has now outgrown its institutional and political limits. The book provides an overview of the different historical stages of capitalism, underpinned by accessible discussions of its theoretical foundations. Heller shows that capitalism has always been a double-edged sword, on one hand advancing humanity, and on the other harming traditional societies and our natural environment. He makes the case that capitalism has now become self-destructive, and that our current era of neoliberalism may trigger a transition to a democratic and ecologically aware form of socialism.

Eclipse And Re Emergence Of The Communist Movement

Author: Gilles Dauvé
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 1629630551
Size: 65.35 MB
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The original essays included here were first written between 1969 and 1972 by people involved in the most radical aspects of the French general strike and circulated among left communist and worker circles. Over the years these three essays have been published separately in various languages and printed as books in both the U.S. and the UK with few changes. This third English edition is updated to take into account the contemporary political situation; half of the present volume is new material. The book argues that doing away with wage-labor, class, the State, and private property is necessary, possible, and can only be achieved by a historical break, one that would certainly differ from October 1917, yet it would not be a peaceful, gradual, piecemeal evolution either. Like their historical predecessors, the authors still believe in revolution.

Zen Economics

Author: Rob Urie
Publisher: CounterPunch
ISBN: 0692692258
Size: 38.67 MB
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Beginning in the mid-1970s a political program based in pre-Great Depression economics took hold in the U.S. and spread across the developed West. Its basis in reaction to the ‘managed capitalism’ that emerged from the Great Depression produced a hybrid—neoliberalism, which discarded the institutional framework of classical economics in favor of an opportunistic state-capitalist amalgam. The political maneuvers behind the rise explain the institutional re-emergence of this new-old capitalism but they don’t explain either why it was so readily adopted by so many people or why it has been so resilient in the face of the serial catastrophes it has created. Capitalist theory informs a narrow, anti-historical concept of people, what motivates us and our relationship to one another and the world. More profoundly, the premises of the ‘self’ of capitalism form a deeply instantiated identity. The emergence of philosophical post-modernism informed by the work of Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Marx provided an explanation of the social basis of this Western self that unites capitalist theory with practice in paradox to create a ‘timeless and universal,’ yet wholly malleable, authoritarian subject. Western critics of philosophical post-modernism get its relationship to the re-emergence of new-old capitalism partially right without understanding the basis of the critique. Zen Economics addresses the background philosophical issues around economics, science and technology to place them in context and then applies the results to work and labor, income and wealth distribution, environmental crisis and animal rights. Zen enters as absence, as radical humility toward what is knowable and what is known. This view derives from years spent with the base texts of existential philosophy, from correspondence between Martin Heidegger and D.T. Suzuki around the relationship between Heidegger’s ontology and Zen and from Buddhism as a practical, non-deistic, philosophy of life. The book ends with a political program that emerges from four decades of political activism.

Political Judgments

Author: Dick Howard
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780847681631
Size: 23.30 MB
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Against the backdrop of the radical change in political conditions since the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe, noted philosopher and political theorist Dick Howard asks: what is modern politics? Returning to the historical problems posed by the French and American Revolutions, Howard examines the ways that philosophy has tried to understand the contemporary political dilemma. He then puts his theory to the test by looking at political problems in Eastern Europe, in the European Union, and in the United States. This collection of essays, many available in English for the first time, will be useful to philosophers, sociologists, and political scientists.

The Reemergence Of Civil Society In Eastern Europe And The Soviet Union

Author: Zbigniew Rau
Size: 13.80 MB
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Civil society is a key concept in the debate arising from the recent turmoil in Eastern Europe and the USSR. Here the views of Eastern scholars and activists are contrasted with those of Western academics on the definition, origins and function of civil society within a nation's public life.