How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System

How Will Capitalism End Essays on a Failing System The provocative political thinker asks if it will be with a bang or a whimper After years of ill health capitalism is now in a critical condition Growth has given way to stagnation inequality is lead

  • Title: How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System
  • Author: Wolfgang Streeck
  • ISBN: 9781784784010
  • Page: 102
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The provocative political thinker asks if it will be with a bang or a whimper After years of ill health, capitalism is now in a critical condition Growth has given way to stagnation inequality is leading to instability and confidence in the money economy has all but evaporated.In How Will Capitalism End , the acclaimed analyst of contemporary politics and economics WolfThe provocative political thinker asks if it will be with a bang or a whimper After years of ill health, capitalism is now in a critical condition Growth has given way to stagnation inequality is leading to instability and confidence in the money economy has all but evaporated.In How Will Capitalism End , the acclaimed analyst of contemporary politics and economics Wolfgang Streeck argues that the world is about to change The marriage between democracy and capitalism, ill suited partners brought together in the shadow of World War Two, is coming to an end The regulatory institutions that once restrained the financial sector s excesses have collapsed and, after the final victory of capitalism at the end of the Cold War, there is no political agency capable of rolling back the liberalization of the markets.Ours has become a world defined by declining growth, oligarchic rule, a shrinking public sphere, institutional corruption and international anarchy, and no cure to these ills is at hand.

    One thought on “How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System”

    1. Read at your own risk. "Democratic capitalism was fully established only after the Second World War and then only in the 'Western' parts of the world, North America and Western Europe. There it functioned extraordinarily well for the next two decades so well, in fact, that this period of uninterrupted economic growth still dominates our ideas and expectations of what modern capitalism is, or could and should be. This is in spite of the fact that, in the light of the turbulence that followed, the [...]

    2. "A general logic of crisis" is how capitalism will end. (Shades of Habermas??)For political economists and all those that strive to think like one, check out this book review if you didn't catch it in LRB. Shared by a political economist friend in Turkey, trained at London School of Economics, and waiting to be pulled from his classroom most any day in Istanbul that is growing more fascist and reactionary every day. lrb/v39/n01/adam-too

    3. Read. this. book.Though I do believe it's now too late to vote in the prestigious ' choice awards, this would get my nod for best nonfiction published in 2016.In a recent interview with the Jacobin, Streeck said that the most pressing task for the left right now is to sober up. Well, this book (particularly the introduction and title essay) certainly has that effect - profoundly sobering, not to say devastating. Before 11-8, I would have found his analysis interesting but somewhat abstract and p [...]

    4. Compulsive PontificationStreeck's academic thesis is straightforward: Capitalism has adapted successfully to the conditions it itself has created since its formation in the late 18th century. But capitalism now lacks potential responses to future crisis. Economic policy-makers, he believes, have run out of effective economic antibiotics and must simply wait for the next evolved super-bug to strike. Streeck is agnostic about the source of the next crisis - ecological devastation, inadequate consu [...]

    5. Interesting review by Adam Tooze on this work in the London Review of Books: A General Logic of Crisis."Streeck believesCapitalism will end not because it faces serious opposition but because over the course of the coming decades and centuries it can be relied on to consume and destroy its own foundations. We should expect ever intensifying stagnation, inequality, the plundering of the public domain, corruption and the escalating risk of major war, all of this accompanied by a pervasive erosion [...]

    6. Comfortably the most provocative thing about this book is its title.Away from that, this collection of twelve essays on the decline of the market economy is very sober and sedate. It’s certainly no call to arms! Neither its content nor its style relate in any way to the sundry cod-revolutionaries who endorse it on the cover; Streeck, a serious sociologist, is nothing like them!His answer to the question he asks on the cover of the book can be summarized in a rather apologetic “we don’t kno [...]

    7. Streeck is an exceptionally clear writer, and he makes a cogent case throughout these essays on the ongoing transformation of capitalism but into what? Just chaos, it seems."For the decline of capitalism to continue, that is to say, no revolutionary alternative is required, and certainly no masterplan of a better society displacing capitalism. Contemporary capitalism is vanishing on its own, collapsing from internal contradictions, and not least as a result of having vanquished its enemies – [...]

    8. Excellent book. 6 out of 5. Sociologist by training yet excellent analysis of economics and of contemporary capitalism. Structured in a series of essays from past papers, Streeck highlights the dialectic between democracy and capitalism and how capitalism needs counter movements to function and improve. Otherwise it will eat itself. Streeck envisages a decline like the end of the Western Roman Empire to the Dark Ages. His analysis and insight is in the total history style of Braudel.

    9. An interesting read that lacks a strong conclusion or takeaway. Yes, Streeck does a great job of showing our path from social democracy to consolidation state via neoliberalism. The chapter that focuses on the incompatibility of capitalism and democracy is the strongest aspect of the book and worth the price of admission alone. The reason for three stars is his unwillingness to propose a potential solution for the income gap and the mounting obligations of the debt states. He briefly mentions ge [...]

    10. Very abstract and systems oriented. The long and short of it is that since the end of the postwar boom in the 1970s capitalism under neoliberalism has faced ever-growing crises. The low growth, the increasing inequality of this regime has shown that the common belief that democracy and capitalism are compatible may be completely mistaken. The growth of inequality has lead to a tightening oligarchy and decoupled profit from general prosperity especially with the financialization of the economy tu [...]

    11. Finally got around to reading this after hearing Paul Kennedy interview the author on CBC's Ideas.Mixed feelings. It's incredibly soporific, but occasionally he busts out a passage like this: How should we imagine a capitalism which is not dependent, for the sake of social cohesion, on a bloated credit system that promises to underwrite unlimited consumption standards of which everybody knows by now that they are not generalizable? A credit system, for that matter, whose promises seem increasing [...]

    12. Meanwhile an astonishing number of parents, single or coupled, have cheerfully adjusted to a high-pressure way of life somehow combining child-rearing with ever longer hours of ever more demanding and insecure employment. Rather than complaining or rebelling, many seem to take the stress as a test of their personal capacity for permanent improvement, much lie high-performance athletes. Living the contemporary capitalist way of life, parents comply with social expectations that they subject thems [...]

    13. WellI think I understand most of what Streeck had to say just by reading the introductory chapter. I say "think" because his writing style is somewhat obtuse, academic, and wordy, so I feel that the book is intended for a more academic audience, or at least one with more knowledge of macroeconomics than I have. Essentially the book is a set of lectures Streeck gave a few years after the economic collapse of 2008-09, fronted by an introductory chapter that well summarizes his thesis. I entirely a [...]

    14. Analysis of Transnational Capitalism and economic systems is great and the analysis here on late Capitalism in Europe and The US is great. The problems he describes are real and he sees the problems in the west. The problem is transnational capitalism has for a long time been about a lot more than us in the first world. In fact the narrative focus on mostly Europe leaves out a big lacuna of the rest of the world. The processes the author describes are happening in a multipolar world and the NATO [...]

    15. The glass is half empty. This is not primarily because of either the contemporary triumph of capitalism or its imminent catastrophic demise but because there is no evident alternative in view. The introduction to this collection of essays is oppressively pessimistic and I was initially reluctant to continue reading. The remainder of the book is more constructive to the extent that it enters into a detailed and interesting analysis of the interactions between politics and economics and it does in [...]

    16. Wolfgang Streeck may not in fact answer the question that he poses in the title of this book, but it is still a superb read.It consists of a set of essays and speeches from the German sociologist published previously in New Left Review (and elsewhere) and organised around the theme of the challenges to capitalism. Each is a thoughtful and valuable contribution to the analysis of modern capitalist, it's impact on society, politics, and environment, and what our options for the future might be.The [...]

    17. Wolfgang Streeck is a prominent German sociologist of the old school, i.e. unashamedly Marxist. He is also a prominent public intellectual with exceptional scope, one of the few social scientists to still take on economics and economists. This book is a collection of essays on the failures of (neoliberal) capitalism of the past decades. It is dark and devoid of hope, as Streeck, in essence, stands with Marx that capitalism holds within itself its own destruction. Unlike Marx, he doesn't think it [...]

    18. "It may be that this is the dawn of a true neoliberal tyranny, in the service of an empowered oligarchy–one that will put the eurozone to shame. We don't know yet. What is clear is that the arrangements that have guaranteed capitalism's survival for decades are transforming before our eyes, and our models can't predict what's coming next." –Jamie Martin on Wolfgang Streeck's How Will Capitalism End? in the Feb/Mar 2017 issue of Bookforum To read the rest of this review, go to Bookforum: book [...]

    19. Putting aside some rather serious misunderstandings about public debt and fiscal crises of the state, Streeck is easily one of the most astute and important thinkers today on the topic of modern capitalism. And his pessimism is, quite frankly, refreshing and warranted.

    20. Wolfgang Streeck has acquired prominence in contemporary debates about the future of capitalism as an advocate of the themes advanced by the economic historian cum sociologist, Karl Polyani, most famously set out in his book The Great Transformation.Polyani argued that capitalism has an inescapable tendency towards instability arising from the conflicts it set up between the principles of the market and that of society in general. Markets require that life is judged by the principle of economic [...]

    21. While the book provides some insight on current and past capitalism, it has very major problems.First, it doesn't even try to answer the question of the title. Just a bunch of vague phrases about interregnum and entropy, and then the author goes at length on a review of capitalism through the 20th century until the financial crisis of 2008.Second, the book is a compilation of papers and articles having a similar theme, with little or no editorial work. Many of the ideas are repeated over and ove [...]

    22. This book was too academic for me, and focused on European economics about which I know less than I should. The book used its academic language, with many references to people who have researched in the field, to 'explain' its thesis, and it left me lost except for the basic ideas.

    23. Capitalism: Victim of its own successThis riveting, disheartening and infuriating collection of essays, written by an eminent academic who comes at economics via sociology, explores the vulnerabilities of capitalism and lays out a compelling argument that it’s doomed because of it’s own success. His point is that as an economic system, capitalism requires constant checks from a strong democracy and labor force, primarily, to save it from itself and ensure that the wealth it generates is dist [...]

    24. I've read over 39 books and hundreds of articles on the current state of economics and capitalism in the past year. If I had started with this book, I wouldn't have known what it was talking about, but coming to it at the end of a year as I did, it provided an excellent synthesis that drew things together for me in a way that was brilliant. Wolfgang Streeck is a remarkable, original thinker who brings perspective that could only come from the intellectual and emotional depths of someone who has [...]

    25. Absolutely outstanding. The gathering of all my thoughts, plus many that I'm not informed, perspicacious or imaginative enough to think in the first place, and presented in clear, drily humorous, careful but, finally, incendiary prose.The chapter 'How to study contemporary capitalism?' is a capsule summing up, if you don't have time for the rest but, really, find the time. The emphasis on Polanyi's three 'fictitious commodities' (money, nature and labour), and the ways in which they have been a [...]

    26. Lots of big words in this collection of essays supporting his prophetic vision of late capitalism's final days. Although the title question of the book never receives a concrete answer - who can really accurately predict the future? - Streeck does provide an answer of sorts, in that as individualism runs its projected course and the nature of society itself begins to break down. Oligarch's and Warlords will naturally do very well in the Dark Ages 2.0. If nothing else reading this well-researched [...]

    27. 3 1/2 starsA bit too disjointed and repetitive for me especially given the wealth of similar books on this subject. For me this title suffered from its being mostly a series of essays that are often a response to another author's essay. Not having read these essays I felt disconnected from the analysis. I began to grow frustrated without the source material and I began to skim at times. Still, the author provides excellent footnotes and his analysis is cogent.

    28. There was much that felt prescient in this (among a fair amount of it that was over my head with the amount of energy I was able to put into its reading), but this was the most: "Power, after all, is the ability to refuse to learn."

    29. The book I was waiting for all my adult life. A real and intelligent critic of our economic system and its impact on our democracies and ideas of how to bring back politics and sociology into its analysis.

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