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SOS Alternatives to Capitalism (World Changing Series) [Paperback]

Richard Swift
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

24 April 2014 World Changing Series
With capitalism vulnerable and out-of-step in the wake of financial crises this book investigates the alternatives that are on offer - including socialism, anarchism and deep ecology. It picks its way through the pockets of resistant thinking and emerges with paths to changing the world that rest less on rigid ideology imposed from above than on practical transformation from below.

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SOS Alternatives to Capitalism (World Changing Series) + No-Nonsense Guide to Degrowth and Sustainability (No-nonsense Guides)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New Internationalist (24 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780261705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780261706
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Swift guides his reader through a troubling political history of 20th Century capitalism and its stunted alternatives. He then explores ways out of our death trap known as business-as-usual. A genuine invitation to both dream and recover from a nightmare. Federico Demaria, Research and Degrowth Richard Swift's S.O.S.: Alternatives to Capitalism makes a major contribution to changing the parameters of political debate. It helps us move beyond the pseudo-alternatives of the political mainstream and begin to work for the kind of change we can believe in without being delusional. John P Clark, Professor of Philosophy; Loyola I came away from S.O.S.with the comforting sense that there was an enjoyable world before capitalism and there can be one after. Barbara Garson, playwright and author of Down the Up escalator: How the 99% live Richard Swift's thoroughly researched and timely book takes a much-needed view of the alternatives that existed - and still exist - beyond capitalism. Jaideep Hardikar, journalist and author of A village Awaits Doomsday Commendably judicious - With S.O.S.: Alternatives to Capitalism, Swift joins a growing strand of 21st-century literature that explores radically different ways of organizing our economy and politics. Cy Gonick, founder and long-time editor of --Canadian Dimension magazine

About the Author

Richard Swift is former editor of New Internationalist Magazine and author of the No-Nonsense Guide to Democracy. In 2011 he won the Daniel Singer Millenium Prize for an original essay which helps further socialist ideas.

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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I must declare an interest.
Richard Swift and I once worked together on New Internationalist magazine, though we both moved on some time ago. What we aimed to do then (and New Internationalist still does) was to make what are often confusing, contentious, overlooked or downright obscure world issues more accessible and relevant to the general reader, and to broaden the agenda for informed debate.
Well, 'alternatives to capitalism' is surely a confusing and contentious world issue, though it is most certainly not an obscure or irrelevant one, even as a generation that lost faith in alternatives of any kind heads towards its grave.
What Richard Swift has now done, in the extended book form the task suggests, is put the lie to such dismal disbelief. He does so with jargon-free lucidity, critical analysis, breadth of reference and generosity of feeling, so that you end up wondering not at the absence of alternatives but at the anachronistic power of a narrow-minded, self-serving capitalist cult.
Unrestrained inequality, and the limits to purely 'economic' growth, have combined to make capitalism unsustainable. You have to hold to this premise, Richard Swift insists, if you aim to arrive at a more durable outcome. Otherwise you are likely to find yourself opposing democracy, if not defying the human instinct to survive.
Once you've recognised the premise, you are freer to be informed by the richness of human experience (particularly in the 'Global South'), past and present, and moved by the 'sad beauty' of the world. And once you've done that, the deepening of democracy and the appeal of 'degrowth' are that much easier to envisage.
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