"Beyond Capitalism" by Luke Cooper and Simon Hardy contemplates how the Left might articulate a winning politics of resistance to capitalism. Mr. Cooper and Mr. Hardy are U.K.-based educators, writers and activists representing the New Left. This concise and thoughtful book will appeal to everyone interested in progressive political movements.
Mr. Cooper and Mr. Hardy recognize that many people find it difficult to imagine life beyond capitalism. The authors get their history right. The collapse of state communism in 1989 opened the way to globalization including the cooptation of Leftist politics by finance in both the U.S. and Britain. With no credible Leftist political challenge in sight, the 1% has accumulated tremendous wealth while the working class has been relegated to an increasingly precarious existence.
So, why has the Left failed to attract a mass following? Mr. Cooper and Mr. Hardy answer that the Labor Party and unions in the U.K. have capitulated to 'capitalist realism' and failed to articulate any credible alternatives to austerity. Meanwhile, the disillusioned have taken to libertarian (anarchist) movements such as Occupy; but not established Marxist political parties for fear of the legacy of stifling, bureaucratic statism. Yet, the authors believe that the Syriza Party of Greece demonstrates how a socialist politics of "universal democratization" might lead the way out of the crisis.
On that point, Mr. Cooper and Mr. Hardy enumerate a set of common sense principles to help the Left maximize its potential. The authors envision a more open, pragmatic and flexible politics that is driven by working class aspirations from below. Channeling the wisdom of Rosa Luxemburg, the authors suggest the Left needs to successfully navigate 'betwixt and between' the present and the future in its struggle for economic, social and democratic justice. In this manner, the authors believe that a post-capitalist world is possible, if we want it.
I highly recommend this important book to everyone.