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Socialist Optimism

An Alternative Political Economy for the Twenty-First Century

Authors: Auerbach, Paul

  • There are many books available making eloquent critiques of capitalism, but none offer such a rigorous, detailed blueprint of a twentyfirst century alternative
  • The book has been written to appeal to a broad international public
  • The book extends the current literature on a range of topics from political economy, politics, economics and history, making it valuable in a range of academic and teaching contexts
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eBook $34.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56396-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $120.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56394-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $47.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56395-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Paul Auerbach's Socialist Optimism offers an alternative political economy for the twenty-first century. Present-day capitalism has generated growing inequality of income and wealth, persistent high levels of unemployment and ever-diminishing prospects for young people. But in the absence of a positive vision of how society and the economy might develop in the future, the present trajectory of capitalism will never be derailed, no matter how acute the critique of present-day developments.

The detailed blueprint presented here focuses upon the education and upbringing of children in the context of social equality and household security. It yields a well-defined path to human development and liberation, as well as democratic control of working life and public affairs. Socialism as human development gives a unity and direction to progressive policies that are otherwise seen to be a form of pragmatic tinkering in the context of a pervasive capitalist reality.

About the authors

Paul Auerbach received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, USA, and has been Reader in Economics at Kingston University, UK, since 1990. He has published work in academic journals such as the Journal of Economic Surveys and the Journal of Economic Issues as well as the New Left Review, and is the author of Competition: The Economics of Industrial Change (1988). His research interests include the measurement of economic growth, the economics of competition, and the relationship between education and economic development.

Reviews

“Auerbach (Kingston Univ., UK) begins with a blunt description of present-day capitalism as a system of instability and dysfunction, producing inequality, unemployment, and diminishing prospects. Socialist Optimism offers an alternative vision for the future, one that rejects free-market neoliberalism, Keynesian managed capitalism, and traditional concepts of socialism as central planning. … It offers a pathway into the future that is both possible and profoundly transformative. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.” (R. Hudelson, Choice, Vol. 54 (3), November, 2016)


“With radical change in the air, Paul Auerbach has proposed a creative orientation for sustaining practical hope. Through the prism of education and its link to human potentials, Auerbach advances a biting critique of the ideology, political economy and class structures that sustain capitalism. And on this basis he presents an intriguing agenda for moving towards an egalitarian, solidaristic, democratically more substantive and culturally richer alternative.” (Sam Gindin, co-author of The Making of Global Capitalism)

“Here is a remarkable book that combines enormous wisdom, a deep historical and economic analysis, and a vision for a reconstructed socialist project which builds, not on fantasy, but on existing seeds within capitalism. Auerbach forensically analyses the errors of past socialist analysis and reconstructs a new vision founded on education and human development.” (Francis Green, Professor of Work and Education Economics, Institute of Education, University of London, UK, and author of Skills and Skilled Work)

“21st century capitalism, without a socialist rival to temper its excesses, has degenerated into a dystopia of financial instability, economic stagnation and extremes of inequality. The resultant lack of opportunity has stunted the development of a generation in a way that resembles a return to feudalism more than it does Hayek's vision of a creative spontaneous order. Auerbach proposes instead a socialism that emphasises human development, equality and genuine democracy.” (Steve Keen, author of Debunking Economics)

“Paul Auerbach has written a book not for the converted, not for those in search of certainties or dogmas, but for those looking for intelligent arguments, proposals which are historically based and theoretically sound with such the right dash of utopia to make the mix interesting and exciting – a book which puts at the centre of a major reform of society the pursuit of educational excellence for all. This is a book to be read slowly and carefully: the reader will emerge wiser and richer in the mind.” (Donald Sassoon, Professor of Comparative European History, University of London, UK, and author of One Hundred Years of Socialism)

“Paul Auerbach has written a brilliant and immensely important book. In the face of economic crisis, increasing inequality and looming environmental disaster we need more than defensive, “neoliberal light” policies or vague calls for radical change. Auerbach demonstrates how past socialist failures derive closely from a misreading of history. More importantly, his analysis points us in a new and promising direction. This ambitious book combines clear economic insight with a compelling vision for change. It will appeal to all who recognize the dangers and inequities of unfettered capitalism.” (Peter Skott, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA, and author of Conflict and Effective Demand in Economic Growth)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $34.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56396-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $120.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56394-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $47.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56395-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Socialist Optimism
Book Subtitle
An Alternative Political Economy for the Twenty-First Century
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-56396-5
DOI
10.1007/978-1-137-56396-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-56394-1
Softcover ISBN
978-1-137-56395-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 522
Topics