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Socialism: The Only Practical Alternative to Contemporary Capitalism

Tatah Mentan

Publication Year: 2012

Since the end of World War II, global capitalism, spearheaded by US financial interests and backed by the most lethal military force that has ever been assembled, has consolidated its power over the world economy. In the past decades, especially, transnational corporations have tightened their control over national governments and international institutions. The imposition of free trade policies and the increasing privatization of social services have facilitated the accumulation of fabulous wealth for the owners of capital at the expense of working people and the environment worldwide. Contemporary capitalism now dominates every major sector of the world economy. The social and environmental costs of contemporary capitalism are prohibitive. The global megatrends of rising inequality and absolute poverty, political instability, and global climate changeóall compounded and accelerated by this predatory mode of productionóare adversely affecting the lives and threatening the future of every inhabitant of nations and the entire world. In view of these megatrends and the current global economic crisis, the conclusion that contemporary capitalism does not serve the interests of the vast majority of the people on the planet and is both economically and environmentally unsustainable, is self-evident. History offers harsh lessons. The political violence of the 20th century, which resulted in an estimated 200 million deaths and untold economic and environmental destruction, cautions us to work for socialism in the 21st century with every means at our disposal except violence. Facing the awful power and willingness of capitalism to coerce and corrupt, we must find ways to make soft power prevail. Clearly, a revolution is in orderóit is time to place the socialist alternative on the national and world agenda.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-ii

Table of Contents

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pp. iii-iv

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pp. v

I am heartily thankful to numerous scholars whose ideas have been used in this book. Their inspiring and incisive ideas and support from the initial to the final level enabled me to develop an understanding of the subject of Socialism as the only viable alternative to rampaging capitalist imperialism, today sanitized as globalization. ...

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pp. vii-xv

An ideology based on inequality, injustice, exploitation, militarism, and imperial wars eventually self-destructs or gets pushed. Growing evidence in America and Europe shows systemic unaddressed problems too grave to ignore. They remain so despite millions without jobs, savings, homes or futures. Imagine nations governed...

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pp. xvii-xlv

As the “crisis of global capitalism” spirals out of control, the powers that be in the global system appear to be adrift and unable to propose viable solutions. From the slaughter of dozens of young protesters by the army in Egypt to the brutal repression of the Occupy movement in the United States, and the water cannons brandished by the militarized police in Chile against students and workers...

Part One: Prologue

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1. Introduction

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pp. 3-27

The present age of modern capitalism is one of deep illusion. The hopes placed in the politics of the 20th century have remained unfulfilled. We now confront the fact that in the twenty first century the human race is in danger of self-destruction. The suffering which results from continuing problems is incalculable. ...

Part Two: Understanding the Stakes in Our Contemporary World

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pp. 31-32

Today, there is a muscular debate on The “Global Crises of Capitalism”. Our simple question is: Whose Crises, Who Profits? The advocates of global crises argue that beginning in 2007 and continuing to the present, the world capitalist system has collapsed and recovery is a mirage. They cite stagnation and continuing recession in North America and the Eurozone. They offer GDP data...

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2. Contemporary World Capitalism

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pp. 33-46

From the Financial Times to the far left, tons of ink has been spilt writing about some variant of the “Crises of Global Capitalism”. While writers differ in the causes, consequences and cures, according to their ideological lights, there is a common agreement that “the crises” threatens to end the capitalist system as we know it. ...

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3. Planning and Development

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pp. 47-67

The profound crises of 2008-2009 provoked a spate of questioning of the capitalist system, even among many of its most ardent advocates (Financial Times of 1/8/12 to 1/30/12) criticism abounded. ‘Reform, regulation and redistribution’ were the fare of financial columnists. Yet the ruling economic and governing class...

Part Three: Towards Socialist Freedom

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pp. 71-73

It is utterly foolish and hypocritical to argue for a “global crises” of capitalism when several of the major economies in the world economy did not suffer a major downturn and others recovered and expanded rapidly. China and India did not suffer even a recession. Even during the worst years of the Euro-US decline, the Asian giants...

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4. Democratic Socialist Theory and Practice

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pp. 75-82

Serious defects in the capitalist system persist to this day: long periods of mass unemployment, periodically recurring economic crises, unnecessarily great differences in income unrelated to efficiency a concentration of private means providing individuals with an influence of power devoid of democratic legitimization...

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5. Strategy: The Role of the Party and the State

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pp. 83-88

A correct appreciation of the vanguard party and its indispensable role depends upon understanding the crucial importance of the subjective factors in the proletarian revolution. On a broad historical scale, and in the final accounting, economic conditions are decisive in shaping the development of society. This truth of historical...

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6. Transitional Strategy: Strengthening Public Provisionand Democratic Control

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pp. 89-101

There should be no illusions that the establishment of an inclusive democracy will be a swift process or that the implementation of a transitional strategy program will not have a hard time from the elites controlling the state machine and the market economy. This process is bound to be a long one involving a huge popular movement and...

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7. Towards a Vision of Democratic Production and Social Provision

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pp. 103-110

Neoliberalism has become one of the most pervasive, if not, dangerous ideologies of the 21st century. Its pervasiveness is evident not only by its unparalleled influence on the global economy, but also by its power to redefine the very nature of politics itself. Free market fundamentalism rather than democratic idealism is now the driving...

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8. Socialist Internationalism versus Capitalist Globalization

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pp. 111-121

Socialists are naturally internationalists. Their concerns are global concerns—as well as local concerns. They aren’t against globalization. They are against capitalist globalization. The clarion call of the Communist Manifesto is: “[Proletarians] of all countries, unite.”(CW6, 519) Socialists have called for socialist globalization...

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9. Contemporary Capitalism and the Revolutionary Working Class Movement

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pp. 123-137

A real capitalist crisis would adversely affect profit margins, gross earnings and the accumulation of “cash piles”. Rising profits are being horded because as capitalists profit from intense exploitation, mass consumption stagnates. Crises theorists confuse what is clearly the degrading of labour, the savaging of living and working...

Part Four: Epilogue- Looking Behind To Look Ahead

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10. Summary and Socialist Transformation

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pp. 141-167

Socialism is no longer the scare word of the past. Socialism involves the large-scale reorganization of the economy, the transfer of trillions from the coffers of predator classes’ of no social utility to the public welfare. This change can finance a productive and innovative economy based on work and leisure, study and sport. ...

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11. The Promise of Socialism

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pp. 169-178

It is the aim of the Socialist Labour Party to create a society in which wars will be but evil memories, a society in which poverty will have disappeared, in which freedom will have been made secure, and in which democracy will have become the prevailing order of society for all. In the ideas expressed by the word Socialism, as advocated by...

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12. Music of the Future: Democracy, Liberty & Solidarity

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pp. 179-197

Record capitalist profits are accrued by pillaging the public treasury, denying pensions and prolonging ‘work till you die’, bankrupting most families with exorbitant private corporate medical and educational costs. More than ever in recent history, record majorities reject the rule by and for the bankers and the corporate ruling class...

Select Bibliography

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pp. 199-206

E-ISBN-13: 9789956727346
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956727896

Page Count: 254
Publication Year: 2012