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What is wrong with capitalism, and how can we change it?
One of the 21st century's most brilliant sociologists confronts his own mortality.
An ancient answer to the timeless question of how best to choose our lawmakers.
Class Counts combines theoretical discussions of the concept of class with a wide range of comparative empirical investigations of class and its ramifications in developed capitalist societies. What unites the topics is not a preoccupation with a common object of explanation, but rather a common explanatory factor: class.
One of the major works of the new American Marxism, Wright’s book draws a challenging new class map of the United States and other, comparable, advanced capitalist countries today. It also discusses the various classical theories of economic crisis in the West and their relevance to the current recession, and contrasts the way in which the major political problem of bureaucracy was confronted by two great antagonistsWeber and Lenin. A concluding essay brings together the practical lessons of these theoretical analyses, in an examination of the problems of left governments coming to power in capitalist states.
What would a viable free and democratic society look like? Poverty, exploitation, instability, hierarchy, subordination, environmental exhaustion, radical inequalities of wealth and powerit is not difficult to list capitalism's myriad injustices. But is there a preferable and workable alternative? Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy presents a debate between two such possibilities: Robin Hahnel's ';participatory economics' and Erik Olin Wright's ';real utopian' socialism. It is a detailed and rewarding discussion that illuminates a range of issues and dilemmas of crucial importance to any serious effort to build a better world.
This textbook provides students with a lively and penetrating exploration of the concept of class and its relevance for understanding a wide range of issues in contemporary society. Erik Olin Wright treats class as a common explanatory factor and examines three broad themes: class structure, class and gender, and class consciousness. Specific empirical studies include such diverse topics as class variations in the gender division of labour in housework; friendship networks across class boundaries; the American class structure since 1960; and cross-national variations in class consciousness. The author evaluates these studies in the light of expectations within the Marxist tradition of class analysis. This Student Edition of Class Counts thus combines Wright's sophisticated account of central and enduring questions in social theory with practical analyses of detailed social problems.
Reconstructing Marxism explores fundamental questions about the structure of Marxist theory and its prospects for the future. The authors maintain that the disintegration of the old theoretical unity of classical Marxism is in part responsible for what is commonly called the ¿crisis of Marxism.¿ Only a reconstructed Marxism can come to terms with this disintegration.Addressing a range of problems in historical materialism and class analysis, the authors compare historical materialism with Darwinian evolutionary theory, and identify what is distinctively ¿historical¿ in Marx’s theory of history. Through an evaluation of G.A. Cohen’s defense and Anthony Giddens’s critique of historical materialism they suggest what a plausible, yet still Marxist, theory of history might be. They analyze the relationship of micro-analysis to macro theory and the assignment of causal primacy in explanations, and present a general assessment of the current state of Marxist theory and the prospects for its analytical reconstruction.Distinguished by the clarity of its presentation, the analytical rigor of its argument and its concern with fundamental philosophical and sociological issues, Reconstructing Marxism advances, at this critical juncture in the history of Marxism, a challenging new research program.
A comprehensive assault on the quietism of contemporary social theory. Building on a work analyzing the class system in the developed world, as well as exploring the problem of the transition to a socialist alternative, it reconstructs the core values and feasible goals for Left theorists and political actors.
The forms of liberal democracy developed in the 19th century seem increasingly ill-suited to the problems we face in the 21st. This dilemma has given rise to a deliberative democracy, and this text explores four contemporary cases in which the principles have been at least partially instituted.
After opening with an account of the author's awakening to Marxism, this book goes on to review its central principles as a social science, paying particular heed to feminist concepts and the meaning of inequality. It concludes by exploring possible futures under capitalism and socialism.