Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, A

Ludwig von Mises Institute
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Publisher
Ludwig von Mises Institute
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Published on
Dec 31, 1989
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Pages
275
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ISBN
9781610163217
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Language
English
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This content is DRM free.
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"Geoff Mann is a new breed of monkey-wrencher. He knows that contemporary capitalism has a perverse habit of dismantling itself and gives us a toolkit to build a new, more socially just edifice."—Andy Merrifield, Magical Marxism

"Insightful and incisive, thoughtful and thorough, filled with new avenues for thinking about resistence. Pass this one by at your own peril."—Matt Hern, Common Ground in a Liquid City

To imagine how we might change capitalism, we first need to understand it. To succeed in actually changing it, we need to be able to explain how it works and convince others that change is both possible and necessary. Disassembly Required is an attempt to meet those challenges, and to offer clear, accessible alternatives to the status quo of everyday capitalism.

Originally crafted as a comprehensive overview for younger readers, Geoff Mann's explanation of the fundamental features of contemporary capitalism is illustrated with real-world examples?an ideal introduction for anyone wanting to learn more about what capitalism is and where it falls short. What emerges is an anti-capitalist critique that fully understands the complex, dynamic, robust organizational machine of modern economic life, digging deep into the details of capitalist institutions and the relations that justify them to unearth the politically indefensible and ecologically unsustainable premises that underlie them.

Geoff Mann teaches political economy and economic geography at Simon Fraser University, where he directs the Centre for Global Political Economy. He is the author of Our Daily Bread: Wages, Workers and the Political Economy of the American West (2007) and a frequent contributor to Historical Materialism and New Left Review.

The core of this book is a systematic treatment of the historic transformation of the West from monarchy to democracy. Revisionist in nature, it reaches the conclusion that monarchy is a lesser evil than democracy, but outlines deficiencies in both. Its methodology is axiomatic-deductive, allowing the writer to derive economic and sociological theorems, and then apply them to interpret historical events. A compelling chapter on time preference describes the progress of civilization as lowering time preferences as capital structure is built, and explains how the interaction between people can lower time all around, with interesting parallels to the Ricardian Law of Association. By focusing on this transformation, the author is able to interpret many historical phenomena, such as rising levels of crime, degeneration of standards of conduct and morality, and the growth of the mega-state. In underscoring the deficiencies of both monarchy and democracy, the author demonstrates how these systems are both inferior to a natural order based on private-property. Hoppe deconstructs the classical liberal belief in the possibility of limited government and calls for an alignment of conservatism and libertarianism as natural allies with common goals. He defends the proper role of the production of defense as undertaken by insurance companies on a free market, and describes the emergence of private law among competing insurers. Having established a natural order as superior on utilitarian grounds, the author goes on to assess the prospects for achieving a natural order. Informed by his analysis of the deficiencies of social democracy, and armed with the social theory of legitimation, he forsees secession as the likely future of the US and Europe, resulting in a multitude of region and city-states. This book complements the author's previous work defending the ethics of private property and natural order. Democracy—The God that Failed will be of interest to scholars and students of history, political economy, and political philosophy.
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