The polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes and droughts ravish the planet, and Earth’s inhabitants is threatened via catastrophic weather switch. thousands of yank jobs were despatched in another country and aren’t coming again. younger African American males make up the vast majority of America’s criminal inhabitants. half the yankee inhabitants is terrible or close to negative, residing precariously at the breaking point, whereas the pinnacle one percentage owns up to the ground 80. govt police-state spying on its electorate is pervasive. accordingly, as former President Jimmy Carter has stated, “we haven't any functioning democracy.”

Imagine: residing in a Socialist USA is without delay an indictment of yankee capitalism because the root explanation for our spreading dystopia and a cri di coeur for what existence might be like within the usa if we had financial in addition to a true political democracy. It positive factors thirty-one concise and obtainable essays by way of innovative thinkers and activists on a number of features of a brand new society and, crucially, on the best way to get from the place we're now to the place we wish to be, residing in a society that's really reasonable and just.

“Throughout heritage, those that have sought radical switch have constantly needed to first discredit the information used to prop up ruling elites and build substitute rules for society. The articulation of a workable socialism as a substitute to company tyranny is, for me, paramount. as soon as rules shift for a wide part of a inhabitants, as soon as the imaginative and prescient of a brand new society grips the preferred mind's eye, the outdated regime is done. because of this Imagine: residing in a Socialist USA is a vital contribution in selling innovative ferment and consciousness.” —Chris Hedges, writer of Death of the Liberal Class

“The most sensible, so much insightful, and so much vigorous paintings on socialism to seem in many years. Its new angle offers readers an opportunity to resume the future-vision that when, in the past, positioned Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward onto the all time bestsellers’ checklist or even switched over Eugene Debs. This booklet is sure to have a huge effect at the method we view our country.” —Paul Buhle, writer of Marxism within the United States

“The dying of capitalism, faster instead of later, is a simple task. but situations for transition to socialism, the one procedure which could retailer humanity from the gathered contradictions of its earlier, are either scarce and sometimes so generalized as to be dead to these locked in today’s determined struggles. How does the good human constellation make the epochal holiday, from our specific areas within the right here and now? In answering this question, socialists needs to follow common ideas to a complete international of particularities, beginning with the routine during which they're at once engaged. Imagine: residing in a Socialist USA has amassed less than one disguise one of the most proficient thinkers and activists of the yank Left, women and men for whom socialism is the compass that issues to radical transformation—a international wear new footing, snatched again from the precipice.” —Glen Ford, govt editor, Black schedule Report

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One of the problems with such an argument, however, is that both the ‘genuine needs’ standard and its use in evaluating conveniences would probably prove to be at least as controversial as the conveniences this standard was called upon to evaluate. indd 28 7/4/2011 12:15:39 PM s c a rc i t y a n d c a p i ta l ac c u m u l at i o n 29 regarding human nature, on which different people would probably take different positions. This means, however, that, even in a future post-capitalist society, disagreements on the question of scarcity might persist.

My choice to pay close attention to this work does not signify complete support of its analysis. On the contrary, one reason I chose it is so that I can discuss and criticize an assumption Baran and Sweezy share with many other Marxist theorists. This is the assumption that the abolition of scarcity is already possible, and that it only requires transition to a socialist society that would use the productive forces already in existence more rationally than capitalism ever could. The other reason I discuss Baran and Sweezy’s work is because it demonstrates the attention we need to pay to the qualitative aspects of the configurations of scarcity within capitalist societies.

In this respect, they serve as a reminder of a contradiction inherent in capitalism in all its forms: although capitalism increases the surplus, and therefore the potential for human freedom, it does so only by denying humanity the opportunity to control this surplus and to deploy it in a humane and ecologically sustainable fashion. 16 The struggle against the logic of capital requires, however, not just a challenge of the privileges and advantages of the capitalist class and the socioeconomic groups that wield power.

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