BOOK LAUNCH: Global Neo-liberal Capitalism and the Alternatives: from social democracy to state capitalism

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8 February 2024

Professor David Lane and discussants Andrew Murray and Radhika Desai; 

The twentieth century was an era of socialist revolutionary transformations and significant social-democratic reforms. By the twenty-first century, these socialist inspired movements have largely disappeared, their ideology had been disavowed, and their institutions dismantled. In the first part of the book, David Lane explains which social forces drove them and why, initially, they were successful. He considers how they were consequently reversed in the context of global neoliberal capitalism which became a dominant ideology driven by political and economic elites with significant social support and political legitimacy.

Underlying these developments, he describes the changing economic and social structure of capitalism and the geo-political consequences of globalisation.  He defines the key areas in which neoliberal capitalism can be faulted. In the second part of the book, he considers current social and political movements and points to alternative forms of capitalism, notably state capitalist formations, as well as its replacement.  Here he summarises the merits and limitations of proposed social-democratic reforms, or reversals of globalisation, proposals for self-sustaining autonomous communities, the limits of ecological reforms, and ideas about a globalised form of socialism.

Finally, he outlines his own proposals to move to economic and political coordination predicated on combining market socialism and statist forms of planning.