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31 December 2004
The Decline of Capitalism
Can a Self-Regulated Profits System Survive
As financial and economic chaos increasingly threatens the entire world, its leaders have only one answer: rigid adherence to the neoliberal policies that have proved so disastrous over 25 years - while they falsify statistics to try and shore up public illusions of 'success' and seek to distract attention with a bogus 'war on terror'. But what this strategy of desperation can no longer conceal is the inability of self-regulated, profit-maximizing capitalism either to deliver minimum acceptable levels of economic security to the vast mass of the world's people or to avert ultimate financial crisis such as will bring ruin even to most of the privileged few.
As this grim reality - manifested in chronic low growth, crumbling share values, bankrupt pension funds and unprecedented corporate failure and fraud - begins to dawn on the public, it must raise increasing doubts as to the sustainability of an economic order so long taken for granted.
In this timely sequel to The Trouble with Capitalism (published by Zed Books in 1998) - which was one of the first books to challenge the prevailing economic euphoria of the 1990s and foreshadowed many of the subsequent financial upheavals - Harry Shutt explains the ongoing disaster as the inevitable consequence of trying to sustain an outmoded and dysfunctional system. He also outlines an agenda for radical reform based on the premise that the primacy of private profit is no longer compatible with the priorities of modern democracies.
'This book challenges the prevailing economic euphoria of the 1990s, and foreshadows many of the subsequent financial upheavals.' - Abstracts of Public Administration, Development and Environment (APADE)
'Describes the breakdown in the functioning of the global economic order based on the capitalist profits system, revisiting and updating the analysis of the 'The Trouble with Capitalism' (1998) ' - Journal of Economic Literature
Table of Contents
Introduction: Millennium Meltdown
1. The Long Road to Disaster
2. The Deluge Postponed
3. The Surfeit of Capital and its Consequences
4. The Dishonesty of Desperation
5. A System Past Reforming
6. No End to Denial
7. Beyond the Cataclysm
About the Author:
Harry Shutt was educated at Oxford and Warwick Universities. He worked for six years in the Development and Planning Division of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). He then moved to the Research Department of the General and Municipal Workers' Union (1973-76) and subsequently became Chief Economist at the Fund for Research and Investment for the Development of Africa (1977-79). Since then he has been an independent economic consultant. His books include 'The Myth of Free Trade: Patterns of Protectionism Since 1945', (Basil Blackwell/The Economist, 1985), 'The Trouble with Capitalism: An Inquiry into the Causes of Global Economic Failure' , (Zed Books, 1999) and 'A New Democracy: Alternatives to a Bankrupt World Order (Zed Books, 2001)
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