With capitalism vulnerable and out-of-step in the wake of financial crises this book investigates the alternatives that are on offer - including socialism, anarchism and deep ecology.
With capitalism vulnerable and out-of-step in the wake of financial crises this book investigates the alternatives that are on offer - including socialism, anarchism and deep ecology. It aims to pick its way through the thickets of resistant thinking and emerge with paths to changing the world that rest less on rigid ideology imposed from above than on practical transformation.
Financial collapse and crisis; disgust at bankers' greed; the devastating effects of yawning inequality: all these and more have led to widespread dissatisfaction and disenchantment with
capitalism. people are crying out for an alternative but are continually told that one does not exist.
Richard Swift proves this to be wrong with style and assurance. He examines the past shortcomings and present health of not one but many other paths to changing the world, including socialism, social democracy, anarchism, ecology and degrowth.
Combining the practical with the visionary, he shows that finding alternatives to capitalism is no longer an academic issue for the left – it is an urgent planetary necessity.
Introduction: A sad and beautiful world in peril 9
1 Sources of hope: life before capitalism 13
2 Capitalism: a system of reckless resilience 22
3 State socialism 35
4 The anarchist impulse 50
5 The eco-divide 63
6 The utopia debate 74
7 Rebuilding the alternatives Southern-style 85
8 The democratic emergency 109
9 The autonomous rupture 120
10 What should we stand for? 140
Swift guides his reader through a troubling political history of 20th Century capitalism and its stunted alternatives. He then explores ways out of our death trap known as business-as-usual. A genuine invitation to both dream and recover from a nightmare.
Richard Swift's advocacy of a 'democratic ecosocialism’ as an alternative to capitalism is sustained and persuasive... Eloquent and inspirational.
Richard Swift's S.O.S.: Alternatives to Capitalism makes a major contribution to changing the parameters of political debate. It helps us move beyond the pseudo-alternatives of the political mainstream and begin to work for the kind of change we can believe in without being delusional.
'I came away from S.O.S.with the comforting sense that there was an enjoyable world before capitalism and there can be one after.'
Richard Swift's thoroughly researched and timely book takes a much-needed view of the alternatives that existed – and still exist – beyond capitalism.
Commendably judicious… With S.O.S.: Alternatives to Capitalism, Swift joins a growing strand of 21st-century literature that explores radically different ways of organizing our economy and politics.