For much of the last 15 years capitalism seemed to be the unassailable economic force and political ideology, but events since September 2008, especially in Ireland, show it is far from invincible.
The collapse of the Irish economy and the punishing after affects of capitalism’s boom-bust cycle have left many asking if there is a plausible alternative to the capitalist system.
Those looking for answers may be interested in the new book by Kieran Allen, senior sociology lecturer in University College Dublin, entitled Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism (Pluto Press ).
The book will be launched in Galway this Tuesday at 8pm in Richardson’s Pub, Eyre Square, and Dr Allen, a native of Galway, will give a lecture on his book.
“The failings of capitalism are more evident in Ireland than elsewhere,” says Dr Allen. “Yet the debate on the future has been restricted to a discussion about how the current economic system can be revived.
“Marx and the Alternative to Capitalism aims to get beyond this framework. It argues that capitalism has passed its ‘sell by date’. A new way of organising society is necessary for both economic wellbeing, greater democracy, and for the very survival of the planet.”
The first section of the book briefly outlines Marx’s life and the development of his work, then goes on to clearly explain his key theories. The second section examines alternatives to capitalism. It outlines in detail how a more democratic and participatory political system is possible, and provides an accessible summary of the alternative economics of socialism.
“The book tries to dispense with the dryness of traditional explanations of Marx and to show how his ideas apply to modern society,” he says. “The book is designed to provoke some debate on possible alternatives to the present system.”
The event is a free open public meeting arranged by Galway SWP.