Beyond Capitalism: Building Democratic Alternatives for Today and the Future

Jeff Shantz

Language: English

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

Published: Apr 25, 2013


Capitalism as a global system barely allows the needs of the majority of the world's population to be met. Whether from an industrialized country such as the US or from South Africa, the need for an alternative can be felt all over the world. It is clear nowadays that, due to the non-democratic nature and inadequacies of capitalism, another system must take its place. Such a process has already begun through the cooperative movement, which this book examines along with other initiatives.

Featuring essays by international scholars and activists from various spheres of the anti-capitalist left, the work features many examples from the north and the south, to cover both the historically-advanced and late capitalist economies. It discusses such initiatives as participatory economics, the Mondragon experience, worker cooperatives in Europe and Latin America, solidarity economy in South Africa, and more.

Written in an accessible manner, Beyond Capitalism will be an invaluable resource for any student of social movements and political thought and for anyone looking for alternative to today's ongoing systemic crises.



Beyond Capitalism makes clear that this is a pivotal moment for all of humanity, when many of us in peril of being crushed by the heels of the capitalist beast are awakening fitfully from our hypnopompic state. Beyond Capitalism functions in this context like a generous dose of academic smelling salts. This important volume lays bare the profligate use of lies and deceptions by the capitalist class, and reminds us that in standing idle we risk being suffocated by our own past. The dark vein of animosity shown by the transnational capitalist class towards 99 percent of the world's population is pulsating with an ignominious fury. In addition to comprising a set of clear, innovative and well-researched essays that offer alternatives to the social universe of capital, Beyond Capitalism is a call to action. -- - Peter McLaren, Professor, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies University of California, Los Angeles, US Endorsement These essays are illuminated by the search for a new society. As the hyper-capitalism we call neoliberalism drives us ever closer to the precipice, we need to hope and think about new and democratic ways of organizing our economic and political life. More than thinking, we need to begin to build the alternatives that can sustain us through the struggle for transformation. This volume shows us some of the imaginative projects that are already underway. -- Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor, Graduate School, City University of New York and author of Regulating the Poor, Poor People's Movements, and Challenging Authority Endorsement This book is admirable in that it examines a wide range of radical proposals and projects being carried out on almost every continent...Readers who are interested in particular topics addressed in the book may find some of the essays valuable. Perhaps others will be inspired by the diversity of visionary proposals and concrete practical examples that may represent the seeds of a new society just taking root. -- Brian K. Obach Mobilization

About the Author

Jeffrey Shantz teaches human rights and community advocacy at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada. A rank and file union and antipoverty organizer and scholar, he focuses on worker self-activity and the connections between ecology and labor organizing. He is the author and editor of eleven books, including Organizing Anarchy: Direct Action and Insurgency (Berghahn Books, 2012) and Green Syndicalism (Syracuse University Press, 2012).

José Brendan Macdonald is Professor Emeritus at the Universidade Federal da Paraiba, Joao Pessoa, Brazil, where he founded the Incubator of Solidarity Enterprises. He has written extensively on solidarity economics.