New book by Michael Albert

As anyone likely to read this knows, I'm a big proponent of participatory economics as a replacement for capitalism. In my opinion, Michael Albert - one of the two who first proposed the parecon system - is one of the most important theorists of leftist politics now working. Altho I'm less taken by his prose style and interpersonal skills, I strongly recommend Albert's writing for anyone interested in progressive social change.

Albert's new book, Realizing Hope: Life beyond Capitalism is coming out this month. In it he goes beyond his previous work on parecon and movement building to discuss much more broadly what kinds of social arrangements we might work toward for a society of equality and participation. He takes up race, gender, the political system, and the environment; more narrowly focused issues like education, art, and crime; and ideological debates around Marxism and anarchism. He explores how a participatory economy would interact with these systems, and what our strategy could be to pursue radical change.

I haven't kept up with Albert's writing over the last couple years, so I'm interested to see what he has to say (especially on the matter of "other species", since his disdain for animal welfare/liberation movements has been all too evident in the past). Thinking thru the institutional basis for the kind of ethnic/racial, gender, and political relations we should be fighting for has been almost entirely abandoned by the left, and enunciating what kind of society we want is an urgent priority. Our strategy for pursuing radical change is similarly neglected, and sometimes it seems like Albert is the only one out there raising these issues. Hopefully this book makes the kind of vital contributions Albert has made in the past, and even more important, that it helps stimulate the discussions we need to be having on vision and strategy.

book info and table of contents
Introduction to the book
interview with Albert on the book

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