1st Edition

Varieties of Alternative Economic Systems Practical Utopias for an Age of Global Crisis and Austerity

Edited By Richard Westra, Robert Albritton, Seongjin Jeong Copyright 2017
    224 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In this age of overlapping and mutually reinforcing deep global crises (financial convulsions, global warming, mass migrations, militarism, inequality, selfish nation-states, etc.), there needs to be more realistic dialogue about radical alternatives to the status quo. Most literature produced heretofore has focused on the surface causes of these crises without much attention given to the sorts of major societal changes needed in order to deal with the crises we face.

    This book moves the debate beyond the critiques and the false or not fully realised alternatives, to focus on what can be termed "practical utopias". The contributors to this book outline a range of practical proposals for constructing pathways out of the global economic, ecological and social crisis. Varieties of Alternative Economic Systems eschews a single blueprint but insists on dealing directly with the deep structural problems and contradictions of contemporary global capitalism. It provides a diverse array of complementary proposals and perspectives that can inform both theoretical thinking and practical action.

    This volume will be of interest to academics and students who study political science, ecological economics, international politics and socialism.

    Chapter 1) Introduction to practical utopias

    Robert Albritton and Richard Westra

    Part I

    Socialism and ecology

    Chapter 2) Radical social democracy: a phase of transition to democratic socialism

    Saeed Rahnema

    Chapter 3) Ecosocialism for a new era

    Pat Devine

    Chapter 4) Ecological community: a practical utopia

    Ann E. Davis

    Chapter 5) Soviet planning and the labor-time calculation model: implications for 21st-century socialism

    Seongjin Jeong

    Part II

    Positive practicalities: leaping ahead

    Chapter 6) Provisioning under austerity: meeting human needs in the future

    Barbara Hopkins

    Chapter 7) World government is a necessity

    Robert Albritton

    Chapter 8) Alternative principles of labor: liberation from labor and liberation through work

    Gui-yeon Jang

    Chapter 9) Building a (very) new road to socialism: Cuba in the 21st century

    Al Campbell

    Chapter 10) South African commoning of medicines and water beyond human rights

    Patrick Bond

    Part III

    New thinking towards a new future

    Chapter 11) Foundations and pathways to a progressive, socialist eco-sustainable future

    Richard Westra

    Chapter 12) A posthumanist economics

    Karin Schönpflug and Christine M. Klapeer


    Richard Westra received his Ph.D. in Political Studies from Queen’s University, Canada, in 2001. Currently he is Designated Professor in the Graduate School of Law, Nagoya University, Japan.

    Robert Albritton is Professor Emeritus, Departments of Political Science and Social and Political Thought at York University, Canada. He is a prolific writer who has authored or edited 12 books and scores of articles in journals and book collections.

    Seongjin Jeong is a leading Marxian economist in South Korea. He has written widely on Marxism, socialism and the Korean economy. He is currently a Professor of Economics at Gyeongsang National University and editor of Marxism 21.