Our world is in the grips of the most calamitous economic crisis since the Great Depression – and its epicenter is the imperial United States, where hallowed investment banks have disappeared overnight, giants of industry have gone bankrupt, and the financial order has been shaken to the core.
While many around the globe are increasingly wondering if another world is indeed possible, few are mapping out potential avenues – and flagging wrong turns – en route to a post-capitalist future. In this groundbreaking analysis of the meltdown, renowned radical political economists Albo, Gindin and Panitch lay bare the roots of the crisis, which they locate in the dynamic expansion of capital on a global scale over the last quarter century – and in the inner logic of capitalism itself.
With an unparalleled understanding of the inner workings of capitalism, the authors of In and Out of Crisis provocatively challenge the call by much of the Left for a return to a largely mythical Golden Age of economic regulation as a check on finance capital unbound. They deftly illuminate how the era of neoliberal free markets has been, in practice, undergirded by state intervention on a massive scale. With clarity and erudition, they argue persuasively that given the current balance of social forces – as bank bailouts around the globe make evident – regulation is not a means of fundamentally reordering power in society, but rather a way of preserving markets.
Contrary to those who believe US hegemony is on the wane, Albo, Gindin and Panitch contend that the meltdown has, in fact, reinforced the centrality of the American state as the dominant force within global capitalism, while simultaneously increasing the difficulties entailed in managing its imperial role.
In conclusion, the authors argue that it’s time to start thinking about genuinely transformative alternatives to capitalism – and how to build the collective capacity to get us there. We should be thinking bigger and preparing to go further. In and Out of Crisis stands to be the enduring critique of the crisis and an indispensable springboard for a renewed Left.
For those of you in New York, there will be a reading of this book
Monday, March 22
172 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002
Sasha Lilley, editor of In and Out of Crisis and the new Spectre imprint, will be speaking at Moe’s Books in Berkeley on 16 March in a panel discussion on “Prospects for Winning in a Time of Crisis” [see here].
In and Out of Crisis sounds like an important read – an informed analysis of the financial meltdown of the last year from a radical perspective. I’m particularly interested in the discussion of how the crisis has in fact reinforced America’s position within global capitalism. It has seemed to me that the US financial sector came out of the whole mess pretty well – fewer but better, or at least more powerful.