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Capitalism on Edge: How Fighting Precarity Can Achieve Radical Change Without Crisis or Utopia

Azmanova, Albena (2020) Capitalism on Edge: How Fighting Precarity Can Achieve Radical Change Without Crisis or Utopia. New Directions in Critical Theory . Columbia University Press, New York, 254 pp. ISBN 978-0-231-19537-9. E-ISBN 978-0-231-53060-6.

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Abstract

The wake of the financial crisis has inspired hopes for dramatic change and stirred visions of capitalism’s terminal collapse. Yet capitalism is not on its deathbed, utopia is not in our future, and revolution is not in the cards. In Capitalism on Edge, Albena Azmanova demonstrates that radical progressive change is still attainable, but it must come from an unexpected direction. Azmanova’s new critique of capitalism focuses on the competitive pursuit of profit rather than on forms of ownership and patterns of wealth distribution. She contends that neoliberal capitalism has mutated into a new form—precarity capitalism—marked by the emergence of a precarious multitude. Widespread economic insecurity ails the 99 percent across differences in income, education, and professional occupation; it is the underlying cause of such diverse hardships as work-related stress and chronic unemployment. In response, Azmanova calls for forging a broad alliance of strange bedfellows whose discontent would challenge not only capitalism’s unfair outcomes but also the drive for profit at its core. To achieve this synthesis, progressive forces need to go beyond the old ideological certitudes of, on the left, fighting inequality and, on the right, increasing competition. Azmanova details reforms that would enable a dramatic transformation of the current system without a revolutionary break. An iconoclastic critique of left orthodoxy, Capitalism on Edge confronts the intellectual and political impasses of our time to discern a new path of emancipation. The book articulates a methodology for critical social analysis.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JK Political institutions and public administration (United States)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations > Centre for Critical Thought
Depositing User: Albena Azmanova
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2020 21:45 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2020 11:57 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/79658 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Azmanova, Albena: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2471-2016
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