Wednesday October 22nd, 2014, 9:55 am (EDT)

Build It Now: Socialism for the 21st Century

build it now smaller
Paperback, 128 pages
ISBN: 1-58367-145-5
Released: August 2006 

Price: $15

Build It Now puts forward a clear and innovative vision of a socialist future, and at the same time shows how concrete steps can be taken to make that vision a reality. It shows how the understanding of capitalism can itself become a political act—a defense of the real needs of human beings against the ongoing advance of capitalist profit.

Throughout the book, Michael Lebowitz addresses the concerns of people engaged in struggle to create a better world, but aware that this struggle must be informed by the realities of the twenty-first century. Many chapters of the book began life as speeches to worker organizations in Venezuela, where worker self-management is on the agenda. Written by an eminent scholar, this is far more than an academic treatise. The book brings an internationalist outlook and vast knowledge of global trends to bear on concrete efforts to transform contemporary society.

Build It Now is a testament to the ongoing vitality of the Marxist tradition, drawing on its deep resources of analytical insight and moral passion and fusing them into an essential guide to the struggles of our time.

Michael Lebowitz has proven to be a most imaginative thinker, re-interpreting the legacy of Marx’s political economic project. Influenced by the dramatic processes unfolding in Venezuela, Lebowitz re-imagines a socialism for the twenty-first century that places workers and popular communities at the center of the project. The case is made for a participatory process of endogenous development. I agree with Lebowitz: let’s ‘Build It Now!’

— Gregory Albo, York University, Toronto

An elegant, passionate and entirely convincing argument for socialism—one that will resonate powerfully within the global and local justice movements.

— Patrick Bond, University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society, South Africa

Build It Now helps us transcend the impasse created by the implosion of statist socialism. It provides a new vision of the collective worker ‘as human beings with needs rather than as competitors.’

— Pratyush Chandra, Blogger, India, South Asia, and the World

We need to build now the political traditions capable of forging the solidarity that revolutionary movements in the Global South will require. Lebowitz has offered us a very useful weapon in that struggle. Read it now.

Socialist Worker

Here, Michael Lebowitz analyzes how ongoing attempts to build worker and community self-management in the early twenty-first century are transcending previous attempts to move beyond capitalism. His personal involvement in the exciting changes in Venezuela makes Lebowitz the ideal commentator for our time. There is nobody else I would rather read on this subject.

— Robin Hahnel, Professor of Economics, American University

Michael A. Lebowitz is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and the author of The Socialist Alternative and Beyond Capital: Marx’s Political Economy of the Working Class, winner of the Isaac Deutscher Memorial Prize for 2004.

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