Build it Now: A Review of The Socialist Alternative
Michael A. Lebowitz, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, begins his new book, The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development, by paraphrasing Marx, “A specter is haunting the world – the specter of barbarism.” The barbarism Prof. Lebowitz speaks of is, of course, the yoke of capitalism and depths that it sinks people into in order to satisfy its insatiable greed. The point of this book is to put forth an argument for the necessity of Socialism in the twenty-first century, and the need to focus on human development. Actual human development, not the all consuming hunger of false needs and consumerism that capitalism thrives on and denies the work force.
Much of what is covered in this book is nothing really new to those already familiar with the ideas of Socialism. It reintroduces the idea that the Capital class divides the work force in order to maintain power and deceive them, recalling how the bourgeois used tensions between English and Irish labourers and how they used the threat of the unemployed to keep wages down. As Marx described it “the great beauty of capitalist production.” The Socialist Alternative is an introduction into Socialist thought geared towards today. That’s not to say the book does not offer anything valuable for those well versed in Marxist and Socialist theory and ideas. Indeed, it is a valuable resource for those activists looking for inspiration in leading for the Socialist alternative or those looking for a nice modern summary of some of those ideas. The book discusses what is to be done, and what needs to change if we are to bring about real human development and create ‘rich humans.’ …
read the entire review in Third Rail magazine