Twenty-First Century Capitalism: Predictions from a Noted Economist

Overview

"It is my hope that some grasp of what the twenty-first century holds in store for capitalism may enable us to avoid at least some of the pain we might otherwise have to endure," writes the eminent economist
Robert Heilbroner in this important book on the world's economic future.

Although communism lies shattered almost everywhere it once existed, no single form of capitalism has emerged worldwide. Which of the varieties of capitalism will be ...

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21st Century Capitalism

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Overview

"It is my hope that some grasp of what the twenty-first century holds in store for capitalism may enable us to avoid at least some of the pain we might otherwise have to endure," writes the eminent economist
Robert Heilbroner in this important book on the world's economic future.

Although communism lies shattered almost everywhere it once existed, no single form of capitalism has emerged worldwide. Which of the varieties of capitalism will be hardy enough to survive into the next century? Will the private sector make way for government to redress the failures of the market system? Does the defeat of the socialist vision portend that unbridled acquisitiveness will dominate the world?

In tackling these questions, Heilbroner takes us to the roots of capitalist society. He views capitalism from a wide angle as both an economic system and a political order, showing the integral connections between the two that are often overlooked; finally, he addresses the overarching challenge ahead—a society that no longer believes in the inevitability of progress.

While recognizing that capitalism will remain the dominant mode of economic organization in the next century, Robert Heilbroner asks the questions few others dare raise. Which variety of capitalism will prove the hardiest? What will the government's role be? His answers will astound readers with their vision.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Economics, often vilified as the ``dismal science'' offers, in Heilbroner's deft book, an exhilarating exploration of ideas. In this study, based on lectures from the fall of '92, he ponders the possibilities for 21st-century capitalism in a sweeping examination of the ``idea of progress,'' capitalism as a social and political system, class struggle, capital accumulation, the challenge of growth, the marketplace, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the unpredictability of human behavior. As for American capitalism, he maintains ``its success will hinge on the capacity to perceive the public sector, as did Adam Smith, in terms of an indispensable source of strength for a private economy.'' Heilbroner ( The Worldly Philosophers ) predicts that capitalism is likely to remain ``the dominant social order.'' But, he warns, we will probably have to confront ``a limit beyond which acquisitiveness no longer serves, and may well disserve.'' This study, written by one of the nation's preeminent and prolific economists, should generate exceptionally strong interest. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The downfall of the Soviet Union and the collapse of its centrally planned economic system marked the ultimate triumph of capitalism, or the market system, as an economic and political order. Nevertheless, Heilbroner ( An Inquiry into the Human Prospect , LJ 4/1/74) sees the possibility of massive problems developing in the 21st century that could seriously undermine the viability of capitalism and revive interest in socialism. He furtther argues that there will be several varieties of capitalism functioning after the year 2000, although under increasingly worsening conditions. For Americans, the crucial question will be whether we can devise a workable form of capitalism in the next century as an economic system and a political order. Heilbroner overplays the specter of global warming, and his book is really about the 20th century, not the 21st century, but essentially his arguments are sound. Recommended for large public libraries and academic collections in economics and political science.-- Harry Frumerman, formerly with Hunter Coll., CUNY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393312287
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/1994
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert L. Heilbroner was Norman Thomas Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research and author of The Worldly Philosophers and many other books.
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 11
2 Capitalism from a Distance 17
3 The Drive for Capital 39
4 The Politics of Capitalism 65
5 The Market System 93
6 Scenarios for the Future 119
7 History's Lessons 143
Index 165
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