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Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made by Richard Seymour

By Richard Seymour

Against Austerity is a blistering, available and invigorating polemic opposed to the present political consensus. Deploying his popular strength of razor-sharp polemic Richard Seymour charts the function of austerity in notably lowering dwelling criteria, fracturing validated political constructions, and growing simmering social alienation and explosions of discontent.

But opposed to Austerity is going additional – creating a daring theoretical intervention at the query of difficult austerity and growing radical possible choices. starting with an research of present category formation and dominant ideology, Seymour concerns a choice to hands, mapping a brand new technique to unite the left.

Along the best way, he tackles the vexed query of attaining social switch, specifically problems with reform and social revolution. In an age characterized by means of the paucity and inadequacy of mainstream research, opposed to Austerity issues a manner ahead to restore the left and create a brand new spirit of collective resistance.

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Additional info for Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made

Sample text

If one excludes profits flowing in from, for example, South East Asia and above all China, then one significantly underestimates the health of the system.  Kliman, The Failure of Capitalist Production, p. 73.  David McNally, Global Slump: The Economics and Politics of Crisis and Resistance, PM Press, Oakland, CA, 2011, p. 27. In fairness, this does not apply to the explicit position of all of the economists cited above. Harman, for example, acknowledged the aberrant nature of the post-war boom.

Colin Crouch, The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism, Polity, Cambridge, 2011, Kindle edition, loc. 412. 39 Seymour T02680 01 text 39 04/02/2014 09:22 Against Austerity instruments that they blamed for bringing about the malaise. To the extent that it succeeded, even its manifest injustices and failures were forgiven by many electors. This is the sense in which I think it is useful to see austerity as a ‘class strategy’. It is not simply a plot to grab wealth, but something far more sophisticated: it is an attempt to creatively respond to a crisis in a current configuration of power and class leadership by reorganising society and further shifting the popular common sense.

The vital next step in this argument is that, since the early 1970s, profit rates in the core capitalist economies have indeed been low by historical standards. The result is that growth has been sluggish, and the system has ‘boomed’ only through temporary expedients – financial innovations leading to stock market bubbles, the accumulation of massive amounts of debt, and so on. Yes, the system may have looked healthy at a superficial glance. But its health was built on precarity. 18 As a result, the tendency is to view the recession of 2008–9 as merely the culmination of a long period of crisis.

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