Radical Political Economy: Explorations in Alternative Economic Analysis

By Victor D. Lippit | Go to book overview
inconsistent with the unlimited growth of economic activity. Since capitalism is driven by the accumulation process, which results in unlimited growth, another system will eventually have to replace it as a condition for human survival. A great deal of damage has been done to the environment since capitalism became dominant in the sixteenth century, and much more will doubtless be done before capitalism disappears a few centuries hence. As Third World countries introduce new institutions to facilitate their development, however, they can do so in a way that will both ameliorate the environmental destructiveness of the capitalist system and ease the transition to a post-capitalist society when the time is ripe.Capitalism is an enormously dynamic system, strongly geared to the growth of material production when institutional barriers are minimized. It may well be that a market socialism for developing countries will not be practical, given their overriding material concerns. Perhaps a market socialism will become feasible only when concerns with the quality of life replace the present preoccupation with the quantity of material possessions. This is more apt to happen first in the more developed countries than in the less developed ones.To the extent that these observations hold, the search for a feasible socialism in Third World countries may appear quixotic. For the reasons advanced at the start of this section, however, the quest remains worthwhile.
References
Alavi Hamza. 1972. "The State in Post-Colonial Societies." New New Left Review, no. 74 (July/August), pp. 59-82.
Forbes, July 5, 1993, pp. 66-67.
Heilbronner Robert. 1989. "Reflections: The Triumph of Capitalism."
Lippit Victor D. 1988. "Class Structure, Modes of Production and Economic Development." Review of Radical Political Economics, vol. 20, nos. 2 & 3, pp. 18-24.
The New Yorker, January 23, p. 98.
Nolan Peter. 1988. The Political Economy of Collective Farms. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Nove Alec. 1991. The Economics of Feasible Socialism Revisited. London: Harper Collins Academic.
Wall Street Journal, September 27, 1988, pp. 1-3.

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