Doug Henwood

  • Comrades in Digits

    Capitalism as we know it is failing, says Paul Mason, and it’s high time to anoint a successor. In his futurist tract Postcapitalism, he attempts to do just that, mixing Marxist theory, labor history, tech euphoria, and about forty other ingredients into something resembling a unified theory of political economy.

    Postcapitalism bears some resemblance to the utopian and dystopian literature of the 1990s, the time of the dot-com bubble. Common to both schools was the notion that technology was radically transforming the way we work and nothing would ever be the same again. To boosters, tech was

  • The Top of the World

    The core message of this enormous and enormously important book can be delivered in a few lines: Left to its own devices, wealth inevitably tends to concentrate in capitalist economies. There is no “natural” mechanism inherent in the structure of such economies for inhibiting, much less reversing, that tendency. Only crises like war and depression, or political interventions like taxation (which, to the upper classes, would be a crisis), can do the trick. And Thomas Piketty has two centuries of data to prove his point.

    In more technical terms, the central argument of Capital in the Twenty-First