CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom, Oct. 8, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- "Wake up, America! There is an alternative to capitalism." In this powerful new book, Dollars or Democracy, author Yorick Blumenfeld presents a rational, well-documented case why capitalism is no longer compatible with democracy, why we are headed towards a dollar crisis, and then goes on to present in considerable detail a technology-driven and democratic alternative.
"Capitalism, as a socio-economic system, is threatening both our human and spiritual survival and yet we remain in denial," warns the author. "Like anorexics, we look in the mirror but are unable to recognize what we are doing to ourselves and our planet. Spiritually, capitalism is an avowedly amoral system but our purportedly Christian nation raises no concerted protest against its incredibly corrupting effects on ourselves and on our children." Capitalism, he maintains, does not concern itself with morality: its focus is on the bottom line.
The book takes a penetrating look at the economic mess we are in from a refreshingly non-Marxist perspective. It mercilessly attacks the current economic shibboleths that "the market," if given a free hand, could resolve all our economic problems. It blasts Milton Freedman and all the neo-liberals of the "Chicago School of Economics" as perverting the course of economics by portraying private corporations as universally more desirable than state run utilities.
The author describes the workings of what he calls the "credit system" in detail. Smart cards will end our need for cash altogether and replace it with electronic credits. He argues cogently that we produce more than enough to feed and clothe everyone on this planet-only capitalism's monetary strictures deny the universal distribution of this abundance. His system ultimately is predicated on cooperation rather than on greed and competition. Readers will find most useful his concluding pages of simple steps they can follow to pave the way for a more cooperative economy.
In his conclusion the author reminds us that America was not born with capitalism enshrined in its politics. "Our Constitution did not include the word "capitalism." And the word "corporation" is another relatively recent arrival whose transnational powers now often surpass those of government."
Dollars or Democracy can open the eyes of ordinary people as well as trained economists to a new world of possibilities. "It not only describes the tragic economic mistakes now being made in 21st Century America, but also offers a vision of hope," says Blumenfeld, an accomplished writer who graduated from Harvard University and attended the London School of Economics. In this fully realized volume, he emerges as one of America's new economic debunkers-human and democratic, relevant and incisive.
About the Author
Yorick Blumenfeld has been a writer for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C., a bureau chief for Newsweek magazine, and the general editor of the series Prospects for Tomorrow for which he also wrote 2099: A Eutopia and Scanning the Future. He currently resides in the United Kingdom from which he despairs the economic illiteracy of George W. Bush.
Dollars or Democracy -- By Yorick Blumenfeld Publication Date: October 8, 2004 Trade Paperback; $21.99; 252 pages; 1-4134-6080-1 Cloth Hardback; $31.99; 252 pages; 1-4134-6081-X
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Jia Wang (888) 795-4274 x. 476