Progressive theorists and activists insist that contemporary capitalism is deeply flawed from a normative point of view. However, most accept the liberal egalitarian thesis that the serious shortcomings of market societies (financial excess, inequality, and so on) could be overcome with proper political regulation. Building on Marx's legacy, Tony Smith argues in Beyond Liberal Egalitarianism that advocates of this thesis (Rawls, Habermas, Stiglitz, et al.) lack an adequate concept of capital and the state. These theorists also fail to comprehend new developments in world history ensuring that the 'destructive' aspects of capitalism increasingly outweigh whatever 'creative' elements it might continue to possess. Smith concludes that a normative social theory adequate to the twenty-first century must explicitly and unequivocally embrace socialism.
Tony Smith, Ph.D. State University of New York at Stony Brook (1980), is Professor of Philosophy at Iowa State University. Professor Smith’s books include The Logic of Marx’s Capital (SUNY, 1990), Technology and Capital (SUNY, 2000) and Globalisation (Brill, 2005).
"The appearance of this book, especially in the current era of the dominance of normative social and political theory in departments of analytic philosophy, is most welcome." - Arash Abazari, Sharif University of Technology, in: Journal of Moral Philosophy 18/2 (2021)
Preface List of Figures
1 Liberal Egalitarianism Introduction Well-being Autonomous Agency Access to Resources The Development of Essential Capabilities Democratic Will-Formation
2 Towards a Liberal Egalitarian Normative Theory of Institutions The Household Market Production and Distribution The State Civil Society: The Public Sphere and Voluntary Associations The Regime of Global Governance
3 Misunderstandings, False Starts, Further Questions Some Marxian Objections to Liberal Egalitarianism Liberal Egalitarian Criticisms of Marx Conclusion
4 The Beginning Level of Marxian Theory The Beginning Level of Theoretical Abstraction (1): The Commodity, Value, Abstract Labour The Beginning Level of Theoretical Abstraction (2): Money Normative Considerations Conclusion
5 Marx’s Concept of Capital Marx’s Concept of Capital (1): Capital as a ‘Dominant Subject’ Ontological and Normative Implications of the General Formula of Capital Normative Implications Marx’s Concept of Capital (2): Capital as a ‘Pseudo-Subject’
6 Human Flourishing and the Structural Tendencies of Capitalism The Capital/Wage Labour Relationship Overaccumulation Crises Financial Crises Environmental Crises Severe Global Inequality and Poverty Conclusion
7 A Liberal Egalitarian Response to the Marxian Challenge The Critique of Economism A Reform Agenda
8 Towards A Marxian Theory of ‘The Political’ Five Theses on the Capitalist State A Critical Examination of Liberal Egalitarian Proposals Conclusion
9 Competing Perspectives on Neoliberalism A Liberal Egalitarian Narrative Beyond Liberal Egalitarianism: A Marxian Critique of Neoliberalism Conclusion
10 Two Modified Versions of Liberal Egalitarianism ‘Neo-Schumpeterian’ Liberal Egalitarianism The Normative Promise of ‘Commons-Based Peer Production’
11 Modified Liberal Egalitarianism and the Present Moment in World History Prospects for a New ‘Golden Age’ The Prospects of Commons-Based Peer Production Conclusion
12 Property-Owning Democracy: A Liberal Egalitarianism Beyond Capitalism? Property-Owning Democracy (1) Property-Owning Democracy (2) Property-Owning Democracy (3)
13 Beyond Liberal Egalitarianism The Argument Thus Far Beyond Liberal Egalitarianism
Academic libraries; advanced undergraduates; graduate students; faculty in philosophy and the social sciences interested in normative social theory, Marxian thought, the crisis of neoliberalism, and critiques of political economy.