From industrialisation to the present day, Overripe Economy is a genealogy of the emergence of a finance-ridden, authoritarian, austerity-plagued American capitalism.
This panoramic political-economic history of the country, surveys the ruthlessly competitive capitalism of the nineteenth century, the maturation of industrial capitalism in the 1920s, the rise and fall of capitalism's Golden Age and the ensuing decline towards the modern era. Alan Nasser shows why the emergence of the persistent austerity of financialised neoliberal capitalism is the natural outcome of mature capitalism's evolution, revealing both the key structural and political vulnerabilities of capitalism itself and points towards the kind of system that can transcend it.
At the centre of the argument, is capitalism's ultimatum: either a 'new normal' of persistent austerity, declining democracy and a privatised state, or a polity and economy characterised by an economic democracy that can ensure both higher wages and a shorter working week.
Alan Nasser is Professor Emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA and has lectured at universities across the world, including Oxford University. His writing over the last thirty years has dealt with political and economic issues, as well as legal theory, philosophy and psychoanalysis. He is a frequent contributor to CounterPunch and Monthly Review, and is a member of the Union for Radical Political Economists. He is the author of Overripe Economy (Pluto, 2018).
Introduction 1. The Nineteenth Century: Framework Stimulants, Destructive Competition and the Making of Oligopoly Capitalism 2. Working Class Resistance, The State-Supported Capitalist Response, The Mechanization Of Industry And The Defeat Of Organized Labor 3. The 1920s: The Dynamics of Mature Industrial Capitalism 4. The 1930s and the Great Depression 5. The Rise And Fall Of The Golden Age 6. The New Financialization: Debt, Investment And The Financialized Firm 7. The Landscape of Austerity: Polarization, The Destruction of Jobs, and the Emerging Police State Conclusion Appendices References Index