by Michael Spence
Adonis Press 2014
256 pages, paperback, $25
Digital Bundle; $10
eBooks ISBN 978-0-932776-51-8
WebPDF ISBN 978-0-932776-52-5
The Digital Bundle includes:
WebPDF with 2-way interactive links, also printable
ePub for most eBook readers, including Google and Apple Mobi for all Kindle readers
Around the world, more and more people are waking up to the grave seriousness of our present social, environmental, and economic situation, and to the realization that the thinking that has gotten us where we are today will be utterly insufficient for going forward in the healthful, holistic, and humane way that most people desire.
Despite the financial crisis and near-collapse of the economy in 2008, and despite the growing recognition that ‘business-as-usual’ as we now know it is not sustainable, nothing fundamental in our understanding or approach to capitalism has yet changed.
Michael Spence’s After Capitalism offers a truly accessible, yet radically unconventional and eye-opening perspective on the social phenomena of our time. The observations offered here provide a basic framework for individuals to consciously understand for themselves how human society, and particularly the economy, works, raising questions and attempting to demonstrate and stimulate a new kind of thinking all along the way.
Though prompted by Rudolf Steiner’s insights, the book is based, not on any established economic, political, or religious beliefs or theories, but on observation of life. Starting from the perception that society consists of an interweaving of three quite differently functioning sectors, it goes on to show that many of today’s social problems, particularly those involving money and the growing gap between the rich and the poor, are consequences of an inherited social structure founded on remnants of old theocratic forms of community on the one hand and the failure to distinguish between the three sectors of society on the other.
A fresh look at our world is being called for as never before: here is an answer to that call that begs consideration.
1. The Need for Change
2. The Three Sectors – A First Look
Threefold Society as an Expression of the Evolving Human Being
3. The Economic Sector – Basic Concepts
The Blackberry Picker
The Conveyor Belt
The Two Value-Creating Activities
The Value-Creating Tension
4. The Economic Process – Division-of-Labor
The Basic Economic Process
Purchase and Sale
The Mean Price
An “Ideal” or “True” Price
The Origin of Money
Factory, Crafts, and Agriculture
The Limits of Economic Activity
The Study of Economics
5. Evolution, Human Consciousness, and the Origins of Law
The Evolution of Law
From Divine Commandment to the Law of the State
The Group and the Individual
The Consciousness of One Humanity
6. Equality and the Role of Government
Equality – The Basis of Law
The Creation of Boundaries to Economic Activity
The Separated Rights Sector
7. Rights, Morality, and Law
What Are Rights?
The Written Law
The Inhuman Nature of Law
Conscience and Law
8. Cultural Life – The Needs of the Soul
9. Cultural Life – Its Work and Nature
Motives and Payment for Work
Authority Within the Cultural Sphere
Unique versus Equal
Responsibilities of Those in Cultural Life
The Leadership of Cultural Life
10. Work, Payment, and Human Freedom
Is Labor Purchased?
Or is it the Product of Labor that is Purchased?
The Deadening of Economic Labor
11. The Woodcutters and the Creation of Capital
The Woodcutters and the Creation of Capital
Management and Labor
The Doctor and the Shoemaker
The Growth of Excess Capital
12. Gift Capital
Between the Rights and Economic sectors
Between the Cultural and Economic Sectors
Gift Capital at Work
Economic/Cultural – The Balancing of Gifts
13. Mutuality and “Economic Associations”
Egoism and Mutuality
Center and Periphery
Supply and Demand
Associative Working – What Can Be Achieved in a Group
Economic Association and the Boundaries to Economic Activity
Can We Truly Work out of the Concept of “Society as a Whole?”
14. Money – Its Nature and Creation
Money in Society
The Corrupting Voice Within Money
Its Origin in Substance
The Emergence of the Present Financial System
The Creation of Money
The Three Coats
Did the $200 Produce the Coat?
15. The Ownership of Land
A Right to a Share of the Earth
The Origins of the Law of Land Ownership
The Market in Land
16. The Two Economies, Capitalized Debt, and Compulsory Gift
Visible or Open Debt
Hidden or Capitalized Debt
Further Debt is Created
Rent or Compulsory Gift
17. The Structure and Ownership of Business
Owners and Employees
Law and the Ownership of Labor
The Cloth Manufacturers
The Market or Stock Exchange
The Furniture Maker
18. The Single Organization and the Economy as a Whole
Profit – A Wider View.
Profit – To Whom is it Due?
The Nature of Invested Capital and Ownership
19. Have We Earned What We Buy?
Money as Power Over the Work of Others
Pay as Share of the Community Product
Whose Work Produces What We Buy?
Do We ‘Earn’ Money, or Do We ‘Earn’ What We Buy with Money?..220
20. Who Pays?
The Markets and the Price of Oil
21. The Social and the Anti-Social
Mutual Societies or Partnerships
22. What About the Future?
About the Author