Uncertain Futures: An Assessment of the Conditions of the Present provides a detailed look into the economic and political conditions of our present moment from a Marxist perspective. Key aspects of Marxist economic theory are illustrated in clear ways in order to provide an easy introduction to Marxist thought and their applicability.
The book also examines the sluggish recovery from the Great Recession, in the context of the long-term feasibility of sustaining the capitalist system by placing it into a historical framework. It considers the necessity of social democratic reforms while calling for an anarchic re-invigoration of the politics of everyday life.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
As I finished Edmund’s new book Uncertain Futures: An Assessment of the Conditions of the Present (Get it: here) I realized why I’ve followed his blog Deterritorial Investigations Unit for the past few years: keen intelligence, an encyclopedic breadth of vision encompassing an ethical commitment to the real movement of change, and a loquacious and gracious scholarly acumen and sense of excellence stylistically and in regards of other thinkers place within our cultural history. Critical, observant, detailed – a thinker whose historical sense is not overburdened by a false historicism, but peers into that dark mirror of our near future as if his diagnosis and cure of our ailing civilization were neither a swan song to its demise, nor a belabored undermining of its forward movement into ruin and decay, but rather as a physician of time – a creature from the far flung future seeking to retroactively elide the toxic effects of our dark modernism....
....Whether you side with the Ogres or the socialists is your choice. Either way we will know you as you are in the near future. Read Edmund Berger’s book, get to know this political economic history in a series of doses that will help you understand what choices are available. You may or may not agree with his socialist agenda, but you can still understand what brought him to his conclusions and why. That in itself is genius.
Extract from https://socialecologies.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/edmund-berger-uncertain-futures-a-review/ ~ S.C. Hickam, Social Ecologies blog
Put two economists in the same room and you will understand why Congress never works. Put a book together with economists’ views on neoliberalism and socialism, and you get a bickering collection of angles and aspects, all of which can be disputed.
Uncertain Futures is a title that captures this ethos well. It consists of three chapters, roughly past present and future. The future is of the one of most interest, and is therefore the most disappointing. Berger is very cautious, maybe because he himself has just demonstrated the potential of instant criticism, or maybe because he is uncertain himself. Or both. But his final recommendation is to create support networks around the world. Put the 99% in touch, with co-operatives, unions and movements. This will raise the profile of socialism as viable, and provide a concrete answer to the precarity that neoliberalism has entrenched. Sounds like a very long term plan.
The race to the bottom should now be obvious to everyone. Fascism, an inherent if not necessary component of capitalism, has been dramatically rising in numerous democracies. It absolutely must, as the 99% looks for a savior from their absurd position and condition. Yet the fear it plays on helps cement the status quo, because fascists are dictators protecting their gains. Berger says “Fascism is nothing less than the intensification of every regressive sentiment to be found in the whole of society, mobilized and put on the march by elements in the ruling class.” And “To reform capitalism at this stage is a revolutionary act.” That’s how far we’ve fallen.
~ David Wineberg, Amazon/The Straight Dope (Medium)
4/5 Stars This book covers the world economic crisis in 2007. Edmund Berger puts forward some compelling theories and reasons why it happened. His assessment of Marxism is interesting too. His history of the beginning of Capitalism is fascinating, but it all comes down to greed by the bankers, other people and institutions. Iceland went another way by closing down the banks. Today the country is thriving after going through hard, difficult times. The world didn't end for them. I can't see why other countries didn't do the same.
Unfortunately the financial sector has tentacles which spread to all areas of governments in many countries, especially US and UK.
The US frighteningly has players from the big banks in charge now. Will they learn from the past? I hope so.
Recommended. ~ Eileen Hall, NetGalley/GoodReads/Amazon