Download Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by James Fulcher PDF

By James Fulcher

This advent explores the origins of capitalism and questions no matter if it did certainly originate in Europe. It examines a particular degree within the improvement of capitalism that begun within the Nineteen Eighties, which will comprehend the place we're now and the way capitalism has developed in view that. The ebook discusses the trouble trends of capitalism--including the S.E. Asian banking obstacle, the cave in of the Russian economic climate, and the 1997-1998 international monetary crisis--asking no matter if capitalism is doomed to fail. in spite of everything, the writer ruminates on a potential replacement to capitalism, discussing socialism, communal and cooperative experiments, and possible choices proposed through environmentalists.

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Extra info for Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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Unlike slaves, who are forced to work by their owners, wage labourers can decide whether they work and for whom. Unlike the serfs in feudal society, who were tied to their lord’s land, they can move freely and seek work wherever they choose. These freedoms are, on the other hand, somewhat illusory, since in a capitalist society it is difficult to survive without paid work and little choice of work or employer may be available. Wage labourers are also subject to tight control by the employer and, as we saw in the cotton mills, capitalist production meant a new kind of disciplined and continuous work.

Unproductive it may often be, but it is not just a means of making money through speculation but also a way of avoiding risk. Since the relationship between supply and demand is always changing, markets are unstable. The building up and storage of stocks is a means of insuring against some adverse price movement that could destroy profit and wipe out a business. Trading in futures, of the kind that Leeson speculated in, is another way of reducing uncertainty and originated long ago as a sophisticated way of protecting producers and traders against unpredictable future movements in prices.

The unique structural features of European society provided the conditions in which the machinery of capitalism could emerge and flourish. 37 Where did capitalism come from? Rather than expecting that other advanced civilizations would generate capitalism, there are, in any case, good reasons why they did not. Most advanced civilizations were dominated by a single ruling group that used military or religious, rather than economic, coercion to scoop off the surplus from those who produced crops and goods.

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