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If you’re like me, then as soon as people start talking about economics you experience an urge to bury your head in the sand to avoid trying to decode all the jargon and nuances that tend to go along with a discussion of how and why the economic crisis is happening. People First Economics brings together writers and activists from across the world to give a manageable, but satisfying, introduction to that crisis and alternatives to the system that got us here.
I’ve heard the question ‘Well, if you don’t like this system, what’s your alternative?’ more times than I care to remember (sometimes from the genuinely curious, sometimes from the endlessly self-satisfied, who think that this is the final, lethal weapon in the ideological arsenal of the status quo). People First Economics showcases a range of challenges to current economic and political structures and decision-making processes.
Short chapters include Ann Pettifor explaining the precepts of the ‘Green New Deal’; Michael Albert discussing the model of ‘parecon’ or ‘participatory economics’; Derek Wall looking at how the concept of the commons can be revived; and an open letter from Bolivian president Evo Morales, laying out ten ideas on how to ‘save the world, life and humanity’. We also get a look at the links between the economic crisis and the climate crisis, and why the market-based mechanisms being proposed to deal with climate change are doomed to fail.
People First Economics doesn’t attempt to provide one answer to the crisis of capitalism. Instead it presents a range of solid arguments and inspiring visions that equip the reader to challenge the idea that there is no alternative.
Creating alternatives to capitalism as we know it is a daunting but necessary task. People First Economics is a good place to dip your toe in these choppy waters before plunging in. The book insists that we must take this plunge, because, as former derivatives trader Tarek El Diwany writes in his contribution, ‘Replacing [the current economic system] is … the critical struggle of our time. It is not a system we can reform. We must simply defeat it, because if we don’t, it will defeat us.’
Corbyn just won a prize for peace activism - so why is the Labour Party still committed to renewing trident? Lily Sheehan investigates.
Connor Devine writes that whilst Brexit might be a car crash, we can't just side with an institution responsible for enforcing austerity.
Michael Coates reviews a new film revealing the shocking state of housing inequality in the UK.
The vicious media campaign against trans people is part bigotry, part strategy, writes Roz Kaveney
Jon Trickett MP reports on 'Dickensian' levels of poverty and hardship felt across the UK.
Natasha King busts some myths around the No Borders debate
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Frustrated at the idea of another royal wedding? You're not alone. Joana Ramiro argues we should stop idealising a fundamentally undemocratic institution.
Liberal elites are using Russian interference to minimise their own political failures, writes Matt Turner
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
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Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism
Catalan independence is not just ‘nationalism’ – it’s a rebellion against nationalism
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte argue that Catalonia's independence movement is driven by solidarity – and resistance to far-right Spanish nationalists
Tabloids do not represent the working class
The tabloid press claims to be an authentic voice of the working class - but it's run by and for the elites, writes Matt Thompson
As London City Airport turns 30, let’s imagine a world without it
London City Airport has faced resistance for its entire lifetime, writes Ali Tamlit – and some day soon we will win
The first world war sowed the seeds of the Russian revolution
An excerpt from 'October', China Mieville's book revisiting the story of the Russian Revolution
Academies run ‘on the basis of fear’
Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) was described in a damning report as an organisation run 'on the basis of fear'. Jon Trickett MP examines an education system in crisis.
‘There is no turning back to a time when there wasn’t migration to Britain’
David Renton reviews the Migration Museum's latest exhibition
#MeToo is necessary – but I’m sick of having to prove my humanity
Women are expected to reveal personal trauma to be taken seriously, writes Eleanor Penny