Adler, P. S. (2019). The 99 Percent Economy: How Democratic Socialism can Overcome the Crises of Capitalism. Oxford University Press
We live in a time of crises – economic turmoil, workplace disempowerment, unresponsive government, environmental degradation, social disintegration, and international rivalry. In The 99 Percent Economy, Paul S. Adler, a leading expert on business management, argues that these crises are destined to deepen unless we radically transform our economy.
But despair is not an option, and Adler provides a compelling alternative: democratic socialism. He argues that to overcome these crises we need to assert democratic control over the management of both individual enterprises and the entire national economy. To show how that would work, he draws on a surprising source of inspiration: the strategic management processes of many of our largest corporations. In these companies, the strategy process promises to involve and empower workers and to ensure efficiency and innovation. In practice, this promise is rarely realized, but in principle, that process could be consolidated within enterprises and it could be scaled-up to the national level.
Standing in the way? Private ownership of society’s productive resources, which is the foundation of capitalism’s ruthless competition and focus on private gain at the cost of society, the environment, and future generations. Adler shows how socialized, public ownership of our resources will enable democratic councils at the local and national levels to decide on our economic, social, and environmental goals and on how to reach them. The growing concentration of industry makes this socialization step ever easier.
Democratic socialism is not a leap into the unknown, Adler shows. Capitalist industry has built the foundations for a world beyond capitalism and its crises.