People's Republic Of Wal-Mart : How The World's Biggest Corporations Are Laying The Foundation For Socialism
Random House, Inc.
Since the demise of the USSR, the mantle of the largest planned economies in the world has been taken up by the likes of Walmart, Amazon and other multinational corporations
For the left and the right, major multinational companies are held up as the ultimate expressions of free-market capitalism. Their remarkable success appears to vindicate the old idea that modern society is too complex to be subjected to a plan. And yet, as Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski argue, much of the economy of the West is centrally planned at present. Not only is planning on vast scales possible, we already have it and it works. The real question is whether planning can be democratic. Can it be transformed to work for us?
An engaging, polemical romp through economic theory, computational complexity, and the history of planning, The People’s Republic of Walmart revives the conversation about how society can extend democratic decision-making to all economic matters. With the advances in information technology in recent decades and the emergence of globe-straddling collective enterprises, democratic planning in the interest of all humanity is more important and closer to attainment than ever before.
Phillips, a science writer and European Union affairs journalist, and Rozworski, a union researcher and writer in Canada, aim to bring together and simplify ideas and findings on the concept of planning in the economy and consider how it can be democratic. They discuss whether the plans that capitalists use to get goods and services to those who can pay for them could be transformed to ensure that what is produced gets to those who need it most, thereby transforming the way products are distributed and possibly transforming the economy. They discuss Walmart and Amazon as examples of techniques of production and distribution that could be repurposed to democratize global governance, economics, and planning, and examine index funds, the nationalization of health care (particularly the UK’s National Health Service), the place of planning in the Soviet Union, economic planning under the Marxist administration of Salvador Allende, and the role of climate change. Annotation ©2019 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
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