Beyond Capitalism: Building a Just and Sustainable Next System
The challenge of mounting an adequate response to climate change has to be understood within the context of the larger systemic crisis facing the United States. The political system is stalemated, economic power is increasingly concentrated at the top, and the lives of millions are compromised by economic and social pain. Traditional policy solutions to achieve equitable and sustainable social, economic, and ecological outcomes no longer seem to work, nor do they address the underlying drivers of inequality, poverty, and environmental destruction. As the ecological rift widens, we must recognize the incompatibility of core features of the current corporate capitalist system with a sustainable, just, and equitable future.
The good news: as traditional politics and policies fail to address these fundamental challenges, an increasing number of sophisticated proposals that build from the bottom up are taking shape across the county. Based on cooperation, ecology, resilience, and democratic ownership and participation, these alternatives demonstrate the possibility of truly transformative change, and begin pointing to an answer to today’s most urgent question: How can we build a political and economic system designed to promote democracy, social justice, and environmental sustainability?
Bio: Gar Alperovitz has had a distinguished career as a historian, political economist, activist, writer, and government official. For fifteen years, he served as the Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, and is a former Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University; Harvard’s Institute of Politics; the Institute for Policy Studies; and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution.
Alperovitz received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin; a masters degree from the University of California at Berkeley; and his Ph.D. in political economy as a Marshall Scholar at Cambridge University. After completing his studies he served as a LD in both houses of Congress and as a SA in the State Department.
He is president of the National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, a research institution developing practical, policy-focused, and systematic paths towards ecologically sustainable, community-oriented change and the democratization of wealth.