THE DEATH OF CAPITAL by Stephen E. Harris


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Stephen E. Harris has marched out twelve chapters-worth of economic facts, ranging from the unremarkable contention that the world is devouring its nonrenewable resources to the even more unremarkable idea that corporations have a lot of muscle, only to abandon those facts on the parade ground without doing intellectual battle. It is not news that something, probably bad, happened on the way from Adam Smith's modest pin factory to the ITT board room. We know what is happening; we do not know what is to be done, other than to choose among Socialism, capitalism, and some judicious mix of the two. Harris only indifferently performs the rather rote task he sets himself of elucidating a well-known problem. His capsule summaries of capitalist and Marxist thought are uninspired; he neglects major international economic issues; he delves no more deeply into the topics of resource depletion, Third-World poverty, and pollution than to cite the conclusions of prominent studies. The demise of capitalism is a large subject whose major lineaments are common knowledge. In all this redundant recitation, Harris makes only one argument: state economic planning will encounter great business resistance. Well, as the psychiatrists say, that is true but not helpful.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 1978
Publisher: Pantheon