by Michael Albert
Michael Albert’s latest work, Practical Utopia is a succinct and thoughtful discussion of ambitious goals and practical principles for creating a desirable society. It presents concepts and their connections to current society; visions of what can be in a preferred, participatory future; and an examination of the ends and means required for developing a just society. Neither shying away from the complexity of human issues, nor reeking of dogmatism, Practical Utopia presupposes only concern for humanity.
Part one offers conceptual tools for understanding society and history, for discerning the nature of the oppressions people suffer and the potentials they harbor. Part two promotes a vision for a better way of organizing economy, polity, kinship, culture, ecology, and international relations. It is not a blueprint, of course, but does address the key institutions needed if people are to be free to determine their own circumstances. Part three investigates the means of seeking change using a variety of tactics and programs.
“Practical Utopia immediately struck me because it is written by a leftist who is interested in the people winning and defeating oppression. The book is an excellent jumping off point for debates on the framework to look at actually existing capitalism, strategy for change, and what we need to do about moving forward. It speaks to many of the questions faced by grassroots activists who want to get beyond demanding change but who, instead, want to create a dynamic movement that can bring a just world into existence. As someone who comes out of a different part of the Left than does Michael Albert, I was nevertheless excited by the challenges he threw in front of the readers of this book. Many a discussion will be sparked by the arguments of this work.” — Bill Fletcher Jr., author of “They’re Bankrupting Us!” And 20 Other Myths about Unions
“Albert mulls over the better society that we may create after capitalism, provoking much thought and offering a generous, hopeful vision of the future. Albert’s prescriptions for action in the present are modest and wise, his suggestions for building the future are ambitious and humane.” — Milan Rai
“Michael Albert is an important thinker who takes us beyond radical denunciations and pretentious ‘analysis’ to a thoughtful, profound meditation on what a good society can be like.” — Howard Zinn
“With his combination of hard-edged logic and visionary hope, Michael Albert is one of the treasures of the Left.” — Barbara Ehrenreich
About the Contributors:
Michael Albert is an organizer, publisher, teacher, and author of over twenty books and hundreds of articles. He cofounded South End Press, Z Magazine, the Z Media Institute, ZNet, and various other projects, and works full time for Z Communications. He is the author, with Robin Hahnel, of the economic vision named Participatory Economics.
Noam Chomsky, internationally renowned MIT professor, practically invented modern linguistics. In addition to his pioneering work in that field he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. He is in huge demand as a public speaker all over world. The New Statesman calls him, "The conscience of the American people." The New York Times says he's "a global phenomenon, perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet." Author of scores of books, his latest are What Kind of Creatures Are We? and Who Rules the World.