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Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org. Para a maior parte de meus textos, ver minha página na plataforma Academia.edu, link: https://itamaraty.academia.edu/PauloRobertodeAlmeida;

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sábado, 27 de fevereiro de 2021

Prevendo o fim do capitalismo: resenha sobre as previsões erradas, de Marx a Keynes - Francesco Boldizzoni

 Infelizmente, o Wall Street Journal só permite ler um pedaço de suas matérias para os não-assinantes, mas o importante é ter o nome do autor e o título do seu livro para procurar na Amazon e ler mais um pouco. Transcrevo o que tem na Amazon como informação sibre o livro, já tendo enviado um Sample para minha consulta, antes de transcrever uma pequena parte do book-review do WSJ:

Francesco Boldizzoni:

Foretelling the End of Capitalism: Intellectual Misadventures since Karl Marx

(Harvard University Press, 2020)


Intellectuals since the Industrial Revolution have been obsessed with whether, when, and why capitalism will collapse. This riveting account of two centuries of failed forecasts of doom reveals the key to capitalism’s durability.

Prophecies about the end of capitalism are as old as capitalism itself. None have come true. Yet, whether out of hope or fear, we keep looking for harbingers of doom. In Foretelling the End of Capitalism, Francesco Boldizzoni gets to the root of the human need to imagine a different and better world and offers a compelling solution to the puzzle of why capitalism has been able to survive so many shocks and setbacks.

Capitalism entered the twenty-first century triumphant, its communist rival consigned to the past. But the Great Recession and worsening inequality have undermined faith in its stability and revived questions about its long-term prospects. Is capitalism on its way out? If so, what might replace it? And if it does endure, how will it cope with future social and environmental crises and the inevitable costs of creative destruction? Boldizzoni shows that these and other questions have stood at the heart of much analysis and speculation from the early socialists and Karl Marx to the Occupy Movement. Capitalism has survived predictions of its demise not, as many think, because of its economic efficiency or any intrinsic virtues of markets but because it is ingrained in the hierarchical and individualistic structure of modern Western societies.

Foretelling the End of Capitalism takes us on a fascinating journey through two centuries of unfulfilled prophecies. An intellectual tour de force and a plea for political action, it will change our understanding of the economic system that determines the fabric of our lives.


Boldly written and brimming with new insights on every page, this is not your grandfather's old and staid intellectual history. Boldizzoni takes us through a fast-paced history of capitalism's failed doomsayers--only to then explain why they clearly underestimated its elongated life expectancy and stubborn durability. A superb intellectual history of how people have (wrongly) predicted and imagined the end of capitalism from the time of Marx until today.--Eli Cook, author of The Pricing of Progress

Foretelling the End of Capitalism is an essential book for anyone interested in intellectual history and political economy. It will play a major role in current debates on capitalism and its future, as well as on crisis and crisis theory.--Wolfgang Streeck, author of How Will Capitalism End?

Francesco Boldizzoni shows how predicting the collapse of capitalism is as old as capitalism itself. He illuminates a tradition of economic thinking that has justified do-nothing posturing in the name of revolution, and how it resists learning lessons of its own failures. This book is also a brilliant study of the cult of forecasting.--Jeremy Adelman, Princeton University

This beautifully written book captures the peculiar complicity between hope and disappointment that characterizes prophecies about the end of capitalism over the last three centuries. It will be of great interest to readers, both as a cautionary tale about prophecy and as a model study of the logic of capitalism itself.--Arjun Appadurai, New York University


Francesco Boldizzoni is Professor of Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the author of two books about economic and intellectual history, The Poverty of Clio: Resurrecting Economic Historyand Means and Ends: The Idea of Capital in the West, 1500-1970.


  • ASIN: B082DK6MBC
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (May 12, 2020)
  • Publication date: May 12, 2020
  • Language: English
  • File size: 2172 KB


Politics: ‘Foretelling the End of Capitalism’ Review

From  Mill to Marx and on to Keynes, a history of misdiagnosis.

The New York Stock Exchange.


‘Prophecies about the end of capitalism . . . have dotted the history of modern social science since its inception,” Francesco Boldizzoni observes in “Foretelling the End of Capitalism: Intellectual Misadventures Since Karl Marx” (Harvard, 326 pages, $35). “Almost all of the great social theorists, at one point or another in life, engaged in forecasting.” I am inclined to look favorably on any book purporting to expose the follies of revered intellectuals, and the prospect of a history chronicling end-of-capitalism predictions filled me with anticipation.  

Mr. Boldizzoni was of course under no obligation to write the book I was hoping he had written, and he has not done so. He accepts his prognosticators’ premise that capitalism is basically a malign system that exacerbates inequality and “turns culture into business and . . . enslaves minds to its logic.” Moreover his explanations for the failure of predictions by Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, Max Weber and John Maynard Keynes, among others, strike this reviewer as hopelessly abstruse and heavily reliant on the economic theories that lured these intellectuals into making foolish predictions in the first place.

The abrasiveness of the book’s title, together with the author’s highly self-assured tone, led me to expect a bit more in the way of demolition. Mr. Boldizzoni treats his subjects and their “misadventures” with ample deference. He gently concedes, for example, that Marx’s labor theory of value—the theory that a product or service’s value is determined by the labor required to produce it —was wrong. That’s a pretty important thing to be wrong about for a man whose economic theories dominated half the globe for a century, is it not? Mr. Boldizzoni brushes the problem aside, since it “does not disprove the claim that exploitation and the appropriation of surplus value underlie the wage-labor relation.” It doesn’t disprove a lot of things, but it does prove that Marx was a poor judge of economics and human relations.

So reluctant is he to confront the hubris of his subjects’ theories that Mr. Boldizzoni, a professor of political science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, actually does precisely what he criticizes them for doing: He predicts the end of capitalism. “Capitalism will indeed end sooner or later,” he writes, without the slightest sense of irony. He can draw this conclusion, he reasons, because “capitalism is a historically bound formation just like the economic and social systems that preceded it in antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the early modern period.” 

Is it, though? Mr. Boldizzoni, like almost all writers on the left and some on the right, writes of capitalism as a “system,” sometimes even assigning agency to it, as if it were designed by some nefarious force. It’s never clear what he means by the term. What if the thing intellectuals call capitalism is nothing more than the freedom and order necessary to borrow money for the...

(fim da resenha aberta no WSJ)


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