David Schweickart’s book After Capitalism offers students in-depth analysis of international political economy and why the world has to embrace market socialism. In his opinion, it has ushered in an era of economic democracy in international investment in a manner that can be described as democratic capitalism. David also notes that internationalization of business has created a stronger sense of cooperation among corporate businesses, making entrepreneurship the new want of the world. The meticulously written book elucidates some significant principles behind the current economic conditions, effects of capitalism on the economy and the emergence of China. This certainly helps students to understand political economy as well as international relations that are essential for globalization of trade. In addition, it explains why international trade has recently become very popular in the world (David, page 62).
The book certainly helps to understand various approaches to international economic politics. The founding text books have clearly outlined the approaches to international economic politics to include realist, Marxist and liberal approach. This book reinstates these by providing an in-depth analysis of what each approach is supposed to mean in the context of the current economic world. For instance, liberal approach denotes that private businesses should retain their powers of self-determination. According to David, this approach to economic politics is what caused capitalism to emerge. It was basically founded on the premise of free markets where the government is not supposed to regulate the manner in which businesses are run. This gives business owners the opportunity to enrich themselves at the expense of the general populace. It should be noted that business owners have the power to manipulate demand and supply in such a way that it favors them. In the meantime, the general population will be feeling the pinch of the bad economic situation. The book also helps to understand what realist approach means in the current context. In this approach, corporate businesses have a duty to comply with minimal regulations by the states in which they operate. However, this is purely done in respect of public interest. It is worth noting that regulations, in this case, do not significantly affect business operations as they are only limited to the extent to which they affect the general public. It is quite different from the Marxist approach that allows for strong checks and balances on corporate businesses so that businesses do not benefit the ruling elite instead of the general population. It goes without saying that Marxist approach, also called market socialism, is currently being undertaken in the world with a view to bringing equity in all cadres of life. It is a stark contrast with raw capitalism of the past (David, page 15).
David notes that globalization of trade has been very instrumental in establishing economic democracy, a kind of democratic capitalism. It has provided better reasons for countries to work on their bilateral ties with a view to reaping from international trade. For example, countries have had to relax their international trade regulations with a view to attract international investors. This was informed by the fact that there is need to promote international competition in business so that firms can give the best services to their customers. By opening up to international competition, countries are essentially compelling their local firms to play by international standards. Eventually, their customers significantly benefit because they do not have to fly out of their country to look for quality goods and services. The book also elucidates some of the strategies that firms have laid down in the fight for the global market. These, however, have to comply with local and international standards of trade. It is clear that businesses have to tread carefully in order to remain compliant to these regulations. The book also presents a clear picture of international trade deals and how they successfully operate between different countries. According to David, the greatest challenge that is currently faced by global trade is trans-boarder regulation. This stems from the fact that it is not only regulated by economic issues, but also attracts a lot of political interests. This certainly makes it a complex issue that often forces businesses to lobby for favorable policies from the international trade regulatory bodies. Indeed, businesses can easily be rendered irrelevant if they find it impossible to comply with regulations regarding trans-border trade given that they are operating in unfriendly territories. However, the recent economic crisis has awoken countries to the fact international cooperation with their trade partners is actually imperative. This is why David emphasizes that economic democracy will remain vibrant in the current economic environment and define trade in the future (David, page 45).
In conclusion, David is fairly consistent in his criticism of capitalism. He does not only criticize capitalism as an economic policy, but he also offers an alternative system of trade. Although it leans more towards socialist policies, his proposal still incorporates significant provisions of capitalism. It is basically an integration of capitalism with socialist ideas to get something workable in the current economic world. Indeed, it is only his proposal that comes close to implementing Marxist ideas that have been dodged for ages.He also provides an in-depth analysis of what each approach to international economic politics is supposed to mean in the context of the current economic world. For instance, liberal approach denotes that private businesses should retain their powers of self-determination. In this regard, David notes that globalization of trade has been very instrumental in establishing economic democracy. It has provided better reasons for countries to work on their bilateral ties with a view to reaping from international trade.