Chapter One: How to Detect a System Problem Without Really Trying from "What Then Must We Do: Straight Talk About The Next American Revolution" by Gar Alperovitz

Reading by James Anderson

Society is in the throes of what political economist and historian Gar Alperovitz calls a "systemic crisis--something built in to the way the political-economic world works--rather than a simple political crisis or economic crisis." But, one wonders, "How do we really confront that question squarely?" In, "What Then Must We Do: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution," Alperovitz explains the nature of the protracted crisis, suggesting that "truly critical problems are built into the very structure of the economic and political system; they are not something passing in the night that will go away even when we elect forward-looking leaders and actively pressure them to move in a different direction." He offers evidence-based ideas for how to transform the system by "democratizing wealth and building a community-sustaining economy from the ground up." Writing in an accessible style that shuns erudition, while assiduously documenting relevant facts, Alperovitz analyzes the current historical moment to help people better understand it. Although he "does not claim to answer every question," in the book, he does "urge an explicit strategy," and attempts to formulate "at least a beginning answer to the question 'What then must we do?'" in order to encourage earnest dialogue and debate.

More information on the book and how to purchase it can be found at

A film featuring Gar Alperovitz discussing the same topics broached in the book can be viewed at

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