The Corruption of Capitalism Why rentiers thrive and work does not pay
By Guy Standing
When it was originally published in 2016 The Corruption of Capitalism introduced the concept of Rentier Capitalism, whereby a small, rich cadre controls access to property and profit without actually contributing to society. In this third edition of his best-selling polemic celebrated labour economist Guy Standing brings his tale of corruption up to date to encompass debates around the pandemic slump and Brexit.
There is a lie at the heart of global capitalism. Politicians, financiers and global bureaucrats claim to believe in free competitive markets, but have constructed the most unfree market system ever.
It is corrupt because income is channelled to the owners of property – financial, physical and intellectual – at the expense of society.
The classic book reveals how global capitalism is rigged in favour of rentiers to the detriment of the precariat and others, an inequity that has been made starker by the advent of coronavirus. A plutocracy and elite enriches itself, not through production of goods and services, but through ownership of assets and the privatisation of public services. Meanwhile, wages stagnate as labour markets are transformed by outsourcing, automation and the on-demand economy, generating more rental income while expanding the precariat.Read a sample
“The Basic Income is an idea whose time has come, and Guy Standing has pioneered our understanding of it – not just of the concept but of the challenges it is designed to meet: rapid automation and the emergence of a precarious workforce for whom wages derived from work will never be enough. As we move into an age where work and leisure become blurred, and work dissociated from incomes, Standing’s analysis is vital.”Paul Mason
“Is it possible to make capitalism work for the many rather than the few? In this thoughtful book, Guy Standing focuses on the central problem of modern capitalism – the tendency of great wealth to transform itself into political power that corrupts the political process and generates laws and regulations favouring the wealthy – and suggests useful and important solutions.”Robert Reich, Labor Secretary to President Clinton, 1993–97
“Guy Standing’s incisive critique of the corruption of rentier capitalism and his description of the potential of the rising precariat should put politicians and ruling elites on the alert.”John McDonnell, shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
“Impressive […]a challenging read – and one that captures an emerging zeitgeist that we in the elite, or the “salariat”, should not ignore.”
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- Paperback, 464 pages
- ISBN: 9781785906817
6 May 2021
Available to pre-order
- The Corruption of Capitalism
- ISBN: 9781785901119
- 20 July 2017