Ann's Reviews > The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business

The New Capitalist Manifesto by Umair Haque
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's review
Feb 04, 11

Read from January 23 to 28, 2011

Great book. Very well written in a way that pleases people who have studied business (or economics) and those that haven't. Wish it was a little geekier. It's tightly molded to real-world examples but they are very easily arguable the exact opposite of the way he argues they contribute to better capitalist practice. I wish there was more practical transition thinking in it. It's very airy-faery like other books of the this type, meant to inspire-- which is fine-- but I feel like there are enough books out there already like this. What we could USE is a practical and realistic discussion of the challenges faced by implementing "constructive capitalism". One such hole in the book is in the area of the labour market transition and infrastructure shocks clearly necessary to move to this kind of capitalism.

Haque spends a lot of time railing against the current institutions and demands change but glosses or doesn't discuss at all the very deep and complex barriers to overcoming them. I feel like he might be capable of explaining how to practically breach those barriers or begin to but he doesn't and it's disappointing. I keep wanting to reach through the text for more but there isn't any.

Haque makes a somewhat unique approach though in arguing that capitalism has become (if you like) a system with its own agency-- that is it have evolved past its purpose and is become something else. That's certainly worth a read.

And if you need to be inspired about social enterprise and "better business" than this is for you. His concepts "value cycle" and "market completion" are equally intriguing.
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Reading Progress

01/23/2011 page 100
45.0% "prose. That prologue def gets respect."
01/23/2011 page 100
45.0% "the Economics text I yearned for as a student at #simmons; market completion, value conversations, constructive advantage"
01/26/2011 page 134
60.0% "a MUST read by @umairh but some of econ is confusing, specifically what happens to prices (goods, labour); wish I could get this guy in a room for an hour and have him 'teach' so I'm totally clear on it. His ideas are very important."

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