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The Locust and the Bee: Predators and Creators in Capitalism's Future

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The recent economic crisis was a dramatic reminder that capitalism can both produce and destroy. It's a system that by its very nature encourages predators and creators, locusts and bees. But, as Geoff Mulgan argues in this compelling, imaginative, and important book, the economic crisis also presents a historic opportunity to choose a radically different future for ...more
Hardcover, 335 pages
Published March 3rd 2013 by Princeton University Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good contemplation on the future and past of capitalism. It is not just data or history or analysis, but really just some good thoughts on the goods and ills of capitalism. Capitalism is both predatory and creative and it is perhaps out of balance. We need to break with the dogma that capitalism is the only model that works--the first step of breaking out of this mindset is to recognize that the system we have is not necessarily capitalism. There is a lot of state involvement and competition ...more
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
An intelligent book on the future of capitalism from Tony Blair's former Policy Director (don't hold that against him). I enjoyed his simultaneous enthusiasm for/criticism of capitalism and truly impressive breath of themes and references. I found the analysis of past and present to be more convincing than the predictions, but that is probably inevitable. The book is slightly too long, although I often enjoyed the least relevant parts the most. Mulgan is also a bit too idealistic, but then ...more
Michal Paszkiewicz
Very well researched book on capitalism that suggests that the system self-learns and self-heals. It is argued that it can be improved within its own parameters, and that activism for alternative economic systems can actually benefit it, change it and strengthen it. The author searches for methods that will drive away the predators of capitalism and allow the system to truly benefit creators and makers, and suggests ways of promoting value and results as a final good instead of capital ...more
Dio Mavroyannis
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Though there are some interesting references here they are so poorly explained there is no scarcely any point in reading the book. It's just a set of assertions without trying to unpack why they are true or even plausible. It seems like the guy is just trying to list a bunch of books he read, without giving any interesting commentary on them. Also constantly references religions and literature without explaining how these actually touched on something important.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
"Alexis de Tocqueville's summary of American democracy serves well as a summary of this spirit of capitalism: "What the few have today, the many will demand tomorrow." 48

"Oscar Wilde wrote provocatively in The Soul of Man Under Socialism' that...just as the worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves and so prevented the horror of the system being realized by those who suffered from in the present state of things in England the people who do the most harm are the people
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Rarely have I encountered a book with generally sound ideas that I found less engrossing. I have great respect for Mulgan as a public thinker, and his ideas aren't wrong, but they're so slick, soulless and uninspiringly expressed that my eye kept slipping off the page. It ended up taking me months to finish this book, as I just never had the desire to read more. returnreturnIn some ways reading this book is the classic New Labour experience (Mulgan was an adviser to Tony Blair): the chapter ...more
Kevin Murray
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Multan is a wonderful writer who generously shares his gems with the reader. His overview of the scene is carefully balanced, aiming to suggest that the future is up for grabs. It's not an analytic book, leaving no structural framework to predict the future. it left me a little hungry.
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Bob Mcinnis
Jul 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Mulgan makes some good observations early in the book but belabors then for 6 additionbal chapters
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Geoff Mulgan is director of the Young Foundation. Between 1997 and 2004 he worked in the UK Prime Minister’s office and Cabinet Office and before that was the founding director of the thinktank Demos. He is a Visiting Professor at LSE, UCL, Melbourne University and the China Executive Leadership Academy. He also works as a part time adviser to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Australia. His latest ...more