Alternatives to Capitalism

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Spring 2019
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

economics, political economy, statistics

There are many problems with capitalism, but is an alternative economic system feasible and worth striving for? After more than a century of theoretical studies and practical experiments, we know a lot about this question, but there is still more to learn. This is an advanced program for students with a background in economics, political economy, and related fields. It draws on theory and history to examine post-capitalism in detail, to see how a modern, complex economy can be organized on an alternative basis. It takes seriously all relevant theoretical perspectives, including Marxism, anarchism, mainstream economics, Austrian economics, and feminism, and emphasizes real-world experience. Program work will include lectures, guest speakers, seminars, films, workshops, oral reports, and a major research project examining a past or current non-capitalist experiment. We will take an overnight field trip to examine worker cooperatives and communal enterprises in Oregon. Credit equivalencies will be offered in comparative economic systems, political economy, and modern political history.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in: social sciences and social justice advocacy and activism.

Online learning:
  • Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers < 25% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.

$90 for an overnight field trip.


A prior background in economics, particularly the equivalent of introductory microeconomics, is required. Students must have previous exposure to the concept of resource allocation and the (current) role of markets in the U.S. economy. A background in modern history and politics as well as radical political economy is desirable, but does not substitute for microeconomics. Students with questions about how to meet this condition should contact the instructor as far in advance as possible.

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia