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This book is an important and much-needed account of the historical, political and economic foundations of what has come to be known as the “knowledge economy”. Roberto Mangabeira Unger, who is a Brazilian philosopher and law professor, provides an interdisciplinary account of the shifts in economic structure since the industrial revolution, drawing on Adam Smith and Karl Marx’s understanding that the best way to make sense of an economy is to study the most advanced practices of production in that economy. Unger argues that the confinement of the knowledge economy to insular vanguards has become a driver of economic stagnation and inequality throughout the world, and that the shape of contemporary politics on both the left and the right reflects a failure to come to terms with this dilemma. Finally, Unger proposes the way to a knowledge economy for the many, which involves changes not just in economic institutions but also in education, culture, and politics.
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