After Capitalism

Instructor:  Paul Kando

  • Thursday Afternoon
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Class Limit 20
  • Class closed

A review of some of the societal factors exposed by the 2016 election confirms long standing suspicions that the 2009 “Great Recession” was indeed a systemic, rather than a financial crisis, which had been developing for some time. This course poses the questions: “How well does the current economic system serve the basic human needs of every member of society, and if it does not, what can we do?”

We will explore the many systemic problems and crises facing us and the latent opportunities for beneficial change many of these problems present. We seek, most of all, understanding of the factors that contributed to our finding ourselves in the predicament we are in. We explore belief systems, economics, science – both natural and behavioral – as well as history in our search for better answers. It is a disturbing lesson of history that when failing systems are exposed, in the absence of a clear idea of the new world we wish to live in, a demagogue inevitably fills the idea-vacuum, promising salvation, based on fixing the blame on “the other.” In the end, nature itself seems the most promising model based on which a new and better economic system (and world order) may be built. Class limit 20

Paul Kando: As an engineer working internationally for decades, I have learned that the success of any system depends on whether it matches the needs it is expected to fulfill. This applies to societies as well as toothpicks. I grew up in Europe under two authoritarian regimes, Hitler’s and Stalin’s, and was educated there as a child of political undesirables, under difficult circumstances. Since arriving in the US 60 years ago, I was employed exclusively as a researcher in various fields–textile chemistry, chemical energy storage, solar energy, building technology, and more. These fields have changed as markets, the US economy, and society have changed. Having worked on both sides of the Atlantic, I had to research the social underpinnings of the fields in which I worked. Since I arrived here, changes have been monumental – alas not for the better, except for the top 1%-5%, but having been very lucky, it is now time for me to give back. Beside Coastal, I taught classes in both the Mid-coast and Augusta Sr. colleges. For addl. information, see the Coastal Senior College faculty page.