Ranked: Capitalism, Socialism, their Alternatives and Critiques

This is a subjective Ranked version of Intriguing Connections: Capitalism, Socialism, their Alternatives and Critiques

Capitalism and Socialism have always been intertwined with the economic modes of production and the politics that founds it.  They have many proponents and many critics.  There are also those who critique both, even if are found to be in support of either.  There are also alternatives to both of them.  As for the basics, capitalism is means profit going more to owners of means of production.  Socialism means a society in transition to the next stage of political and economic production, with communism being the following stage.  Very quickly they became at war with capitalism usually representing private ownership, while socialism (and communism) representing government ownership.  A false dichotomy that the following list of books either highlights the benefits of their own views, critiques another, or shows a different path.  

Caveat 1: Just because a book and author support or critique a particular view, that does not mean that they accept it as is.  Some do.  Usually, those who support also show many critiques, and vice versa. 

Caveat 2: A book may primary critique a particular view, but support it over the alternatives.  



  1. The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality by Katharina Pistor
  2. Understanding Capital: Marx's Economic Theory by Duncan K. Foley
  3. Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises by Anwar Shaikh
  4. Capitalism: A Short History by Jürgen Kocka


  1. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else by Hernando de Soto
  2. The Wealth Of Nations by Adam Smith
  3. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
  4. Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
  5. The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World by Alan Greenspan
  6. Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World by Branko Milanović
  7. Solomon's Knot: How Law Can End the Poverty of Nations by Robert D. Cooter, Hans-Bernd Schäfer
  8. Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity by William J. Baumol, Robert E. Litan, Carl J. Schramm
  9. The Politics by Aristotle


  1. The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz
  2. The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins
  3. Citizenship Papers by Wendell Berry
  4. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff
  5. Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order by Noam Chomsky
  6. A Theory of Imperialism by Utsa Patnaik, Prabhat Patnaik
  7. Capital and Exploitation by John Weeks
  8. Capitalism: A Conversation In Critical Theory by Nancy Fraser, and Rahel Jarggi
  9. Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland
  10. Measuring the Wealth of Nations: The Political Economy of National Accounts by Anwar Shaikh, E. Ahmet Tonak
  11. Plunder: When the Rule of Law Is Illegal by Ugo Mattei, Laura Nader
  12. Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming by McKenzie Funk
  13. Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz
  14. Capital, Vol. 1: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production by Karl Marx
  15. Capital, Vol. 2: The Process of Circulation of Capital by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels
  16. Capital, Vol. 3: The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels
  17. Outsourcing Economics by William S. Milberg, Deborah Winkler
  18. Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism's Final Crisis by John Smith
  19. Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
  20. Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital by Jason W. Moore

Critique | Fiction


History (Neutral)

  1. October: The Story of the Russian Revolution by China Miéville


  1. Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels by Tristram Hunt
  2. Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective by Ha-Joon Chang
  3. Governing the Market: Economic Theory and the Role of Government in East Asian Industrialization by Robert Wade
  4. Class Struggle Unionism by Joe Burns
  5. America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy by Gar Alperovitz


  1. Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum
  2. The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism by Friedrich A. Hayek
  3. The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper
  4. The Law by Frédéric Bastiat
  5. The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? by Ian Bremmer
  6. The Gulag Archipelago [Volume 1]: An Experiment in Literary Investigation by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  7. The Gulag Archipelago [Volume 2]: An Experiment in Literary Investigation by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  8. The Gulag Archipelago [Volume 3]: An Experiment in Literary Investigation by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  9. The Evolutionary Transition To Capitalism edited by Kazimierz Z. Poznański

Critique | Fiction
  1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  2. Berlin by Jason Lutes

  1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Capitalism And Socialism


  1. The Worldly Philosophers by Robert L. Heilbroner
  2. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles by Thomas Sowell
  3. On Classical Economics by Thomas Sowell
  4. The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade by Pietra Rivoli