In Capitalism, Alone, Branko Milanovic outlines the weaknesses of capitalism as an economic system. His analysis encompasses two competing forms – liberal capitalism as epitomised by the United States and political capitalism as epitomised by China – both of which he sees as flawed. They result in income inequality, reduced intergenerational mobility and the concentration of political power with the elite, particularly in the liberal version. These weaknesses arise from a system that fosters social divisions due to the private provision of services such as education and health, which leads to resistance to higher taxes. Milanovic also offers suggestions on how capitalism, especially its liberal form, might be improved.
Capitalism, Alone was published in September 2019, in the era before COVID-19. The pandemic, which has hit the global economy in unprecedented ways, highlights the weaknesses in capitalism that Milanovic outlines, placing his book in a more urgent light.