Age of Insecurity

Age of Insecurity

by Larry Elliott, Dan Atkinson
     
 

We live in an era in which the culture and values of big business are dominant. The riptides of capital swirl around the globe ruining entire economies overnight. Directors and chief executives cash in stock options for unimaginable fortunes while whole workforces are “downsized” as companies relocate at a whim. Environmental degradation escalates as the…  See more details below

Overview

We live in an era in which the culture and values of big business are dominant. The riptides of capital swirl around the globe ruining entire economies overnight. Directors and chief executives cash in stock options for unimaginable fortunes while whole workforces are “downsized” as companies relocate at a whim. Environmental degradation escalates as the earth’s resources are looted. The dream of worldwide prosperity and peace is given the lie from Kosovo to the Congo, from the drug baronies of South America to the criminal empires of the former Soviet Union. Welcome to the Age of Insecurity.

In the face of this slow-motion global coup d’etat by untrammelled finance, traditionally left leaning parties now in power have abandoned their concern with regulating business for a compulsive and self-righteous moralism; the Blair government stands as a perfect exemplar in this trend. In the coruscating argument the authors make a plea for government to turn strictures concerning ethics away from the citizen and on to a financial system that is making our society ever more precarious.

Since the publication of the hardback of he Age of Insecurity in May 1998 events have conspired to validate the author’s argument. In a new preface and afterword Elliott and Atkinson draw out the lessons to be learned from the hedge-fund crisis, the disintegration of the rouble and the spreading of economic turmoil in Latin America.

The Age of Insecurity is, more than ever, a vital and radical tract for our times.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A visionary leftist critique of the new world order.”—Publishers Weekly

“An acerbic and very funny critique of the culture of modern Britain on which conservatives would do well to reflect.”—Wall Street Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This visionary leftist critique of the "new world order" argues that notwithstanding the apparent triumph of big business values from the late 1970s to the present, the resulting free-market, globalized economic system is a failure, producing ever-increasing insecurity and marginalization for the average worker. Elliott, economics editor for the Guardian, and Atkinson, a Guardian reporter, forcefully document the extent to which the middle class has been ravaged by downsizing, vanishing career ladders, growing consolidation of economic power by large firms and low-paid, part-time or home-based work. In their assessment, both Clinton's Democratic centrism and Tony Blair's Labour Party program in Britain offer largely cosmetic reforms but leave essentially intact a laissez-faire capitalism that primarily serves the needs of multinational corporations and a privileged technocratic elite. Calling for a "green Keynesianism," the authors boldly advocate fairer distribution of income both within and between countries; reinvestment in community services; price controls on essential goods and services to benefit the poor at the expense of wealthier consumers; restraints on transnational capital flows; and development of technologies to heal environmental wounds. They weave in a freewheeling cultural history of postwar Britain. Despite the mostly British frame of reference, their study will engage American readers. (June)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781859848432
Publisher:
Verso Books
Publication date:
06/28/1998
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.39(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.13(d)

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