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How to Rule the World: The Coming Battle over the Global Economy

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A debate is taking place over what values should define the international order. For global elites, it is a debate about how to rule the world: a conflict between one vision of global order based on U.S. empire and another based on an expanding, corporate-controlled global economy. These visions are not entirely distinct. How to Rule the World explains how they overlap and also how, at critical moments, they clash with one another. The book is written, however, not from the perspective of power, but from the ...
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Overview


A debate is taking place over what values should define the international order. For global elites, it is a debate about how to rule the world: a conflict between one vision of global order based on U.S. empire and another based on an expanding, corporate-controlled global economy. These visions are not entirely distinct. How to Rule the World explains how they overlap and also how, at critical moments, they clash with one another. The book is written, however, not from the perspective of power, but from the perspective of those who believe the world should be governed according to principles of democratic participation and self-determination. Mark Engler explains how the Bush administration has reshaped globalization in ways that will affect us for years to come. Such changes have created a setting that few protesters in Seattle or elsewhere could have foreseen: Global trade talks are collapsing. International institutions that drew protests, like the IMF and the World Bank, face uncertain futures. Moreover, U.S. unilateralism has created international divides that endanger the future progress of the type of multilateral globalization that thrived throughout the 1990s.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Well-considered, revisionist analysis of the fierce debate about the future of our world economy. Journalist and policy analyst Engler writes from a leftist position, but since he acknowledges and describes mistakes he and his peers have made, most readers will find his views stimulating. He begins in the 1990s, when the Clinton administration enthusiastically supported a supranational, free-market, corporate-controlled world economy. When the laid-back Clinton departed, replaced by a more pugnacious president, left-wing critics predicted more of the same. On the contrary, Engler points out, neoconservatives despised Clinton's reliance on "soft power" (trade and aid) to project American capitalist influence, maintaining that only military might could ensure U.S. security while bringing freedom and the free market to the world. Marxist dogma to the contrary, the author writes, businessmen don't like war; it enriches a few but inflicts uncertainty and aggravation on the majority. Despite their differences, Bush's American empire and Clinton's multilateral globalism have the same goal: a happy world in which democratic governments minimize taxes and business regulation to ensure free trade, a free market and free movement of capital. This doesn't work, the author states bluntly. Asian governments that protect infant industries and regulate markets have prospered. Poor nations that have thrown open their markets in South America and Africa have found the results to be unimpressive, sometimes catastrophic. Painting a vivid picture of free-market globalism's dismal impact on developing nations, Engler advocates a populist "democratic globalism" to replace the two current versions. Unlike manyidealists, he rejects trendy illusions like returning to a village economy and warns against such politically suicidal ideas as asking for short-term sacrifices to bring long-term benefits. Engler's plan may or may not stand much of a chance against world business leaders who retain an unshakeable belief in pure free-market capitalism, but his arguments will win many readers' sympathy. Agent: Anna Ghosh/Scovil Chichak Galen Literary Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568583655
  • Publisher: Nation Books
  • Publication date: 4/7/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Mark Engler is a journalist based in New York City and an analyst with Foreign Policy In Focus. His articles have appeared in Newsday, the San Francisco Chronicle, Dissent, TomPaine.com, the Christian Science Monitor, TomDispatch, Salon.com, In These Times, and MotherJones.com.
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Table of Contents

Introduction     1
The Imperial Moment
War Without Profit     31
Visions of Dominance     51
The New Terrain of Globalization Debate     75
Ending the "Washington Consensus"
The Besieged World Bankers     103
"Free Trade's" Broken Promises     131
Sinking the WTO     151
The World Is Not Flat     169
A Democratic Globalization
Powering the Alternative     203
The Politics of Persistence     237
Latin America in Revolt     257
Conclusion: The Coming Battle     287
Acknowledgments     305
Notes     307
Index     345

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