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Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order Paperback – November 1, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'A bracing challenge to the complacency of all varieties of establishment thinking. Argues powerfully that protest is not enough. An arresting contribution to new thinking.' Independent 'A book that must be engaged with. A simple and revolutionary Manifesto, a weighty political vision. At last, the global justice movement has found a vision as expansive and planet-wide as that of the US neoconservatives. Let the battle of ideas commence.' Independent on Sunday 'An extremely important book. A searchingly rigorous analysis of the sources of American power. Monbiot presents a package of proposals that would radically redraw the present world order. It is breathtaking in its radicalism, but for anyone who is serious about tackling the current US hegemony, it is difficult to fault the logic. This is not a whinge, but a very well argued statement of a positive alternative agenda. And if it is far too radical for some tastes, can they suggest any lesser options that will produce the same vast improvement in world justice and prosperity? The floor is theirs.' Michael Meacher, Guardian

About the Author

George Monbiot, 40, the son of a former President of the Conservative Party, has been persona non grata in seven countries, had a life sentence in absentia given to him by an Indonesian court, has been shot at, beaten up by military police, shipwrecked and stung into a coma during seven years of investigative journeys across Africa, Asia and the Americas. He was even pronounced clinically dead of cerebral malaria in Kenya, only to rise again, return to Britain's comparative safety, and turn himself into the country's most articulate, most enterprising and most effective non-conformist political commentator.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007150431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007150434
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This book is about a fairer deal for the poor countries of the world. It espouses the idea of a World Parliament and an International Clearing Union. The former is aimed at making the nations of the world accountable for their actions and the latter at redressing what the author sees as the economic anomalies of the world, whereby rich nations reap an undue benefit from the poorer worlds' resources.

The author quotes his sources extensively but I feel that he could have drlled down deeper in many instances where another author is his source. Nevertheless, there are many disturbing facts in this book which should make readers aware of problems that they may not have previously considered. His analysis of the effect (and the effectiveness) of the IMF and the World Bank is very interesting and well worth reading.

A major weakness of this book is the author's failure to address the effect of incentives on human behaviour. To a degree he does cover incentives for nations to behave in a manner which benefits the world and I believe that this also will contribute significantly to the debate. However, many of the great breakthroughs and inventions of the world, which have had a huge impact on living standards and longevity, have resulted due to the financial rewards flowing from such discoveries.

George Monbiot is to be congratulated for having the gumption to challenge current assumptions about democracy and economies and to put forward ideas that might help to make the world fairer and safer. I recommend his book highly to persons interested in achieving those goals.
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Format: Paperback
April 2004 - When a group organised a program opposite the World Social Forum with the protest that the WSF was "not radical enough" I asked, why aren't you painting the walls of Reliance Industries? Are they radical enough?

I am as wary of cheap sneers and easy dismissals as I am wary of anything calling itself a "manifesto for a new world order." The fact is, it's not so easy to dismiss the prevailing world order. So, in considering George Monbiot's latest book, we must first grudgingly look beyond the bold capitals on the cover declaring "For Sale in the Indian Subcontinent Only," not unlike so many dams, discontinued contraceptives, unapproved pharmaceuticals & pesticides. In this case the intention is to protect the profits of the publisher in other markets. Overlooking that as well, we can appreciate the effort involved in proposing a constructive program amidst a familiar cacophony of dissent.

Monbiot's Age of Consent appeals to those from all stripes of the Global Justice Movement seeking common goals, namely to "replace the system which works for the powerful with one which works for the weak ... to replace a world order built on coercion with one which emerges from below, built upon democracy" (p.67-68).

He evaluates the existing systems such as the United Nations, which have also been founded with such noble intentions and calls for the UN General Assembly to be democratized, capturing the powers now vested in the Security Council. Along with this he proposes a democratically elected World Parliament, and International Clearing Union for timely debt clearances and a Fair Trade Organisation.
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Should be mandatory reading in all our secondary schools as Monbiot clarifies of where we are heading and why we are going there.
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