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Meme Wars: The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economics Paperback – November 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609804732
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609804732
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Adbusters magazine and its editor Kalle Lasn have been at the forefront of the global resistance to capitalism exemplified by the Occupy movement. Their new book, Meme Wars: the Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economies, uses startling images to back up its hard-hitting points. "
The Guardian

"The essays in Meme Wars are engrossing, exciting even. This book compels us to rethink our approaches to economics by offering critique after critique of the way the subject is written about and taught, indeed of the very conceptual categories we use when we debate about how goods are produced and distributed, services provided and resources extracted. By turns wonky and visionary, Meme Wars ... brings together a group of accomplished writers, most of them academics, who approach the world’s economic, environmental and social problems in ways one seldom finds in mainstream journalism or economics departments."
Literary Review of Canada

Meme Wars should be required reading for anyone wants to challenge their ideas about the modern economy and the people who champion it.”
Meme Wars is a textbook for a new way of thinking, Straight.com

"Thought-provoking and creative"
—Julie Nelson, author of Beyond Economic Man: Feminist Theory and Economics 

"Meme Wars should be required reading for anyone wants to challenge their ideas about the modern economy and the people who champion it."
—Miranda Nelson, The Georgia Straight

"Meme Wars is a kind of anti-textbook, which uses words and images to explore the dark spaces that surround conventional economic theory."
—David Orrell  

"The essays in Meme Wars are engrossing, exciting even. This book compels us to rethink our approaches to economics by offering critique after critique of the way the subject is written about and taught, indeed of the very conceptual categories we use when we debate about how goods are produced and distributed, services provided and resources extracted. By turns wonky and visionary, Meme Wars ... brings together a group of accomplished writers, most of them academics, who approach the world’s economic, environmental and social problems in ways one seldom finds in mainstream journalism or economics departments." 
—The Literary Review of Canada 

"Meme Wars is a Molotov cocktail tossed into the boardroom."
Calgary Herald 

About the Author

KALLE LASN is an internationally known, award-winning documentarian. He is publisher of Adbusters magazine and founder of the Adbusters Media Foundation and Powershift Advertising Agency. Lasn has dedicated himself to launching social marketing campaigns with Adbusters such as Buy Nothing Day and TV Turnoff Week, and to fighting legal battles for the right to access the public airwaves, primarily through the anticapitalist tactic of culture jamming. Lasn, along with Adbusters senior editor Micah White and Adbusters' 90,000-strong global network of activists were the instigators of the first #OccupyWallStreet event on September 17, 2011.

ADBUSTERS is a not-for-profit, reader-supported, advertising-free, 70,000-circulation magazine that lays bare anticapitalist, pro-environment concerns through incisive philosophical essays, activist commentary, and advertising spoofs. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Adbusters past and present contributors include Slajov Zizek, David Graeber, Simon Critchley, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Matt Taibbi, Bill McKibben, Douglas Rushkoff, Jonathan Cook, and Chris Hedges.

Customer Reviews

This book asks the right questions in a simple manor.
Linda
This book adds immense insight to finding ways out of the insanity pushed, ingrained and taught for several generations.
P. van Winkle
I first saw this at Books&Books in Miami and immediately began lusting for it!
SlackisGabe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Linda on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simple economics with great graphics. I am an economist who has been sceptical of neoclassical apologetics for what I consider to be a regime of corporate supremacy. This book asks the right questions in a simple manor.
I hope it inspires readers to read Veblen, Marx, Bowles, Magdoff, Ayres, George, Polyani, and many more.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Josh on December 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Think beyond the FOXMSNBCNYTHARVAD box... Pre-2006 growth is not coming back. Some of the finest minds, academic that is, in the world presented in this Journal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By edward d. firth on February 4, 2013
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this is the man from Vancouver (Canada) who was the force behind the Occupy Movement! unless you watch a lot of the Moyer Report on American PBS, you really don't realize that probably 100 companies run the world, and the government and the banks are a revolving door of employment, in seven figures. the 99% of us who vote and pay taxes, have not a prayer of changing the enviroment, our bettering our lives without some form of civil disobedience. this book and Adbusters magazine are a beginning to give us information that otherwise would be almost impossible to obtain easily. maybe we should realize that economists were created to make weathermen look good, and start getting this profession into the 21st century, especially in our teaching institutions! this book format is very different from the norm, and what is says is very thought provoking!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C.J. on January 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kalle Lasn gets it right, as usual. His book "Culture Jam" was a revelatory experience for me when it was written. "Meme Wars" builds on his basic premise, that we ruin our lives and the planet consuming too many unnecessary things that we don't need. Our obsession with acquiring the most 'toys' is disastrous for the economy, the planet, and our own mental and emotional health. No one says it more succinctly, and in such a readable way. The book is also beautiful to look at.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. van Winkle on July 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is critical reading for any survivable, collective path forward. Over the last hundred years, Economics' mission was to support mass debt expansion, by answering the question: "How can we create and expand 'growth', endlessly, to 'preserve our way of life'" That wasn't just erroneous, religiously-inclined, false thinking, it was dangerous. Economists all then have sought to replicate the short-term `success' of developed countries, and to get less developed countries into this program of non-reality.

The results? An exponentially growing list of social sicknesses and maladies associated with relying on markets and consumptions of all kinds, to solve problems: epidemics of obesity, mental illness, stress, inequality, time-sucking, poverty, and vast, unchecked pollution. (Add information pollution to that list. Citizens of the developed world are now exposed to roughly 3,000 ads a day, adding to public health crises in the same way that asbestos, DDT, lead and cigarette smoke did.)

The neo-classical economics relied on and taught have little to do with reality, and it shows - plainly.

We're now experiencing the mass and deadly symptoms of financial addictions to "endless growth" programs on a finite planet, and it's time for an intervention. This book adds immense insight to finding ways out of the insanity pushed, ingrained and taught for several generations. Even the London School Of Economics (Mick Jagger's alma mater) endorses it. Five stars. Read it, don't just look at the pictures like the one reviewer did.
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21 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Scott Smith on May 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The book Meme Wars is basically itself a collection of memes, underpinned by short works, designed to suck the reader into a mindset. Cleverly, first memes are presented to prep the readers mind, and then the (often specious) academics are appended, so the reader will be under the influence of the meme and easily swayed. Very much a modern advertising campaign, i.e. you see cool people drink this, you are told it is good for you, and you conclude (submit) it must be good for you because cool people drink it.

Beneath this technique, just what is the over-arching message of Meme Wars? It is a twist on Marx's Labor Theory of Value; a new Ecological Theory of Value.

This reminds me of the old saying "The Greens have Red roots." I don't know what the accepted classification of the Meme War contributors is. Are they Post-Marxists? Neo-Marxists? They all agree, if to differing extents, that more government intervention in markets will produce more desirable results. I'll call them Post-Neo-Marxists, though to be fair, I doubt some of them appreciate being lumped in with the others.

Like with Marx, once the belief (dogma) is set, everything that follows is contrived to support this. As Marx was not an economist, but a moralist, so too is Meme Wars not an economics text, but a cultural engineering text. And, like Marx, Meme Wars succeeds where it identifies problematic circumstances, and fails where it proposes naïve and sometimes even barbaric solutions. The imposition of a potential new Cultural Revolution every bit as deadly as the last.

One of the earliest examples of this is the false choice presented: "an economy must be centrally planned by the government or by the banks.
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