- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Monthly Review Press (March 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 158367036X
- ISBN-13: 978-1583670361
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,669,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Amoral Elephant: Globalization and the Struggle for Social Justice in the Twenty-First Century
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About the Author
William K. Tabb is Professor of economics and Professor of political science at Queens college and Professor of political science at the Graduate Center of the City of New York. He is the author of The Postwar Japanese System: Cultural Economy and Economic Transformation (1995) and Restructuring Political Economy: The Great Divide in Economic Thought (1999).
Top customer reviews
But for those of us with some basic fluency in global capitalism and its financial mechanisms, Tabb's book is a rewarding and insightful adventure. Though I have a Ph.D, I feel quite educated by Tabb in ways which I did not anticipate.
What Tabb helped me to see is the sudden emergence of finance capitalism since the 1970s--that the global economy has undergone a fundamental shift in terms of shareholder domination, capital flight, multinational production and ownership, and political control. Where large productive industries (cars, steel, etc.) once collaborated with Keynesian policies in the US, Europe, and elsewhere, they are suddenly unshackled, and have fully embraced neoliberal economics.
It is Tabb who has helped me to understand this more than any other: more than Giovanni Arrighi, David Harvey, Marjorie Kelly, Amy Chua, or the goodly field of "anti-globalization" scholars. With Tabb in hand, I feel a deep comprehension of the new global economy; one which had really eluded me.
Although Tabb is a leftist, I think that middlers and conservatives might benefit from *The Amoral Elephant* as well. Of course, they'll be bothered by his slant, but hopefully enlightened about the emergence of finance capitalism since the 1970s. For one thing, Tabb shows the serious risks which capitalism presents to itself. Like billionaire George Soros, Tabb sees the paucity of regulation as a serious threat to capitalism, as it weakens societies, foments rebellion, and undercuts the ability of consumers to absorb growing output. Even a Republican or a Tory could be alarmed by the specter of global recessions, violent insurgencies, and widespread poverty.
Tabb's book is an excellent history of capitalist political economies in the twentieth century. From railroads to microchips, Tabb takes the reader on a journey which spells out a post-World War II consensus (though he omits relevant discussion of Cold War neo-colonialism, CIA fueled coups and wars, etc.): high-wage, socially liberal "Western" states, extracting wealth from the third world, and creating a somewhat mutually profitable alliance between labor and capital. He then traces the emergence of neoliberalism, wherein labor around the world is suppressed and major stockowners are enriched, where capital surges in and out of booms, leaving horrendous busts in its wake.
No matter where you fall politically, you will benefit from Tabb's book, which shows the rise of a neoliberalism. This juggernaut is rivaled only by a growing movement of critics around the world, from Seattle to Brazil to Mecca. It is a shockingly new and powerful regime which affects the lives of most everyone on the planet. Read Tabb's book, and decide how you feel about the prospects of democracy, wealth, and power in this new epoch.