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The Case Against the Global Economy: And for a Turn toward the Local Paperback – January 1, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Economic globalization," writes Jerry Mander, "involves arguably the most fundamental redesign of the planet's political and economic arrangements since at least the Industrial Revolution. Yet the profound implications of these fundamental changes have barely been exposed to serious public scrutiny or debate. Despite the scale of the global reordering, neither our elected officials nor our educational institutions nor the mass media have made a credible effort to describe what is being formulated or to explain its root philosophies." From which omission arises The Case Against the Global Economy.

The 43 essays in this collection comprise a point-by-point analysis of globalization and its consequences that demonstrates that the future may not be as bright as business leaders tell us. Among the highlights: William Greider examines how General Electric works to shape (with the goal of controlling) the political arena; Ralph Nader and Lori Wallach attack NAFTA and GATT for undermining the sovereign authority of democratic governments; and Wendell Berry looks at the concerted efforts of big business to destroy local, particularly rural, communities in order to plunder the environment without opposition. Several authors, including Satish Kumar, Jeanette Armstrong, and Kirkpatrick Sale, outline alternatives to the global economy based on "bioregional" principles of local self-sufficiency.

From Publishers Weekly

The contributors to this handbook?among them Jeremy Rifkin, Ralph Nader, Kirkpatrick Sale, Wendell Berry, Richard Barnet, William Greider, ecological economist Herman Daly and World Bank environmental adviser Robert Goodland?argue that the rush toward economic globalization, based on free trade and deregulation, is both harmful and reversible. Its consequences, they contend, include overcrowded cities, widening of the gap between rich and poor, lowering of wages while prices soar, destruction of wilderness, flattening of local traditions and cultures. The contributors recommend pursuing the opposite path?promoting greater economic localization through cooperatives and small companies that cater to local or regional markets. Essays deal with corporate control of the media and of financial markets; biotechnology's patenting of life forms as neocolonialist exploitation; the worldwide small-farm movement; the emergence of local currencies, barter and work exchange networks; and how global trade agreements (NAFTA, GATT) override decisions on worker safety and environmental standards made democratically by member nations. An important, vital resource for planetary stewardship. Mander (In the Absence of the Sacred) cofounded the International Forum on Globalization; Goldsmith is a founding editor of Britain's Ecologist.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780871568656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871568656
  • ASIN: 0871568659
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,221,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Otterstrom on February 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
A thorough roast of the Corporate State, the Global Economy, GATT, NAFTA, the WTO, the World Bank, the IMF, and our own ignorance to the consequences we will suffer at the hands of the New Fascism. This book is another formidable brick in the foundation of an emerging sub-culture that seeks a viable human future. The underlying message throughout these essays is that we either involve ourselves in our communities---strive toward local sustainability, nurture the ecology of our place, reject bureacratic centralization, be it governmental, or corporate---or we allow the environmental destruction, the social disintegration, and the bankrupt moralilty of the profit-driven limitless growth maniacs to reach its inevitable cancer-like conclusion. The authors here share an awareness that we might well be facing the end of democracy, unbearable degradation to the quality of our air, water, food, and lives, and ultimately the collapse of our entire civilization. But all is not Doom & Gloom! We are reminded that corporations only exist because we allow them to, legally and economically, and the politicians they own are, at his point, still elected by us. There is optimism that the rapidly growing numbers of the displaced, disenfranchised, and disenchanted will unify, informed and wisened by their loss, or love, of place, and their common experience outside the confines of ideology and education manipulated by corporate-owned media. We are also reminded that on a global scale, the grotesquely rich & economically powerful, are far in the minority, if we so choose, we the people, the vast majority, can still throw the bums out! This book should be required reading in all schools, but the fact that most educational institutions are increasingly influenced by the same narrow socio-political-economic interests makes this quite unlikely. If you're a homeschooler though, I highly recommend 'The Case Against The Global Economy' as part of your curriculum.
Jim Otterstrom
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Format: Paperback
I'm just finishing the first year of a 2-year International MBA program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and have found this book to help restore some balance to my studies. It definitely was NOT recommended to me by my faculty, but caught my eye when I came upon it because I remembered meeting Mr. Mander when I studied with his son at UC Santa Cruz (Kresge) in the mid-1980's. There is so much hype, especially in the business world, that the global economy is not only inevitable, but good. And if you don't examine it very much, the assumptions seem solid. Well let me just say that reading this book helped me radically rethink my plans once I finish my MBA. I don't plan to promote global corporate integration, and I will do my best to influence international business to take the long-term consequences of their actions into account. I'm glad I'm studying the international business canon, though, because then I hope I'll be able to communicate some of the concepts presented in this book and actually get those with their hands on the pursestrings to listen.
Try to get this into the classroom--we need more business and economics students reading this book!
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Format: Paperback
If you've wondered what all those protests were about in Seattle, or anywhere else, it seems, that the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been scheduled to meet -- this is the book to read. It contains 43 articles by such writers as Wendell Berry, Vandana Shiva, Ralph Nader, Jeremy Rifkin, Helena Norberg-Hodge, David C. Korten, Kirkpatrick Sale, and Herman E. Daly.
The book's premise is that the emergent global economy is destroying diversity, both biological and cultural. Even nation-states are becoming increasingly irrelevant and meaningless under globalism -- much less regional and local jurisdictions. The bright and hopeful message, in the otherwise bleak landscape painted by the book, is the fact that people inherently seem to need small-scale forms of community -- we appear to be genetically programmed for it -- and if globalism won't provide for this need, we will reinvent structures that do. The book details, for example, a number of efforts underway around the world to recreate local currencies. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a book one can best describe as both painstaking and muckraking, author and scholar Jerry Mander focus his considerable critical acumen by editing a series of essays on the much vaunted and constantly ballyhooed phenomenon of economic globalization. From the outset, Mander admits that the processes feeding into this process are so wide-spread, pandemic, and attractive to a variety of international corporate forces that any prospect for reversing the trend will be problematic indeed. Yet, given the potential for catastrophic consequences stemming from the movement toward the expanding influence of such global corporate enterprises, the author advises us that we would do well to try.
Mander was among the first critics to point out how fundamentally undemocratic the rise of the corporate entities were in terms of how they came to increasingly exert powerful influences regarding the disposition of resources, political orientations, and the public welfare. Indeed, given the fact that economic globalization may well represent the most fundamental and the most radical reorientation of the sum total of international social, economic, and political arrangements in several hundred years, it is without a doubt critical that the average citizen learn more about the nature of economic globalization, how it is being implemented, and what this phenomenon means for each of us as individuals, as consumers, and, most importantly, as citizens.
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