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One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism.

The other religion that so dominates our life is that of capitalism. William Greider came out with a great book on this liturgy. It's called One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism (Simon & Schuster). He tallies the costs and benefits of global free trade (a euphemism for the reign of corporations and financiers). "Marvelous inventions are made plentiful. Great fortunes are accumulated. Millions of peasants find ways to escape muddy poverty," he writes. "Yet masses of people are also tangibly deprived of their claims to self-sufficiency. . . . People and communities, even nations, find themselves losing control over their own destinies, ensnared by the revolutionary demands of commerce."

Greider was the first to sound the alarms this year about "the problem of oversupply"--companies producing more goods than people can buy. His warnings about overcapacity and deflation have since become a common topic of conversation in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, and U.S. News & World Report.

Greider talks of cataclysms ahead (there are a lot of "abysses" in this book), and he offers some suggestions on how to avoid them. These include imposing controls on capital, defending labor rights, and "bringing the bottom up"--with something like a Marshall Plan for the Third World.

If you're looking for a cheery book, this is not it. The world, he predicts, will "probably experience a series of terrible events--wrenching calamities that are economic or social or environmental in nature--before common sense can prevail. It would be pleasing to believe otherwise, but the global system so dominates and intimidates present thinking that I expect societies will be taught still more painful lessons before they find the will to act."
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Author:Rothschild, Matthew
Publication:The Progressive
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1998
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