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Globalization and the Demolition of Society
$27.95
Hardcover
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Hardcover
  • Aug.30.2011
  • 9780983308102

Dennis gives an overview of the book:

A rousing critique of the rise to dominance of the belief that market forces and unfettered individualism should direct all matters in society - a recipe for disaster for both the individual and the society. The book covers tremendous ground and is pitched at the highest level of rigor but is written as if we were having a one on one conversation with each other.    
Read full overview »

A rousing critique of the rise to dominance of the belief that market forces and unfettered individualism should direct all matters in society - a recipe for disaster for both the individual and the society. The book covers tremendous ground and is pitched at the highest level of rigor but is written as if we were having a one on one conversation with each other.

 

 

Read an excerpt »

Preface

A War of the Worlds

Since the 1980s, political systems across the globe have been undergoing relentless and radical restructuring. This tectonic shift in the nature and role of politics in people’s lives has been and is being carried out under the signboard of installing market forces and unrestrained individualism as the director for all matters personal and public.

Reminiscent of H.G. Wells’ depiction of extraterrestrial aliens invading the US in his classic The War of the Worlds, no arena has been spared from this full-scale assault. The proponents for free market fundamentalism bring with them not only concrete programs that they are fervently and meticulously inserting into place but an entire army of philosophers of privatization who hector us from every media outlet conceivable, generating a drumbeat of scorn for any who object. “There is no alternative, this is the panacea,” this army’s foot soldiers and generals tell us; nowhere and nothing is immune from their demand that they must take over and take charge. The acolytes of the invisible hand are visible everywhere we look

This book refuses and refutes these invaders’ agenda. Using market forces and individualism as the organizers for economic and political affairs is a recipe for ever-expanding inequities and the shredding of the social fabric, leading inevitably to myriad disasters on the individual, regional, and global level. It will not do to attempt to mildly modify this invasion, gesturing and gesticulating at the margins. The response to this assault that is occurring on every conceivable level requires an equally comprehensive retort, an alternative vision for our society.

To address this here on the most general level, in a highly concentrated distillation of the key themes of this book: Humans are not first and foremost individuals. Everyone and everything that exists does so only in relationship to other beings and to other things. Individuals and groups, in particular, are not separate from and opposed to each other but in fact different expressions of a single integrated process. Individuals cannot accomplish what they do without group support and group sustenance; groups, in turn, rely upon individual leaders to organize the group and thereby advance the groups’ interests. We are not fundamentally solitary, autonomous, and exclusively self-interested individuals driven to maximize personal material rewards; we are beings who are primarily shaped by our relationships, especially those generated by our society’s political and economic structures. Individuals do not principally give systems the character that those systems possess; systems and structures principally shape individuals’ behavior.

Genuine freedom does not and cannot come from ignoring one’s obligations to other people and by spurning necessity and material reality. Freedom can only exist on the basis of first recognizing and coping with necessity and then acting to transform it. Moreover, material wealth is not the proper measure of the worth of a person or a society. The pursuit of individual and corporate opulence and the downgrading or outright dismissal of the intimate and indispensible connection we have to each other and to the earth are the road to catastrophe for the people and for our planet.

dennis-loo's picture

Occupy Wall Street is the kind of mass movement that I call for in my book as necessary to radically alter the current toxic political atmosphere. My book's goal is that the people be made aware of how politics and economics actually work, rather than the conventional and incorrect notions that now predominate.

About Dennis

I was born and raised in Honolulu, third or fourth generation Chinese-American, depending on which side of the family you count from. My father was a physician and my mother, as was standard for her generation, a homemaker. I attended Punahou School and then went onto Harvard...

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Published Reviews

Oct.04.2011

Reviews of Dennis Loo’s Globalization and the Demolition of Society

 

A brilliant exposition… compelling written and readily grasped, yet profound in its...

Oct.05.2011

The concept of society is that the group can do better than the individual. "Globalization and the Demolition of Society" is an argument from Dennis Loo that Neoliberalism and free market fundamentalism...