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FREE MARKET FUNDAMENTALISM IS THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION
Since the 1980s, advocates of “free market” forces and unrestrained individualism (aka neoliberalism) have succeeded in making their views dominant worldwide. In Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Professor Dennis Loo shows that contrary to its proponents, neoliberalism makes most people neither more secure nor more prosperous. Instead, it rips the social fabric and undermines security, leading to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels. These calamities are in some cases deliberately triggered and in other instances - e.g., the BP oil catastrophe - inadvertent and inevitable products of neoliberal logic. Because neoliberals combine unprecedented power and hubris with a radical dismissal of objective reality, Loo argues that they represent perhaps the most dangerous movement in history.
Neoliberalism reflects the interests of large corporations and globalization. In order to enhance corporate profitability, it seeks to severely reduce or outright eliminate job and income security, the social safety net, unions, pensions, public services, and governmental regulation of corporations. Ensuring the public’s continued co-operation given the ever-diminishing rewards for going along willingly thus means that governmental and corporate authority must use more deception, force, and fear to maintain social order. Under neoliberal policies, almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private corporate interests, with governmental authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Loo uncovers and analyzes this radical rupture in the nature of governance today, where the rule of law is increasingly being subordinated to rule via public order policies that treat everyone as a suspect and where you can be detained on the basis of what you might do rather than what you have actually done. He further shows why voting and elections do not and cannot address this fundamental shift in public policy and what does promise the possibility of altering this momentous trajectory.
Loo tells this story of two worlds in contention – those who uphold private interest vs. those who uphold the public interest – in an engaging and conversational manner, drawing from everyday life to illustrate his points. He makes sense of what might otherwise seem to be disconnected and disparate disturbing developments. In these troubled times, this book is indispensable reading.
Seven Stories Press of New York published his previous book in 2006: Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney.
Loo is Professor of Sociology at Cal Poly Pomona and the recipient of several awards including the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, Project Censored’s National Award, and The Nation Magazine’s “Most Valuable Campaign” award. He is an honor’s graduate of Harvard College in Government and received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is a former journalist.
“A brilliant exposition… compelling written and readily grasped, yet profound in its synthetic treatment . . . Loo’s analysis of the inherent, self-reinforcing logic of neoliberalism and the ‘War on Terror’ . . . is a potential game changer.” – Sharon Araji, 2011 President, Pacific Sociological Association, Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado, Denver
Title: Globalization and the Demolition of Society
Author: Dennis Loo
Format: Hardback 6.14” x 9.21”
No. of pages: 432 pp.
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Publicity Contact: Linda Rigas, firstname.lastname@example.org, (818) 220-1176
Additional Format eBook $9.99 ISBN: 9781617926303
Free PDF examination copies will be provided upon request.
Excerpts from the book:
“The problems of capitalism … now being expressed are not simply the product of a few (or even a lot of) greedy … business figures. They are not primarily the result of poor monitoring by … the … government. They did not arise principally because of an inattentive media. They are not fixable through a set of adjustments or through electing one party over the other… They are not mainly the fault of a mall-obsessed, savings-allergic public. These are systemic problems… Systems do not change just because you put a new face in the White House and new faces in Congress.” (p. 174)
“Democratic theory fails to give proper weight to the initiating and decisive power of the state and media relative to the populace. Under normal circumstances, media and the state possess virtually all of the advantages—and dominate the process—by which the public agenda gets set. They set the table. The public must decide what to eat from the offerings placed there by the media and state, and in that sense the public ‘democratically’ chooses what it likes, but the public does not decide what will be on the table in the first place.” (p. 229)
Please find attached a list of what makes Loo’s book unique and exceedingly rich.
Some of what makes Globalization and the Demolition of Society by Dennis Loo unique, arranged roughly according to the sequencing in the book chapters:
· What is fatally wrong with neoliberal philosophy and with postmodernism’s and religious fundamentalism’s radical rejection of objective truth, reason, and science (Introduction and Chapter One);
· Why the problems we face are systemic ones. Systems are governed by system logic and if you seek to change the outcomes of those systems, you have to change the system itself. That requires much more than changing who occupies the chairs of those in charge through elections (see, for example, p. 31.) Loo cuts to the heart of how political power is actually exercised (viz the use of coercion and persuasion and illuminates the specific character of the overall system of capitalism-imperialism;
· Why the 1950s/1960s’ civil rights struggle is intimately linked to the post-World War II Cold War and preceding advances of revolutionary forces worldwide; how the 1960s’ insurgencies temporarily prevented elites from imposing their agenda and what lessons this presents for those who would challenge the status quo today (Chapter Two, esp., pp. 87- );
· That the conventional wisdom that the 1960s’ riots and protests produced a white backlash and laid the groundwork for the rise of the Right is based on fabricated polling data and self-serving framing. What is presented and widely understood as majority public opinion matters more in the public policy arena than what the majority public opinion actually is and why and how public opinion is fundamentally not represented in contemporary public policy (Chapter Two);
· Goes beyond Naomi Klein’s heralded demonstration that neoliberals are in certain instances deliberately provoking crises. The most devastating crises originate not from plots but from the very workings of the existing systems and processes (see Chapter Three). Neoliberalism’s dominance across the world thus poses a graver danger to the planet than any other movement in history;
· Why market driven “solutions” means disempowering the workforce relentlessly so that corporations can pay their workers less and thereby make more profit and expand their market share. How and why public goods – such as subsidized public education and public libraries - are increasingly endangered. These intertwined trends mean that ensuring the public’s continued co-operation, given the ever-diminishing rewards for going along willingly, requires governments to use more force, deception, and fear mongering to govern, regardless of which party is in power. The stick is increasingly replacing the carrot (This is discussed extensively. See, for example, p. 178);
· How and why both major political parties have been adopting a radically different form of governance – public order policies – that treat everyone in the society as a suspect. This is a worldwide phenomenon, not restricted to the U.S. The governing standard is no longer that you will be punished only if you break the law. Instead, you can be punished for being a perceived threat based on an expectation that you might do something that authorities do not want. While the rule of law still receives rhetorical tribute from public officials, the trajectory of events and policies have already undercut it as the guiding principle of the law (see, for example, the DoD training its employees that “protest” is “low-level terrorism,” pp. 191- );
· While authors such as Noam Chomsky and Cornel West call for more democracy as the answer to the damage that unregulated market forces are bringing, Loo provides compelling reasons why the problem is far deeper than the failure of democracy’s promise to be realized; the problem grows out of flaws in democratic theory itself. Change cannot and never has been accomplished through elections but only through powerful social and revolutionary movements. (See Chapter Five).
· Why and how homeland security is being carried out under an erroneous premise that more information makes us more secure. More information does not make us safer when the amount of data being gathered everyday is four times greater than the information contained in the Library of Congress. Homeland Security is drowning in irrelevant data because it is gathering data from everyone using universal warrantless surveillance rather than narrowing down its attention to those who actually have or are engaged in actual terrorist activities (see esp. 150-153).
· The “war on terror” by its nature is self-justifying, ever expanding, and even more dangerous than its ostensible foe. (See Chapter Four). “[I]ntelligence failures do not discredit the existing policies of ubiquitous surveillance, war, occupations, indefinite detentions, torture, assassinations, and drone attacks. Failures of intelligence promote and justify the existing policies that are supposed to prevent terrorism. The longer the US goes without another successful or abortive terrorist incident, the harder it becomes to justify the security state’s measures. Thus, the security state has a stake in having at least some anti-state terrorist incidents occur. This is the security state’s dirty little secret.” (p. 152) In support of this, Loo points to, for example, GOP leaders who have spoken openly of future terrorist incidents’ desirability in order to justify the anti-terrorist measures that have now become the norm (see pp. 57-58). As a foundation for this discussion, Loo offers a definition for terrorism that avoids the pitfalls of other extant definitions;
· Loo disproves the “ticking time bomb” scenario as a reason to support torture - used by people such as Alan Dershowitz - in two elegant paragraphs (see pp. 199-200);
· Goes beyond the insights of Max Weber and Robert Michels on the nature of bureaucracies (the modern world can be usefully understood as a set of multiplying bureaucracies) and points the way forward to a path that can mitigate the more oppressive aspects of bureaucracies (see, for example, p. 242, Chapter Four and Seven);
· Uncovers the inconsistencies inherent in Emile Durkheim’s functionalist justifications for social inequality and the neoliberal notion that people are everywhere and always motivated by material incentives and wholly autonomous individuals with no obligations to others, rather than primarily social beings (Chapter One and Seven);
· How media and corporate power have become the real electorate, with public officials’ decisions driven more by, and largely in collusion with, media and big businesses’ views rather than by citizens’ sentiments; how in the 1990s media and public officials manufactured a crime wave and drove crime concerns to the top of the populace’s domestic concerns for the first time in polling history in spite of crime actually falling at the time; why the public’s growing ignorance and/or misunderstandings about what’s going on are not mainly due to public apathy, gullibility, distractibility, or narcissism, but primarily due to media and public officials’ framing of reality, causing even the most well-educated to misunderstand what is going on and thereby facilitating the public’s acceptance of the annihilation of core civil liberties, the rule of law, and the sharp degradation of working and living conditions without appropriate protest [although this has changed with Arab Spring and a worldwide upsurge concentrated in the U.S. in the Occupy Wall Street actions]; how neoliberal economics of bottom-line logic have combined with the rise of the Right to produce the disturbing and dangerous state of media today; why an alternative political and moral authority must come forward independent of the major political parties and electoral process if these trends are to be reversed, and how such a radical shift could actually take place (Chapter Six).
Causes Dennis Loo Supports
World Can't Wait, Occupy, War Criminals Watch, Doctors without Borders, Wikileaks, We Are Not Your Soldiers