Reviews of Dennis Loo’s Globalization and the Demolition of Society
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
[A]n adventure in cognitive rebellion.
– Peter Phillips, Professor of Sociology, Sonoma State University, President, Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored
Dennis Loo has identified the enemy of humanity and of the very earth as neoliberalism, and the system of advanced capitalism and imperialism that it promotes and defends. It is a daunting and implacable enemy, but as he also points out, it is increasingly failing in its efforts to control events. Herein likes the opening for the resistance, which he says must come from those brave enough to openly challenge its fact-challenged ideology, and to openly resist its efforts at control. It is, he says, much like those popular movies in which super alien races invade the earth, but are ultimately defeated when small groups of humans, and ultimately the whole of humanity, refuse to submit. A powerful call to action and rejection of cynicism.
– Dave Lindorff, founder of ThisCantBeHappening.net and author of The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin's, 2006)
Dennis Loo has written an important, valuable book, Globalization and the Demolition of Society, that explores the real solutions that we must enact to rescue the US, even humanity from the clutches of globalization and the neoliberals who employ the devastating powers, tools and weapons of globalization. He describes just how bad things are, including the ineffectiveness of many of the approaches that naive activists (most of them) spend most of their time engaging in. Loo explains how and why depending upon the media and upon elected officials will do little to make a difference. This book will open your eyes and get you thinking in new ways that will make it much more likely for you to be able to make a difference.
– Rob Kall, founder/publisher of OpEd News and host of The Rob Kall Bottom-Up Radio Show 1360 AM, Regular Contributor, Huffingtonpost.com
Reading Dennis Loo's book is like opening the curtains to daylight in a dark room.
For those perplexed and dismayed by the current American political scene and rhetoric, for anyone who wonders, "How exactly did we get here?" Globalization and the Demolition of Society, by Loo, a professor of Sociology, provides empowering knowledge of the crisis facing us. His book traces the rise of neoliberalism, the political expression of globalization, and its tightening grip on the media, highlighting current examples such as the "war on terror" in a smart, lively manner. He looks at why and how democracy cannot work under current circumstances. Personally I was very moved by Loo's excavation of unexamined American myths about the individual vs. society. Loo shows how devaluing the role of the group and the community is a tactic used by the corporate media to further the atmosphere of separation, fear and growing economic inequity.
While Loo covers considerable intellectual ground and complicated historical developments his language is always accessible and conversational. I would recommend this book to any one interested in understanding and changing our world.
– Adriana Scopino, Book Editor
Globalization and the Demolition of Society is a clear, critical analysis of globalization and its outcomes. Instead of taking a pro-globalization or anti-globalization stance, Loo presents an analysis of how political and economic changes have occurred over roughly the past forty years. How are our lives different because of globalization? Loo points to the role of the media, crime, and misinformation to answer this question. The "war on terror," "death panels," and more are explored in great depth to understand the impact of the rhetoric beyond the initial splash.
In careful detail, Loo explains the path to demolition and offers a way to rebuild from the wreckage. What if the role of leadership in relationship to the led were different? A more open society will benefit from the gifts of leaders and the working class. What if ‘more democracy’ was not limited to voting? If people participated more directly and freely in policymaking, not only would more people participate, but they would be heard in more meaningful ways.
There are many books on globalization, but Loo's book contributes something distinct. The political and economic changes wrought over the past forty years are critically and systematically mapped out. Readers will follow Loo's path of bread crumbs and arrive at the conclusion understanding the steps that have unfolded to result in the Demolition of Society.
Beyond making this distinct contribution to an extensive literature, Globalization and the Demolition of Society is also very readable--it is sufficiently clear for audiences new to globalization, and it is written in an engaging manner. Readers will connect with the material and not find themselves overwhelmed by the language. It is also distinctively sociological, taking a holistic view of society and the changes undergone by institutions and individuals in our globalizing world.
- Keri E. Iyall Smith, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Suffolk University, Co-Editor of Societies Without Borders, societieswithoutborders.org
[A] seminal work… a much needed incisive analysis that provides readers with a sense of urgency regarding the false utopianisms of globalization. Loo, a faithful voice from the left, embarks on a courageous sociological journey of the intellect, of activism, and of consciousness-raising in ways that remind us that one is never too socio-historically close to assess the human condition under 21st century capitalism.
– Jack Fong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology, Cal Poly Pomona
My colleague on the Steering Committee of World Can't Wait, Dr. Dennis Loo, has a new book on a huge topic, even for a sociologist, Globalization and the Demolition of Society. It's really several books in one, and ambitious. You wouldn't expect less, since his last book was Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush & Cheney.
Dr. Loo does more than recount the destruction of the global environment on the altar of capitalism-imperialism. He goes after the fundamental flaws in the ideology of the people who run this country. I can imagine students walking into his class with the typical mindset that, with all its flaws, ‘at least the United States has democracy and freedom.’ And, bam, suddenly those assumptions get challenged. Think of this book as that course, without the quizzes and homework, but with the back-up material.
This brother is brave, and he has not lost his 60’s roots. From the introductory pages, he criticizes postmodernism and religious fundamentalism, both Christian and Muslim, and goes on to show their philosophical affinity…to which I say, hallelujah. Anyone with a university education in the last 20 years has to have been deeply influenced, and possibly paralyzed by postmodernism; even those who have no idea what the term means are infected with the idea that "reality is what you make it." Loo compares this to a religious view:
“Reason and science present obstacles—instead of indispensable tools—to literal textualists’ preferred agendas for the planet. Reality, to religious fundamentalists and postmodernists, is what you make it. Reality is what you (or God/Allah) will it to be and want it to be. Postmodernists believe that the notion of truth 'is a contrived illusion, misused by people and special interest groups to gain power over others.' Facts 'are too limiting to determine anything.'"
In contrast to that philosophical framework that denies it’s possible to determine what’s objectively true, Dr. Loo argues that it is necessary, and possible, to understand and confront what is objectively true, an important distinction if we want to act to change the world. That in itself is a huge contribution. And that’s only the first book within his book.
Dr. Loo tackles the underlying why and how of these outrages which I call systematic crimes. If enough people read this book, it could help change the course of history.
-- Debra Sweet, Director of the World Can’t Wait
Causes Dennis Loo Supports
World Can't Wait, Occupy, War Criminals Watch, Doctors without Borders, Wikileaks, We Are Not Your Soldiers