HOW TO RULE THE WORLD: The Coming Battle Over the World Economy
By Mark Engler
(Nation Books, 2008, ISBN 978-1568583655)
“Impressively researched and sharply argued, How to Rule the World is an essential handbook not for the few who do rule the world but for the many who should.”
—Greg Grandin, Author of Empire’s Workshop
“How to Rule the World was written before the crash, but Mark Engler’s analysis holds up to today’s events. The financial collapse is part of a long-term waning of U.S. world power, and anyhow, the author predicted it. Engler’s critical insight is that the two dominant approaches to U.S. foreign policy are in trouble…. [He] shows that both neoliberalism and neoconservatism are in disarray. This opens possibilities for new international relationships based on democratic values and aimed at increasing equity and sustainability. The possibility is there, but it will take a movement – a ramped-up global justice movement, for example – to assure that the next U.S. president doesn’t try to re-establish an old, failed pattern – or create still more chaos in the attempt.”
—Sarah Van Gelder, YES! Magazine
Right now a debate is taking place over what values should define our international order. For global elites, it is a debate about how to rule the world. Laying out a new and original framework for understanding globalization politics in the Obama years, Mark Engler describes the evolving conflict over America’s role in the world. Past visions include the Clinton-era model of an expanding, corporate-controlled global economy and a Bush-era “imperial globalization” based on U.S. military dominance. How to Rule the World explains how these visions overlap and also how, at critical moments, they clashed with one another. It is written, however, in the hopes that neither will prevail. Even as Wall Street CEOs and Washington militarists argue among themselves, citizens’ uprisings in the United States, in an increasingly progressive Latin America, and beyond are bringing to life a vibrant “democratic globalization” based on economic justice, human rights, and self-determination.
Engler, a journalist, activist, and policy expert, details the conditions at the root of the current global economic crisis and explains how the globalization debate has profoundly shifted since the days of the Seattle protests: Countries are rebelling against deregulated market fundamentalism. The roles of international institutions like the WTO, IMF, and World Bank are dramatically changing. U.S. unilateralism and the disastrous war in Iraq deepened international divisions. As a result, the stage is now set for a critical new debate about the global economy.
“Unique and indispensable…”
—JEREMY BRECHER, Author
“Full of passion, hope, and insight…”
—FRIDA BERRIGAN, New America Foundation
“Never was a book more timely.”
—Andy Bichlbaum, THE YES MEN
Mark Engler is a freelance journalist and a senior analyst with Foreign Policy In Focus. Mark’s full bio is available here.
Topics of discussion relevant to How to Rule the World include:
–How Barack Obama’s vision of globalization differs from that of previous presidents, and what is likely to happen under the current administration.
–What the prospects of a deep recession in the United States and abroad might mean for those struggling for global justice.
–Where all the global justice protests went, and why they can come back.
–How the Bush administration’s militarism transformed the globalization debate, and how the politics of opposing empire are again changing in the post-Bush era.
–Why “free market” neoliberalism, which has dominated world affairs for two decades, is now falling apart, and how this creates vital opportunities for building a better global order.
–Why issues of trade and development are creating a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party.
–Why right-wing critics, along with progressive protesters, turned against the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization.
–How uprisings throughout Latin America are creating an exciting globalization from below.
–What alternatives are available to counter the type of “free trade” future promoted by Thomas Friedman.
–What connections exist between war and globalization, and how the invasion of Iraq represented a break from earlier models of corporate expansion.
–What impact the anti-war and global justice protests of the past years have made.
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