Slobodian, Globalists


To start, this was one of the dullest books on the entire list. The books reads like a university dissertation, which I found odd, because the cover made it seem like it was going to be a mass market popular science type book. I picked up this book from the local English language book store in Berlin expecting to be mad ten pages in. There is no greater joy than reading a book that infuriates you!

Globalists is an account of the development of neoliberalism through economists like Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Wilhelm Röpke and friends. The book, though a series of quotes, aims to show that these guys really didn’t have the peoples best interest at heart, and that the conception of neoliberalism is something that is in opposition to democracy.

In essence, Capitalism isn’t something that can operate on its own without help. The nation can be really fussy about things like trade, so if their power was weakened, and supranational organizations (like the WTO, or the European Union) are formed with power that supersedes the power of individual nations, corporations can have a lot more power to make money and do colonialism. These economics were deeply against the idea of too much democracy (as a surprisingly large amount of people who have posts on this blog were), and were relatively in support of fascism. Here’s a really funny negative review of this book from the IMF of all places, and another excellent article by Liz Franczak about completely unrelated, but somewhat related stuff.

I can’t state enough how dry this book was. I think if I had more background knowledge coming in, it would have been a little easier going, but I haven’t gotten to the 20th Century yet in my classics reading list.