Review: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

5 Star, Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Budget Process & Politics, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Education (Universities), Electoral Reform USA, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Potential Straw to Break the Camel’s Back
September 19, 2009
Chris Hedges
I disagree with those who dismiss this book, however erudite their claims. The author first impressed me with American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.
Reading this book on the heels of Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny and Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling, on top of my own cry of the heart in the preface “Paradigms of Failure” in Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography), I have to say in the strongest possible terms that this is a capstone book of great service to both those who know it all and those who know little at all.

Review: An Enemy of the State–The Life of Murray N. Rothbard

6 Star Top 10%, America (Founders, Current Situation), Banks, Fed, Money, & Concentrated Wealth, Biography & Memoirs, Budget Process & Politics, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Democracy, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gfited Author Summarizes Gifted Libertarian Mind
Justin Raimondo
September 8, 2009

I was so impressed by the AUTHOR of this book and the manner in which he so ably presented in summary form the very complex economic, philosophical, and consequently political reflections of Murray Rothbard that I immediately looked for “About the Author” and did not find it. So let me start with the author rather than the subject.

Justin Raimondo an American author and the editorial director of the website Antiwar.com. He describes himself as a “conservative-paleo-libertarian.” In addition to his thrice-weekly column for antiwar.com, he is a regular contributor to The American Conservative and Chronicles magazine. Raimondo also writes two columns a month for Taki’s Top Drawer. He has published three other books, the last one only available from Google Books:
Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (Background: Essential Texts for the Conservative Mind)
The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection
Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (AFPAC, 1996) via Google Free Online

As someone who appreciates complexity in all its forms, I found the author’s intellectual endeavor in this book to be stunningly formidable. Of the over 24 books by Murray Rothbard, the author presented a coherent account of the high points, and particularly of these that merit further study:
Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market – Scholars Edition
Economic Depressions
An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought (2 Vol. Set)
The Case Against the Fed
Wall Street Banks and American Foreign Policy

From my nine-pages of notes, respecting the 1,000 word limitation on reviews:

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Review: The New Rulers of the World

5 Star, Atrocities & Genocide, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Crime (Government), Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform)
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5.0 out of 5 stars
Integrity Takes This to a Full Five–Part of a Review Trilogy
September 6, 2009
John Pilger
John Pilger was brought to my attention recently. I have known a few really great investigative journalists such as Robert Young Pelton, David Kaplan, and John Fialka, but John Pilger was new to me, and I am *very* glad to have been pointed in his direction. I found in all three books a combination of integrity, insight, and optimism that is heartening and bodes well for the “average” person getting a grip on their out of control governments and corporations who are as criminal in their own way as transnational crime networks.

I bought this book along with:
2005 Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism That Changed the World
2007 Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire

Published in 2002, it gripped me from beginning to end. Although I studied Multinational Corporations (MNC) in the 1970’s and more recently, and am a fan of such books as Global Reach: The Power of the Multinational Corporations; The Manufacture Of Evil: Ethics, Evolution, and the Industrial System, and The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, what was new for me in this book and in other readings I have undertaken this past decade is the collusion between governments and corporations, both profiteering at the expense of the individual taxpayer.

The author is compelling in labeling politicians as criminal tyrants, and here in the USA I am happy to see the beginning of the end of the two-party tyranny in such books as Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny.

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Review: Conscious Globalism: What’s Wrong with the World and How to Fix It

4 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Righteous, Not as Deep As Some, Great Overview
September 3, 2009

David Schwerin

This book is a logical follow-on to the author’s earlier book, Conscious Capitalism: Principles for Prosperity, a book that is doing very very well in Chinese translations. Early on he points out that we need to achieve a global change in consciousness, and I am reminded of Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, Conscious Evolution: Awakening Our Social Potential as well as Steve MacIntosh’s Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution. Everything I am reading is converging, and it is not because of what I am choosing as much as it is about what there is to choose from–this is a tsunami.

The author observes that the Internet is both a people unifier, allowing for information sharing across all traditional barriers and boundaries, and it is also a source of competitive information, something I take to mean that smaller players are now competitive with larger players because of their increased access to information.

The author points out that “the rules” were made of, by, and for those with wealth, and that our challenge today is to find investment capital with a conscience. I think that is happening as Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution and Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World combine with Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things and The Philosophy of Sustainable Design thinking. Further on he talks about how respecting the environment encourages innovation and reduces waste, but I am struck by the absence of references to any of the greats in this entire line of reflection.

The author follows the spiritual principles adopted by Phi Beta Iota, the Honour Society for Public Intelligence, and focuses constantly on moving us all, one individual at a time, from “Me” to “Us.”

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