Review (Guest): The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be

4 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Complexity & Catastrophe, Congress (Failure, Reform), Culture, Research, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Environment (Problems), Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Intelligence (Government/Secret), Intelligence (Public), Justice (Failure, Reform), Leadership, Misinformation & Propaganda, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Security (Including Immigration), Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Moises Naim

4.0 out of 5 stars What kind of power, for whom, and for what?, May 31, 2013

By Tom Atlee (Eugene, OR USA) – See all my reviews

Moises Naim’s new book THE END OF POWER should properly be called “The Decay of Power”. His thesis is that while it is becoming easier to get power, it is also becoming harder to use it to control others and harder to keep it once you have it.

Naim suggests that globalization, economic growth, a growing global middle class, the spread of democracy, and rapidly expanding telecommunications technologies have changed our world. Together these developments have created a fluid and unpredictable environment which has unsettled the traditional dominions of power.

Three revolutions, he says, “make it more difficult to set up and defend the barriers to power that keep rivals at bay.” He details these revolutions as follows:
* “the More revolution, which is characterized by increases in everything from the number of countries to population size, standards of living, literacy rates, and quantity of products on the market”;
* “the Mobility revolution, which has set people, goods, money, ideas, and values moving at hitherto unimagined rates toward every corner of the planet”; and
* “the Mentality revolution, which reflects the major changes in mindsets, expectations, and aspirations that have accompanied these shifts.”

In other words, says Naim, there is too much going on, too much moving around, too many changing demands and perspectives – and at any time someone new can show up and effectively challenge or undermine your power. In addition, “when people are more numerous and living fuller lives, they become more difficult to regiment and control.” Among other things, such people value transparency, human rights, and fairness to women and minorities – and they share a sense that “things do not need to be as they have always been – that there is always…a better way” and that they need not “take any distribution of power for granted.”

All this is happening at the very time when large hierarchical institutions are losing their “economies of scale” and becoming increasingly difficult to manage, while smaller, more flexible organizations and networks are proving increasingly successful.

Naim provides compelling evidence that power is decaying in all these ways in all fields – from business, governance, geopolitics, and military affairs to religion, philanthropy, labor, and journalism.

Continue reading “Review (Guest): The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be”

Journal: Corruption at Root of Economic Crisis

03 Economy, 10 Transnational Crime, Communities of Practice, Ethics, Key Players
Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Corruption threatens global economic recovery, greatly challenges countries in conflict

Berlin, 17 November 2009

As the world economy begins to register a tentative recovery and some nations continue to wrestle with ongoing conflict and insecurity, it is clear that no region of the world is immune to the perils of corruption, according to Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), a measure of domestic, public sector corruption released today.

“At a time when massive stimulus packages, fast-track disbursements of public funds and attempts to secure peace are being implemented around the world, it is essential to identify where corruption blocks good governance and accountability, in order to break its corrosive cycle” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International (TI).

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Afghanistan slips in corruption index despite aid

BERLIN – Afghanistan has slipped three places to become the world’s second most-corrupt country despite billions in aid meant to bolster the government against a rising insurgency, according to an annual survey of perceived levels of corruption.

Only lawless Somalia, whose weak U.N.-backed government controls just a few blocks of the capital, was perceived as more corrupt than Afghanistan in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

Iraq saw some improvement, rising to 176 of 180 countries, up two places up from last year. Singapore, Denmark and New Zealand were seen as the least corrupt countries in the list based on surveys of businesses and experts.

Phi Beta Iota: Corruption within governments is estimated to be US$1 trillion a year, almost (suggestively) precisely half of the total global crime income of US$2 trillion a year as documented in Moises Naim’s  Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy (Hardcover).

Review: Illicit–How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy (Hardcover)

5 Star, Crime (Organized, Transnational)

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Volume–$2T/Year and Growing, Lost Government Revenues,

October 30, 2005
Moises Naim
I have known Moises Naim for many years, and admired his pragmatic approach to managing the content of Foreign Policy, as published under the auspices of the Canegie Endowment for International Peace. He has been Minister of Trade and Industry in Venezuela, a dean and professor of business administration, executive director of the World Bank, and an accomplished thinker and author. Above all he has been moral. He gets it: morality in politics and morality in business are priceless.

This book is important in two very big ways: the first, the one that most are noticing, is that it documents very ably the fact that crime pays–the author has done a superb job of itemizing the global illegal trade industry in a manner that could be understood by anyone, and the bottom line is frightening in that illicit trade is perhaps $2 trillion a year, while legal trade is between $5 trillion and $10 trillion. Off-the-books bartering and immoral invoicing within corporations are additional reducers of government tax revenue–import export tax fraud in the USA is known to be $50 billion a year ($25 rocket engines going out, $10 pencils coming in).

The second reason this book is important, the real value of this book, is in documenting the revenues lost to government. Legalizing prostitition has economic as well as public health implications. Reducing the arms trade, where the US is the greatest exporter of violence and bribery, has implications across ethnic conflict, stability, water and oil conservations, and so on. Eliminating counterfeiting and illegal immigration would have enormous implications for positive constructive government revenue. I personally know where $500 billion a year can be found in additional tax revenue for the US, mostly from eliminating pork barrel subsidies and corporate fraud, and by restoring the traditional share of corporations to the tax fund–when Halliburn pays $15M on billions in profit, when Exxon makes $3 billion in profit in a single quarter with no requisite tax bite, the system is broken. Eliminating crime, and corporate crime, provides the financial foundation for restoring the democratic contract, the social contract, with the working class and the middle class.

Moises Naim has, in brief, delivered the seminal work on one of the five factors that will determine how the human species does in its World War with itself and with bacteria. The other four factors are the end of cheap oil, the end of free water, the virulent re-emergence of infectuous diseases accompanied by the mutation and migration of new diseases from animal hosts to humans; and the promising but by no means assured emergence of collective democratic intelligence, perhaps aided by real-life decision support games such as those produced by BreakAwayLtd.com.

I consider Dr. Naim to be one of the most precious intellects now active–as penetrating but more pragmatic than Joe Nye, as strategic but more pragmatic as Zbigniew Brzezinski, as articulate but more pragmatic than my all time favorite strategist, Dr. Colin Gray from the United Kingdom.

Naim is a giant. He also represents, if I may be permitted an observation from my decades in Latin America and my Colombian-born mother, why Latin America is the future and why the US ignores the Chinese takeover of Latin American lands and resources, the Iranian penetrations, and the related Brazilian, Indian, Pakistani, and Russian incursions, at its peril. Latin America is both the source, and the solution, for most of the illicit trade that undermines the Republic. It’s time we recognize that morality matters, crime is a greater threat than isolated terrorism, and Latin America is part of the Americas–the part that may achieve informed populist democracy before the USA recovers from the neo-conservative coup d’etat and ethical misadventures of a White House owned by Halliburton and dismissive of both the domestic and international publics.

Vote on Review
Vote on Review

2001 Wallach Public Citizen Using Public Intelligence in the Public Interest

Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Commercial Intelligence, Historic Contributions, Non-Governmental
Lori Wallach
Lori Wallach, Director Public Citizen

Lori M. Wallach has been director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch since 1995.

Lori Wallach applies public intelligence in the public interest, and is a true leader of the emerging Epoch B community of indigenous peoples and independent citizens who value appreciative inquiry deliberative dialog, and responsible advocacy against those elements that seek to destroy the commonwealth–Earth–for the short-term profit of a few.

The below text from special coverage of her by Foreign Policy (Spring 2000) came to us courtesy of Moises Naim and was included in the hand-outs received by those attending OSS ’01.

Lori's War (Foreign Policy Spring 2000)
Lori's War (Foreign Policy Spring 2000)