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Book Recommendation: How to Rule the World

Mark Engler, a writer for Foreign Policy in Focus and bunch of other good guys, has a book out through Nation Books called "How to Rule the World: The Coming Battle Over the Global Economy." I can't recommend it highly enough.

Large Mark is a long time global justice activist and commentator who understands better than most the evolution of the movement during the Bush years. His book is in some ways a version of Jeff Faux's The Global Class War for a newer generation. (I'll review Jeff's book sometime soon too.) Whereas Jeff all but dismisses the global justice movement that arose in Seattle, Mark takes the movement as his principal political orientation.

The book challenges activists to think about the divisions within the ruling class, particularly in between what Mark terms neoliberal and imperial globalists. The first are represented by Bill Clinton, and the latter by George W. Bush. He counters leftists who suggest that the people behind the war and the WTO are the same unitary block or driven by the same logic. By pointing to Wall Street opposition to the war, and false arguments about "blood for oil," he shows this not to be the case.

He counsels us to avoid getting to a point of such extreme but understandable frustuation with Bush's war that we gladly swallow a snapback to Clintonian neoliberalism. While Mark doesn't provide a blueprint of how to do that, he talks about ways that the 3 poles of resistance - World Social Forum-style eclecticism, NGO incremental reformism, and state takeover - are responding and could be going even further. And he gives some due credit to the debt relief movement, which has been making impressive accomplishments in recent years... even under Bush.

This is required reading for anyone grappling with what mass-based collective action will look like in a post-Bush era.

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