Named one of the best books of the year by The Sunday Times of London, and already a bestseller in England, Noreena Hertzs The Silent Takeover explains how corporations in the age of globalization are changing our lives, our society, and our future — and are threatening the very basis of our democracy. Of the worlds 100 largest economies, fifty-one are now corporations, only forty-nine are nation-states.
The sales of General Motors and Ford are greater than the GDP (gross domestic product) of the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, and Wal-Mart now has a turnover higher than the revenues of most of the states of Eastern Europe. Yet few of us are fully aware of the growing dominance of big business: newspapers continue to place news of the actions of governments on the front page, with business news relegated to the inside pages.
But do governments really have more influence over our lives than businesses? Do the parties for which we vote have any real freedom of choice in their actions?Already sparking intense debate in England and on the Continent, The Silent Takeover provides a new and startling take on the way we live now and who really governs us.
The widely acclaimed young socio-economist Noreena Hertz brilliantly and passionately reveals how corporations across the world manipulate and pressure governments by means both legal and illegal- how protest, be it in the form of the protesters of Seattle and Genoa or the boycotting of genetically altered foods, is often becoming a more effective political weapon than the ballot-box- and how corporations in many parts of the world are taking over from the state responsibility for everything from providing technology for schools to healthcare for the community.While the activities of business, frequently under pressure from the media and the consuming public, can range from the beneficial to the pernicious, neither public protest nor corporate power is in any way democratic.
What is the fate of democracy in the world of the silent takeover?The Silent Takeover asks us to recognize the growing contradictions of a world divided between haves and have-nots, of gated communities next to ghettos, of extreme poverty and unbelievable riches. In the face of these unacceptable extremes, Noreena Hertz outlines a new agenda to revitalize politics and renew democracy.