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Buy Globalization and the Demolition of Society

Flash: A 2014 paperback edition of the book is going to be available in time for Xmas 2014. Stay tuned for announcements on it. It will sell for $17.95.

You can get the hardback book from Larkmead Press, autographed copies, for $30 (price already includes shipping).

You can also get the book from numerous online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and in any eBook format you wish such as Kindle, Sony, Nook, and iBook. Some brick and mortar stores are carrying the book so far so ask your local stores for it and encourage them to stock it. 

Globalization and the Demolition of Society book front cover

"In his new book ... Professor Loo suggests that democracy without an independent and aggressive media becomes a disguised form of dictatorship. People think that by voting they are determining outcomes when .. they are merely legitimizing agendas decided by the elite."  Paul Craig Roberts

"This book will open your eyes and get you thinking in new ways that will make it much more likely for you to be able to make a difference.”Rob Kall

"[A]n intriguing look at corporatism and the philosophy behind it, ideal for social issues and political studies collections."Midwest Book Review

“Reading Dennis Loo's book is like opening the curtains to daylight in a dark room... I was very moved by Loo's excavation of unexamined American myths about the individual vs. society. Loo shows how devaluing the role of the group and the community is a tactic used by the corporate media to further the atmosphere of separation, fear and growing economic inequity." Adrian Scopino, NY based freelance book editor

"A powerful call to action and rejection of cynicism.” Dave Lindorff

“A brilliant exposition… compelling written and readily grasped, yet profound in its synthetic treatment . . . . Loo’s analysis of the inherent, self-reinforcing logic of neoliberalism and the ‘War on Terror’ . . . is a potential game changer.”Sharon Araji, 2011 President, Pacific Sociological Association

"If enough people read this book, it could help change the course of history.” Debra Sweet, Director of the World Can’t Wait

 

 

Excerpts from the book:

Does the advice we get on health care over the mainstream media give us enough scope, depth and detail to allow us to treat ourselves and be our own physicians? Certainly not. Why would political advice dispensed via mainstream media and existing governmental institutions be any better? Is it reasonable to expect that reliance upon the major parties’ campaign pitches and the injunction “just vote” could possibly be all you need to know to change society? The richest 497 individuals in the world have more wealth than the bottom fifty percent of the world’s population. If you had such extreme wealth and power and enjoyed your luxuries more than justice, would you let your possessions be subject to the whims of the principle of “one person, one vote?” Would you let your extraordinary wealth be outvoted? You would be crazy to do so. (Introduction)

Perversely, the more preoccupied the public has become with security, and the more that measures have been employed supposedly to promote security, the more insecure we in fact have become—subjectively as well as objectively. This holds true both on the national level and on the personal level. It goes beyond the question of the competence or incompetence of the US government’s economic policies or its anti-terrorist and anti-disaster measures and policies. It goes beyond the matter of whether the Republicans or the Democrats are in power. It goes to the very heart of the new world order’s fundamental nature. (Chapter One)

Social systems, economic systems, political systems, and so on, are all governed by their own internal logic. All systems have rules and inherent logic. You do not change those systems by putting different individuals in charge of them. Systems do not operate the way that they do primarily because of the nature of the people who occupy them.  In the Stanford Prison Experiment, for example, the “guards” and “inmates” were all Stanford students. Yet they one and all readily and quickly adopted roles that eerily mimicked real prisons’ occupants and repressive atmosphere. To stop the Stanford students from behaving like prison guards and prisoners, Philip Zimbardo, the experiment’s lead investigator, brought an early end to the simulated prison. You change system outcomes, in short, by changing the system. (Chapter One)

It is in the nature of free markets to cease being free markets. Libertarians’ belief that free markets are the solution to all ills, therefore, cannot be realized and implemented any more than a butterfly can go back to being a caterpillar. Small may be beautiful, but big is cheaper and more powerful. Small businesses can, and always will, emerge just as small saplings spring up amongst the towering pines, but the economy’s key players will continue to be big businesses. Some of the big businesses will be supplantedwitness General Motors’ bankruptcy plight even though for a long time it had been the world’s largest corporationbut the companies that supersede their previous competitors will then assume the monopolist position themselves. The players may change, in other words, but the disparities of position between big and small remain structurally and fundamentally the same. (Chapter Two)

Neoliberalism’s proponents’ audacious agenda of unrestrained power coexists with their startling indifference to their policies’ damage to people and to the planet. This adds up to a devastating and historically unprecedented combination. The dangers inherent in their high-stakes gamble . . . guarantees not prosperity for everyone, but insecurity for all. For neoliberalism not only produces increasing endemic insecurity . . . it also leads inexorably to episodic disasters on a regional and world scale. Perversely, the more calamities the neoliberals provoke, the more they grandstand amidst the rubble of those catastrophes, demanding even more power in their hands. (Chapter Three)

[B]ecause Obama, not Bush, is president, and because Obama is much more credible than Bush to many who vigorously opposed Bush, we now see a process underway in which consent is being manufactured to measures that would have been unthinkable ten years ago. (Chapter Three)

The very fact that poor people, migrants, Muslims, drug dealers, and political protestors are all included in . . . list[s] of potential “terrorists”—justifying surveillance over them all and the rousing of nativist sentiments against them—reveals a momentous and explicit shift in how public officials and opinion-makers govern. . .  . [M]igrant labor fuels economic activity like arteries keep a person alive, the criminalization of these indispensible groups reflects a deeply troubling facet of our contemporary world. The marginalized groups are told, in effect, “We need you to exist as you do, for you make us rich and comfortable, but the very fact of your existence renders you a suspect, a criminal and a possible terrorist.” (Chapter Three)

[I]ntelligence failures do not discredit the existing policies of ubiquitous surveillance, suspension of core civil liberties, war, occupations, indefinite detentions, torture, assassinations, and drone attacks. Failures of intelligence promote and justify the existing policies . . . . The longer the US goes without another successful or abortive terrorist incident, the harder it becomes to justify the security state’s measures. Thus, the security state has a stake in having at least some anti-state terrorist incidents occur. This is the security state’s dirty little secret. (Chapter Three)

The law no longer represents the standard that people must abide by in order to avoid having police actions and prosecutions imposed upon them. The new standard is that one can be subjected to governmental or private social control measures simply for being a perceived threat . . . The undermining of the rule of law . . . is being carried out across the full spectrum of bureaucratic and corporate purview and policy making from top to bottom . . . . Obama’s perpetuation of [Bush and Cheney’s] actions represents the further advance of that neoliberal project. This means that attempts to restore the rule of law will not succeed as a strategy separated from a fundamental challenge to the entire logic of the system itself. (Chapter Three)

The worst and most alarming news here. . . is not that 9/11 was an inside job . . . .  It is instead that 9/11 and other disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe are due to the normal and ordinary workings of capitalism, and specifically neoliberal policies. (Chapter Three)

In Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, a parent surreptitiously harms his or her child in order to ensure that the child is entirely dependent upon him or her. The more ill and weaker a child becomes, the more the hovering parent is “needed.” The US War on Terror mimics Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy in its impact on the US public. (Chapter Four)

The fact that governments and international organizations are now defining terrorism so indiscriminately tells us something about how much independence from the people they are now asserting that they should have. Some of those who try to affect government action are acceptable and not terrorists; corporate lobbyists, for example, have more influence than ever, while others are to be excluded and criminalized for daring to try to influence “their” governments. (Chapter Four)

[T]orture's purpose is not intelligence. Torture's purpose is terror. (Chapter Four)

Democratic theory fails to give proper weight to the initiating and decisive power of the state and media relative to the populace. Under normal circumstances, media and the state possess virtually all of the advantages—and dominate the process—by which the public agenda gets set. They set the table. The public must decide what to eat from the offerings placed there by the media and state, and in that sense the public “democratically” choose what they like, but the public does not decide what will be on the table in the first place. (Chapter Five)

Just because the public (or some segment of the public) responds favorably to something proffered to it by leaders does not mean—and is not the same as—the public’s initiating attention to the issue. If someone offers you vanilla ice cream and you eat it with relish, this does not mean that you decided that you would rather have vanilla than, say, chocolate. It merely means that you respond favorably to vanilla and are willing to eat it. (Chapter Five)

Representative democracy overwhelmingly confines public participation in political affairs to voting for or against one’s representatives. Even in the best of all possible scenarios, if voting comprises the best and highest political role that the people can play, then the people will never have any real power over politics. (Chapter Five)

Since the main way that people in a society learn about current affairs is via mass media, then what media are doing and what they are not doing constitute something extraordinarily important. Even those who do not pay much attention to the news garner their views via media from what might be termed “headline impressions:” they take what the headlines say as their point of orientation to the big stories and issues of the day and add to those media headlines the comments of others around them (with those others around them also having received their take on current events from the media). Headlines and lead stories are the snapshots that most people absorb from the news and tabloids, and it is the frame of that story/issue that is decisive. Because of this, the dominant news/issue frame determines the perspective of the large majority of even those who consume a lot of news from diverse sources (e.g., professionals and intellectuals) as well as the people who only go by “headline impressions.” (Chapter Six)

Why do the less desirable jobs in any society, such as picking crops or cleaning bathrooms, have to be reserved for a certain class of people who must do these jobs their whole lives, while others are exempted entirely from having to participate in these socially necessary tasks? Why cannot these tasks, the putatively lowly, but indispensible, as well as the highly esteemed, be shared by everyone? Of course, someone who has exceptionally specialized skills such as brain surgery should not be doing things that would endanger their hands and eyes, but they could certainly spend some of their time doing more humble tasks. They and the society would be the better for it. (Chapter Seven)

If we stopped paying brain surgeons as much as they now earn, would that mean that everyone now performing brain surgery would put down their scalpels and say: “Well, I’m not doing this any more.” (Chapter Seven)

When a bus is careening out of control and the driver is not paying attention but is screwing around with someone in the front so that he does not notice or discounts the reality that the bus is heading for a precipitous cliff, someone else has to step forward and take control for the sake of the entire busload of people. Someone in that situation could decline to take action, saying to himself and others that he would never succeed in wresting control of the bus from the bus driver, and that trying to do so would only get him ridiculed, hurt, or killed; but in such a situation, inaction represents a cowardly and ultimately fatal choice. (Chapter Seven)

I am reminded, when thinking of the functionalists’ celebration of the allegedly non-antagonistic relations among all of the society’s classes, of the Disney movie The Lion King’s opening scene. The newborn male lion Simba’s proud parents hold him up while standing on a cliff overlooking the wide African plain. Arrayed in concentric circles on that plain are all of the animals of the kingdom—giraffes, water buffalo, gazelles, and so on—bowing down before the new lion king. “The Great Circle of Life,” the film’s thematic score, rises in this grand happy scene in which the prey of lions celebrate the newest member to join the ranks of their predators, who will one day happily eat them. (Chapter Seven)