Tom Mertes on Walden Bello, Deglobalization. Ideas of another world economy, less subject to the diktats of the imf and the straitjackets of the WTO.
The advent of the Bush Administration has seen a peculiar mutation in the debates around the world financial institutions, as centre-left economists, born-again European speculators and ngos rush to defend, as admirably ‘multilateral’, instruments that have long served to forward the interests and primacy of us capital. That there are problems with the imf, World Bank and World Trade Organization is not denied; but greater transparency and accountability, more consultation, flexibility and sensitivity to the environment and other ‘public goods’ could help transform them into beneficial agencies for more redistributive economic growth.
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Crash of 1837
Tom Mertes on Alasdair Roberts, America’s First Great Depression. Political outcomes of economic crisis in the antebellum United States.
War, Crash, Slump
Tom Mertes on Liaquat Ahamed, Lords of Finance. Bestselling portrait of the interwar world’s central bankers as originators of the Great Depression—with edifying comparisons to their modern counterparts.
Tom Mertes on Jerry Hough, Changing Party Coalitions. Ethnic and confessional divisions as the origins of America’s political alignments, and the elite strategies that have culminated in today’s red–blue polarization.
Tom Mertes on Sean Wilentz, Andrew Jackson. A retouched portrait of the Democrat founding father—minus Indian massacres, slave exploitation and financial bubble.
A Republican Proletariat
Why did cultural bogeys trump economic distress as working-class voters went to the polls in the US? Can the case of Kansas stand in for proletarian America at large, as Thomas Frank suggests? Billionaire Democrats and blue-collar Republicans in the twisting shapes of the 21st-century political system.
Replying to Michael Hardt with an alternative look at Porto Alegre, Tom Mertes argues that while the variety of movements and forces in the WSF is not to be reduced to a single scale, the differences between them are less to do with organization than strategy.
Light from Florida
Tom Mertes on Richard Posner, Breaking the Deadlock. The first lucid analysis of the upshot of the US Presidential election, and its setting in the West’s most backward democracy.
Baffler in Boomtown
Tom Mertes on Thomas Frank, One Market Under God. The Robin Hood of anti-Cultural Studies leads a merry chase against market populism.
On No Logo
Tom Mertes on Naomi Klein, No Logo. Emblems of ownership: from branding hides to clothes, cattle to people? A Canadian reporter’s stinging attack on the new corporate logic behind logo-mania.
Counsellor to Clinton
Tom Mertes on Dick Morris, The New Prince. America's fallen political adviser as a surrogate Machiavelli for the White House.