nin137

Nick's Journal
2007-02-08 16:10:17 (UTC)

So you want to read about globalization?

please...just read about it before you start arguing with
me. as you may be well aware from my journals, if there is
one thing people in law school LOVE to do, it's argue (or
debate, i suppose). anyhow, i got into a 'debate' about
globalization with someone who was apparently dropped on his
head. after arguing him into a corner about his idiotic
ideology about how globalization was the scourge of all
mankind i told him to read a couple of books and wrote them
down for him...at which point i believe he took a shit on my
desk...but anyway, here they are:
oh and read them in this order if possible.
"Why Globalization Works" - Martin Wolf
Alert Alert!! not really liberal! may be seen as
conservative!! the disclaimer is out there, but if you can
get past that, you will read one of the best books i have
ever read about globalization. he does a great job of
explaining away most paranoid left (and right) wing
arguments against globalization. he makes great points
about how there is definitely income inequality, but one can
not really compare across countries, but most compare within
the country and see how the standard of living has gone up.
he does a great job of backing everything up with
statistics and writes in a very manageable and logical way.
i will warn you though that this book is a BITCH to read.
seriously, i got so confused in some chapters i had to
re-read them. but overall he spends most of the book
talking about how globalization is actually really good for
the world and how the arguments against globalizataion
aren't that solid and are many times even inhumane. finally
he addresses problems with globalization, but (in my
opinion) does not really provide great solutions.
"Making Globalization Work" - Joseph Stiglitz
Warning Warning!!! Liberal!!! yes, this is THE joseph
stiglitz, the man who made "white man's guilt" a fashion
trend...you're a minority? shit on my face! shit on it!!
oh yeah baby!!! oh i'm so sorry for the past! alright,
sorry got carried away there. but one thing i will let you
know is that his white man's guilt is predominant throughout
the entire book and permeates through it. all that aside,
this is an UNBELIEVABLE book. whereas the first book gives
you a great background with some problems, this one gives
you nothing but problems, but he does an AMAZING job at
coming up with solutions. although i don't agree with him
on a couple of issues (mostly patents and intellectual
property) i respect his opinions and i am seriously in awe
of how incredibly intelligent and well thought out his
solutions are. the only thing that really pissed me off
about this book was that apparently the international
community responsible for the supranational institutions has
nto read this book, could this be? hey WTO, World Bank,
IMF! psst! over here! read this book! implement his
suggestions!
christ, i mean seriously, what's the hold up?
"How Soccer Explains the World" - Franklin Foer
this is really just a nice light read after the first two.
he is a great writer and offers some inciteful "realist"
points of view as to how globalization affects the world
(through the purview of a soccer fan). i can't give a
disclaimer on this one cos i couldn't really tell if he was
liberal or conservative, if i had to guess..probably
conservative, but overall it's a nice book that adds a
cultural aspect to the purely economical/political ones above.
so anyway, read those books and then see how you feel about
globalization. the stiglitz book made me kind of sad in a
way. i always thought about how i would love to come to
power at the world bank or some place like that and just lay
down the law. but then i thought about how horrible that
would be. i know i wwould be there and my ideas would get
lobbied to death, stuck in beuacrucies and ultimate
bludgeoned to death by power, wealthy special interests and
sovereign states.
it's like finally getting to drive teh car you've always
wanted and then realizing that it's actually on a track
which guides the steering wheel for you and keeps you
cruising at a stead 20 mph in a straight line.
or something like that.