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In Defense of Global Capitalism Hardcover – 1 Sep 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Cato Institute,U.S. (1 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930865465
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930865464
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 2.6 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 527,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas J. R. Dougan TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 May 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dave O'Brien of the Winnipeg Free Press stated: "Norberg is Europe's answer to our own Naomi Klein". While I haven't been able to track down Mr O'Brien's full review, I assume that he did mean that Norberg sought to refute Ms Klein's work, as there can be no doubt that was his intent.

Norberg was a Fellow of Swedish think-tank Timbro and also, now, of the American Cato Institute, which published his book. You may say that this is semantics, but Norberg is therefore identifiable as an (economic) libertarian, not a (political) liberal.

This is an excellent statement of the principles of economic libertarianism on a global scale. The principle of free capitalism is not undermined by the odd example of how unrestrained businesses may exploit individuals, although that does indeed happen. Even where it does, however, more people become more wealthy more quickly than in any other model for economic activity.

This is a brilliant riposte to Ms Klein and the economic left. My only major concern about globalism, and this book, is that it does seem to me that conducting economic activity globally will inevitably consume more energy - and produce more CO2, etc - than more locally based economic activity. Until businesses' economic calculations take into acount "exogenous" costs (i.e.those costs not sufferred directly by the parties to the transaction) it will, for example, remain sensible to fly mange tout from Kenya to England. Climate change is not listed in the index to this book! While I personally think that some of the MMGW "consensus" theories are alarmist (as you may deduce from some of my other reviews!), it did seem to me surprising that a book written in 2001 would ignore the issue altogether.

Despite this, well worth the read.
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33 of 46 people found the following review helpful By RCB on 24 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
One can usually rely on a Swede to aim left on any issue, but Johan Norberg's argumentation of globalism's issues all hit dead center mass. He writes simply, clearly, and gets right to the point. He doesn't muck about with whining, moralizing and self-righteous nitpicking, or engage in any of the other intolerable nonsense characterizing global capitalism's critique. He just gives you the facts, man. Just the facts.
After providing exhaustive factual data (embarassingly enough to the likes of Atac) gleaned largely from globalism's harshest critics, Johan Norberg dishes out a non-stop stream of punishingly convincing arguments. Every prickly issue is shorn of its thorns and rendered manipulable to even the clumsiest mind, and every intractable twist of illogic is unwound simply and methodically in front of an admiring audience, one that I presume will be interested in witnessing feats of logical truth rather than intellectual prestidigitation.
After reading this book carefully and honestly, anyone who dares remain opposed to global capitalism must also dare to declare his firm support for poverty, child mortality, totalitarianism, unemployment, war, genocide, environmental catastrophies, low wages, poor working conditions, and gender inequality. But after spending several hours devouring Johan Norberg's sublime work, I trust that any anti-capitalist who reads this book will at least gain the courage to award their shattered convictions the silence they deserve.
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21 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 May 2004
Format: Paperback
In this illuminating and accessible book, Norberg offers a systematic, detailed and complete rebuttal of the claims of the enemies of capitalism and globalization. Backed up by verifiable facts from a huge variety of reputable sources, he demolishes every lie of the leftists and environmentalists. He also investigates the other side of certain half-truths and gives an optimistic assessment of how capitalism, freedom and globalization are improving human lives around the globe.
Norberg looks at certain deceptive ideas, for example the one that claims the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, giving us the good news of rapidly diminishing poverty and pointing out that the measure should be how well one is doing, not how well situated one is in relation to others. He explores the facts concerning issues like hunger, education, freedom and equality. Improvements have been particularly spectacular in China and India since these countries started reforming their economic systems.
He shows how the walls against ideas, people and goods are collapsing with dictatorships and how women benefit from the spread of capitalism. The best cure for poverty is growth; prices and profits serve as a signalling system in the market economy whereby the worker, the entrepreneur and the investor all benefit. The importance of property rights are pointed out, with reference to the work of De Soto, and the author compares the success of the Asian Tigers with the sorry state of Africa, although even here the open societies like South Africa, Mauritius and Botswana are doing well.
Norberg dismisses the hoary old argument that western countries are rich because they stole the resources of Third World countries in colonial times.
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4 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Richard Perrott on 6 Sep 2007
Format: Paperback
Johan Norberg's ideas seems to be OK on the surface, if you accept the ideal that Capitalism is always benevolent, however "The Corporation" by Joel Bakan, opened my eyes. Joel warns that Corporations can behave like psychopaths when uncontrolled and that Globalisation has caused a noticeable amount of evil as well as some good. We need to seriously challenge corporate lobbying for less restrictions and pro-corporate laws, to prevent ugly distortions of social, legal and corporate government policy, and the resulting loss of property, reasonable protection and liberty.
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