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The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order Hardcover – Apr 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press (April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565849086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565849082
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,339,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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All over the planet, the rich get richer while the poor are overtaken by debt and disaster. The world is run by a handful of executives who make the most important of decisions - concerning war, peace, debt, development, and the balance of trade. Without democracy at the global level, the rest of us are left in the dark. George Monbiot shows us how to turn on the light. Emphasizing not only that things ought to change, but how to change them, Monbiot develops an interlocking set of proposals that mark him as the most realistic utopian of our time. With detailed discussions of what a world parliament might look like, how trade can be organized fairly, and how underdeveloped nations can leverage their debt to obtain real change, The Age of Consent offers a truly global perspective, a defense of democracy, and an understanding of power and how it might be captured from those unfit to retain it.

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. J. Warden on 16 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed to find that this book is The Age of Consent re-marketed under the subtitle of the original, hence my one star. For the actual content, I would award 4 stars. This is a very interesting and stimulating book although Monbiot confesses, towards the end, that he has written the argument in the wrong logical order. He should have re-written it in the right order and provided a handy summary of the argument. I am looking forward to the genuine sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. V. S. on 1 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
I largely support the reviews given by the other reviewers to date (1 June 2009). I can also recommend a solution to the problems of globalisation: The International Simultaneous Policy Organisation is able to provide the means for control of the excesses of international capitalism and private banking.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. Duval on 22 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
I really enjoy George Monbiot's work and have one of his other books 'Captive State'.

For those that can see that there enormous problems in the world but are alientated by some sections of the left, this book is perfect. It asesses the problems of inequality, Third World debt and enviromental destruction without ever resorting to hyperbole or mud slinging. He then goes on to offer a range of alternatives to the current system which are radical only so much in that they could acheieve so much. He is NOT a Communist.

His theory is based in particaptory democracy and i was particularliy intrigued and excited (in that it gave me real hope) by his revival of Joh Maynard Keynes proposal for an international clearing system to ensure balance was maintained in the world economy.

Please give his work a chance.
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13 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Frederick A. Babb on 11 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
I normally don't read books like this because on most offer problems according to personal opinions. However, while performing research for my upcoming book on terrorism, I decided to read this for references. After all, a good part of terrorism's success comes from manipulating the "Have nots" to perform deadly acts on the "Haves".
For the most part, Monbiot has captured the right ideas on how to correct the world's political wrongness, but his solutions are far-fetched. This is no discredit to his ideas, but the reality that no world power like the USA and European nations are going to permit developing nations have a voice in their affairs. That, in itself, explains the problem of world globalization and why history will ultimately repeat itself once more as we soon will play witness to another world power fall and others to rise.
One topic that isn't address is the fact that there are mafias in the poorest of countries and the reality that most of these third world countries are kept in poverty because of their own governments desire to rule their people by keeping them in need. No matter how many steps are taken towards a world democracy, world corruption will continue to remain the largest single problem in maintaining peace on earth. And, as I started out this review, the terrorist know this all too well. They will continue to manipulate the needy to carry out their own devastating acts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
You want serious proposals for change? Read this. 16 Aug. 2004
By Pen Name? - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Give George Monbiot a great deal of credit. What this work offers is some very thorough and thoughtful criticism of the current systems of internationalism and globalization, a sharp critique of the dominant counter logics of Marxism, Anarchism and other central positions of the Global Justice Movement(while giving them credit where due, as he does throughout) and it moves beyond to offer solid proposals for a world parliament, a refined UN and an updated version of Keynes' "Clearing House" concept which was spurned in the Bretton Woods 'debates'. In combination, these three bodies are supposed to replace the international governing bodies currently in place, instill greater democracy and promote sustainable living. It does sound very idealistic, right? Read the book. Monbiot is extremely well researched and is entirely forthcoming in admitting the hugeness of the tasks at hand, but is equally compelling in demonstrating that such a huge plan needs to be undertaken, and soon. Monbiot's work is realistic, without faltering into the trap of 'realism' and it's self-fulfilling pessimism.

Consider this work to be one of the major first steps, a serious and worthy proposal for further debate.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
One of the major works of the 21st Century 15 May 2004
By Alec Johnson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I read this when it was published in England under the title "Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order." I see the US publishers have changed the title, but no matter, it remains the most remarkable book I've read in this century and I suspect its influence will reverberate for the next one hundred years or more. Part of what I loved about it was how pithy he could be, making his points with remarkable elegance. I find myself seriously challenged by this book and hope I will rise to the challenges set forth in its pages. I would recommend this book to anyone who is serious about the future and changing the fate of our world.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Lose the protest how-to guides and read this one book! 19 April 2005
By Tony Fleming - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lesson in not judging a book by its cover. What looks like a manual for anarchist or Marxist revolution turned out to be a very critical look at both the state of the world and the movements attempting to change it. Monbiot is clearly looking for pragmatic answers to global problems--he utterly refutes anarchy, Marxism and self-appointed world constitutionalists. Buy one for your protestor friend and help them understand how to make a real difference. For those who are looking for a bit of idealism mixed in with their practical politics, however, Monbiot satisfies as well. I was reminded of Emery Reves' Anatomy of Peace from the 1940s and thanked the powers that be for this "updated" version.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Vital Look At Changing The World 30 July 2004
By Caleb Liu - Published on
Format: Hardcover
George Monbiot is a veteran activist who has expressed his strongly held views on a diverse range of topics such as Globalization, American Hegemony and Environmentalism through his column in the Guardian, a British newspaper. He has long held a reputation as an idealist - a person who sincerely believes that through united action, each and every citizen can change things - and this is a thread that runs very strongly through his book.

Monbiot goes straight for the jugular in this book, directly addressing the most important areas and suggesting ways in which they ought to be reformed. Some of the areas he tackles includes the reform of International Relations through a reform of the UN and its security council. Another large area he tackles is that of the current international financial system and the problems of the IMF and WTO and third world debt, something that he proposes to resolve by creating an international clearing union.

I will not delve too deeply into an analysis of his proposals here, but I think that many people will have a similar reaction to one that I had. I personally tend to be very realistic about what can be achieved and Monbiot's proposals struck me as being hopelessly impractical in many circumstances. Whilst agreeing with him that what he proposes might very well be the best thing to do, I see no way in being able to change the status quo so easily. In that, Monbiot has failed in his overall objective which he states in the last chapter - that of convincing people like me to take up the challenge and believe that radical change is possible through 'people power' alone. That said, it is precisely this goal - that of this book being a rallying cry, and his endeavour to get people to believe, that perhaps helps to stand apart from the whole plethora of literature on Globalization, and makes it so valuable.

This book clearly examines some of the key issues facing the world today and provides a powerful vision for changing things. Whether you agree with Monbiot or not, whether you think his views are implementable or not, it is perhaps still vital that you read it, in order to gain a clearer grasp of the problems that are facing us.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Grade: An Incomplete 23 Mar. 2008
By Vance - Published on
Format: Paperback
The idea of a world government is not new, and it is not a novel thought that humans to achieve the species' highest potential must become unified. The trick is how to unify humanity. Here, Monbiot fails to provide a realistic, understandable method for doing so, and thus deserves an incomplete grade. The missing ingredient, of course, is applying the same federalistic principles used to unify the 13 American states.
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