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The Traumatised Society: How to Outlaw Cheating and Save Our Civilisation Paperback – 10 Oct 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Shepheard-Walwyn (Publishers) Ltd (10 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0856832871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0856832871
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 468,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'The Traumatised Society is a staggering work that presents nothing less than a new paradigm - yet based in a historical narrative and overview of political, economic and cultural history that is ancient. Harrison provides a sophisticated and engaging new theory of social trauma developing the idea that when whole societies or nations are dislocated from their land, traditional roots and cultural reference points, whole populations are then at the mercy of what he refers to as "the predator class". This predator class of social parasites then seeks to legalise a form of institutionalised "cheating" whereby whole peoples are robbed of their birthright to the social "commons" (the commons being one's right to enjoy the full benefits of nature's resources through a socialisation of rent on land values'. Fourth World Review, July 2013

About the Author

Fred Harrison is Research Director of Land Research Trust, London. After a career as a Fleet Street investigative journalist, he was advisor to a number of Russian academic and political bodies, including the Duma (parliament), in their efforts to implement a more equitable transition to a market economy. Subsequently he has turned his attention to the failure of economic analysis and public policies in the market economies. See also

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian Hodgkinson on 23 Feb 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a remarkably ambitious book, perhaps representing the author's intention to draw together all that he has learnt over a lifetime of striving to put across his essential message: that economies throughout the world need thoroughgoing reforms, based upon a shift of taxation from labour and capital on to land. He draws upon a range of disciplines - economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, bio-sciences and more - to explain his thesis that modern society has been traumatised by the drastic loss by whole populations of rights over the 'commons', the land and natural resources that had previously sustained them.

But Harrison does not merely explore deprivation that has already taken place in the great enclosure movements round the world, such as that of Britain in the 18-19th centuries or the USA in the wars against the natives of North America. For him, such deprivation continues apace in the 21st century. How can this be so, when almost all land is already in private ownership? The answer is simple: private claims to the rent of land are the post-enclosure form of deprivation. He gives this the equally simple name of 'cheating'. Modern societies from Britain and the USA to Russia and China are deeply enmeshed in a process whereby a minority, be it owners of vast estates, urban landlords, oligarchs or corrupt bureaucracies, extract the rent of land from the output of the passive majority. They 'cheat' those who work and produce by laying claim to value to which they have contributed nothing. The right to do this has usually been authorised by laws passed by the very democracies that should be safeguarding the interests of all the people. Only the concept of trauma can explain how this can happen.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tomfrom66 on 1 Feb 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fred Harrison explains how the parasites got control of the world.

It took a long time, but was well under way in England by 1429.

This was the year when the 40 shilling freehold became the bar below which freemen could not vote.

The House of Commons became the tool of the landed aristocracy, who, from providing 100 per cent of the monarch's revenue in 1066, the percentage had dropped to below 10 per cent by the 1840s.

Lloyd George and Philip Snowden were the last Chancellors who attempted to rectify matters by introducing a Land Tax.

Both failed.

The author illustrates the failure by listing the grotesque subsidies given to landed interests by Chancellor Neville Chamberlain, after he had cancelled Philip Snowden's land tax.

But Harrison takes a much wider perspective than this, showing how devastating was the colonial export of the parasite model of 'society' on the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the New World, a devastation that resounds down to our own day.

He takes the view that a Third World War is on its way, if the cheats are not outlawed.

How this is to be done, given that governments are now in hoc to the very same cheats who have brought about the current crisis, is not easy to envisage.

But, as he emphasises in his final chapter, we all have a responsibility not to "outsource our obligations to the 'experts'!

The task begins by reading this hugely informative, and, as far as I can tell, unique analysis of how and why we have arrived at the current dystopia.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
Excellent book. 20 Jan 2014
By Alan Longbon - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book provides a very clear understanding of how the privatisation of land has influenced the development of society.

This book provides a unique view of history and economic development outside of the meanstream economic view.

It actually makes one sad and frustrated to see what has been going on, so wrong, for so long and possibly it will never change for the better.

My sypmpathies are with Mr Harrison who has lived his life not only aware of this erroneous land tenure and taxation system for, but also to have spent a good part of his life making people aware of it through his books and presentations and seeing no change for the better.

It is a burden that I too now share.
By Bryan Kavanagh - Published on
Format: Paperback
In "The Corruption of Economics", Mason Gaffney provided chapter and verse of the manner in which the study of economics had to be recast in order to hide the damaging role played by private rent-seeking. Neoclassical economics had arrived to magically transform land into capital.

Michael Hudson, one of the few economists to have forecast the global financial crisis, then explained in "The Bubble and Beyond" how banking, finance and real estate had been co-opted into feeding a parasitical process that had overtaken real wealth creation.

Now comes Fred Harrison's "The Traumatised Society". It amounts to an urgent call to retrieve society's surplus if we are to survive this damning period of institutionalised cheating.

The superbly referenced and eminently quotable book is the most important work of non-fiction over the last fifty years. It is a reference for leaders in politics, religion and science if Western civilisation is to survive. Harrison's confronting challenge is that bleak.

"In my judgement, Western civilisation has reached the tipping point. The tools to rescue the West are available, but they are not discussed by those who are supposed to be the guardians of the public's welfare. The trauma that afflicts their societies embraces them as victims, distracting them from the root cause of crises."
Essential reading! 29 May 2013
By Lars Bækgaard - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Essential reading if you are interested in a thoughtful and well argued analysis of the state of affairs in the modern society.
Thoughtful and Creative 26 Jan 2013
By Alison Wakelin - Published on
Format: Paperback
Fred Harrison's book is one that should be widely read and discussed. He shows us a broad perspective, contrasting with our governments' myopic focus on maintaining the (broken) status quo, and, most of all, he makes solid, practical suggestions. This book will widen your viewpoint and give you hope for the economic and structural welfare of our future world. This book is a culmination of a series of highly insightful books by Fred Harrison that have traced the origins of our current problems, and represents a valuable analysis, leading to a much better future.
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