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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue
The first point to note is that Rushkoff isn't attacking money or trade in itself: "Commerce is good" he says, "Corporatism is something else entirely". Tracing corporations back to the monarchy, and showing them as an extension of the same power-hungry, oft-corrupt idealogoy, Rushkoff explores the same territory as Joel Bakan's The Corporation and the Yes Men's stunts...
Published on 13 July 2009 by N. Wistreich

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good read
the book identifies the problems with our current world and the way most of us participate in it however the authors solutions are weak to say the least.
Published on 17 July 2009 by Amazon Customer


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue, 13 July 2009
By 
N. Wistreich "Nicol" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life Inc: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back: How We Traded Meaning for Markets, Society for Self-interest, and Citizenship for Customer Service (Paperback)
The first point to note is that Rushkoff isn't attacking money or trade in itself: "Commerce is good" he says, "Corporatism is something else entirely". Tracing corporations back to the monarchy, and showing them as an extension of the same power-hungry, oft-corrupt idealogoy, Rushkoff explores the same territory as Joel Bakan's The Corporation and the Yes Men's stunts and films. But it's a vital and urgent issue: how centuries of corporate influence have turned us into a world of "isolated, individualistic people pitted against each other" at a time when cooperation is more urgently needed than ever.

It seems a vital debate as the big three problems of the modern world - poverty (and related conflicts), global warming and lifestyle/mental health problems, are linked in a vicious circle supported by corporations so massive and far removed from their original purpose as to have forgotten making money is far less important than (and often inversely related to) wellbeing and survival. Lives of unfulfilling, unproductive work that we don't believe in making us miserable, forcing us to buy more stuff we don't need made by cheap, exploited foreign labour, in turn using up valuable resources and bringing the planet closer to enviro-catastrophe. It's a circle where no-one benefits other than a few large shareholders, and even they are endangering their own heirs - a non-Darwinian illogicality.

As is often the case, the problems seem to be spelled out here in far more detail than the solutions, but there is the general argument in favour of the group over the individual, interdependence, collective action as well as small scale thinking and personal life changes. There is, however, a strong warning against 'branded movements', the corporate/institutional solution and Bono-esque save-the-world "ego trips" that "are the artifacts of the strident individualism we were taught to embrace".

Essential reading, even if you don't agree with everything within it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book I've been looking for for a long time., 24 Aug 2010
I hardly recongnised the book I've just read from Peter Haydon's review. Haven't checked all the many references Rushkoff provides for his historical research, but he is certainly not 'ignorant' of financial history; nor is his style 'pseudo-academic', if anything it was a little too journalistic for my taste, but clear and very readable.

Anyway, my recommendation is to get down to your local bookshop and read the last two chapters. The penultimate chapter clarifies many of the reasons I've been dissatisfied with anti-corporate activism over the last few years, while the last is a good summary of grass roots initiatives to tackle the problems. It doesn't make for a rousing climax, but the sort of social and political diatribes that do, (left- or right-wing) tend to be the ones that end badly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great but scarry, 30 Sep 2009
This review is from: Life Inc: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back: How We Traded Meaning for Markets, Society for Self-interest, and Citizenship for Customer Service (Paperback)
A very clear insight into why we live the way we do and how we are manipulated to ensure the march of the corporate monopolies. This book will defiantly make you think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great perspectives, 19 Aug 2009
By 
Sofus Midtgård Hansen "Sofus Midtgaard" (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life Inc: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back: How We Traded Meaning for Markets, Society for Self-interest, and Citizenship for Customer Service (Paperback)
Douglas Rushkoff delivers a great analysis and perspectives on how we all have embodyied and become slaves of the corporate mindset. A provocative and inspiring book - though you could say it's stronger in it's critique of the existing US model than in concrete bids on alternatives to the existing system and thinking. Must read...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depressing....ly true., 18 Oct 2012
This review is from: Life Inc: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back: How We Traded Meaning for Markets, Society for Self-interest, and Citizenship for Customer Service (Paperback)
The first part about history of corporations made me as wet as a bored housewife reading the "Fifty Shades of Grey".
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good read, 17 July 2009
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This review is from: Life Inc: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back: How We Traded Meaning for Markets, Society for Self-interest, and Citizenship for Customer Service (Paperback)
the book identifies the problems with our current world and the way most of us participate in it however the authors solutions are weak to say the least.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good, 16 Dec 2012
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this was easy to find, was what i was looking for, was good quality with no hassels what so ever
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8 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This should have been good., 6 July 2009
By 
Peter Haydon "Priapus" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life Inc: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back: How We Traded Meaning for Markets, Society for Self-interest, and Citizenship for Customer Service (Paperback)
Let me start by saying that it would have been better to have been able to review the whole book. Sadly I couldn't read the whole book for the simple reason that it's dire. From an intriguing introduction, which shows us the kernel of a good idea, the book rapidly deteriorates to a woeful level of wannabe pseudo-intellectualism that wouldn't get a Grade D at school. Most people who know nothing about a subject are smart enough not to bang on about it. Mr Rushkoff is not quite smart enough to avoid demonstrating his complete ignorance of economic history for page after page. This is a pity because it renders his whole hypothesis nonsense; the reason I felt it unnecessary to finish the book. He is probably therefore not quite well read enough to know what 'post hoc propter ergo hoc' means. You, dear review reader, know that it is a form of logical fallacy. It is a particular type of logical fallacy to which Mr Rushkoff is particularly wedded, for the first three chapters of this book are merely fallacy piled on non sequitur. I was aware that there are plenty of publishers lazy enough to publish this sort of sub-academic nonsense. I wasn't aware that the Bodley Head was one of them.
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