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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this on DVD now!
This book (By Dr Ahmed) is now released as a Documentary Feature, on DVD, directed by Dean Puckett.
I was lucky enough to get a copy from the makers. It's a tight, insightful DVD, a must have, and well worth watching, massive amount of extra material, plus superb thought provoking Animations by Lucca Benney.
Should be on Amazon in the very near future! The book...
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by Hugh Nott-bower

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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An odd mix of useful info and bad politics
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development, points out that 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty. More than 3 billion live below the poverty line of having less than $2 a day. 1.3 billion have no access to clean drinking water. 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

He notes that the World Bank argued, in...
Published on 2 July 2012 by William Podmore


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this on DVD now!, 14 Mar 2012
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This review is from: A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Paperback)
This book (By Dr Ahmed) is now released as a Documentary Feature, on DVD, directed by Dean Puckett.
I was lucky enough to get a copy from the makers. It's a tight, insightful DVD, a must have, and well worth watching, massive amount of extra material, plus superb thought provoking Animations by Lucca Benney.
Should be on Amazon in the very near future! The book was excellent and I hope this DVD makes a superb compliment to it
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, well balanced and comprehensive., 5 Oct 2010
This review is from: A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Paperback)
Amazing book. This book is great for anyone who wants a comprehensive review of global issues and their convergence in one book! Interesting suggestions for change at the end, food for throught and consideration. I must say that I was happy to find that it was easy to read. Many interesting images and references. Lots of useful sources! Must read for everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thought provoking read, 27 Nov 2011
This review is from: A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Paperback)
I dont normally leave a review but this book's genuinely hit a cord with me.
It's really refreshing to get a new analysis of our current global situation and i've really benefited from it.
Great book, well worth the read. Definitely recommend it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The transition to the post-carbon age, 24 Oct 2010
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Paperback)
In this mighty guide N.M.Ahmed analyzes the interconnection between the main aspects of the actual global human civilization crisis, except the world's demographic explosion or eventual pandemics. The dragon to be slain is neoliberal capitalism.

The issues
Climate change: a 6 'C temperature rise could wipe out all life on earth.
Energy scarcity: `peak oil' could lead to permanent high oil prices and new energy wars.
Food insecurity: industrial farming ravages the environment and denudes the soil. Vertically integrated food oligopolies are undercutting the livelihood of subsistence farmers.
Financial instability: financial liberalization and deregulation provoked a worldwide economic and banking crisis to be solved by the government (the taxpayer).
International terrorism: is linked to the world's over-dependence on oil. It is sponsored by Western intelligence in order to destabilize strategically important countries and to redesign actual geographical maps.
Political violence: its `normalization' by the `deep State' could generate `Police States' and curtail seriously civil liberties.

Neoliberalism
Neoliberal (`pure market') policies are unable to recognize long-term human costs by focusing on short-term profit maximization for a super-wealthy oligarchy (an imperial social system). Economically, it drives actually nearly exclusively on oil energy. Its ideology is based on unlimited growth and consumption maximization.

Structural reforms
On the political front, there should be more real democracy (decentralization of power) through community-lead governance.
On the economic front, there should be sustainable (not unlimited) growth.
On the social front, there should be new mechanisms for more equal wealth distribution, land reform and widespread private ownership of productive capital.
On the financial front, there should be a monetary reform based on interest-free loans (only fees for banks) for productive and innovative investments.
On the energy front, there should be large-scale investments in decentralized renewable energy technology (solar, tidal, wind, bio-fuels, geothermal, hydro-electric).
On the agricultural front, there should be smaller localized organic agricultural enterprises.
In one word, there should be a new human model through a cultural reevaluation of the human lifestyle.

Comments
The author could underestimate the demographic explosion which he sees steadying at around 10-11 billion people.
Some of his Marxist concepts are debatable at least. The class struggle is only one element in the history of mankind. Other extremely important elements are power (see below), nationalism (the nation-State) or advances in medicine (vaccines, the pill), chemistry (fertilizers, plastics), technology (atom bomb, computers) or industrialization (spinning wheel, injection engine).
Man's nature (his genetic basis) doesn't change under altered production conditions. All people are materialist consumers (of cars). A class is the sum of its members, nothing less, but also nothing more. There are no `good' (proletarian) or `bad' (capitalist) genes. People use their own `class' for personal benefits.
Capital (investments) runs after profits, not the other way round: (dwindling) profits running after capital (and its organic components).
Having power means having a bigger chance (also genetically) to survive. E.g., in one European country nearly all its inhabitants are descendants of the dukes of Burgundy. In a capitalist system, power means money (capital); in a totalitarian system, power means being a (one) party chief, in a military dictatorship, power means being a general; in a theocracy, power means being a High priest; in a clan, power means being an `uncle'.

N.A. Ahmed wrote a highly necessary book, presenting (sometimes nearly utopian) solutions in order to save our planet. It is a must read for all those who want to understand the world we live in.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Top overview to our global challenges today..., 6 May 2014
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This review is from: A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Paperback)
The book by Ahmed was a pleasant read. The author is claimed to be a doomsayer, but after reading through his arguments it is obvious that he has studied a mass of sources with a robust critical approach, and that his conclusions stand well against criticism. While many of the introduced facts regarding the challenges we face in the 21st century are shocking, Ahmed also shows alternatives to our unsustainable status-quo heading for a fall. According to him it is not too late to act, but this acting must be based on critical and holistic understanding of our global societal (and ecological) system.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 28 Jan 2011
This review is from: A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Paperback)
This book brings home the awesome challenges that the world faces and the necessity to coordinate efforts across different sectors, to rethink the socio-economic status quo rather than just rehashing Thatcherite principles, with feelgood labels attached. Instead, it joins up the dots and makes you take each and every one seriously. I may be a little wired from watching revolution unfold in Egypt but I think this book is by turns, devastating and deeply inspiring and therefore awesome in itself.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An odd mix of useful info and bad politics, 2 July 2012
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Paperback)
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development, points out that 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty. More than 3 billion live below the poverty line of having less than $2 a day. 1.3 billion have no access to clean drinking water. 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

He notes that the World Bank argued, in defiance of the facts, that "Globalization generally reduces poverty because more integrated economies tend to grow faster and this growth is usually widely diffused ... Between countries, globalization is now mostly reducing inequality."

But this is a most uneven book. The chapters on terrorism and militarisation are informative, being based on Ahmed's earlier books Behind the war on terror, on the Iraq war, and The war on truth, on the US use of al-Qaeda. However, the chapters on climate and energy are poorly-argued, the chapter on food production is brief and weak, and the conclusion is just idealist wishful thinking.

He cites the 2002 US National Academy of Sciences report on climate change which warned tautologically, "Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly." It proceeded, illogically, "Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events."

He points out that the US state funds Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, which all fund al-Qaeda. The US state uses al-Qaeda for false-flag operations to foment sectarian conflict to break up states, as in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran.

The US state also uses criminal gangs. Using Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, it runs the drugs route from Afghanistan through Turkey and the Balkans to Western Europe and the USA, often using NATO planes. The CIA runs the top Afghan and Pakistani drug traders. Ahmed quotes Dennis Dayle: "In my 30-year history in US Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA."

Ahmed finishes by writing that global crises will conveniently "render existing national and international politico-economic structures increasingly irrelevant ..." He concludes, "grassroots communities ... will lead the way to the new world." But tiny means cannot achieve vast goals.

After his entire book has proved how lethal capitalism is, Ahmed backs private property, open markets, `a legitimate role for private enterprise in developing productive resources that are considered to be publicly owned', and `universal individual and community ownership'. He carefully opposes socialism and central planning.

He completely ignores the working class and trade unions. No wonder that Pluto Press, run by the Socialist Workers' Party, is content to publish this idealist, anti-working class book.

Obviously, the world is not safe in capitalism's hands. But after all Ahmed's huffing and puffing, capitalism would be quite safe in his hands. In every country the working class has to take responsibility, take charge.
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6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Depressed? you will be, 22 Jan 2011
By 
Simon Barrett "Il penseroso" (london, england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Paperback)
Would it be unfair to say that this amounts to little more than whistling in the dark? Or consulting the map as the car nears the precipice, maybe? So be it. Books like this, even a catch-all work aspiring to synthesis, are part of the problem, NOT part of the solution. Plenty of 'what' (we're all good at that) but no 'how'. I suppose he's doing what he's paid to; he speaks for the nebulous but official-sounding Institute for Policy Research and Development ('policy' and 'research' are neat substitutes for action) and he may well sell a few books [such an exorbitant price too! now if he HAD a solution...] which will help keep his grandchildren in funds - those grandchildren whose existence, actual or posited, is the very root of the problem!! Norman Dyer says it best on amazon.com (and he awards it a generous ****) but population is the elephant in the room. It is indeed an elephant, one that Ahmed explains, with cavalier regret (p8), that he is 'unable to explore in detail'; I wonder why not. In 299 pages the topic does nor even merit an entry in the index - nor for that matter does the Pope (or Christianity itself); so that's all right then!
I fear this book is written to an agenda that is not entirely transparent, but I haven't the will to sift through it; suffice it to say that I mistrust any book which 'interrogates' a 'problematique' - p8 again (though to be a BIT fair to the man he doesn't (can't?) keep this up for long!) which is all too reminiscent of dear old Ken Clark (was it? no, Alan) having problems with the actualité. If this is the best the good guys can come up with, I TRULY despair. Not sure it'll do Pluto Press's right-on reputation any good either. We don't need leftist hand-wringing OR neoliberal pieties (and we CERTAINLY don't need more 'democracy' or mob-rule); we need an eco-demagogue. The nearest thing to it we've seen so far was China's one-child policy (just imagine where we'd be without it!). Japan's degree of social control over an aging population is also admirable, while there must surely be a lesson for us somewhere in Korea's mix of Christian, Buddhist and (50%) secular (with some people no doubt being a bit of everything). I think the solution - IF there is one - will come from the Orient; once we've got that sorted (shrinking population) the relentless drive of economic growth can slip into reverse and we may learn to be happy with less, Buddhist-style - but not till then; as long as the three aggressive monotheistic religions go on trying to outbreed each other it just ain't gonna happen, period, and the earth's surface will be desert, toxic or underwater before you can say Charles Darwin. (Wot, no feedback, you lily-livered lot?)

NB one review here purports to be by Condoleezza Rice. If this is THE Condoleezza, - and I think it is (heck, how many are there anyway?!) how come she spells Condie with an e - or why doesn't everybody? Only asking...
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lots of facts........, 4 Oct 2010
By 
P. G. Foxe "Gan Ainm" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Paperback)
I bought this book having seen the interview with the authorer on George Galloway's show on PressTv( The anti-imperialist news channel of choice) Sadly however, the book reads as a thesis or academic work. It is not very accessible in its present form, but might well be a good source for political tracts, uni essay rip offs etc
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A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It
A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed (Paperback - 6 Aug 2010)
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