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Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back Hardcover – 2 Jun 2009
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"There are few more important subjects in the West today than the corporaticization of public and personal space and few writers as well-suited to the subject as the always insightful and provocative Doug Rushkoff. A terrific contribution to an urgent debate" (Naomi Wolf)
"Read this book if you want to understand how the current economic meltdown started 400 years ago, how so much of what you consider to be a natural evolution of daily life was carefully designed to profit a few, and how corporatism has so colonised every part of life that most of us don't even recognise how our lives and fortunes are channeled and manipulated by it.... I love that Rushkoff isn't afraid to think big - very big" (Howard Rheingold author of Smart Mobs)
"Life Inc is a return to Rushkoff's best form. In it he takes swipes at advertising, pop psychology, public relations, suburban life, the dotcom boom, reality TV and many of the things we take for granted" (Guardian)
"Fluent and well-researched" (Independent) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
A timely, provocative and urgent look at how our world has become slowly but surely corporatised. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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.
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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