- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (7 Feb. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099422247
- ISBN-13: 978-0099422242
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,120,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism and the End of Economic Democracy Paperback – 7 Feb 2002
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After nearly a decade of bull markets, we have come to equate free markets with democracy. Never one for mincing words, social critic Thomas Frank, editor of The Baffler and author of The Conquest of Cool, challenges this myth. With his acerbic wit and contempt for sophistry, he declares the New Economy a fraud. Frank scours business literature, management theory and marketing and advertising to expose the elaborate fantasies that have inoculated business against opposition. This public relations campaign joins an almost mystical belief in markets, a contempt for government in any form and an "ecstatic" confusion of markets with democracy. Frank traces the roots of this movement from the 1920s, and sees its culmination in market populism as a fusion of the rebellious '60s with the greedy '80s. The overarching irony is the swapping of roles--suddenly Wall Street is no longer full of stodgy moneygrubbers, but cool entrepreneurs "leaping on their trampolines, typing out a few last lines on the laptop before paragliding, riding their bicycles to work, listening to Steppenwolf while they traded". Meanwhile, "Americans traded their long tradition of electoral democracy for the democracy of the supermarket, where all brands are created equal and endowed by their creators with all sorts of extremeness and diversity". Frank's close reading of the salesmen of market populism nails such financial gurus as George Gilder, Joseph Nocera, Kevin Kelly and Thomas Friedman. Their writings, he contends, have served to make "the world safe for billionaires" by winning the cultural and political battle--legitimising the corporate culture and its demands for privatisation, deregulation and non-interference. Frank's incisive prose verges on brilliant at times, though his yen for repetition can be exasperating. In either case, his boisterous reminder that markets are fundamentally not democracies is worth repeating as the level of wealth polarisation in America reaches heights not seen since the 1920s. --Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A passionate, bracingly irreverent and always hugely readable lexicon of the political cant of the past decade" (Independent)
"A dazzling manifesto for the anticapitalist movement... A seductive mixture of wit and polemic" (Observer)
"A brilliant, bracing slice and dice job on the pop culture of the New Economy" (New York Observer)
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Top Customer Reviews
The world-view Frank describes will segue all too seamlessly into Karl Rove's breathtaking 2003 words to journalist Ron Suskind: 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.' No doubt, Karl - just not in the way you think. History has a way of having the last laugh
* The closest Wheen gets is the chairman of Enron's reply when asked what Jesus would do if he ran a power utility. 'He wanted people to have the freedom to make choices' (Mumbo p278)
** Wheen, by contrast, resorts to language like 'drooling epigones' - guess his title should have warned us
The market evangel
Free marketeers pretended that a free market is a more democratic system than an elected government and that free markets and democracy are identical. Markets give people what they want. The laissez-faire way is the most committed to the will and the interests of the people. Governments have no rights over markets.
The heart of the market matter
Markets are interested in profits, and only in profits. The logic of business (corporations) is monopoly, market share, revenues, margins and profits.
Markets are fundamentally not democratic: what good is for business (the few), is bad for workers (the many). Markets reward those companies which downsize (cutting costs by massive lay-offs).
Higher prices and fat commissions are the only interests of mass participation in the stock market.
Management gospel, advertising, brands, media
In a patently false language of euphoria, corporations were sold as superhuman democratic creatures, giving people what they wanted. Consumerism was explained as the perfect expression of human liberation. Brands were hailed as models for personal life. Advertising combined brands with social justice (Benetton & anti-racism).
In the media, critical judgment was replaced by `laudatios' for the free market. In the meantime, massive consolidation created media conglomerates which were and are a threat to democracy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are at all interested in Globalization or the issue of Capitalism this is a must read, bought second hand so extremely good vaulePublished on 31 Jan. 2014 by mr martin j smith
Frank is a masterful writer, whose withering destruction of the pretensions of the dot-comunists is amply illustrated by the quotations and references he gives from their own... Read morePublished on 29 Jun. 2012 by Mr. D. T. Marchesi
The other reviewers give a good idea of what this extraordinary book contains, but I would like to add that Frank, in a gentle or caustic way, shows the "religious " aspect of the... Read morePublished on 26 Jun. 2012 by Mr. D. T. Marchesi
If you think that management literature and its various grisly offshoots are worthy of ridicule...then there are probably plenty of laugh along spoofs. Read morePublished on 23 Nov. 2006 by Mr. M. J. Bowen
It is depressing to reflect on the almost complete absence of commentary of this kind from the mainstream media. Read morePublished on 27 Mar. 2001