Another World Is Possible If...
Susan George. Verso, $19.95 (268pp) ISBN 978-1-84467-510-4
Part analysis, part handbook, this treatise offers a seasoned progressive's Eurocentric perspective on global justice and how to achieve it. An American-born French citizen and associate director of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam, George (The Lugano Report) provides a critical perspective on the""Washington Consensus"" (trade is good, capital should flow freely, etc.) that drives globalization. She argues that the real debate,""which almost never takes place,"" should concern how to limit the market and decide who pays the externalized social and environmental costs. She profiles major public actors like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, as well as private ones, such as transnational corporations. She's highly critical of the corporate social responsibility movement, which she considers a fig leaf. George cautions activists not to fall for the trap that we must change ourselves individually first, or that only a socialist revolution can help. The most important task is to wean the world from oil, she says, suggesting that if public agencies fund renewable energy projects the cost will go down. George also offers practical advice, such as how activists should eschew jargon and violence in organizing a protest, and urges academics to avoid neutrality. Clearly presented and battle tested, George's analysis and advice make for an enriching read, whether one wishes to adopt or counter them.
Reviewed on: 09/20/2004