For those who have read Joel Bakin’s book and seen his documentary on corporate excesses, his review of Luis Suarez-Villa’s new book, suggests that this is essential reading. My copy is on order!
GLOBALIZATION AND TECHNOCAPITALISM: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF
CORPORATE POWER AND TECHNOLOGICAL DOMINATION, by Luis Suarez-Villa
(London: Ashgate, January 2012).
“We hear about the ‘knowledge economy’, watch the processes of financialization wreak havoc, grow concerned about the increasing involvement of corporations in all aspects of life. Suarez-Villa shows how these phenomena of 21st century capitalism are related, connecting them into a powerful theoretical framework. Refreshingly clear, despite the nuanced and sophisticated analyses he develops, his work is well-grounded in careful research and the broader literature. This is a ground-breaking work delivering a theory of contemporary capitalism that is at once original, persuasive, elegantly articulated, and likely correct.”
Joel Bakan, University of British Columbia, (author of the book and documentary, The Corporation)
“Globalization and Technocapitalism is a must-read for anyone concerned with understanding the crisis of contemporary capitalism. Luis Suarez-Villa has combined immense research with acute analysis to produce one of the most important books in years.”
Robert W. McChesney, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Excerpt from the Introduction:
Globalization is one of the most complex and long-running phenomena in human history. it has transcended diverse social, political and economic systems in ways that few other phenomena were able to. today, globalization is platform and vehicle for the spread of a new version of capitalism that is deeply grounded in technology and corporate power. it is a new version of capitalism with a global projection that is likely to become a hallmark of the twenty-first century, as it transforms our existence, the way we relate to life and nature, our governance, and our survival as a species.
at no prior time in history was the long-term future of human existence, of life and nature as dubious as it is in our time. technology and science are being harnessed to penetrate our lives, our existence, our social relations and our planet’s ecology as never before. No aspect of human existence, of life and nature is likely to be spared by the global reach of a new capitalism whose global quest for greater profit and power respects no boundaries, social restraints or cultural features. Its global reach reflects the ethos of a new era in which corporate power, technology and science have become deeply entwined and all-encompassing, moved by a seemingly unstoppable drive for control over everyone and over all of the earth’s resources.
This book provides an understanding of globalization’s role as enabler and supporter of this new capitalist era, of the fundamental phenomena involved in its worldwide reach, and of the social pathologies and injustices it generates. The premises of this book are forthright and unequivocal. One premise is that social, economic and political systems that generate social injustice are nefarious to human advancement. the systemic realities they impose are major obstacles to a just and sustainable global society, and deserve to be exposed and opposed. another premise is that theories that are indifferent or apologetic toward social injustice are wrong. they are wrong because they help justify the exploitive domination of some nations, social classes and cultures over others, and because they help perpetuate social injustices and pathologies that diminish our human condition.
exposing the global dimensions of technocapitalism, its social pathologies and injustices, and its connection with corporate power, is a major objective of this book. This objective is made urgent by the fact that the new era of capitalism that technocapitalism represents will impose new global realities upon us and upon future generations of humanity, that can only be countered at great human cost. those realities, imposed through the global spread of new technologies and of a new form of corporate power, are likely to transform most every facet of human existence, of life and nature in potentially irreversible ways. new sectors closely associated with the emergence of technocapitalism, such as nanotechnology, diverse branches of biotechnology such as genomics, synthetic bioengineering, proteomics and agro- biotech, the related fields of bioinformatics, biopharmacology and biomedicine, the transformation of robotics through the emerging field of biomimetics, and major changes in computing and communications through intelligent software, nanotech sensors and transmitters, and molecular or bioengineered processors, among other technologies, are intimately tied to technocapitalist corporate power and to its global reach.
These new sectors are providing the technologies that the twenty-first century will most likely be associated with. Corporations that live or die by their global research capabilities, where research is far more important than any other function, and where corporate appropriation of research results is the key to profit, control of these new sectors. Turning research creativity into a commodity thereby acquires fundamental importance in the global drive for greater corporate profit and power, in much the same way that turning raw materials and factory labor into commodities was fundamental for the corporations of industrial capitalism.
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