30
Mar

The Silent Takeover

Written on March 30, 2007 by Max Oliva in Development

J.Pozuelo-Monfort, MSc candidate in economic development at LSE
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THE SILENT TAKEOVER is a very well-written book that walks us through the process of liberalisation and ever-increasing adoption of the neoclassical economic policies that started with Thatcher and Reagan in the early 1980s. Policies better understood in a scenario characterized by the so-called Washington Consensus, suggested by the US economist and member of Washington-based think-tank Insitute for International Economics, John Williamson.
Noreena Hertz is considered a center-left thinker that understands and shares some of the views of the anti-globalisation movement. Her writing is descriptive and her conclusions follow from a series of facts few can counter argue. It is the kind of thinking everyone would use to try to determine the reasons underlying a problem, the kind of thinking that everybody would use to try to explain the reasons behind a growing gap between rich and poor, a growing decentralisation and deregulasion allowed by central governments, a silent takeover on behalf of corporations, that quietly seem to have taken the steering wheel of this world without few individuals realizing of the consequences.
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The book calls for action and demonstration against our own governments, that pressured and lobbied by multinationals, are unwilling or incapable of setting policies in the interest of their fellow citizens and the world as a whole. Our own governments, unable to cope with the challenges of an already challenging century that started with the 9-11 attacks and a war, that against terrorism, with the ability to spread conflict and unillateralism across the world.
The true war is an unfought one. The true war is a conflict that the media do not talk about. It is a war against inequality and hunger, it is a war against poverty and abuse of power in the third world and developing economies. The industrialized nations cannot afford any longer to continue looking aside. Multinationals do have their role. But by no means they should determine the direction of many of the policies defined by countries in which capitalism has evolved into a more extreme version.
Before the apparent compliance of our own central administrations with a corporate world in which less corporations dominate more of the consumers’ pie, before the apparent unwillingness of our own central administrations to step up and face the challenges of an unequal world, Noreena Hertz explains that the citizens must express their discontent as they have done in the past in so many circumstances regarding so many issues.
The world is facing challenges. Only its member citizens can, at this point, change the course of an already misguided course.

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