The book was originally published in May by the Swedish think tank Timbro. Since then, a number of translations into other languages have followed. In the book, Norberg examines the arguments put forward by the anti-globalization movement. According to Norberg, "the diffusion of capitalism in the last decades has lowered poverty rates and created opportunities for individuals all over the world. Living standards and life expectancy has risen fast in most places. World hunger, infant mortality , and inequality have diminished.
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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Roger Tanner. Marshalling facts and the latest research findings, the author systematically refutes the adversaries of globalization, markets, and progress. This book will change the debate on globalization in this country and make believers of skeptics.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published July 31st by Cato Institute first published May More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about In Defense of Global Capitalism , please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about In Defense of Global Capitalism. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of In Defense of Global Capitalism. Oct 04, Natasha Hurley-Walker rated it did not like it. Full of cherry-picked statistics which totally gloss over the reality of unfettered capitalism.
The point where I nearly threw it against the wall was this: The Chilean example demonstrates the possibility of development, even in this region. When dictator Augusto Pinochet's continuation of the old policy of inflation and central control sent the economy into free fall, he began listening to market economists instead. Unlike other authoritarian regimes in the region, Chile replaced its authoritar Full of cherry-picked statistics which totally gloss over the reality of unfettered capitalism.
Unlike other authoritarian regimes in the region, Chile replaced its authoritarian economic policy with liberalisation and free trade about Chileans today have almost a southern European standard of living, in stark contrast to their neighbours. Most important of all, the bloodstained dictatorship has been peacefully superseded by a stable democratic regime -- just as the liberal advisers advocated and prophesied.
OK, so let's tear this single paragraph apart: 1 Pinochet was a dictator who overthrew the previous democratic regime, in a coup backed by the CIA. This is not conspiracy theory, this is real history! The USA wanted to open up Chile's rich natural resources to exploitation by multinational corporations. They trained the advisers who told Pinochet to open up the country. The 'growth' that Norberg describes was entirely in the hands of the elite of the country, and inequality spiralled out of control.
The population was so upset at the removal of social safety nets, the rise in the price of goods from the removal of trade tarrifs, and the massive unemployment resulting from multinationals taking Chilean resources, that they rioted, and were brutally suppressed by Pinochet's regime. PREVIOUS to this regime, yes, the country had a somewhat stagnant economy, but it was a democracy, and growing quite well, with year-on-year improvement in standard of living.
Those regimes put in place the same kind of liberal economic policy as soon as democracy was unseated, because it's the fastest way for those in power to make an absolute fortune, at the expense of the poorest in society. Note the cherry-picked dates.
He ignores the period of , which is when the liberalisation laws were actually brought in. THIS is when the economy really nosedived, due to massive unemployment and unrest. By choosing to compare from post-liberalisation to post-socialisation but claiming the events happened in the opposite order , Norberg tries to convince the reader that it was the free trade policies that were responsible for those improved statistics.
Every paragraph is like this: ridiculously cherry-picked statistics, glossing over or ignoring crucial historical facts, and using buzzwords to make the reader think that anything nationalised, or taxed, is evil. I am not opposed to capitalism per se; I think that competition and profit does drive toward efficiency and innovation, which can improve the lot of humanity.
But that's why this book is so frustrating. You don't need to distort the facts to make an argument for capitalism. If every paragraph potentially has the same kind of misleading attitude as the one above, then the book's arguments just aren't trustworthy.
I don't have time to fact-check everything; I'm reading non-fiction to be enlightened, not to do peer review.
Just another thing that almost caused me to stop reading at the start but I promised a friend I would give this book a try so kept going : Norberg says that he doesn't consider capitalists who bribe politicians to be true capitalists.
But this is crazy: surely the reason people indulge in capitalism is to make money. Large corporations, beholden to the highest principle greed , MUST take actions which get them more money wherever possible. Of course this involves bribing politicians and buying the regulations you want.
By simply saying "oh, that's not what I mean by capitalism", Norberg conveniently avoids having to discuss these serious downsides. Just unreadable by anyone who can be bothered to fact-check.
Avoid -- unless you want to know what sort of nonsense comes out of right-wing think tanks when you inject enough cash. View 2 comments. Johan Norberg's defense of capitalism is not a new book but brings common sense in times of Piketty's fifteen minutes of fame. I have not read Piketty yet but all the debate around his work seems to defy evidence of how millions of people are moving out of poverty year after year thanks to practices close to Capitalism than the Marxism that he defends.
Johan Norberg showed, over 10 years before Piketty, case after case how solutions based on the respect of private property and classical liberal Johan Norberg's defense of capitalism is not a new book but brings common sense in times of Piketty's fifteen minutes of fame. Johan Norberg showed, over 10 years before Piketty, case after case how solutions based on the respect of private property and classical liberal ideas have improve the lives of people all over the world.
Indeed Norberg argues that more could be done if practices like immigration control and imposition of first world practices on third world were stopped. If Developed countries can care for the environment and reduce child labor is because they have achieved greater success, if we want developing countries to do the same we have to pull them quick instead of hold them back with additional burden.
Jan 01, A rated it really liked it. There are definitely legitimate empirical and theoretical challenges that can be made to Norberg's defense of global capitalism.
But, this is not meant to be an full academic review of literature on the topic. It is a polemic in the best sense - a strong argument for a legitimate but controversial viewpoint that is often poorly understood. I think he does a great job of presenting pretty strong empirical, theoretical and ethical arguments for global capitalism in an accessible and convincing man There are definitely legitimate empirical and theoretical challenges that can be made to Norberg's defense of global capitalism.
I think he does a great job of presenting pretty strong empirical, theoretical and ethical arguments for global capitalism in an accessible and convincing manner. It isn't perfect. He glosses over some of the messiness and challenges of globalization, and there were some empirical claims that are debatable. I don't see, however, how someone could read this and not understand that there is an depth of thought, analysis, and indeed ethical reasoning, going into agendas to expand free trade and integrate global markets.
Jan 16, Seyma rated it did not like it. Nov 03, Sylvester Kuo rated it really liked it Shelves: economics , history , politics. I really really really want to like this book but it's just so hard. So I'll divide this provocative book into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The Good: an engaging title, the title itself enticed me to read it to find out what Norberg meant by "Global Capitalism". What he really means is that both economic freedom and civil liberty have improved our living conditions globally, the freer the people, the happier the people and there is less conlict.
He used data to dispell all the myths surroundin I really really really want to like this book but it's just so hard. He used data to dispell all the myths surrounding capitalism, such as improved education attainment, literacy, nutrition, security, health and decreased poverty, corruption, famine.
He stressed particularly the importance of free trade and mutual dependence of people which not only would bring peace, but also prosperity.
He offer many international examples as well as history lessons, particularly about Scandinavian countries and Sweden, and how poor they were until they started to move from feudalism to capitalism. I loved his simple, pure optimism and the love of human potential, he's truly blessed and his positivity was infectious. The Bad: the book didn't really age well, many of the examples are outdated or new situations have developed to change his predictions. Though, not of his own fault, but the collectivisation of the society because of his beloved "democracy".
The Ugly: well, this is the hardest part that made me think twice about giving the book a 5 star. He had a few wrong premises: colonialism wasn't entirely bad, it was brutal but it civilized barbarians from their backward ways, and improved their lives for the better some didn't even have wheels.
The bleeding heart story of dead illegal immigrants were simply anecdotal evidences, not an argument since Norberg also acknowledged the problem with a welfare state. You must dismantle the welfare state and allow for private property rights before any "free" movements can happen.
His estimations from think tanks about the need for immigrants was based on the presumption of a welfare state, which could be abolished without the need for immigrants.
In Defense of Global Capitalism
In Defense of Global Capitalism. Marshalling facts and the latest research findings, the author systematically refutes the adversaries of globalization, markets, and progress. This book will change the debate on globalization in this country and make believers of skeptics. Every day in every way. Poverty reduction.
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