Teel's Reviews > The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?

The End of the Free Market by Ian Bremmer
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Jul 12, 10

bookshelves: borrowed
Read from June 24 to July 12, 2010

This book was clearly written with an audience of wealthy American Friedmanites in mind. If that is not you, its assumptions may sicken/disappoint you and it's self-contradictions will certainly frustrate/amuse/confuse you. The only reason to read this book is to get further insight into what modern Friedmanites/neo-liberals/neo-conservatives are afraid of.

The bulk of the book is a laundry list of all the good (sometimes great) results of various economic practices the author calls "state capitalism". After each section details examples of good things that resulted from "state capitalism", sometimes accompanied by a counterpoint of how the free market examples made things worse (usually globally), the author then concludes that it's obvious that state capitalism is a terrible threat to free markets and must be stopped. Not exactly a convincing argument against "state capitalism".

At one point, on page 186, the author states that "...now is the time to make the case that only genuinely free markets can generate broad, sustainable, long-term prosperity." Unfortunately, the author made no effort to make such a case in this book, instead assuming that the reader already believed that it was true. With only the examples and details in this book, the only case made is that "state capitalism" provides a lot of benefits for the citizens and governments where it is practiced, and protections from the dangers of free markets.

This quick review was written on my iphone. For a few more details, please read the comments/updates I made as I was reading the book, below my review.
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Reading Progress

06/24/2010 page 1
0.0% "Something to read while I wait for the latest offering from my corporate masters."
06/30/2010 page 40
15.0% "Been reading this a little at a time while waiting in lines. It seems to give me a headache."
07/06/2010 page 63
23.0% "Picking this up again, even though it's full of empty rhetoric and endemic self-contradiction."
07/06/2010 page 98
36.0% "When corporations do the same things the author complains about governments doing, he says it's a good thing. Double-standard, much?" 1 comment
07/11/2010 page 98
36.0% "Due back at the library tomorrow. Better try to slog through the rest of this dreck."
07/11/2010 page 123
45.0% "One more try to get through this. It's painful. Full of assumptions about things which are either unproven or flat-out lies."
07/11/2010 page 155
57.0% "It is the author's belief that political goals never serve the public welfare that seems central to his fear of "state capitalism"."
07/11/2010 page 161
59.0% "Also problematic is the author's belief that companies are valid political actors, more important than citizens & government officials."
07/11/2010 page 163
60.0% "On this page the author literally describes "free market capitalism" as his religion, gospel to be preached to the world."
07/12/2010 page 192
71.0% "On this page, author claims that a gov't making the same observations as THIS BOOK defies common sense & harms the free market."
07/12/2010 page 198
73.0% "&here is where the author advocates not only a huge military-industrial complex, but its use to wage worldwide wars over energy."
07/12/2010 page 199
73.0% "Central ridiculous idea here: "…markets are not to blame when gov'ts fail to properly regulate them." Total faith in free markets = fail."
07/12/2010 page 230
85.0% "I cannot recommend this book, unless you're trying to profile the insanity of the modern Friedmanite."

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