Newest Review: ... and Tony Blair are the new imperialists. And in the eyes of those who hold the reigns of power anyone who opposes the new imperialism is ei... more
The Evil That Men Do
The New Rulers of the World - John Pilger
Member Name: Zmugzy
The New Rulers of the World - John Pilger
Date: 16/04/09, updated on 08/09/13 (266 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent historical insight into the global economy
Australian John Pilger is one of the most outstanding investigative journalists in the world today. He remains one of the few who is not afraid to speak out and ask the most awkward questions of our political leaders. The New Rulers of the World deals with some of Pilger's long abiding themes, in particular the secrets and illusions of modern imperialism, referred to by many as globalisation or the global economy. In the past imperialism described colonial and territorial policies, but today it has more to do with economic and/or military dominance and influence. Imperialism is a word most modern politicians shy away from or they completely deny it exists. But for John Pilger leaders such as George W. Bush and Tony Blair are the new imperialists. And in the eyes of those who hold the reigns of power anyone who opposes the new imperialism is either a loony lefty or a terrorist.
The book is made up of four essays. The first essay entitled "The Model Pupil" deals with Indonesia and the Suharto regime which, with Western backing, overthrew the democratically elected government in the 1960s and massacred over a million people in the process. It also touches upon the genocide that occurred in East Timor. The regime was an integral part of a western design to impose a global economy on that country. In essence Pilger describes how the resources of the country were carved up between US and other global corporations. "Paying the Price" deals with the intervention in Iraq during the 1990s and focuses in particular on the relentless bombings by British and American planes and the absurd and tragic sanction blockade that was imposed during this period and resulted in the suffering and death of millions of innocent Iraqis. The third essay is entitled "The Great Game" and deals with the post 9/11 period and the military interventions into Afghanistan. Here Pilger exposes the 'Orwellian truth' behind the propaganda of 'the war on terror". The last part of the book "The Chosen Ones" gives insight into the suffering, oppression and discrimination against the Aborigines of Australia.
The first three essays of this book can be tied together under themes to do with the global economy and the new imperialism with emphasis on how the use of military might enforces such a system upon three different nations. The last essay is somewhat different in that it deals with the legacy of the old imperialism and the continuing oppression of an entire indigenous population. The book was first published in 2002 and updated in 2003 so some of these stories are a little dated, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein for example was yet to take place. However, the historical, political and economic facts and analysis contained in the book are utterly absorbing and still highly relevant. They will serve as useful documents for anyone studying in this area or with a general interest in geopolitics. I found the two middle essays to be very useful. The essay entitled "The Great Game" in particular is a must read. These writings reminded me of what was happening in Iraq and Afghanistan before the current occupations by the "US-led military coalition" and the strategic and economic importance of these to nations to Western powers. Here it is also made clear how both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein were the products of US policy.
Despite its subject matter, at just over 200 pages The New Rulers of the World is not a heavy read. John Pilger writes in a clear and concise manner that is easy to grasp. It is a captivating if at times gut wrenching read. Sometimes you come away thinking that the whole western political system is rotten to the core. Perhaps this is the one weakness of the Pilger's writing: our evil leaders... surely they can't all be bad guys... or can they?
The book is available online for around £8 a copy. Buy it.
Summary: Globalisation and its discontents
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