The Financial Times has named Capitalism’s Achilles Heel (Wiley, 2005) by Raymond W. Baker as one of the best business books of the year.
“Books that deal with the darker side of business can disturb and entertain in equal measure. In Capitalism's Achilles Heel (Wiley Pounds 16.99), Raymond Baker reveals the methods by which corrupt governments and crooked executives - as well as terrorists - move money through the global financial system. The book even includes a ‘Dirty Money User Guide’ - alas more appealing to aspiring fraudsters than reforming policymakers.”
For over forty years in more than sixty countries, Raymond Baker has witnessed the free-market system operating illicitly and corruptly, with devastating consequences for scores of fragile nations. Now, in Capitalism’s Achilles Heel, Baker—the internationally respected authority on money laundering, corruption, and development issues—takes you on a fascinating journey that winds its way across the global free-market system and reveals how dirty money, poverty, and inequality are inextricably intertwined.
You’ll discover how little illicit transactions lead to massive illegalities used by drug kingpins, racketeers, terrorist masterminds, and multinational corporations. You’ll learn how staggering global income disparities are worsened by the illegalities that have come to permeate international capitalism. And you’ll see how distorted philosophical underpinnings appear to justify flaws in the practice of capitalism.
Review: Gangster Capitalism – The United States and the Global rise of Organized Crime by Michael Woodiwiss
The spirit of graft and lawlessness is the American Spirit.
– Lincoln Steffens, The Shame of the Cities, 1902
‘Gangster Capitalism’ documents the lie in all its sordid details from the days of the ‘Robber Barons’ through to the ‘War on Terror’ and all the stops in-between, the ‘War on Communism’, the ‘War on Drugs’. Between them, they are responsible for an assault of unparalleled brutality that is global in scope and a lie that has been so successfully sold, it has dragged much of the planet into going along with it.
From the United Nations to so-called independent states, all have been bribed, blackmailed, threatened or finally invaded/occupied into participating in the various ‘wars’ the US is waging, ultimately to the benefit of capital. That all of it has been done in the name of ‘morality’, mostly of a Christian flavour, is perhaps what makes it all so sordid, so disgusting and hypocritical.
There is a direct relationship between the extermination of ‘inferior’ peoples and the crimes of the Gangster Capitalists, from the owners of the plantations, to those who built the railroads that opened up the interior of America, to those who built the stockyards of Chicago, the auto plants of Detroit that consumed the immigrants in their millions and co-opted them into swallowing the ‘American Dream’.
‘Gangster Capitalism’ does one heck of a job in documenting the process, indeed it is relentless in its exposure and all the while revealing the underlying motivations; power and control by the few over the many. Underpinning the process has been the use of a twisted Christian ‘morality’ that in reality justified a system of exploitation that is unparalleled in history. And, Woodiwiss emphasises the role that race plays in the process, something that cannot be stated too strongly if we are to understand why US capitalism has been so successful at persuading so many to go along with the lie.
Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Global Rise of Organized Crime
The title of Michael Woodiwiss's book plays on the term "gangster capitalism." It asks the question: Are there gangsters who are capitalists? Yes, indeed, is Woodiwiss's answer. But it also raises the more important question: Are capitalists gangsters? His answer is a resounding affirmative.
Morality and the Market in Victorian Britain
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