The Colbert Report, Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 0am
Booknotes, Sunday, February 9, 2003
Amy Chua discusses World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability.
from the publisher's website Every few years, a book is published about America's role in the world and the changing contest of global affairs that gets everyone thinking in a new way. Amy Chua's WORLD ON FIRE will have exactly that kind of impact on the debate of how the world has changed in light of the events of last September. Apostles of globalization, such as Thomas Friedman, believe that exporting free markets and democracy to other countries will increase peace and prosperity throughout the developing world; Amy Chua is the anti-Thomas Friedman. Her book wil be a dash of cold water in the face of globalists, techno-utopians, and liberal triumphalists as she shows that just the opposite has happened: When global markets open, ethnic conflict worsens and politics turns ugly and violent. Drawing on examples from around the world--from Africa and Asia to Russia and Latin America--Chua examines how free markets do not spread wealth evenly throughout the whole of these societies. Instead they produce a new class of extremely wealthy plutocrats--individuals as rich as nations. Almost always members of a minority group--Chinese in the Philippines, Croatians in the former Yugoslavia, whites in Latin America, Indians in East Africa, Jews in post-communist Russia--these "market-dominant minorities" have become targets of violent hatred. Adding democracy to this volatile mix unleashes supressed ethnic hatreds and brings to power ethnonationalist governments that pursue aggressive policies of confiscation and revenge. Chua further shows how individual countries are often viewed as dominant minorities, explaining the phenomena of ethnic resentment in the Arab-Israeli conflict and the rising tide of anti-American sentiment around the world. This more than anything accounts for the visceral hatred of Americans that has been expressed in recent acts of terrorism. Bold and original, WORLD ON FIRE is a perceptive examination of the far-reaching effects of exporting capitalism with democracy and its potentially catastrophic results. (timspalding)
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