Saving Globalization: Why Globalization and Democracy Offer the Best Hope for Progress, Peace and Development

  • Publish Date: 2009-12-02
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Mike Moore
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Globalization is not new, nor is it a policy, its a process that has existed as long as man looked over the horizon, travelled and traded. It cant be stopped but it can be slowed. It came to a grinding halt in August 1914 and the Marxist detour cost millions of lives and lost three generations their opportunity and hope in many countries. More wealth has been created in the past 60 years than in all of history. After the most successful decade of sustained economic growth in history, this progress is threatened.

Extreme inequality, corruption and environmental degradation threaten the stability and legitimacy of many developing countries regimes. Anti-globalization and anti-capitalist campaigners confidence has been emboldened due to the present economic crisis. Protectionist rhetoric is growing as are the arguments to control and regulate markets. Leaders are meeting to discuss how to face these problems and create a new international architecture. How did we get to this position? What should we do? What is it that determines why some contemporary states are successful while others have failed?

Saving Globalization departs from its analysis of the globalised economy in the twenty-first century to answer these question by tracing the development of what Moore considers to be the big ideas of history: democracy, independent courts, the separation of church and state, property rights, independent courts, a professional civil service, and civil society. Democratic capitalism has worked for most people. Why? It is a remarkable story, from the Greeks to the Geeks, encompassing technological progress and the corrections and contradictions between liberty and equality, technology, growth and the environment. In defence of the many virtues and opportunities that globalisation offers, Mike Moore makes the case for a fresh and new approach to our international Institutions and for domestic policies that promote equity and fairness.

The book controversially attacks the new enemies of reason and evidence.The threats now come from all sides, especially workers in developed countries who fear for their jobs. Mike Moore is a political practitioner turned theoretician.

Amazon-Exclusive Letter from the Author
Oral and Moral Leadership

Commentary from Mike Moore, author of Saving Globalization, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, former Director General of the World Trade Organization, and adjunct professor La Trobe University, Australia.

My new book, Saving Globalization explains that we have created more wealth in the past sixty years than we have in all previous history combined, resulting in hundreds of millions of people being lifted from extreme poverty. I examine the big ideas that created our more successful societies: democracy, human rights, independent courts, freedom of and freedom from religion, property rights, social mobility, equality as an economic virtue, and the genius of the limited-liability company, a professional public service, an active civil society and free trade. Its a remarkable story from pre-Greek to post-Geeks.

I was stuck during my research and work in the fields in places as diverse as Nigeria, the Ukraine and Timor Leste, how the evidence piles up on what works and what doesnt. I have a short chapter in the book about moral and oral leaders. These leaders trusted the people, and knew society could not be changed or saved by merely replacing one wet-fingered politician with another. You cannot change society by the changing winds of opinion polls.

The Athenian statesman Pericles, in his great funeral oration in 431 BC, honored those who had fallen in defence of this new thing called a democratic state, explaining, We all enjoy the same general equality...the public administration is not confined to one particular family...poverty is not a hindrance, since whoever is able to serve his country meets with no obstacle to preferment from his first obscurity. Pericles spoke of the stake the people had in society saying, A confession of poverty is no disgrace to no man; no effort to avoid it is a disgrace indeed.

Shakespeare spoke of this patriotism and noble sacrifice in the speech of Henry V at Agincourt, saying, From this day to the end of the world, but we shall be rememberedwe few, we happy few, we band of brothers; and gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here and hold their manhood cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon saint Crispins day.

These stirring words were echoed by Winston Churchill in Britains darkest days, when he said, These are not dark days. These are the greatest days our nation has ever lived, and we must thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.

Churchill treated the parliament and the people with respect and candour. When congratulated about Dunkirk, he growled, Wars are not won by evacuations.

Senator Robert Kennedy, on the night of the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., spoke to a crowd of ordinary people and gave an off-the-cuff speech: words that combined sympathy, empathy and -respect. Quoting the poet Aeshylus, he said, Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget, falls drop-by-drop upon the human heart, until our own despair, against our own will, comes the awful grace of God..... Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago, to tame the savageness of man and make gentler the life of this world. The crowd which could have become a mob subsided.

Leaders throughout history have had the ability to hold Nations accountable to the ideals of their own civilizations and appealed to what Abraham Lincoln called the better angels of our nature. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged Americans to stand up for their own constitutional principles. Let freedom ring, was mirrored by Nelson Mandela in court when he proclaimed democracy as an ideal that he hoped to live for... but if needs be... an ideal he was prepared to die for. The arguments for womens rights, gay rights, and land rights find their home in this model.

These arguments work quickest if the society which they are addressed to has some understanding of the lessons of the enlightenment and democracy. Thus, they worked in Alabama, Soweto, and India, but wouldnt have had much influence on Stalin or Hitler. Eventually, however, the powerful must surrender to reason; by doing so, they save themselves as well as the persecuted.

Democracy is the best form of societal management because its not only morally right, its also good economics. It allows change to be implemented peacefully. No two democracies have ever gone to war. There has never been a famine in a democracy.

Leadership in a democracy is not just responding to the will of the people. Explaining why things, especially difficult things, should be done is never easy, especially if it means change. Willing a view on others who have the power to say no is a real test of democratic leadership.