by Sharon Beder
EARTHSCAN, London, UK Hardback £19.99 ISBN: 9781844073344
Publication date: October 2006
272 pages; 234 x 156 mm; figures, index
In her recent book Suiting Themselves, bestselling author Sharon Beder exposed how the global corporate elite have brazenly rewritten the rules of the global economy to line their pockets. In this new book she trains her sights on the insidious underbelly of this global trend to show how they have also orchestrated a mass propaganda campaign to manipulate community values and convince us that their interest – co-opting and controlling all of us in the name of the free market – is in our interest During the 20th century, business associations coordinated mass propaganda campaigns combining 20th century American PR methods with revitalized free market ideology from 18th century Europe. The insidious aim was to persuade people to eschew their own power as workers and citizens, and forego their democratic power to restrain and regulate business activity. Sophisticated corporate-funded think tanks augmented these campaigns in the 1970s and 80s, promoting free enterprise and business-friendly policies.>
These ‘free market missionaries’ now seek to change individual and institutional values through bolder strategies such as the expanding share ownership and manipulating wider public concerns. In the end the outcome is the same, the triumph of business values over community values and the manipulation of democracy. Beder’s is an intellectual call to arms: fight back or be converted to the ideology of the free market missionaries.