Book Reviews

Book Review: The failure of global capitalism from Cape Breton to Colombia and beyond


The narrative by the authors is divided into four parts – The Rise and Fall Of Industrial capitalism in Cape Breton, Colombia In The Era Of Neoliberal Globalization, The new Economy In Cape Breton and Atlantic Canada, and Alternatives To Global Capitalism.

T. Gibbs is an assistant professor of Political Science at cape Breton University, specializing in issues relating to democracy and globalization.

Garry Leech is an independent journalist and editor and lecturer in political Science at the cape Breton University, with a special interest in Colombian economic and political development.

The book contains valuable information about the reasons of chronic unemployment in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.

Geography and the evolution of the industrial base of North America are important factors of constant struggle of all three provinces to attract manufacturing, despite generous financial government help.

Governments want to cerate jobs, and industrialist take advantage of this by promising success, while knowing from the beginning that in the long run their project cannot be successful, except maybe those that are extractive in nature.

Workers want to be paid acceptable wages, but entrepreneurs always try to pay the least amount, with which they can get away. As a result of this, unions were created, but the more important thing in negotiating with industrialists and capitalists is to stipulate conditions of employment and time guarantees for the project.

Savvy entrepreneurs always know when and how to negotiate favourable terns by contributing to political parties evenly (based on their popularity) to campaigns, and lobbying.

Nova Scotians know precisely why mining eventually came to an end and which could have been prevented had the government of the day only listened to scientists pointing out flaws of the project.

Both authors have written a scathing book chronicling how the political and unjust system have largely contributed to make both Nova Scotia and Colombia more prosperous.

Instead, a few already wealthy industrialists got richer, while the working people gained very little, if anything.

The book is definitely well researched and exposes the blatant oppression, inequality, and environmental degradation that capitalism inflicted upon Colombia and Nova Scotia.

The authors explain how local communities can develop and demand democratic, equitable, and sustainable models to exploit natural resources if only responsible governments enforce their suggestions.

This is a fine piece of scholarly work for all North Americans and inhabitants of Third World countries to read and think about how global capitalists developed techniques to exploit weak governments

Capital, by its very nature, flows where it encounters no restrictions or barriers.

Highly recommended

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