As always, you can add new addresses or remove old ones at the ZNet top
page -- www.zmag.org/weluser.htm
Please take a look at the subject line above. From now on ZNet Free
Updates will have four possible components...and you will know what is
in any given update by their subject line.
In the subject line...Policy means news of ZNet policies. Update means
news about ZNet. Books means either an intro to a new title by a Znet
writer, or follow up regarding some prior book intro. And an author's
name with the word essay, means an essay by that author.
ZNet Free Updates from here on could include any one, two, three, or
four of these components, but it will be clear from the subject line.
So this Update has all four components...
Since it has only been a few days since the last update, there is not
too much to report about ZNet contents...but...
The Alternative Media Section of ZNet has had a recent large
update...you might wish to pay a visit at
And we have numerous new articles about Iraq, the Mideast, antiwar
activism, the economy, and many other topics, noted on the top page and
appearing throughout ZNet, including from David Bacon, Amira Hass. Boris
Kagarlitsky, Robert Fisk, Starhawk, Michael Klare, and many others.
For months we have occasionally been sending book news -- it has in each
case been a paragraph or two of introduction plus an author interview.
The results have been positive, but modest. Only one author reported a
visible bump in distribution.
A few days ago I sent such a message for a new book I have coming out,
with Verso, called Parecon: Life After Capitalism. I included with the
interview and the paragraphs, four advance comments about the book, and
I made the paragraphs a bit more contentful. The result was dramatic.
Sales on Amazon went from nearly 3 millionth to 45th or so in a little
over 24 hours.
I reported this, briefly, in another update, and that led to another
surge to number 17 on Amazon's sales list. We haven't sent any messages
since, and the listing is now dropping back down, currently around 65
What to make of this?
I think the lesson is in considerable part that everyone is very busy
and that communications that give good reasons to do something are far
more effective than communications that just take note of something;
that any communications are better than none; and that reminders can
have as much or even more impact than initial longer messages.
The result so far for Parecon, Life After Capitalism is impressive.
Immediately rising sales is one thing, as evidenced by the Amazon sales
indicator. But there was also immediate interest from overseas, for more
translations. And there is interest from some newspapers, including the
LA Times and the NY Times, for possible news coverage. And a large
number of people have written with questions and interest who were
previously unaware of participatory economics even existing -- and these
are users of ZNet.
The experience suggests that it is possible to marshal our energies to
generate a "buzz" that makes it much more likely, as a result, that a
wider audience than usual will become aware of works of merit and make a
judgment about those works.
We think that is a good thing to help happen and so we are going to act
on this perception. Future book presentations will have supportive
paragraphs, advance comments, and the interview. There will be follow up
when it seems it would help further. We will do it via the ZNet top page
and mailing mechanism, as well as the ZNet book page, for new books by
ZNet authors so long as it seems to work.
So, for example, can we get another boost in attention to even this
book, Parecon: Life After Capitalism?
If you all, by your choice to purchase now, were to generate still more
momentum for the book, I think the impact on participatory economics
getting an audience could be quite substantial. If you think that would
be good, and of course if you have an interest yourself in what kind of
economy it would be desirable to have instead of capitalism, and if the
earlier advance quotes and the content at the book page make you think
this book may be useful, then, this is probably the best time to
purchase this book, to simultaneously propel it as well as to get it for
At any rate, if you haven't had a look already, you can read more about
the book at http://www.zmag.org/ParEcon/pelac.htm
There are links to order the book available on that page, as well.
The ZNet book page with an archive of past featured titles is at
http://www.zmag.org/bookwatch.htm including links for various books by
our authors and interviews with them about those books.
Essay by Normon Solomon
Another ZNet writer with a new book is Norman Solomon. The book is
called "Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You," by Norman
Solomon and Reese Erlich, and has just been published as a paperback
original by Context Books. For the prologue to the book and other
information, please go to: http://www.contextbooks.com/newF.html
Also, you can find Solomon's book interview for ZNet at
And here is a recent essay of his...
Globalization And It's Malcontents
By Norman Solomon
One of the big media buzzwords to emerge in recent years is
"globalization." By now, we're likely to know what it means. That's
unfortunate -- because at this point the word is so ambiguous that it
doesn't really mean much of anything.
News outlets have reported that key international pacts like NAFTA and
the World Trade Organization gained U.S. approval during the 1990s
because most politicians in Washington favor "globalization." According
to conventional media wisdom, those globalizers want to promote
unfettered communication and joint endeavors across national boundaries.
Well, not quite. These days, at the White House and on Capitol Hill, the
same boosters of "globalization" are upset about certain types of global
action -- such as the current grassroots movement against a war on Iraq.
For the most part, the same elected officials and media commentators who
have applauded money-driven globalization are now appalled by the sight
of anti-war globalization. The recent spectacle of millions of people
demonstrating against war on the same day around the world was enough to
cause apoplexy at the White House.
That's consistent with a recurring pattern: "Pro-globalization" forces
are unhappy to see the globalizing of solidarity for labor rights,
economic justice, the environment and alternatives to war.
A similar contradiction belies the media image of "anti-globalization"
activists as foes of internationalism who want to rigidify national
boundaries, reinforce isolation and prevent worldwide interactions. On
the contrary, advocates for human rights, environmental protection and
peace -- while largely opposing global superstructures like NAFTA and
the WTO -- have been busily creating ways to work with like-minded
people all over the planet.
The form of "globalization" deemed worthy of the name by media is
corporate globalization, which gives massive capital even more momentum
to flatten borders and run roughshod over national laws. Deluging every
country with Nikes, Burger Kings and ATMs is presumptively indicative of
progress, no matter how bad the working conditions, how unhealthy the
products or how unjust the economic consequences. Meanwhile, fans of
"globalization" routinely contend that protection of labor rights or the
environment amounts to unfair restraint of trade, retrograde
protectionism and antiquated resistance to "reforms."
By itself, "globalization" is much too simplistic a word to tell us
anything. The term is so murky that we may need to discard it, or at
least develop some new phrases to bring realities into focus.
Today, the war-crazed Bush administration and the bipartisan majority of
enablers in Congress are fervent proponents of what might be called
"isolationist intervention." Sure, the present-day American leaders
proclaim their global vision and declare that they want to engage with
the world, but on their own terms -- with the U.S. government reserving
the right to determine its policies in isolation from any nation that
fails to offer subservient support. With hefty corporate backing, they
insist that the United States has the right to intervene militarily
overseas. Why? Because they say so.
The gist of this approach to "globalization" was well expressed by the
glib pundit Thomas Friedman, whose 1999 book "The Lexus and the Olive
Tree" lauded the tandem roles of corporate capitalism and American
militarism. "The hidden hand of the market will never work without a
hidden fist," he wrote. "McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell
Douglas, the designer of the U.S. Air Force F-15. And the hidden fist
that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish
is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."
This veiled hand-and-fist stance is being actively rejected by millions
of people marching through cities in many parts of the world. And the
leaders of numerous countries are giving voice to that rejection.
Speaking to the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 18, Malaysia's prime
minister Mahathir Mohamed -- the incoming chair of the Non-Aligned
Movement -- combined realism with idealism. "We have no military or
financial strength," he said, "but we can join the world movement to
oppose war on moral grounds."
The globalization of that movement is something to behold. And nurture.
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