This extraordinary book explores the spread of globalization. The authors - journalists on Der Spiegel - provide an account that is highly informed, yet extremely readable. They show how internationalism, once an invention of social-democratic labour leaders, has firmly changed sides. Now more than 40,000 transnational corporation play off their own workers - and different nation-states - against one another.
The book opens with a fly-on-the-wall account of a seminar attended by the leaders of major corporations. It revealed that the biggest manufacturers are not simply shifting production away from the industrial countries, but foresee a new century where their labour needs will plummet. Talk at the gathering was all about the 20:80 society, where 20 per cent of the population will suffice to keep the world economy going and the unemployed 80 per cent will be pacified by a diet of 'tittytainment' - ie the modern equivalent of bread and circuses but without nearly so much bread.
Calling for the restoration of the primacy of politics over the economy and the repair of the state before it is too late, this book is a a cry of alarm. Currently being translated into 13 languages, The Global Trap is set to become an international bestseller; it cannot be ignored.