The People’s Book Project is an on-going, crowd-funded initiative to write a series of books examining the ideas, institutions, and individuals of power and resistance in the world today. The first volume of the Project will be completed ASAP, and looks primarily at the world in the past few years, studying issues of poverty, economic crisis, debt crisis in Europe, banking, corporate power, environmental destruction, food crisis, land grabs, imperialism, war, global governance, anti-austerity movement, student movements, indigenous resistance, and the prospects of global revolution
To continue researching and writing the first volume of The People’s Book Project, I am undertaking a fundraising effort aiming at raising $2,000 to sustain the Project over the next couple months. Thus far, $300 has been raised, and to the donors, a great deal of appreciation is warranted. But that leaves another $1,700 to raise. Please consider making a donation below, and take a look at a brief summary of SOME of the topics that will be discussed in the first volume!
So what is contained within the first volume?
- A general introduction to the ‘Sociopathic Society’: what is sociopathic and psychopathic behaviour, and how is it reflected in the ideas, institutions, and individuals of power within our society?
- The Culture of Criminality: prisons are full, but of the wrong people. In the upper echelons of power, whether locally or globally, criminal behaviour is rampant (and profitable), from arms dealing to the drug trade, human trafficking, sex trafficking, terrorist financing and the like, some of the world’s most powerful banks, corporations and individuals have their hands all over these dirty trades of misery-profit. I examine these trades and some of the key players within them.
- An Introduction to Institutions: what are the dominant institutions within society, how do they function, whose interests do they serve, and what forms of power do they wield? This will be a very brief introduction to the nature and role of specific institutions within our modern society, from banks and corporations to foundations, think tanks, universities, and the state itself.
- American Empire, Inc.: This section will briefly examine some of the recent history of the American/Western imperial system, looking at the state apparatus of empire (Pentagon, CIA, State Department, National Security Council, etc.), the ideologies and “doctrines” of empire (what are the actual stated goals of foreign policy according to those who dictate the policy?), and who are the key players? Enmeshed in a world of think tanks, corporations, and government officials, key players like Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Madeleine Albright, Brent Scowcroft and others, emerge as constant guiding figures for imperial planning.
- The Global Economic Crisis: What are the structural and ideological causes of the global economic crisis which began in 2008? Who are the key players? What are the role of the big banks, central banks, government agencies, corporations? Who profits? What is the result of the crisis for those in power, the middle class, and the poor? What are the “solutions” that were enacted? Will they make things worse? have they already?
- Food, Land, and Poverty: looking at the current state of global poverty, where roughly half the world’s 7 billion people live on less than $2.50/day, where over one billion live in slums, where tens of millions die from poverty-related causes each year. The food crisis of 2007 and beyond have pushed tens of millions more into poverty and hunger, and the subsequent global land grabs are fast becoming the world’s number one economic, social, and environmental crisis, as international investors push peasant and small farming populations off their land (and into hunger, poverty, and slums).
- Empire in the Age of Obama: What have Obama’s policies in foreign affairs been representative of? The “change” he promised or the continuity of past presidents? From expanding the war in Afghanistan into Pakistan, to waging global drone wars, new wars in Libya, Mali, a rapid militarization of Africa, coups and regime change, Empire in the Age of Obama is as vicious as ever. This looks at the function of the modern imperial system, the relationship between the United States and the world, the maintenance of “vassal” states, and human rights abuses.
- The Arab Spring: From Tunisia, to Egypt, Bahrain, and beyond, this examines the causes, evolution and consequences of the so-called Arab Spring revolts which began in 2010 and have continued to present day. What have been the responses from the Western imperial powers? How have the revolutionary movements changed and evolved?
- Europe in Crisis: this examines the causes of the European debt crisis, the key players and institutions, the evolution of the crisis in Greece, Spain, and Italy, as well as the massive social movements which have erupted in response to the programs of “austerity” and “adjustment” (read: impoverishment and exploitation), from anarchists in Greece, to the Indignados in Spain, protests in Italy, and new regional and global movements which have emerged in response to the crisis.
- Students in the Streets: education is in crisis, with more graduates, less jobs, and enormous debt. Students have been protesting and going on strike and revolt from Greece, to the UK, Chile, Quebec, and Mexico. This section looks at the causes of this crisis, the reactions to it, and the future of education itself.
- Police State America: Over the past decade, the United States – and many of its Western allies – have become “homeland security” states, with increased surveillance, militarization of domestic space, destruction of civil liberties, and are fast tracking down the road to “technological tyrannies.” With the emergence of social movements, such as Occupy Wall Street, we see the actual purpose of “Homeland Security”: to protect the powerful from the people.
- Environmental Destruction and Indigenous Resistance: this section examines global environmental crises with a focus on the direct interaction between modern human society and the environment, with pollution, deforestation, resource extraction, climate change, toxic waste dumping and other activities threatening the survival of the human species. The causes of the global environmental crisis are systemic: the institutions, ideologies, and structures of power thrive on environmental destruction, and on the front lines of its consequences – as well as resistance against it – are indigenous peoples all over the world: from Africa, to Central and South America, and in Canada with ‘Idle No More’, Indigenous peoples are showing the path forward in addressing issues of environmental devastation, and that we must all begin to act as if we are ‘Indigenous to the Earth.’
- Global Governance, the Future of Power: ideologies, institutions and individuals of power are increasingly global in scope, and are rapidly seeking to globalize in structure. Regional governance structures, such as the EU, which are devastating their own populations, are held up as models for the rest of the world to follow. Banking, corporations, trade, and the monetary system are increasingly global in scope. So-called “free trade agreements” are making corporations more powerful than governments, as new structures of global governance emerge, remaking the world in the ‘corporate image’, increasingly totalitarian, exploitative, and destructive.
- The Prospect of Global Revolution: as power globalizes, so too is resistance. The global movements of resistance, from Egypt and Tunisia, to Greece, Spain, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, to Canada and the United States, may be taking place in specific circumstances, and with specific demands, but they represent a change taking place in the world: the population of the world is rising up in resistance, slowly but surely. What are the common factors driving this? What are areas of mutual co-operation? What is the potential for future evolution into making meaningful change?
This is not meant to be an exact outline, but is meant to be a general look at the subjects which the first volume of The People’s Book Project is attempting to examine.
Please help this Project continue by donating today!
Andrew Gavin Marshall