He dates the rise of globalisation from and argues that its central tenet is that "civilisation should be seen through economics, and economics alone". He depicts the rise of the ideology of free trade from the midth century as a similarly mono-dimensional and economically fundamentalist phenomenon. There is much to commend his exposition of globalisation, or rather the ideology of globalisation, which he terms "globalism": it is informative, engaging and, above all, bitingly critical. Saul sees the heyday of globalisation as the mids. By this time, tariffs had fallen considerably, hundreds of trade agreements were in place, tax rates for the wealthy had fallen, global markets reigned supreme, and privatisation and deregulation were sweeping the world. Even the old communist citadel had succumbed.

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He also takes a critical look at recent doubts over globalism as an all-pervading ideology. This grand view makes it easier for them to impose the specific change they want. When things become more complicated, as they do, the same advocates retreat to more modest claims, while still insisting on the central nature of their truth and its inevitability.

Many will angrily deny they ever claimed more. The real question is: will globalism disappear? Saul, in this superbly written book, would not like that to happen. But he is no blind advocate of globalism either.

He takes a rational view of globalism as an idea, its practice so far, against historical background and geo-political forces that have shaped its trajectory. If the expectation materializes, globalism will succeed in crumbling walls of narrow nationalism and pernicious protectionism for a better world of tomorrow.

Much depends on how different nations and peoples look upon globalism. Saul is even more valid on India and China, than he imagines. It should be made required reading fro all Indian policy makers, Indian economists of whatever persuasion and indeed all concerned Indians.


The end of the world as we know it?

Biography[ edit ] Saul is the son of William Saul, an army officer, and a British mother whose family had a long tradition of military service. Born in Ottawa, and christened in Calgary, he spent his infancy in Alberta and much of his childhood in Manitoba, but graduated from high school in Oakville, Ontario. At a young age, he became fluent in both national languages, French and English. He supported himself by running the French subsidiary of a British investment company. After helping to set up the national oil company Petro-Canada in , as assistant to its first chair, Maurice F. Strong , Saul published his first novel, The Birds of Prey, in Strong described Saul as "an invaluable, though unconventional, member of my personal staff.


John Ralston Saul


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