Next PM Book Club we’ll be discussing Nicholas Shaxson’s ‘Treasure Islands’. Monday, 11th March 6pm at the shop. New members welcomed. A thrilling ride inside the world of tax havens and corporate masterminds While the United States experiences recession and economic stagnation and European countries face bankruptcy, experts struggle to make sense of the crisis. Nicholas Shaxson, a former correspondent for the Financial Times and The Economist, argues that tax havens are a central cause of all these disasters.

In this hard hitting investigation he uncovers how offshore tax evasion, which has cost the U.S. 100 billion dollars in … More

The more we debate about the catastrophic implications of climate change, the more fossil fuels we continue to burn. How did we get caught up in this mess? In this masterful new history, Malm claims that it all began in Britain with the rise of steam-power. So why did manufacturers turn from traditional fuels, notably water, to steam? Overturning established theories of the transition and offering a radically new view of our warming world, this study shows how steam was adopted as a superior source of power.

Two centuries later, the inheritors of that power continue to profit from ‘business as usual’ as the world heads towards … More

Our next Book Club read is Nicholas Shaxson’s, ‘Treasure Islands’, on Monday 11th March. In this book, Shaxson investigates the three main components of the offshore system, which may surprise you. While the small island states are integral fortifications of the offshore system, the main poles are actually the United States, London, and a grouping of states in continental Europe (mainly Luxembourg, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and the Netherlands). Considering that about one half of world trade passes through tax havens, they are integral to the current global system.

Also, while terrorists and crime lords are significant users of the offshore system, the primary beneficiary and architect is the … More

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by the Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein. Klein argues that neoliberal free market policies (as advocated by the economist Milton Friedman) have risen to prominence in some developed countries because of a deliberate strategy of “shock therapy”. This centers on the exploitation of national crises to push through controversial policies while citizens are too emotionally & physically distracted by disasters or upheavals to mount an effective resistance.

Exposing these global profiteers, Naomi Klein discovered information and connections that shocked even her about how comprehensively the shock doctors’ … More

Born OTD in 1928, American linguist, philosopher, historian & social critic, Noam Chomsky. Chomsky has been a huge influence on my life since I first discovered his work back in the mid-90’s and how, sadly, little has changed in terms of manufacturing consent and the so-called left adopting neoliberalism in the, ‘There Is No Alternative’ narrative.

In “Profit Over People,” Noam Chomsky takes on neoliberalism: the pro-corporate system of economic and political policies presently waging a … More

Costas Lapavitsas contends that the EU’s response to the Eurozone crisis represents the ultimate transformation of the union into a neoliberal citadel, which institutionally embeds austerity, privatisation and wage cuts. Concurrently, the rise of German hegemony has divided the EU into an unstable mixture of wealthy core and dependent peripheries.

These related developments make the EU impervious to meaningful reform, particularly as its institutions are fundamentally designed to uphold the … More

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a place that really existed, but it is long dead. By now, the word “Soviet” should be as meaningless as “Hapsburg”. Yet it endures, as in the wave of “de-communisation” in Ukraine or the strange idea that the capitalist government in Russia is “Communist”. But does the Soviet experience have anything to teach us today, or was it just an enormous cul-de-sac, a nuclear-armed reincarnation of the Russian Empire?

This book tries to find out, through walking the towns and great cities of the USSR, in an itinerary that … More

At the onset of the Great Recession, as house prices sank and joblessness soared, many commentators concluded that the economic convictions behind the disaster would now be consigned to history. And yet, in the harsh light of a new day, we’ve awoken to a second nightmare more ghastly than the first: a political class still blaming government intervention, a global drive for austerity, stagflation, and an international sovereign debt crisis..

Philip Mirowski finds an apt comparison to this situation in classic studies of cognitive dissonance. He concludes that neoliberal thought … More