Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth: Our Runaway Market Culture and the Disappearing American Commons

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9780415932646: Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth: Our Runaway Market Culture and the Disappearing American Commons
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Book by Bollier David

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"Silent Theft raises the kinds of questions that Washington typically represses. The book broaches issues that very likely are going to drive the next big turn of the political wheel. Silent Theft confirms the brooding sense, shared by many, of a system out of control. Jonathan Rowe, Washington Monthly." "Bollier advances a powerful critique of the market uber alles nonsense that is driving our nation and our prospects for genuine democracy into the ground. He argues, convincingly, that the privatization of the commons is disastrous even for those generally entralled with markets and the profit-motive. Robert W. McChesney, Boston Review." ..."get[s] at what I think is the fundamental, primary political issue that can be the underlying value for regenerating progressive politics in our country, and that value is the common good versus private greed. Jim Hightower, Texas Observer." "The subject of "Silent Theft is urgently important, and Bollier's handling of this complex set of issues is both deft and straightforward. The more people who read "Silent Theft, the better our world.." -Norman Lear "A calm reasonable primer on a topic of enormous importance. Buy a copy, and when you've read it, donate it to that wonderful commons called your local library.." -Bill McKibben author, "The End of Nature

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'They hang the man and flog the woman That steal the goose from off the common, But let the greater villain loose That steals the common from the goose.' - Traditional nursery rhyme Until a 1998 federal court decision, a Minnesota publisher claimed to own every federal court decision, including Roe v. Wade and Brown v. Board of Education. A Texas company was recently allowed to calm a patent on basmati rice, a kind of rice grown in India for hundreds of years. The Mining Act of 1872 is still in effect, allowing companies to buy land from the government at USD5 and acre if they pan to mine it. These are resources that belong to al of use, yet they are being given away to companies with anything but the common interest in mind. Where was the public outcry, or the government intervention, when these were happening? The answers are alarming. Private corporations are consuming the resources that the American people collectively own at a staggering rate, and the government is not protecting the commons on our behalf. In Silent Theft , David Bollier exposes the audacious attempts of companies to appropriate medical breakthroughs, public airwaves, outer space, state research, and even the DNA of plants and animals. Amazingly, these abuses often go unnoticed, Bollier argues, because we have lost our ability to see the commons. Publicly funded technological innovations create common wealth (cell phone airwaves, internet addresses, gene sequences) at blinding speed, while an economic atmosphere of deregulation and privatization ensures they will be quickly bought and sold. In an age of market triumphalism, does the notion of the commons have any practical meaning? Crisp and revelatory, Silent Theft is a bold attempt to develop a new language of the commons, a new ethos of commonwealth in the face of a market ethic that knows no bounds.

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9780415944823: Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth

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ISBN 10:  0415944821 ISBN 13:  9780415944823
Editorial: Routledge, 2003
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