An Inquiry Into the Nature of Peace, and the Terms of Its Perpetuation

Cosimo, Inc.
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One of the great thinkers of the early 20th century, American economist and sociologist THORSTEIN BUNDE VEBLEN (1857-1929) is best remembered for coining the phrase "conspicuous consumption." In the waning days of World War I, he turned his expertise on a pressing issue of the day: how to create a lasting, healthy peace, and how industry might contribute to it. In this 1917 book, Veblen explores.... how the concept of patriotism can undermine efforts toward peace. how modern commerce can unify nations. why honor must be sustained by surrendering nations. how war in the 20th century is a battle between modes of government and national character. and more.ALSO FROM COSIMO: Veblen's The Vested Interests and the Common Man, The Theory of Business Enterprise, and Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution
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Additional Information

Publisher
Cosimo, Inc.
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Published on
Sep 1, 2006
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781596057081
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Infrastructure
Political Science / Peace
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the visionary bestselling author of The Second World and How to Run the World comes a bracing and authoritative guide to a future shaped less by national borders than by global supply chains, a world in which the most connected powers—and people—will win.

Connectivity is the most revolutionary force of the twenty-first century. Mankind is reengineering the planet, investing up to ten trillion dollars per year in transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure linking the world’s burgeoning megacities together. This has profound consequences for geopolitics, economics, demographics, the environment, and social identity. Connectivity, not geography, is our destiny.

In Connectography, visionary strategist Parag Khanna travels from Ukraine to Iran, Mongolia to North Korea, Pakistan to Nigeria, and across the Arctic Circle and the South China Sea to explain the rapid and unprecedented changes affecting every part of the planet. He shows how militaries are deployed to protect supply chains as much as borders, and how nations are less at war over territory than engaged in tugs-of-war over pipelines, railways, shipping lanes, and Internet cables. The new arms race is to connect to the most markets—a race China is now winning, having launched a wave of infrastructure investments to unite Eurasia around its new Silk Roads. The United States can only regain ground by fusing with its neighbors into a super-continental North American Union of shared resources and prosperity.

Connectography offers a unique and hopeful vision for the future. Khanna argues that new energy discoveries and technologies have eliminated the need for resource wars; ambitious transport corridors and power grids are unscrambling Africa’s fraught colonial borders; even the Arab world is evolving a more peaceful map as it builds resource and trade routes across its war-torn landscape. At the same time, thriving hubs such as Singapore and Dubai are injecting dynamism into young and heavily populated regions, cyber-communities empower commerce across vast distances, and the world’s ballooning financial assets are being wisely invested into building an inclusive global society. Beneath the chaos of a world that appears to be falling apart is a new foundation of connectivity pulling it together.

Praise for Connectography

“Incredible . . . With the world rapidly changing and urbanizing, [Khanna’s] proposals might be the best way to confront a radically different future.”—The Washington Post

“Clear and coherent . . . a well-researched account of how companies are weaving ever more complicated supply chains that pull the world together even as they squeeze out inefficiencies. . . . [He] has succeeded in demonstrating that the forces of globalization are winning.”—Adrian Woolridge, The Wall Street Journal

“Bold . . . With an eye for vivid details, Khanna has . . . produced an engaging geopolitical travelogue.”—Foreign Affairs

“For those who fear that the world is becoming too inward-looking, Connectography is a refreshing, optimistic vision.”—The Economist

“Connectivity has become a basic human right, and gives everyone on the planet the opportunity to provide for their family and contribute to our shared future. Connectography charts the future of this connected world.”—Marc Andreessen, general partner, Andreessen Horowitz

“Khanna’s scholarship and foresight are world-class. A must-read for the next president.”—Chuck Hagel, former U.S. secretary of defense

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Absentee Ownership is an inquiry into the economic situation as it has taken shape in the twentieth century, particularly as exemplified in the case of America. According to Thorstein Veblen, absentee ownership is the main and immediate controlling interest in the life of civilized men. It is the paramount issue between the civilized nations, and guides the conduct of their affairs at home and abroad. World War I, says Veblen, arose out of a conflict of absentee interests and the peace was negotiated with a view to stabilize them.

Part I of the book is occupied with a summary description of that range of economic circumstances and that sequence of economic growth and change that led up through the nineteenth century and have come to a head in the twentieth century. Part II is an objective, theoretical analysis of those economic circumstances described in the first part of the book.

Marion Levy writes in his introduction about the phrase "absentee ownership" and how it has a definite connotation, representing a dark figure in the economic system, a frustration of desired levels of self-sufficiency. In the early days, the giants of business enterprise had faces--Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Ford, Edison--but they all turned into faceless bureaucracies, says Levy. The giants may not have been nice, but they had faces and human traits. Absentee ownership wiped that out for the common man. Veblen's book continues to be of vital importance to the studies of economics, political theory, and sociology.

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