Superclass The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-03-03
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Each of them is one in a million. They number six thousand on a planet of six billion. They run our governments, our largest corporations, the powerhouses of international finance, the media, world religions, and, from the shadows, the world's most dangerous criminal and terrorist organizations. They are the global superclass, and they are shaping the history of our time. Today's superclass has achieved unprecedented levels of wealth and power. They have globalized more rapidly than any other group. But do they have more in common with one another than with their own countrymen, as nationalist critics have argued? They control globalization more than anyone else. But has their influence fed the growing economic and social inequity that divides the world? What happens behind closeddoor meetings in Davos or aboard corporate jets at 41,000 feet? Conspiracy or collaboration? Deal-making or idle self-indulgence? What does the rise of Asia and Latin America mean for the conventional wisdom that shapes our destinies? Who sets the rules for a group that operates beyond national laws? Drawn from scores of exclusive interviews and extensive original reporting,Superclassanswers all of these questions and more. It draws back the curtain on a privileged society that most of us know little about, even though it profoundly affects our everyday lives. It is the first in-depth examination of the connections between the global communities of leaders who are at the helm of every major enterprise on the planet and control its greatest wealth. And it is an unprecedented examination of the trends within the superclass, which are likely to alter our politics, our institutions, and the shape of the world in which we live.

Author Biography

David Rothkopf is the widely acclaimed author of Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power. He is the president and chief executive of Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory firm; a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and a teacher of international affairs at Columbia University’s Graduate School of International and Public Affairs.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Editionp. xiii
Prefacep. xix
Introduction The Power Elite on the Promenadep. 3
Each One Is One in a Million: Meet the Superclassp. 23
Each One Is One in a Million
The Corporate Side of the Superclass
Vilfredo Pareto's Enduring Insight: The 80/20 Rule and the Superclass
A Snapshot of the Superclass
What Does Disproportionate Power Look Like?
What the People Who Have Everything Really Want
Six Central Issues Associated with the Superclass
Ceteris Non Paribus: Inequality, Backlash, And The New Orderp. 51
Not All Boats Are Lifted
Not a Country But a Country Club
Not Just a Chilean Paradox
And After the Easy Part...
Ceteris Non Paribus: Inequality of Power, Inequality of Wealth
War of the Rich and the Superrich?
The Inequitable Distribution of Luck
Premium Pay in the Executive Suite
Inequality Revisited
Lessons of History: The Rise and Fall of Elitesp. 77
The Power of History
The Power of Institutions
The Power of Money
The Power of Politics
The Power of Force
The Power of Networks
From the Wanaxes to the Robber Barons: The Rise and Fall of Elites
Stirrings of Democracy: Greece from 2000 to 323 BCE
The Forbiden City Opened from Within: China in the Seventeenth Century
Robber Barons or Inventors of Modernity: America After the Civil War
The Multinational Moment: When Finance and Business Became the Center of It Allp. 111
The Corporate Cluster Within the Superclass
The Interlinked Corporate Elite
What Global Power Can Do
Energy Elites: A Unique Public-Private Network
From the "Sun King" to the "God Pod"
Global Industry, Global Leadership
Globalists vs. Nationalists: Political Fault Line For a New Centuryp. 145
The Power Vacuum
Gangsters for Capitalism?
The Rules Change But the Game Stays the Same: Political Elites Worldwide
Behind the Scenes: The Globalization of the Smoke-Filled Back Room
Tangled Webs and Tottering Institutions
An Informal Affair: The Sovereignty vs. Democracy Trade-Off
The Global Network of Antiglobalists
The Age of Asymmentry: Decline of the Titans and The Rise of Shadow Warriorsp. 190
The Terrorist Threat in Perspective
The Roots of Global Networks
Green Is Not Just the Color of the Uniforms
Consolidation and Concentration of Military Power
Networks Among Defense Firms
They're All in a Tiny Room
The Privatization of the Military: A Two-Way Street
Permanent War's Bottom Line: A Country and an Alliance Beyond All Others
The Fly and the Lion
The Information Superclass: The Power of Ideasp. 221
Fresh and Yet Strangely Familiar
An Ascendant Voice of Change in the Middle East
New Media Monkey-Gland Injections: A Quick Shot of Sizzle
Pro Bono
Saving the World One Idea at a Time
The Reenchantment of the World
Pastor of Partying
The Telemuslim
Dissident Spirituality or Subversive Cult?
The Pragmatic Fanatic
How to Become A Member of the Superclass: Myth, Realty, and The Psychopathology of Successp. 254
A Very Short History of Things That Didn't Really Happen-And Their Very Real Consequences
When Is a Trowel Just a Trowel?
Can It Be Considered an Academic Elite Society If George W. Bush Was a Member?
The "Ex-Presidents' Club"
The Big Events: Less Than Meets the Eye?
The Clinton Global Initiative and the Power of Global Philanthropy
California's Superclass Summer Camp
Asian and Lating American "Wannabes" or Harbingers of the Supermeetings of Tomorrow?
How to Become a Member of the Superclass
The Psychopathology of Success
The Future of The Superclass-And What It May Mean For The Rest of Usp. 296
In Praise of Our Elites vs. Their Elites
Disproportionate Concentration of Power
Informal Mechanisms of Governance
Elites vs. the Disenfranchised
Elites vs. Women
Elites and Mobility
Institutions vs. Individuals
The Emerging Superclass: A Coming Culture Shock?
Global Governance vs. Global Government
Is a Crisis Inevitable?
On Balance
Notesp. 325
Acknowledgementsp. 357
Indexp. 363
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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