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Summary

As the world becomes ever more unequal, people become ever more 'disposable'. Today, governments systematically exclude sections of their populations from society through heavy-handed policing. But it doesn't always go to plan. William I. Robinson exposes the nature and dynamics of this out-of-control system, arguing for the urgency of creating a movement capable of overthrowing it. The global police state uses a variety of ingenious methods of control, including mass incarceration, police violence, US-led wars, the persecution of immigrants and refugees, and the repression of environmental activists. Movements have emerged to combat the increasing militarisation, surveillance and social cleansing. However, many of them appeal to a moral sense of social justice rather than addressing its root - global capitalism. Using shocking data which reveals how far capitalism has become a system of repression, Robinson argues that the emerging megacities of the world are becoming the battlegrounds where the excluded and the oppressed face off against the global police state.

©2020 William I Robinson (P)2020 W F Howes

Critic reviews

"For the last 20 years, William Robinson has been one of the most important analysts of global capitalism and the dynamics of globalisation. In this new work, Robinson turns his attention to the emergence of a 21st century 'global police state' that has developed as a corollary to growing inequality, climate collapse and intensifying migration movements of the dispossessed. As Robinson warns, with great deprivation comes great repression, policing and potentially war. Robinson writes pointedly and with urgency for a broad audience with an interest in mobilising for a just world." (Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, professor of African American studies at Princeton University)

"Karl Marx aspired to a world in which our animal needs would be satisfied and our human needs could be addressed. It is a realistic possibility now, as William Robinson outlines - or the alternative that is taking shape before our eyes: a 'global police state' controlled by narrowly concentrated capital with 'surplus humanity' left to survive somehow on its own. The choice is in our hands. There could hardly be a more compelling one.” (Noam Chomsky, institute professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT))

“Robinson gives powerful theoretical coherence to everyone's fear that the fascism is being reborn, but adds the important twist that repression itself has grown into an essential engine of accumulation." (Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums and co-author of Set the Night on Fire: Los Angeles in the Sixties)

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