Tuesday

"Mobs, Messiahs and Markets: Surviving the Public Spectacle in Finance and Politics" By Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva

Bill Bonner has long been a maverick observer of the financial and political world. In Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets, Bonner and freelance Journalist Lila Rajiva use literary economics to offer broader insights into mass behavior and its devastating effects on society.
Why is it, they ask, that perfectly sane and responsible individuals turn into an irrational mob? What makes them trust charlatans and demagogues who manipulate their worse instincts? Why do they abandon good sense, good behavior and good taste? Why is the road to hell paved with so many sterling intentions? Why is there a fool on every corner and knave in every public office?
Yale University assistant professor of Psychiatry, Bandy Xenobia Lee, says its time to apply narcissistic behavior not only to people but to nations. It is obvious that, in the world of economics, Americans' delusions of grandeur threaten to ruin them. And in politics, it's worse. Americans are risking their very souls with murderous wars. Lee notes that few nations could have afforded to live in the style to which Americans have become accustomed -- not even Americans themselves. Their paper money is backed by nothing; the economy doomed to slow down, stocks bound to fall and, victims of an excess of enthusiasm and shortage of capital investment.
Yet, most Americans do not doubt themselves. They cannot save a dime themselves, but they offer to save the entire planet based on the way they view the world.
Success has transformed a modest people whose greatest virtue was once minding their own business into a vainglorious race who mind everyone's business but their own. Discounted is the hard work of their fathers and grandfathers who went ahead of them. Dismissed are the virtues of thrift, sound money, limited government and collective modesty.
One day, historians will look back at our era and marvel at how George bush and Tony Blair determined to convert the Iraqis to democracy. To our descendants, it will look like a mad caprice; an act of remarkable faith or delusion, like missionaries showing the heathan the correct posture for copulation.
(see full review: The Daily Reckoning, Weekend Edition, 8/25-26/07)
--This book is currently available at Amazon.com--

17 comments:

ER said...

This is an interesting piece. I am aware that Bonner says it like it is -- clearly and directly. I think of him as a prophet of truth from the financial sector. There are many but he writes about it in a way that illuminats the problems by way of moral truths. ER

Jim Burrow said...

I agree with ER. Bonneris terrific. I read all his stuff.
He doesn't feel good about the way the country is going and he's right! People better wake up!
Unfortunately, I fear they will not and we're as a free and enterprising country will be no more. Get realistic folks. Jim Burrow, New Hampshire

janet moore said...

Yes, yes, yes. We need more Bonner's. Good sight! Janet Moore, NC

Elisabeth Murray said...

I ave read about this book in a number of reviews. This guy must be one of the truth seekers! From the reviews I've read, he seems to feel the American people have totally lost their way. And we, the people, are at fault.
I would suspect anyone taking a look at the content of this blog has been keeping up with our economic, political and moral downside. Where Bonner hits hard is the 'collective' consciousness.
We are too accepting of people who lie, cheat and who will ultimately
destroy the greatness (if not already)of our country. Who's fault? Our own.
I am baffled by people who have children. Don't they think enough of their children't futures to act?
Certainly not enough of them.
Elisabeth Murray, CA

Anonymous said...

agree with you Elisabeth. Unfortunately most people have no idea what to do. It takes effort, time and commitment to do SOMETHING! And, a little bit of wisdom. Most would prefer to "turn their brains off". Now by do nothing the country sinks even deeper into the abyss.
I don't believe people realize the power they have unless they take a stand for what is right -- morally, politically and spiritually.
As for parents with children. Fear takes over. They don't want to go there.
We live in a great country. That greatness is fast eroding. In the end, we can only blame ourselves.

Wayne Jackson said...

Excellent comments anonymous! Couldn't have said it better myself.
I too believe we are going through a, what one might call, trial period in this country. We have been given so much yet crave even more. Money sells, violence sells, lies sell, yet, from what I can tell, people are unhappy, sick, joyless and intolerent. WHAT KIND OF LIFE IS THAT!
If we "wake up" and realize we have been taken for a ride down the wrong path, maybe -- just maybe we can come out of this 'whatever you choose to call it' down slide we're in. YES FOLKS, WE CAN WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES. Wayne Jackson, Memphis

James Edmund said...

I've heard about this guy for years but have not read his books. Googled him to find out more about him. Impressive. Read enough to know his work. Will most likely order the book. Interesting comments! James Edmund, Kingsport, TN

Larry Luckens said...

Bonner is on the right track. With his credentials, readers will pay attention to him. There are a lot of worried people out there who are saying and doing nothing.
I suspect this book, hot off the press, will carry weight. Larry Luckens, Dallas

Rick Wessel said...

Look for a "downturn" in the market this week and next. This could be the beginning of serious trouble for the market.
There are people "out there" who know what's going on and Bonner is one of them! Whoever said "wake up folks" is right!!! Rick Wessel, NM

Anonymous said...

I've got to pick up this book! Many loved ones in the dark, maybe a read for them? What matters most in life? The American-centric attitude of most Americans to the rest of the world shows a dangerous ignorance. Don't you think?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with one comment about Americans sacrificing their very souls with murderous war. Most Americans do not want this war-- but they remember the war of their fathers and WWII was the backdrop or at least strongly in the consciousness of the ones in power today. It won't always be this way if we can just live through it.

Edith said...

A "dangerous ignorance" is right! The problem is that those of us who see the horror in what we are doing will suffer the consequences too. This country has a price to pay. Edith

Anonymous said...

This is a great book! Unfortunately, many will ignore the power of this book. To the person who disagrees with the comment that "we Americans are sacrificing our very souls with this murderous war"
I just want to ask the question: Who are the real terriorists?

Anonymous said...

In answer to your response, we are the invaders. We are at war for oil. We are killing literally thousands of people in their own country and, of course, our men are dying day by day. Yes ----, our very souls are at risk. When are we going to realize that our own country is in the mud hole, sinking faster and faster. Truth is truth!

Jackie Ball said...

I agree with anonymous. I also believe if we look closer we will find that there is a movement going on that will, eventually, change the world. Yes, we will go down before we get to a place where the masses realize we will change or die.
Bonner's book is good. Very good.
Jackie Ball

Anonymous said...

How about running Bonner for President. Think he would make things right? Anonymous

Jan said...

Terrific Book! jan, AK