Friday, March 16, 2007

One World

One World, by Peter Singer
$14.00 at ISBN: 0300103050
Globalization is the subject of this non-fiction book, by America's premier philosopher. Now, Peter's a brilliant man and a terrific writer, but the subject is a little heavy so it's somewhat challenging to read. Nonetheless, it's written at the introductory level, so it's as easy to follow as the subject can possibly be. He didn't load it down with statistics and complicated words, so if you're a moderately experienced reader looking for a challenge, you should have no trouble. He covers a wide range of topics all related to the question: is globalization good or bad?
These days with high speed travel, tele-communication, and the internet, trading goods and exchanging ideas worldwide is easy to do and impossible to avoid. Everything we do affects everyone else on the planet. Singer takes a good look at what this means for our collective future. National leaders must take a larger perspective than that of national self-interest. The idea of sovereign, independent nations may soon become a thing of the past. Rich, industrialized nations create more pollution while poor, less developed countries often have to deal with the consequences of rising sea levels, widespread diseases, increased tropical storms, and falling food production. The World Trade Organization (WTO) removes barriers to international trade, but is often considered un-democratric and can obstruct legal and ethical concerns. Do we all have an equal right to non-renewable natural resources, or are citizens of some nations more entitled than others?
International law, worldwide poverty, human rights, and concerns about animal cruelty and environmental protection are all considered. These are complicated issues relevant to all our lives. Singer meets the highest calling of any author: to make what is important to know interesting to read. This book addresses some serious problems, yet remains optimistic and is guaranteed to get you thinking. Personal rights, the sovereignty of nations, and international ethics as you've never considered them before, and excluding the bibliography it's only 201 pages. Who can ask for anything more?

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