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Friday, February 27, 2015

The End of Power by Moises Naim

The subtitle of this book is "From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States: Why Being in Charge Isn't What it Used to Be".

The author had an influential position in the Venezuelan government prior to Hugo Chavez, and it is hard to imagine that what happened in his country didn't influence his world view.  The book first describes what power is, and how it has coercive components are well as ways to incentivize compliance.  He describes the rise of power, and what has happened in later later half of the 20th century into the 21st century to erode the power base of both companies and governments.  He is not predicting the end of control in traditional establishments such church and state, but rather that they have less influence than in the past.  The author attributes this to the emergence of social media and the ability of people who want change to connect with each other in a way that is unprecedented combined with the increasing globalization of the world economy.  Dominance is no longer possible, and there are two things to take away from this.  The first is that voting and staying engaged is very important, more so than at any other time in history, and acknowledging and accepting that no government will be the dominant force it might once have been.  A quick and interesting read.

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