Giants: The Global Power Elite (Paperback)
A look at the top 300 most powerful players in world capitalism, who are at the controls of our economic future.
Who holds the purse strings to the majority of the world's wealth? There is a new global elite at the controls of our economic future, and here former Project Censored director and media monitoring sociologist Peter Phillips unveils for the general reader just who these players are. The book includes such power players as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon, and Warren Buffett.
As the number of men with as much wealth as half the world fell from sixty-two to just eight between January 2016 and January 2017, according to Oxfam International, fewer than 200 super-connected asset managers at only 17 asset management firms—each with well over a trillion dollars in assets under management—now represent the financial core of the world's transnational capitalist class. Members of the global power elite are the management—the facilitators—of world capitalism, the firewall protecting the capital investment, growth, and debt collection that keeps the status quo from changing. Each chapter in Giants identifies by name the members of this international club of multi-millionaires, their 17 global financial companies—and including NGOs such as the Group of Thirty and the Trilateral Commission—and their transnational military protectors, so the reader, for the first time anywhere, can identify who constitutes this network of influence, where the wealth is concentrated, how it suppresses social movements, and how it can be redistributed for maximum systemic change.
About the Author
PETER PHILLIPS has been a professor of political sociology at Sonoma State University since 1994, was the director of Project Censored from 1996 to 2010, and the president of Media Freedom Foundation from 2003 to 2017. He has been editor or co-editor of fourteen editions of Censored, co-editor with Dennis Loo of Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney (Seven Stories Press, 2006), and editor of two editions of Progressive Guide to Alternative Media and Activism (Seven Stories Press, 1999 and 2004). He was a co-host of the weekly Project Censored show on Pacifica Radio with Mickey Huff from 2010 to 2017, originating from KPFA in Berkeley and airing on forty stations nationwide. He teaches courses in Political Sociology, Sociology of Power, Sociology of Media, Sociology of Conspiracies, and Investigative Sociology. He was winner of the Firecracker Alternative Book Award for Best Political Book in 1997, the PEN Censorship Award in 2008, the Dallas Smythe Award from the Union for Democratic Communications in 2009, and the Pillar Human Rights Award from the National Association of Whistleblowers in 2014. He lives in a redwood forest near Bodega, California, with his wife, Mary Lia.
“Adam Smith warned that the ‘masters of mankind’ will pursue their ‘vile maxim: All for ourselves, and nothing for other people.’ There could hardly be a more apt description of the recent era of savage capitalism, straining for new heights under cover of Trump’s antics. Who exactly are the masters? This remarkable inquiry lifts the veil, providing detailed and often shocking revelations about the astonishing concentration of private wealth and corporate power, its institutions and integrated structure – and not least, its threat to civilized and humane existence.” —Noam Chomsky
“Peter Phillips’s book is a timely reminder that as the transnational capitalist class/global power elite changes it is vital that critical researchers keep up with these changes. The reader will find impressive documentation of the institutions and personnel driving capitalist globalization in its destructive and relentless search for growth and profits.” —Leslie Sklair, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science
“Giants answers, in great detail, the commonly-asked but little-known question: who really pulls the strings? This book outlines the handful of individuals who manage the most powerful think tanks, investment firms and corporate boards who make society’s decisions at the expense of the planet. ... Giants is an essential tool to understand those at the reigns of empire and capitalist hegemony, so we can be empowered to fight for our survival.” —Abby Martin, The Empire Files
“Following decades of research on power elites, Peter Phillips’s book Giants exposes the power networks that link the world’s wealthiest individuals and organizations and the ideological justifications that sustain their power. Impeccable original research provides the foundation for an impassioned call to action that reflects Phillips’s abiding commitments to social justice and human rights. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand socioeconomic inequality in the twenty-first century, and it is vital inspiration for those committed to creating a better world.” —Andy Lee Roth, associate director, Project Censored
“If you want to know who is actually ruling the world – read this book. If you want to know the organizations they use and the networks that create them – read this book. If want to know ‘what needs to be done’ to stop them from destroying the planet – read this book and then take action.” —David Cobb, 2004 Green Party presidential nominee and co-founder, Cooperation Humboldt
“For anyone who wants to know precisely where we are today, and why – and who knows that we can and must go somewhere else – Giants is a book to read, and recommend, right now.” —Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media Studies, New York University