'Power Play: the hidden costs of
29 September 2003
Professor Sharon Beder - whose previous books include ‘The Nature of Sustainable Development’, ‘Global Spin: the corporate assault on environmentalism’, and ‘Selling the Work Ethic’ - will be speaking about her new book ‘Power Play: the hidden costs of deregulating and privatising power’ (Scribe Publications) at public meetings during her Auckland-Wellington tour next week, see details below.
In ‘Power Play: the hidden costs of deregulating and privatising power’, she argues persuasively that the track record of electricity privatisation and deregulation around the world indicates that it is a confidence trick, undertaken to swindle the public out of rightful control over an essential public service - a trick conceived and perpetrated by vested interests who seek to gain from private control.
"If you've ever suspected that most, if not all, of the deregulation that has been going on in the last few decades is a con job, Sharon Beder's eye-opening ‘Power Play’ will more than confirm your suspicions. If you have put your faith in mantras like ‘deregulation’, ‘privatization’ and ‘the marketplace’, Beder's account of the campaign to control the world's electricity may open your eyes or, at the very least, make you think twice about the gap between rosy promises and blackout-filled realities.” ... “In Beder's considered opinion, the deregulation of the energy market, not only in California but all over the world, has led to the very conditions that regulations were designed to prevent: private power companies manipulating the supply of energy, causing artificial shortages, driving up prices." [extract from Los Angeles Times review]
"This is a unique and comprehensive account of the crucial struggle for control over power and electricity, ranging from the United States before 1914, the role of the International Monetary Fund in opposing public ownership, to the shocking practices and consequences of Enron in India and privatization in Brazil during the past decade. Sharon Beder writes with verve and elucidates the arcane aspects of this fundamental and very basic dimension of modern industrial society. At the same time, her research is impeccable. For a general and comprehensible account of the struggle for control of electrical power, there is no equal to Beder's ‘Power Play’. This is an important and readable book." [Gabriel Kolko, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at York University, Toronto and author of Vietnam: Anatomy of War and Century of War]
More information about ‘Power Play’, including the full text of the Los Angeles Times and Sydney Morning Herald reviews, is available here.
Sharon Beder is Professor of the Science, Technology and Society Program at the University of Wollongong. She will be speaking in Auckland on 8 October, and in Wellington on 10 October.
If you can’t make it to the meetings, you can obtain a copy of ’Power Play’ from Addenda Ltd, PO Box 78-224, Grey Lynn, Auckland; tel (09) 836 7471, fax (09) 836 7401. ’Power Play: the hidden costs of deregulating and privatising power’ is a Scribe Publications C-format paperback, 336pp, $39.95.
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