website statistics Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy

Availability: Ready to download

The men and women in Invisible Hands reveal the human rights abuses occurring behind the scenes of the global economy. These narrators — including phone manufacturers in China, copper miners in Zambia, garment workers in Bangladesh, and farmers around the world — reveal the secret history of the things we buy, including lives and communities devastated by low wages, enviro The men and women in Invisible Hands reveal the human rights abuses occurring behind the scenes of the global economy. These narrators — including phone manufacturers in China, copper miners in Zambia, garment workers in Bangladesh, and farmers around the world — reveal the secret history of the things we buy, including lives and communities devastated by low wages, environmental degradation, and political repression. Sweeping in scope and rich in detail, these stories capture the interconnectivity of all people struggling to support themselves and their families. Narrators include Kalpona, a leading Bangladeshi labor organizer who led her first strike at 15; Han, who, as a teenager, began assembling circuit boards for an international electronics company based in Seoul; Albert, a copper miner in Zambia who, during a wage protest, was shot by representatives of the Chinese-owned mining company that he worked for; and Sanjay, who grew up in the shadow of the Bhopal chemical disaster, one of the worst industrial accidents in history.


Compare

The men and women in Invisible Hands reveal the human rights abuses occurring behind the scenes of the global economy. These narrators — including phone manufacturers in China, copper miners in Zambia, garment workers in Bangladesh, and farmers around the world — reveal the secret history of the things we buy, including lives and communities devastated by low wages, enviro The men and women in Invisible Hands reveal the human rights abuses occurring behind the scenes of the global economy. These narrators — including phone manufacturers in China, copper miners in Zambia, garment workers in Bangladesh, and farmers around the world — reveal the secret history of the things we buy, including lives and communities devastated by low wages, environmental degradation, and political repression. Sweeping in scope and rich in detail, these stories capture the interconnectivity of all people struggling to support themselves and their families. Narrators include Kalpona, a leading Bangladeshi labor organizer who led her first strike at 15; Han, who, as a teenager, began assembling circuit boards for an international electronics company based in Seoul; Albert, a copper miner in Zambia who, during a wage protest, was shot by representatives of the Chinese-owned mining company that he worked for; and Sanjay, who grew up in the shadow of the Bhopal chemical disaster, one of the worst industrial accidents in history.

30 review for Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diogenes

    Invisible Hands is a monumental work of humanistic, first-person accounts within the monstrous trenches of neoliberal capitalism run amok. Almost every single thing we buy is made in developing nations, by workers mired in poverty, oppressed by the web of transnational corporations that create conditions akin to slavey, lorded over by despotic stockholders and boards of directors. Try living off $40 a month. No wait, let me rephrase that. Try living in a shack or tenement hovel deep in the bowel Invisible Hands is a monumental work of humanistic, first-person accounts within the monstrous trenches of neoliberal capitalism run amok. Almost every single thing we buy is made in developing nations, by workers mired in poverty, oppressed by the web of transnational corporations that create conditions akin to slavey, lorded over by despotic stockholders and boards of directors. Try living off $40 a month. No wait, let me rephrase that. Try living in a shack or tenement hovel deep in the bowels of a super-slum with several children, AND THEN try to imagine living off $40 a month working in a factory to sate the ridiculous consumption habits of myopic Westerners, and a world being "Americanized" through the psychological warfare of advertising. Of course most Americans couldn't care less. It takes a photo of a drowned kid face-down in the sand to even bring up the issue of Syria and the millions of Syrians living in a Hell-On-Earth scenario for YEARS. The same goes for those who build our iPads, sew our jeans, harvest our coffee beans and bananas, glue our shoes, solder our cell phones, anything plastic, anything electronic, anything worn on the body, and just about anything pulled from the ground. A building can collapse, crushing a thousand garment workers in one swoop, and no one bats an eyelash in the checkout line. A mining conglomerate fuels a civil war on a Pacific island, and the media doesn't cover it; governments fail to intervene. One word: Bhopal. Generally speaking, corporations are evil creatures that need to be caged. There is a plethora of documentary films on the subject too, if one would prefer to get the contents of this book in an hour-and-a-half sitting. I grew up in northwest Indiana, a stone's throw from the steel mills in Gary where most of my friends' fathers worked (cue up John Mellencamp's Scarecrow album). The Steel Belt became the Rust Belt, and the Rust Belt has become ghostly ruins eaten by bulldozers. Now we're importing steel from China, and Bangladeshi children are making our t-shirts and tennis shoes, scraping old ships apart piece by piece, and extruding precious minerals from mountains of old electronics dumped onto their beaches, leaching toxins everywhere. One more word: Accountability. I've said this before and I'll say it until I'm six feet under, we consumers have the ultimate power to change corporate behavior. I've lost faith in politics completely. What you buy says it all. Be conscious of what you buy, understand the chain of events that go into the creation, shipping, and selling of any item, and stop buying crap made with blood and tears by poor people dominated by kleptocratic regimes in bed with greed-centric multinational companies, pulling the strings of criminal police forces who like to "disappear" rabble-rousers and human rights advocates, those wicked "socialists" screaming for equality and fair treatment. It doesn't matter if it's Appalachia, Bangladesh, Mexico, or China. The system, by and large, is rotten. Change it through choices.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pjbhaumik

    Corrine Goria’s book titled Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy presents 16 short biographies for an illustration of the humanitarian cost that industrial modernization extolled. Manufacturing is the synthetic production of goods in small or large volume quantities. The manufacture of unique units seldom occurs, so the repetitive processes and common raw materials lend themselves to economies of scale. Businesses have been leveraging economies of scale for centuries through slavery, Corrine Goria’s book titled Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy presents 16 short biographies for an illustration of the humanitarian cost that industrial modernization extolled. Manufacturing is the synthetic production of goods in small or large volume quantities. The manufacture of unique units seldom occurs, so the repetitive processes and common raw materials lend themselves to economies of scale. Businesses have been leveraging economies of scale for centuries through slavery, feudalism, and wage labor. The garment industry, agriculture, raw material extraction, and electronics manufacturing represent the most conspicuous of inhumane business cesspools. Practices of oppression appear as products of paid malfeasance, organized crime, and blacklisting. Awareness of commercial humanitarian violations has become a stage for industrial reformers, and Goria has biographied 16 characters whose plight exemplified perseverance required for radical industrial reform. Each reformer could have succumbed to oppression or a life of crime, but they would have neither reformed human labor policy nor developed the impetus for innovations such as automation. An oppressed class faces impedances against group awareness, and if and only if reformers persevere, then group liberation occurs without apostasy amidst reparations for an instrumental subset. Goria’s 16 biographies serve as case studies for this rationale. Economic oppression occurs as a nation imports exports at a price so low that the exporter experiences humanitarian hardships. Hardships include poor infrastructure, unsafe working conditions, low wages, long work hours, coercion, gender bias, and racism. Prevention of economic oppression would raise operational costs while neglect enables operational profitability. Exporters cut costs at every opportunity, and the biographies, from Goria’s book, illustrate the consequences before the enactment of modern international human rights litigation. Each case imbues, with intimate first-hand knowledge, the physical and mental abuse repercussive from economic oppression. Goria’s examples undergo extended periods of abuse, and their stories include sustained indifference and neglect from the responsible parties. A single incident would not have caused the reformative reaction from this book, but the repeated existence or practice of oppressive abuse is the crux of calls for swift justice around the globe. The guise of economic oppression has changed as evident during the progression of Goria’s book from conspicuous human rights’ infringements to sophisticated corporate dissimulation. Victims face iniquitous opposition against reparations and reform since employers craft legal policy replete with loopholes for avoidance of class action lawsuits or expensive operational redress. Abused workers of oppressive employers need rights before sum-ruination. Goria’s examples present awareness as instrumental for reform. Modern day worker’s unions may have evolved from Goria’s examples who joined NGO’s for support and legal advice. Knowledge is power. Ill-informed and oppressed employees could not display the same courage as did the reformers who had knowledge of worker’s rights, safety standards, and the vicarious liabilities of employers. Stories from Goria’s book, such as that of Kalpona Akter, show increased reformative ability after involvement with NGO’s. Rob Willer has stated advantages of group work in terms of social identity and automaticity, so the success rate for individual victims of economic oppression after NGO involvement appears expected. The first step towards awareness of one’s condition may be identification with a group and not any pre-requisite self-realization because adoption of the group’s identity identifies the newcomer. Reformative action begins as awareness attracts the needed enablers and leaders for management and direction of the group’s base membership. Boycotts, class action lawsuits, and strikes each employ the entire group’s resources for successful representation of the individual group member’s needs. Awareness of one’s rights thus becomes a vital milestone towards self-empowerment, and then the awareness of like-minded colleagues creates a herd mentality for the desired reformation. Industrial workers have faced terrible conditions: un-ergonomic garment production equipment, sweltering cotton fields, dusty coal mines, and radioactive semiconductor fabrication machines. Reformation of these oppressive industrial environments has been a product of perseverance in humanitarianism and capitalism. Humanity demands an acceptable standard of living amongst the proletariat, and capitalists require the proletariat for their workforce. Clashes between humanitarians and capitalists have created bureaucratic reforms for the improvement of workplace conditions and the implementation of reformative processes. Oppressive capitalists can threaten the very livelihood of reformers, so faith, hope, persistence, and human fraternity comprise the few resources for a humanitarian reformation movement. Perseverance appears, in Goria’s book, as a function of collective disruptions over a sustained period of time. The lag between an initial call for reformation and the actual reformative action is months to years, and Goria’s examples standardize the use of diverse protestations. Court cases, media coverage, boycotts, and strikes provide reformers multiple venues, and the diversification of events draws a range of audiences from magistrates to common workers. A strategic coordination of events disrupts the oppressors’ agenda. Economic oppressors may neglect any ephemeral rebellion and choose humanitarian reforms as an ultimate form of bureaucratic appeasement against perseverant incitement. Goria’s book is demonstrative of the abundant humanitarian development required for humane industrialization. Examples from Goria’s book each experienced hardship under economic oppression, and their stories establish a premise for humanitarian industrialization. Industrialization has been correlated with capitalism and any backlash has been seen as socialistic. Oppressive industrialization has put humanitarian pressure on the upper bourgeois as profitable margins can diminish with increased proletarian comfort and wages. New and innovative technologies have helped bridge the industrial gap between humanitarianism and capitalism. Capitalist investment, in automation, and legal injunctions of regulatory bodies such as OSHA and the NFPA have forced an increase in operational expenses. Any advent of proletarian disenfranchisement has created an abundance of NGO’s and unions for the interest of social welfare. Oppression has become an abandoned practice, and oppressors are expelled through awareness and perseverance amongst the proletariat and judicial bodies. The instruments of justice have developed in sophistication as have the instruments of oppression. Awareness builds teamwork amongst the oppressed as well as a fear of reprisal amongst the oppressors, so future industrialization faces less blatant oppression. Humanitarian violations still exist in diminutive numbers relative to the past. Aware and perseverant human rights activists challenge and reform those violations each day.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lee Ellen

    The subtitle says it all: these are interviews with various workers in various trades throughout the globe: textile workers, miners, agricultural laborers, people who work in electronics manufacturing, all tell their personal stories of labor, loss, and their universal struggle for improved working conditions. The U.S. is also represented: there’s Terri Judd’s compelling story of attempting to return to work after her machine went down in a Borax mine in California. Being so close to home, I was The subtitle says it all: these are interviews with various workers in various trades throughout the globe: textile workers, miners, agricultural laborers, people who work in electronics manufacturing, all tell their personal stories of labor, loss, and their universal struggle for improved working conditions. The U.S. is also represented: there’s Terri Judd’s compelling story of attempting to return to work after her machine went down in a Borax mine in California. Being so close to home, I was especially moved by Neftali Cuello’s description of working on a tobacco farm in North Carolina. In my youth, born from some misdirected sense of pleasure, I used to make myself sick sneaking around to smoke cigarettes; in contrast, Neftali became dangerously ill from nicotine poisoning while working the fields with her family in order to help make ends meet. Knowing that vast inequalities exist within the global economy is a burden both humbling and troubling; however, seeing the breach within a mere stretch of miles engenders a sickness of another kind. The exploration and closing of this breach provides the inherent power of this book: learning the stories of people, not mere workers or sufferers of wrongdoing, but individuals who, while working in the global economy, also write songs, raise children, have dreams, fall in love. Ari Shapiro of NPR once said in an interview*: “...in the last couple of years I have [covered] the story of Syrians migrating from Turkey through to Europe, or people living in Eastern Ukraine who are suffering through war, and the thing that that experience gives me is an understanding that these are not global events, these are real things happening to real humans that we can all relate to. And as I go and start to meet and talk to these people, you realize that, you know, these are not war people who live in war places who have different kinds of existences that are defined by war, they are people who, in the most fundamental way, are just like all of us”. This book is an excellent illustration of what Mr. Shapiro meant in that statement. This chasm cuts deeply as further stories describe sovereign governments that have been hijacked or otherwise corrupted by financial interests such as in Nigeria, Bhopal (India), Bougainville (Papua New Guinea), and the “special economic zones” in Zambia, just to name a few. However, all is not without hope: I was touched by the garment workers in Mexico and Bangladesh who expressed a sense of pride seeing people in the street wearing their designs, knowing that people all over the world are wearing clothes that they had made. I was also moved that almost every interviewee expressed an undeniable sense of gratitude for the opportunity that these jobs provided. I have often thought this perspective of workers’ attitudes to be a bit of a rosy patina on an ugly situation, a rich-world justification for outsourcing misery. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that, amid the hardships and loss, workers were largely thankful for the income and skills provided by these jobs. The next step, of course, would be to improve conditions so that the gross neglect and abuses become less common. This is the other area in which this book provides hope, for all of these individuals are activists, each of them have had some level of success, and they all continue to educate workers on their rights and to campaign for better standards. This book was a part of a series called “Voices of Witness,” and I look forward to reading more of them. *From NPR All Songs Considered episode on 9/21/2015

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carol Fordahl

    It’s so awful to me that multi billion dollar companies can be so unfeeling. Samsung, Shell, Foxconn and many others use people like they’re grinding up hamburger while the cow is still alive. Evil is in the world snd it’s called THE RICH. Small people in this book, with no electricity, no air conditioning, no furniture and no hope, pull at my heart strings. They want happiness and fair treatment. Is that so hard?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    Though most of these personal narratives are depressing and express little hope, they are true and are honestly eye-opening. I enjoyed the ones that were more hopeful and encouraging. But overall this just shows how relatively privileged almost all Americans are, compared to those in other countries. This book also makes us so much more aware of our consumerist culture.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    Poignant accounts of the everyday lives of the real people who sew our clothes, grow our food, and extract our fuel, and a terrifying exposé of the machine in place to keep them from demanding a better life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    A necessary look into labor practices in the global economy. Invisible Hands is a collection of oral histories from garment workers in Bangladeshi and Mexican factories, farmers all over the world (including a teenage tobacco farmer in North Carolina), Chinese and Korean electronics factory workers, and those responsible for resource extraction across the globe. Prepare for harrowing tales of disease, physical danger, and child labor. While I believe every consumer should read this, it makes you A necessary look into labor practices in the global economy. Invisible Hands is a collection of oral histories from garment workers in Bangladeshi and Mexican factories, farmers all over the world (including a teenage tobacco farmer in North Carolina), Chinese and Korean electronics factory workers, and those responsible for resource extraction across the globe. Prepare for harrowing tales of disease, physical danger, and child labor. While I believe every consumer should read this, it makes you never want to buy anything again.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Interesting book of oral stories from various workers around the world. I was particularly struck by how optimistic a lot of the stories were. All these people are asking for is a fair shake and decent working conditions.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    323 I629 2014

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Another good book from Voices of Witness. I'd love to have a follow up and see how the people are doing. Another good book from Voices of Witness. I'd love to have a follow up and see how the people are doing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erich Eilenberger

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jaemin Lee

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  14. 5 out of 5

    Isabel

  15. 4 out of 5

    S.J.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Lakies

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gravity

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emma Keeley

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gary

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine Rosales

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Sbardella

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pam Wolfe

  24. 4 out of 5

    Yaya

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marly Beck

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adriana J

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bikash Kanungo

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...