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Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Giants
Book cover for Giants

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. In Giants: The Global Power Elite, 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.

Book cover for Giants
Book cover for Giants

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“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.”

“Peter Phillips' 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.”

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.”

Giants is an interdisciplinary tour de force and exposé that uniquely catalogues and traces the global power elites of the transnational capitalist class while analyzing their increasingly vast reach into all corners of the world and all aspects of our lives. ... This book is a must read for the general public, and especially suited for community college and university students.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Peter Phillips has written an important book. For those of us interested in understanding elite control of the world, Giantsis a vital addition to the bookshelf.”

“Peter Phillips’s Giants: The Global Power Elite is a scary book to read because it makes one realize just how powerless one really is. ... A copy should be in everyone’s book case, like a good dictionary or atlas.”

blog — March 10

Abby Martin: Foreword to “Guilty of Journalism”

To celebrate the release of Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange by Kevin Gosztola, we are proud to share journalist Abby Martin's foreword to the book, in which Martin refreshes readers on both the political context and the overarching stakes of the U.S. government’s prosecution of Julian Assange, as well as offering a personal account of Wikileaks’ impact on the formation of her political ideology.


Foreword to Guilty of Journalism

By Abby Martin

When I first became aware of Julian Assange, it was a time of great hope. It was also a time of great horror.

The 9/11 attacks created a climate of dutiful stenographers and imperial apologia that allowed the Bush administration to wage war on the planet under the auspices of a never-ending “War on Terrorism.” But war is terrorism, and the United States was committing unspeakable amounts of it under the cover of darkness.

As a freshman in college, I remember the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, surrounded by cheering students when the US bombed Baghdad like a video game. I remember the debilitating confusion when so-called opposition leader Nancy Pelosi said impeachment was off the table for the criminals that lied a nation into war, tortured with impunity, and shamelessly profited from their heinous acts. I felt utterly defeated, awash in a sea of propaganda and unquestioning patriotism.

The nation was on the brink at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, and President Barack Obama came in to placate the anti-war agitation. Yet the wars raged on, and the war criminals walked free. They wanted Obama to rehabilitate the empire, but WikiLeaks helped cement its true legacy.

The Iraq War Logs, heroically divulged by Chelsea Manning, dropped during this crucial time, when Americans were forced to confront the truth of what the United States government was doing in our names. The Collateral Murder video, which showed an Apache helicopter indiscriminately mowing down journalists and civilians, then firing on a rescue vehicle while soldiers laughed, changed everything. Suddenly, questioning the legality and morality of the US was mainstream.

The Logs gave proof to Iraqi society of the extent to which US forces had been killing civilians. Just as Washington, through Sec- retary of Defense Robert Gates, was in Baghdad trying to extend the US military presence in the country, WikiLeaks made this untenable. Who knows what turn the war could have taken were it not for these revelations?

Julian Assange boosted the potential for accountability. As an aspiring journalist, I was moved by his conviction and willingness to make great personal sacrifices to represent this powerful truthtelling effort. The overwhelming sense of despair I felt turned to hope in the potential for great change.

Authoritarian governments shook. The US Empire was unmasked, and the imperial project was in danger of unraveling. It was a time of incredible optimism and inspiring mass movements, with the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and organizations such as Anonymous and WikiLeaks using technology to take huge risks to expose the seemingly impenetrable elite.

It was during this transformative era that I moved to Washington, DC, to work at Russia Today, and came to know and appreciate the work of journalist Kevin Gosztola. I was immediately impressed with Kevin’s intellect and meticulousness through his coverage of WikiLeaks.

He was one of the only journalists to report on Manning’s court-martial, tirelessly documenting every detail while being one of the leading advocates for her freedom. I spoke to him frequently on my show Breaking the Set, about the injustices of her case as well as the plight of whistleblowers and revelations of WikiLeaks. Ever since then, he has been my primary source for these pivotal subjects.

Kevin’s coverage of Assange is built on his coverage of Manning’s court-martial. Weaving in what he recalls from the Manning case adds an extra level of credibility to his journalism on Assange.

Years after the liberal establishment — who once heaped praise upon Assange — abandoned him in droves, Kevin has not relented in his dedication to the case. He is one of the only journalists to provide ongoing and consistent coverage of the intricacies of Assange’s trial, which Kevin reports with impressive depth and honesty.

He warned us years ago of the profound implications that indicting Assange would have, and the story he tells here should serve as a beacon for us.

For years, the US government has prosecuted whistleblowers with extreme prejudice. No one embarrasses the Empire without paying dearly in prison. But Assange was only publishing the leaks. He never committed any crime. He only published evidence of the crimes. WikiLeaks released more classified information than the rest of the world’s media combined, which is a testament to the utter failure of the world’s media to fulfill their primary function –– hold power to account.

After being told he was a Russian agent since 2016, the indictment and extradition against Assange today has nothing to do with the 2016 election or Russia. It has everything to do with the Iraq and Afghanistan War logs. Exposing war crimes and war criminals. Tainting the image of the United States. Showing the world this is how the US imposes its world order under the hypocritical banner of “human rights” and “democracy.”

They’ve come at Assange with the full brunt of their power because they have to set fear in the rest of us. They have to instill a chilling effect that will reverberate for generations: this is what can happen to you if you try to replicate Assange’s work. This can be your fate, if you dare to challenge us.

Today, the model they used to discredit Assange is now deployed against anyone in the media who contradicts official war narratives.

The burgeoning hope of transparency and accountability of the WikiLeaks era has been extinguished. The internet is now carefully curated and crafted for us by tech overlords, who work hand in hand with state forces.

Assange’s story is of major historical importance –– both for exposing the crimes of the past and setting a precedent for the future. Against a wall of coverage that aims to attack and discredit him, works such as this book, which accurately document his case, are essential for today and for tomorrow.

We need to organize the resistance to the Empire with eyes wide open, and that cannot happen without this story being properly told. The ramifications of his case for journalists everywhere will keep imperial crimes in the shadows, and if we simply give up and allow Assange to wither away in that black box, this country is beyond saving. Prosecuting Assange will be its death knell.

Peter Phillips

Peter Phillips is a Professor of Political Sociology at Sonoma State University since 1994, former Director of Project Censored 1996 to 2010 and President of Media Freedom Foundation 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 (2006), editor of two editions of Progressive Guide to Alternative Media and Activism (1999 & 2004). His most recent book is Giants: The Global Power Elite. 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, Sociological of Media, Sociology of Conspiracies and Investigative Sociology. He was winner of the Firecracker Alternative Book Award in 1997 for Best Political Book, PEN Censorship Award 2008, Dallas Smythe Award from the Union for Democratic Communications 2009, and the Pillar Human Rights Award from the National Associations of Whistleblowers 2014. He lives in a redwood forest near Bodega, California with his wife Mary Lia.

Other books by Peter Phillips