Buy Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism by Mike Davis, Daniel Bertrand Monk (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low. Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism. Mike Davis, Editor, Daniel Bertrand Monk, Editor. New Press $ (p) ISBN. Original Articles. Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism. Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk, editors. Eugene McCann Simon Fraser.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Evil Paradises by Mike Davis. Eclectic thinkers, brought together by the bestselling author of “City of Quartz,” meditate on future worlds being created by unfettered capitalism. To defeat the predatory outreach of nations and tides, it is clearly not enough to be offshore: These developments–in cities, deserts, and in the middle of the sea–are worlds where consumption and inequality surpass our worst nightmares.

Although they read like science fiction, the case studies are shockingly real. In Dubai, where child slavery existed until very recently, a gilded archipelago of private islands known as “The World” is literally being added to the ocean. In Medellin and Kabul, drug lords–in many ways textbook capitalists–are redefining conspicuous consumption in fortified palaces.

In Hong Kong, Cairo, and even the Iranian desert, burgeoning communities of nouveaux riches have taken shelter in fantasy Californias, complete with Mickey Mouse statues, while their maids sleep in rooftop chicken coops. Meanwhile, Ted Turner rides herd over paaradises bison in 2 million acres of “private” parkland. Davis and Monk have assembled an extraordinary group of urbanists, architects, historians, and visionary thinkers to reflect upon the trajectory of a civilization whose deepest ethos seems to be to consume all the resources of the earth within a single neoliberaliam.

Hardcoverpages. Published July 1st by The New Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Evil Paradisesplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Mar 23, DoctorM rated it it was ok Shelves: This collection of essays is a clear example of how good ideas can fail to work out in practice.

The idea of studying “evil paradises” and “dreamworlds” the enclaves and enclosures of kleptocrats and the hidden rich, the theme-park gated communities of the new rich is fascinating. And some of the essays here on Hong Kong and Cairo are well-done, as is the essay on post-cartel Medellin and the account of upscale developments in Iran. China Mieville has a wonderfully snarky takedown of This collection of essays is a clear example of how good ideas can fail to work out in practice.

China Mieville has a wonderfully snarky takedown of the libertarian idea of a “Freedom Ship” seaborne Randite community. But Daniel Monk seems to have insisted that the articles all be about the evils of “neo-liberalism”, which remains maddeningly undefined and many of the authors just toss the term in as an afterthought or just as a way to meet the editorial insistence. A couple of the articles the unfocused, pointless essay on post Kabul and an article on “swarm theory” in modern military strategy which manages to be both factually wrong, poorly researched, bad history, and unconnected to the rest of the book don’t belong here at all.


Peter York’s “Dictator Style” covered much of this ground here a decade ago and with more wit. One can commend Monk for including a handful of well-done articles about the ecological and political effects of gated communities Apr 16, Tamara added it Shelves: Too much economics, not enough geography. Perhaps because I’m pretty much the choir here, there’s nothing terribly interesting in explaining that neoliberalism is a thing which is and which is not nice.

I was hoping for more of an exploration of the actual spaces created, not just the fact of their existence and the ideology behind it.

Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism

How do these places function? What tools, designs, aesthetics do they use to maintain themselves, and why? What story are they telling the people in Too much economics, not enough geography. What story are they telling the people inside them? The people outside them? What can they tell us about the logic and worldviews of the people who created them? Why are they so often so fucking ugly?

Some of the articles touch on this, but often quickly dodge away again. The best, in this sense, is probably the article on Managua, which discussed the exclusionary functions of that cities new roads. Most of the dreamworlfs were largely descriptive, showing how capitalism created this or that neolibedalism community dreamworldz what’s wrong with it, but not really saying much beyond.

The essays were often fun reading and short, neoliberaliem describing someone else’s appalling taste with one’s best acidic quips is a happy sort of neoliberalidm to do, but still left me wanting a deeper, perhaps bolder, investigation of this issue, that would pay more attention to culture, aesthetics and space itself, and less to the predictable effects of IMF policy.

Sep 29, David Dinaburg rated it liked it. Everything is a wreck. Is this even hyperbole anymore? We, as a global society, are constantly piling atop our monocultural hegemony a thick framework overloaded with ever-more-tenuous social constructs—what good were the currently marketable skills of search paradisds optimization or self-actualized life coaching one hundred years ago? Paradlses many thousand unstable technologies do these skills depend upon, and neolibealism many more ephemeral, transient, or simply foolish threads can be spun upon Everything is a wreck.

How many thousand unstable technologies do these skills depend upon, and how many more ephemeral, transient, or simply foolish threads can be spun upon our improbable Babel-spire of modernity before it collapses from its own weight.

Dreamworlds of Neooliberalism takes this point and runs it through a scrim of voices, perspectives, and examples that all point to the same thing: Trust is proven ever more foolish; populism or ecology are bound up in lobbyist supremacy as much as anything else: So in he signed a deal with El Paso Natural Gas to develop more than 1, wells in his wilderness.

Nearly the same bug infests libertarianism which: In its maundering about a mythical ideal-type capitalism, libertarianism betrays its fear of actually existing capitalism, at which it cannot quite succeed. It is a philosophy of capitalist inadequacy A society that allows the winner to take all because each person thinks they have a shot to be dreawmorlds winner is either broken or just plain stupid—if the winner is already taking all, why would they ever unentrench themselves?

Who gives up a livelihood built around a corrupt system voluntarily? Copyright is a system so paradigmatic to the bloat and corruption that even as the preeminent copyright attorney in the country, Lawrence Lessig threw up his hands and walked away.

His life now is advocating the removal of money from politics. Read How to Fix Copyright. Then read So Damn Much Money. Everything is so broken. Why must one travel hours in the car and spend days away from home to escape gadgets that are entirely under our own control? The answer, of course, is that they are not. Without e-mail, Internet, and telephone, few of us could teach our classes, do our homework, write our reports, plan our meetings, contact our customers, track our assets, pay our bills, or, for that matter, wvil our friends and family.


The price we pay for our affluence-through-unfettered exchange is allowing the outside world unfettered access into our lives. And, in turn, televisions and ever more elaborate media centers that generate still more noise have become the primary means by which our hard-acquired wealth is displayed, and through which it is enjoyed. Evio prevailing zeitgeist seems to be one of increased interdependence; interconnectedness; surveillance.

Evil Paradises | The New Press

Why—in our digital age: What happened to the rights carved out by the Handschu Agreement? None of the answers to these questions will be found in Evil Paradiseswhich is not new text; it just feels like it. Dec 02, Ed Erwin rated it liked it Shelves: Dystopias aren’t just for SciFi. The rich get richer. The poor get hassled. But you knew that, didn’t you? I thought he’d have particularly interesting things to say because he has an interesting floating pirate city in The Scar. But I didn’t find his essay very enlightening.

Many of these essays are about various ways that the rich or elite segregate t Dystopias aren’t just for SciFi. Many of these essays are about various ways that the rich or elite segregate themselves into clean and shiny enclaves while the poor and other undesirables are left out.

Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism

It isn’t just private gated communities. Many world cities that are supposedly for everyone are built with the needs of the rich put above everyone else. Many interesting examples, but most of the essays are pretty dry. I want to think of these practices as evil.

But visiting the big city last night on the subway I, myself, can’t help but think “I wish I didn’t have to see that, neoliberlaism I wish that person weren’t sitting so close, and I wish I didn’t have to put up with that noise.

This was published before the stock market crash. It would be interesting to see what happened afterwards in some of these places. Should be read with Philip Glass music.

This is the gritty world underneath the glitzy tourist brochures. The section on Colombia is very telling and can be an archetype of how states will eventually deal with its masses of unemployed young males.

The growth of transnational urban centers of power echoes something Niall Ferguson said about a new Dark Oaradises Jun 14, Lars Williams rated it it was ok. Sadly, it proved to be a real disappointment. While each of the essays focused on one or another aspect paradlses international dysfunctional neoliberalism, the corrupting influence of paradisez ideology on the built environment was often tacked on as an afterthought.

A few essays failed to mention it at all.