Globalization and the Decline of Social Reform


190 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-920059-43-0
DDC 335.5






Reviewed by Edelgard E. Mahant

Edelgard E. Mahant is a professor of political science at York
University and co-author of An Introduction to Canadian–American


The author, an unrepentant Marxist of the Leninist variety, can find
some measure of vindication in the fact that the globalization of
capital Marx predicted is happening. In the wealthy industrialized
countries of “advanced capitalism,” the rich are getting richer and
the poor poorer, while a growing underclass of unemployed and often
homeless persons are left out of the mainstream economy.

Unlike Marx and Lenin, Teeple sees no bright new world beyond the
current gloom. After a hundred or so pages of Marxist analysis
(unenlightened by any hard data, such as income, trade, or investment
statistics), he concludes that the age of the nation-state is all but
over and that in the next era we will be governed by impersonal agencies
and commissions, “an economic regime of unaccountable rulers, a
totalitarianism not of the political sphere but of the economic.”

Teeple, who occasionally evinces a romantic hankering for a
precapitalist agrarian society, sprinkles his book with references to
the “working class.” What working class? Surely it is the lack of
work and the lack of a meaningful governing structure to replace the
nation-state that are the main problems of our time. The real
progressive thinkers are not the Marxists, but those such as Richard
Falk and Richard Barnet, who look beyond the nation-state toward new
community-based governing structures, and who at least have some idea of
what the future should be. Class-based thinking that excludes as many
persons as it includes is as outdated as the classes on which it was


Teeple, Gary., “Globalization and the Decline of Social Reform,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,