Somebodies and Nobodies
Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank. A Book by Robert Fuller
Threats to dignity are every bit as real as threats to life and limb. Abuse of power, or rankism, is a self-feeding cycle of destruction. It is affecting our schools, our workplaces, our homes, and our national security. Learn how to recognize it and then join the dignitarian movement.
Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank. A Book by Robert Fuller
"Bob Fuller's book is a must-read for progressives of every stripe. It enables us to resolve a confusing core issue central to both society and our personal lives-hierarchy vs. equality. For decades, our value of equality in relationships and desire for a 'flatter' organizational structures has been challenged by our daily experience of rank and hierarchy, such as the natural hierarchy of parent-child, the organizational ladder of boss-underling at work, or the director, staff, and volunteers in non-profit groups. Bob Fuller shows us how to distinguish between appropriate ranking and the abuse of rank-rankism-and set aside the latter in our personal relationships, our organizations, and our international relations."
- Bill Moyer, author of Doing Democracy
"Bob Fuller has started a fire and it will burn, baby, burn. It should burn in every leader's spirit as a matter of decency and good sense. It should burn in each of us. Kids should use this book. Teachers, voters, stockholders should all embrace anti-rankism. Our democracy needs it now."
- John R. O'Neil, President, Center for Leadership Renewal; former president, California School of Professional Psychology; author of The Paradox of Success and Leadership Aikido
"This subtle and persuasive book subsumes all the dishonorable isms of human life-racism, sexism, ageism, elitism-under one telling phrase-rankism. By distinguishing between earned authority and specious rank, its pages illuminate everything, from the way rankism pervades (and perverts) education, to how human hearts can examine themselves, take responsibility, and change the world."
- Pamela McCorduck, author of Machines Who Think and The Futures of Women
"Bob Fuller's ideas about rankism changed my personal behavior. I think they will change the world, in time. It is one of those 'click' realizations that you can't unclick-everything human looks different afterward, and you have to do something about it."
- Stewart Brand, Global Business Network; The Long Now Foundation; Founder of The Whole Earth Catalog
"Somebody, nobody-in my time, I've been both. Most of us have. Robert Fuller breaks the taboo on speaking of rank as others have on race and gender. The message is simple; the message is vital: protect the dignity of others as you do your own. You have to stand up to understand the truth that deep inside every Somebody there is a standing Nobody."
- Tommie Smith, Gold Medallist in the 200 meters at the Mexico City Olympics, holder of eleven world records in track, currently track coach at Santa Monica Community College
"In calling for a dignitarian movement, Bob Fuller invites us to look at ourselves through the lens of rank, as we've come to do though the lenses of race and gender. When you scrutinize life through the lens of rank what you see starring back at you is the face of human dignity."
- Kim Spencer, President of WorldLink TV
"Somebodies, Nobodies showed me that everybody can be a somebody."
- Chris Catlett, contractor
"This book reminded me of times I've gotten the shaft for no good reason, and it showed me how to deal with this in the future. It also made me realize that I haven't always treated others any better."
- Stormi Burton, Nurse's Aide
"Robert Fuller has broken the norm of silence. He brings to public awareness both the colossal and the petty ways responsible people routinely shame their 'immediate inferiors' to gain a false sense of personal worth. As the stinging anecdotes in this book attest, nowhere does humiliation happen more habitually than the workplace. This book is must reading for all corporate and government administrators."
- Judith Wyatt and Chauncey Hare, family therapists and organization specialists, authors of Work Abuse: How to Recognize and Survive It
"On 9/11 many Americans learned that what they do not know can hurt them: terrorism, whether in Jerusalem or New York, has its origins in humiliation. It persists when a disempowered people experiences chronic indignity. This path-finding book pinpoints rankism as the source of disrespect and of the indignation it breeds. Its message-that eradicating international terrorism requires rooting out international rankism-could not be more timely."
- David Michaelis, Senior Producer, Israeli Broadcasting Authority; Co-Director, Internews Middle East; Co-Founder and Director of Current Affairs, Worldlink TV
"From the West Bank to Watts, from Cali to
Calais, second class folks carry a hard little
knot of hurt, shame and fury. Bob has a clue and
so too, best you, because with the right little
tug, that knot will undo -- then watch out."
- John Harris, author of Fix Pain; CEO, Press 4 Health; LLC
"Think the man has singled you out? Get picked on at school? Get harassed trying to eat at a nice place? Think again, there ARE others!"
- Dominic Dilorenzo, drummer
"For centuries people lived with slavery and thought nothing wrong with the practice. Years from now people will look back at our own times and wonder why we allowed rank to so distort and pervert our relationships. Bob Fuller's ideas about rankism expose the vestigial tribal instincts that still rule much everyday human behavior. Fuller's prophetic analysis sheds light on the pervasive prejudices that we all conspire to hide. This is a revolution waiting to happen, the true completion of democracy."
- David Hoffman, President of Internews
"Robert Fuller refreshingly revives the case for serious mutual respect among all human beings, and indeed foresees the struggle for individual dignity, and an attack on its nemesis, 'rankism,' as the next great public movement in the United States. An insightful, thought-provoking, and novel treatment of an age-old subject."
- Richard N. Cooper, Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics, Harvard University; Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs in the Carter administration
"Somebodies & Nobodies is a shrewd and compelling look at the crucial but usually unperceived role of rank in all our lives. How easily we put down those we see as subordinate in title or wealth or origin; how silently we cringe at another's assumption of superiority... The abuse of rank [also] corrupts relations between nations, and between the governors and the governed in a democracy. Robert Fuller ... makes us understand that equal dignity, whatever one's place in society or the world, is a key to peace and social order."
- Anthony Lewis, Pulitzer Prize-winning former columnist for The New York Times
"Whether it's because of race, religion, gender, class, title, or age, abuses of rank have impeded our attempt to create social justice. Robert Fuller's exploration of how we use and abuse rank, both personally and politically, could help change that."
- Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and The Fountain of Age, founder of National Organization for Women
"The quest for recognition, especially by those who lack status, has long been seen as one of the driving forces of human history. Somebodies and Nobodies explains how recognition, or its absence, affects your life, and what we can all do to make sure that we treat each other with the dignity we each deserve."
- Francis Fukuyama, Bernard Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and author of The End of History, Trust, and Our Posthuman Future
"Simply brilliant. A rare treat full of insight, inspiration and plain, sane Common Sense. A modern-day Thomas Paine, Robert Fuller argues persuasively that democracy will only realize its full potential when 'dignitarians' unite to overcome 'rankism,' the archetype of all 'isms' - imperialism, colonialism, anti-Semitism, racism, sexism. Buy multiple copies because, like me, you'll want to share this marvelous book with your friends."
- Jeff Gates, author of The Ownership Solution and Democracy at Risk
"This book is essential reading for those who wish to restore human dignity in the world. It demands an end to a rather subtle but deep-seated discrimination in our society, one based on status and rank. All presidents, politicians and CEOs should read this mind-boggling book. It will blow away their self-aggrandizing cobwebs."
- Satish Kumar, Editor, Resurgence
"A wonderful call to action against the spillover of status. Wealth, job title and social positions are too often allowed to outweigh the respect to which each human being is entitled."
- Roger Fisher, Director, Harvard Negotiation Project, author of Getting to Yes
"It's a book that parents should give their children, and a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of this country. Robert Fuller is sure to make the history books with Somebodies & Nobodies."
- Donald Corbett, former policeman
"Occasionally, an author comes along who makes us see the world around us in a totally new way. Robert Fuller takes us on a journey through the world of 'ranks.' He explores how rank has been used throughout history to divide, separate and control people. Equally important, he tells us what we can do to overcome this outmoded and destructive social mechanism and establish social relationships based on the restoration and extension of the notion of dignity. This book is an eye opener that we can all learn and benefit from in our daily lives."
- Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, D.C.; author of The Age of Access and The Hydrogen Economy
"I've been treated as a nobody for too long. I'm going to give a copy of this book to the principal of my school on the day I leave."
- John F., 8th grade science teacher in Greater Washington, D.C.
"At the core of every humiliation and indignity is a mental error, not just a habit - a lacuna so vast and unremitting that it passes unnoticed. You don't fix such a thing. It is not something to be patched. Nothing can be done until it is noticed, until it is named. Naming creates distinctions, distinctions create the capacity to change. Naming 'rankism' transforms everything."
- Paul Hawken, author of Natural Capitalism
"Somebodies & Nobodies will precipitate a national conversation about a pervasive but, until now, unnamed social dysfunction-'rankism.' Watch for a 'dignitarian' movement against rankism that, like the civil rights and women's movements, will transform American life-in the boardroom, the schoolroom, the bedroom and, a lot sooner than we might think, at the ballot box."
- Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream
"We know from statistics that U.S. society has become dramatically more unequal over the past generation. But Robert Fuller excavates the real-life stories behind the numbers, showing how 'rankism' tramples on human dignity every day. Somebodies and Nobodies is a lucid and provocative manifesto for a more equal, and therefore more just, social order."
- Robert Pollin, coauthor of The Living Wage: Building a Fair Society, Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
"Robert Fuller's insightful book has penetrated to the core of human dignity. He helps us understand why nearly all of us, even those with visible status and power, often feel belittled and diminished as human beings by the power of still higher status. But Somebodies & Nobodies is more than a diagnosis; it is a new way forward toward a society that takes seriously the deep conviction that we are truly all created equal."
- Peter Schwartz, Chairman, Global Business Network; author of The Art of the Long View
"Bullies and abusers seek power, control, domination and subjugation, and the pursuit of superior rank is their means to this end. When 'rankism' is removed, deference no longer stifles dignity, fear gives way to mutual respect, and individuality and creativity flourish. Somebodies and Nobodies reveals the wisdom behind the saying that there's no such thing as an important person, only an important title."
- Tim Field, author of Bully in Sight and www.bullyonline.org
"Somebodies and Nobodies deserves a place among American wisdom classics alongside Eric Hoffer's The True Believer. Robert Fuller approaches the fundamental problems of rank and human status-seeking from a new perspective, with new insights, and with wonderful originality. This book will promote liberating debate about social norms, organizational structures, and governance."
- Michael Murphy, co-founder of Esalen, author of Golf in the Kingdom and The Future of the Body
Trauma Interventions in War and Peace
Panel discussion and Book launch
Tuesday 10 February [1.15 to 2.45 p.m.]
in Conference Room 8, at UN Headquarters -
Trauma Interventions in War and Peace:
Prevention, Practice and Policy.
? war, torture, violence, poverty, disease, discrimination, and
domestic abuse: these great human ills sicken the individual psyche,
tear families apart, and send shock waves through society.
With such words, Secretary-General Kofi Annan introduces Trauma
Interventions in War and Peace: Prevention, Practice and Policy
(Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers).
Trauma Interventions was inspired by the 1995 Social Summit and is
the product of a series of lively meetings that the authors held at UN
Headquarters -- with civil society groups, Government officials and
United Nations staff including DESA (as lead agency), OCHA, WHO,
WB, UNSECOORD and others.
With cultural and gender sensitivity, Trauma
Interventions proposes model interventions at the levels
of society, community, family and individual. It supports
prevention. It prioritizes resiliency. It distills knowledge
about trauma generated over the past two decades.
And it proposes that a traumatic stress perspective can
enrich UN responses to populations in distress. It seeks
to be a ?living document? and catalyst for continuous
learning and information exchange across cultures and
Panel discussion and Book launch:
Tuesday 10 February: 1.15 to 2.45 p.m.
Conference Room 8.
?. book discounts at launch.
For access to the UN building for this event, please contact Rita Chung at
email@example.com or (212) 963 8765 by Tuesday 3 February.
Capitalism is going senile. Its ambition is now restricted to maintaining the wealth of the wealthy in the world, while the poor are demonised as the enemy
NEW RELEASE FROM ZED BOOKS
Obsolescent Capitalism - Contemporary
Politics and Global Disorder
AUTHOR: Samir Amin
1 84277 320 8 hbk GBP45.00/US$69.95
1 84277 321 6 pbk GBP14.95/US$22.50
FEATURES: Notes Bibliography Index 208pp Metric
LIBRARY CATEGORIES: Politics Economics
PUBLICATION DATE: December 2003
TERRITORIAL RESTRICTIONS: This title is for sale all
over the world in the English language, except for
India (ref: Rainbow Publishers).
+ A stimulating overview of contemporary capitalism
+ Topical discussion of the militarisation of
+ Samir Amin has a worldwide reputation as an
analyst of global economics
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOK
Capitalism is going senile. Its ambition is now
restricted to maintaining the wealth of the wealthy
in the world, while the poor are demonised as the
enemy. In this major new book, Samir Amin presents a
synoptic view of capitalism's future. He depicts a
world in which NATO has taken over the role of the
United Nations, in which US hegemony is more or less
complete, in which millions are condemned to die in
order to preserve the social order of the US, Europe
and Japan. His analyses of the Gulf War, the wars in
former Yugoslavia and the war in Central Asia reveal
the scope of US strategic aims. He explains why
Macdonald's hamburgers needs McDonnell-Douglas's F-
16s, arguing that the political and military
dimension of US dominance is as significant as US
economic preponderance in determining the future of
"Globalisation is just another word for US
domination" - Henry Kissinger
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samir Amin is one of the foremost radical thinkers
on the changing nature of capitalism, North-South
relations, and development. His most famous works
are Accumulation on a World Scale and Unequal
Development. His previous titles with Zed include
Capitalism in the Age of Globalization (1997).
Obsolescent Capitalism is translated by Patrick
1. The Political Economy of the Twentieth Century
Return of the Belle Époque
The Thirty Years War
The post-war age: from boom (1945-1970) to crisis
The fin de siècle crisis
The legacy of the twentieth century: the South and
the new globalization
2. The Tools of Analysis and Action
Historical Marxism and historical Keynesianism
Democracy, an indispensable instrument of social and
political struggle. Socialism through the market or
3. The Redeployment of Capitalism
The unfolding of the crisis
Financialization: a temporary phenomenon or a sign
of lasting change in capitalism
The technological revolution: myths and realities
4. The New Triad Imperialism
Imperialism, the permanent stage of capitalism
Redeployment of the imperialist system
What about the 'Asian miracle'?
The collective imperialism of the Triad
5. The Militarization of the New Collective
Two major theses
American hegemony: reality or aspiration?
Militarization of the US drive for hegemony
The Gulf War
The Yugoslav wars
War in Central Asia
6. Obsolescent Capitalism and the New World Disorder Obsolescent capitalism Apartheid on a world scale Obliteration of the European project The geometry of international conflicts The law under contempt, democracy under threat
7. Basic Requirements for a Non-American Twenty-
Strengths and weaknesses of the liberal project of
For a multipolar world
'Catching up' or building a different society?
Building convergence in diversity
The challenges of modernity
Imaginary capitalism and actually existing
The destructive dimensions of capital accumulation
The development paradigm
Culturalism, ethnicism and the question of cultural
Inherited diversity and future-oriented diversity
Capitalism and the agrarian question
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