Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, May 3, 2010

What To Do? Monday's Pick: Nils Gilman at Fort Mason

Posted By on Mon, May 3, 2010 at 7:00 AM


Nils Gilman @ Fort Mason

In the 2008 Italian film Gomorrah, tiresome members of a Neapolitan crime syndicate shuffle around in bad shorts, trying to make their business ventures run smoothly between hits. The unglamorous, stomach-churning revelation of Gomorrah, and the book on which it is based, is not the offhand violence but the diversity of commerce -- prostitution and drugs, yes, but also counterfeit evening gowns and illegal dumping of toxic waste. Of course, you needn't be a crime boss to be involved in illicit business practices. 

According to Nils Gilman, a historian and current consultant for the Global Business Network (which counts much of the U.S. intelligence community as clients), the very structure of the global economy demands it. Selling guns, money-laundering services, and humans whole or in parts are but the beginning. As Gilman set out in his 2004 book, Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America, first-world interference in third-world countries has undermined traditional nation-states, leaving smugglers and warlords as economic forces on the world stage. And, according to his upcoming book, Deviant Globalization, criminal enterprises continue to grow at twice the rate of legal ones. Thankfully, Gilman is not simply a dooms-crier -- but to dismantle a system, you have to know how it was built.

Stewart Brand, cofounder of the Global Business Network, hosts a conversation with Gilman tonight at Fort Mason's Cowell Theater (7:30 p.m., $8.79), as part of the Long Now Foundation's Seminars About Long Term Thinking. 

For more Monday picks, check out our calendar recommendations

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Silke Tudor


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"