The Global Police State

By William I Robinson

Published by Pluto Press in Aug 2020 208 pages £16.99

‘Karl Marx aspired to a world in which our animal needs would be satisfied and our human needs could be addressed. It is a realistic possibility now, as William Robinson outlines – or the alternative that is taking shape before our eyes: a ‘global police state’ controlled by narrowly concentrated capital with ‘surplus humanity’ left to survive somehow on its own. The choice is in our hands. There could hardly be a more compelling one’ – Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and author of ‘Who Rules the World?’

‘Robinson gives powerful theoretical coherence to everyone’s fear that the fascism is being reborn, but adds the important twist that repression itself has grown into an essential engine of accumulation’ – Mike Davis, author of ‘Planet of Slums’ and co-author of ‘Set the Night on Fire: Los Angeles in the Sixties’


As the world becomes ever more unequal, people become ever more ‘disposable’. Today, governments systematically exclude sections of their populations from society though heavy-handed policing. But it doesn’t always go to plan. William I. Robinson exposes the nature and dynamics of this out-of-control system, arguing for the urgency of creating a movement capable of overthrowing it.

The global police state uses a variety of ingenious methods of control, including mass incarceration, police violence, US-led wars, the persecution of immigrants and refugees, and the repression of environmental activists. Movements have emerged to combat the increasing militarisation, surveillance and social cleansing; however many of them appeal to a moral sense of social justice rather than addressing its root – global capitalism.

Using shocking data which reveals how far capitalism has become a system of repression, Robinson argues that the emerging megacities of the world are becoming the battlegrounds where the excluded and the oppressed face off against the global police state.

Introduction: ‘George Orwell Got It Wrong’
1. Global Capitalism and Its Crisis
2. Savage Inequalities: The Imperative of Social Control
3. Militarized Accumulation and Accumulation by Repression
4. The Battle for the Future

The Global Police State can be purchased from Pluto Books here.

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