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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism Hardcover – September 18, 2007
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Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn't just some relic from the bad old days. It's alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.
"At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq'' civil war, a new law is unveiled that will allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly outsources the running of the 'War on Terror' to Halliburton and Blackwater After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts New Orleans residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be re-opened." Klein not only kicks butt, she names names, notably economist Milton Friedman and his radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s which she notes "produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today." Stand up and take a bow, Donald Rumsfeld.
There's little doubt Klein's book--which arrived to enormous attention and fanfare thanks to her previous missive, the best-selling No Logo, will stir the ire of the right and corporate America. It's also true that Klein's assertions are coherent, comprehensively researched and footnoted, and she makes a very credible case. Even if the world isn't going to hell in a hand-basket just yet, it's nice to know a sharp customer like Klein is bearing witness to the backroom machinations of government and industry in times of turmoil. --Kim Hughes
From Publishers Weekly
The neo-liberal economic policies—privatization, free trade, slashed social spending—that the Chicago School and the economist Milton Friedman have foisted on the world are catastrophic in two senses, argues this vigorous polemic. Because their results are disastrous—depressions, mass poverty, private corporations looting public wealth, by the author's accounting—their means must be cataclysmic, dependent on political upheavals and natural disasters as coercive pretexts for free-market reforms the public would normally reject. Journalist Klein (No Logo) chronicles decades of such disasters, including the Chicago School makeovers launched by South American coups; the corrupt sale of Russia's state economy to oligarchs following the collapse of the Soviet Union; the privatization of New Orleans's public schools after Katrina; and the seizure of wrecked fishing villages by resort developers after the Asian tsunami. Klein's economic and political analyses are not always meticulous. Likening free-market shock therapies to electroshock torture, she conflates every misdeed of right-wing dictatorships with their economic programs and paints a too simplistic picture of the Iraq conflict as a struggle over American-imposed neo-liberalism. Still, much of her critique hits home, as she demonstrates how free-market ideologues welcome, and provoke, the collapse of other people's economies. The result is a powerful populist indictment of economic orthodoxy. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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And when I finished the “Shock Doctrine”, I realized it was published before the financial meltdown and crash of 2008, before Obama’s first term, before drone assassinations, before Edward Snowden's NSA whistleblowing, before Greece and the financial crisis with the EU, reconstruction demands from the World Bank, Germany, the IMF; before the regime change of Lybia, before ISIS, wars in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine; before the oil glut destroyed international economic stability, and long before the 2016 presidential election.
But Klein's book is a perfect fit in an imperfect world, a perfect prophetic blueprint for what has come before now, what came after, and what may probably come in the near future.
As a person considering myself progressive, I have tried in recent years to get to better understand what goes on beneath the apparent destructive trends in our social and political policies. I have realized that I and many of us, have been naive, preaching and repeating, demonstrating but with little or not enough, understanding of the dynamics that are pulling on all of us, and often pulling us down.
As a psychotherapist I have been concentrating on the inner dynamics keeping us addicted, just about, to blame and denial. This book, I have to say, blew me out of the water. It is so smart, so thorough and so clear--even if the concepts and facts are making me toss and turn and get upset and have to reread. Meanwhile I have been reading This Changes Everything and No is Not Enough. They are extremely worthy and important, very important in their own right, but I keep coming back to just how urgent the concepts in The Shock Doctrine are.
I will do my part and re-read, so as to re-absorbe. This is the stuff we need to be aware of and current on, and have on our lips, in our minds, our hearts, and in the urgent discussions we can only have as we get more aware of what the ? is really going on in a world that often provokes us to be scattered, confused, polarized and even despairing.
Oh yes, here too an important addendum is that this book does not leave the reader in a dark space without hope. But please read it to see where Naomi Klein winds up, as she helps us to see where clarity could yield something deeply and dramatically positive.
This is a well-researched book that explains the Milton Friedman-based ideals/agenda of the Military Industrial Complex:
1) Privatization (all resources/production taken from the public/government and put into the hands of corporations)
2) Government deregulation (no controls/restrictions on those corporations - no FDA or EPA, no health/safety rules, no anti-trust laws, minimum wage, taxes or restrictions on fraud and price gouging)
3) No social spending (everything for the corps, nothing for the people).
AND not just for the U.S., but worldwide.
In the U.S., champions of the Friedman doctrine have been successful at privatizing the military, prisons, banking, and are hard at work attempting to take public lands (national parks), the post office and the educational system. In every country that has fallen to fascist Corporatism economics, it's been disastrous for the population. The book has numerous examples of the unconscionable lengths to which these factions will stoop in order to advance their power, ownership and control.
The book also details how disasters have been exploited in order to quickly wrest control of desirable property out of the hands of stunned populations (New Orleans-Katrina, Sri Lanka tsunami, 911/Iraq oil, etc). I suspect this is the true explanation for the geo-engineered weather project... rather than to mitigate global warming - it may be intentionally designed to create disasters that drive populations off their lands, forcing people to sell to Corporatists who rebuild purely for profit motives, permanently displacing the former inhabitants.
Don't take my opinion - do your research! If you are unfamiliar with geo-engineered weather, here are links:
Air Force whistleblower, 10 minutes:
Atmosphere/climate change scientist, with interior photos of geo-engineering planes; 28 minutes:
2015 2-hour documentary by expert scientist (there is a shorter one from 2014):