The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism In Her Ground Breaking Reporting From Iraq, Naomi Klein Exposed How The Trauma Of Invasion Was Being Exploited To Remake The Country In The Interest Of Foreign Corporations She Called It Disaster Capitalism Covering Sri Lanka In The Wake Of The Tsunami, And New Orleans Post Katrina, She Witnessed Something Remarkably Similar People Still Reeling From Catastrophe Were Being Hit Again, This Time With Economic Shock Treatment Losing Their Land And Homes To Rapid Fire Corporate Makeovers The Shock Doctrine Retells The Story Of The Most Dominant Ideology Of Our Time, Milton Friedman S Free Market Economic Revolution In Contrast To The Popular Myth Of This Movement S Peaceful Global Victory, Klein Shows How It Has Exploited Moments Of Shock And Extreme Violence In Order To Implement Its Economic Policies In So Many Parts Of The World From Latin America And Eastern Europe To South Africa, Russia, And Iraq At The Core Of Disaster Capitalism Is The Use Of Cataclysmic Events To Advance Radical Privatization Combined With The Privatization Of The Disaster Response Itself By Capitalizing On Crises, Created By Nature Or War, Klein Argues That The Disaster Capitalism Complex Now Exists As A Booming New Economy, And Is The Violent Culmination Of A Radical Economic Project That Has Been Incubating For Fifty Years

Naomi Klein is an award winning journalist, syndicated columnist, documentary filmmaker and author of the international bestsellers No Logo Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and This Changes Everything Capitalism vs the Climate She is a senior correspondent for The Intercept and her writing appears widely in such publications as The New York T

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  • Hardcover
  • 558 pages
  • The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
  • Naomi Klein
  • English
  • 10 June 2017
  • 9780805079838

10 thoughts on “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

  1. says:

    There is a part of me that would like to make this review a bit funny This is a deeply disturbing book I ve a preference for humour as a means of confronting the deeply disturbing But I can t bring myself to say anything remotely funny about this book.Klein compares some psychological experiments torture by any reasonable definition of the word carried out in the 1950s in Canada funded by the CIA off US soil so they could plausibly deny they were researching torture in which patients were blasted back to virtually a blank slate by sensory depravation and electric shock treatment to US foreign policy in countries such as Chile in the 1970s and Iraq today.If you had forgotten just how evil unconstrained capitalism is it is time to read this book If you are concerned that the world seems to believe democracy free markets it is time to read this book.For two decades it has been abundantly clear that the greatest danger facing the world is the ideology that likes to call itself Economic Rationalism but is better described as Radical Free Market Economics This is the view that any restraint placed on the free operation of the market from fixing minimum wages to environmental standards to health and safety controls in the workplace are by definition wrong and counterproductive This view states that governments are, by definition, wasteful and unnecessary This view is an attempt at justifying unmitigated greed as if it was a universal good It is about destroying all vestiges of democracy and God knows those vestiges are today meagre indeed in our society and handing over all power to corporations If you are not troubled by the shift in power in the world away from governments elected by the people, for the people to corporations created out of greed for greed then you really need to turn off American Idol and start looking around yourself.Klein takes a series of increasingly distressing case studies in which ever purer forms of radical free market economics are applied in times of crisis across the world invariably with devastatingly negative results, invariably the opposite of what is predicted by the neo liberals She points out that without a crisis such as 9 11 or Katrina or the War in Iraq such policies would never be allowed to be implemented But come a crisis people are so shocked by what has just happened to them that they are prepared to forgo their democratic rights so things can be fixed The problem is that these bastards don t want anything fixed They want to apply shocks, because that is the only way they can get rid of democratic structures that stand in the way of them handing over the wealth of our nations to themselves The Corporate raping of Iraq as depicted in this book is only slightly less shocking than the Corporate raping of New Orleans Perhaps I found the stuff about New Orleans shocking because it was Americans doing this sort of thing to their own people I know, I m na ve.The descriptions of torture in the book are too much to take I ve never been able to distance myself enough from the victims of torture to be objective about it I believe it is the core of the democratic spirit the notion that the sufferers of torture are our brothers and sisters and the perpetrators of torture require justice to be enacted against them that immediately has me siding with the tortured We have a moral responsibility to stop our government from using our tax dollars to torture people If morality means anything at all this is the minimum it can mean.Klein documents that the torture used throughout the world by US client states has a long history going back to experiments done in the 1950s in Canada and have clearly become part of US foreign policy If we are to be on the side of democracy then we must force our governments to stop using torture against the citizens of other countries Particularly when these citizens are asking for what should be granted to them immediately the right to reclaim the benefit of their own natural resources from foreign owned corporations.There are so many lessons in this book, but the major one is that if people stand up against these greedy lunatics then we can stop them We can reclaim our dignity and redistribute some of what has plundered from us The criminal waste of tax dollars by these corporations in both Iraq and New Orleans is almost beyond description In the book Iraq is at one point referred to as the Free Fraud Zone.The world we live in today is increasingly becoming divided between those who have and are kept secure behind walled suburbs and those who have not and are forced to live without the basic necessities of life We need to understand that my security is enhanced by making the world safer for you That life isn t about who ends up with the most stuff they don t need or the biggest bank account or the fastest car, but that we are social animals and so what is good for all is also what is good for us.As I said, this is a deeply disturbing book but also an incredibly important one.

  2. says:

    Using shock treatment as a metaphor, Klein analyzes the importance of economic dislocations and disasters to the success of Milton Friedman s free market philosophy This is an important book, and shows why the apparent stupidities of the Bush administration in Iraq and Katrina are actually deliberate measures designed to daze and demoralize people into accepting a radical free market agenda.

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  5. says:

    The lucky get Kevlar, the rest get prayer beads This is a chilling, writhing outrage of a book A hideous, squealing beast of a book that cannot and should not be ignored.Klein has dropped the curtain on an ugly, malevolent Wizard When these kind of curtains drop, we never like what we see Like so many of these kinds of leftist exposes on conservatives, the Bush Administration, the neocons and their rabble, this book needn t have been written Orwell wrote it already But better than any other book of its kind, Klein makes it so painfully obvious that these necons who have grabbed control of the reins of this wild mustang of a country and who disdain the government so much have absolutely no business governing Something is indeed rotten when Destruction and Doom is this profitable It s Cowardly, it s Un American, it s Weak, and it is Lazy If Reading is Sexy, this book is a tour through a decrepit brothel with Klein as your guide to point out the perverse fetishes and hemorrhaging syphilitic tumors rupturing on the sides of our society Klein s story is an epic and sprawling Indictment, providing exhaustive analysis and criticism of the disastrous economic policies pursued in Latin America, Poland, China, South Africa, Iraq, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and in Asia after the tsunami.The Shock Doctrine is the story of Milton Friedman and his Chicago School of economic policies Led by the US and its incestuous, inbred offspring the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO , Friedman touted an economic policy that came to be termed The Washington Consensus It was resoundingly embraced by neocons under the ideal of spreading freedom to countries at their most dire by installing the triumvirate of Friedmansism 1 privatization outsourcing , 2 free trade deregulation, and 3 a cut in government spending What Klein does a very good job of illuminating throughout her book is that what these neocons refer to as economic freedom does not equate to nor provide for human rights and civil liberties Economic freedom free trade is not a panacea for the world s ills A blind faith in capitalism is not enough A dictatorship of communism or fascism is revealed to be the same as a dictatorship of Business As Klein s gruesome story unfolds across the world, the main tenets of this shock doctrine cease to be privatization, deregulation, and pay cuts but instead Exploitation, Opportunism, Manipulation, and Corruption Such economic polices only survived when democracy was suppressed As Klein explains, Once you accept that profit and greed as practiced on a mass scale create the greatest possible benefits for any society, pretty much any act of personal enrichment can be justified as a contribution to the great creative cauldron of capitalism, generating wealth and spurring economic growth even if it s only for yourself and your colleagues No The Average Joe does not benefit from such disaster capitalism People like you and I do not get anything out of such tactics, and the citizens of countries where such horrendous laws are put into place certainly do not benefit No The benefits go to firms like Halliburton, Bechtel, and Blackwater who swarm around the government salivating for no bid contracts like junkies pacing the sidewalks outside a methadone clinic Never have Disparity and Hypocrisy sung so depressing a duet We have Socialism in America, but not for the poor, that would be Socialism No, our handouts go to Rich Friends The poor are getting poorer The rich are getting richer Private firms greedily gobble up no bid government contracts from their fat cat robber baron puppet leader friends straight out of corporate America now sitting in big chairs in corner offices for the U S of A The outsourcing and branding that was successful in the private sector was introduced to the public sector Big Business and Big Government are in a Big Bed fucking to their dirty pig heart s content.So Iraqi Freedom was really about opening up a new market for private multi national corporations to reap absurd profits It is a crude, obnoxious tactic and a new level for war profiteers And once those tactics had failed in Iraq, they were used in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck Like the pathetic drunk at the Roulette Wheel, Bush and his cronies are nothing than stupid kids who don t learn, foolishly insisting that they re due War profiteers should be treated like the drunk driving, child molesting pervert Losers they are.We all know that the Emperor Has No Clothes But now, it doesn t matter Our Leaders are Blind, Deaf and Dumb anyway They are dressed, fed, entertained, and put to bed by Outsourced Contractors When it came time to update the Army Manual on the rules for dealing with contractors, the army contracted out the job to one of its major contractors, MPRI it no longer had the know how in house Most disheartening is that these people seem to have lost their sense of humor Irony is clearly lost on them All hope is lost Send them back to a small liberal arts college and have them suffer through an anthropology major or something.Klein again and again asks the right questions from a different perspective A good critic, Klein consistently analyzes events and actions to determine the cause for which they are indicative of Torture What is that symptomatic of What is torture serving That is the ill, what is the disease, the cause, that needs to be cured Klein s prose is dense and exacting, exerting the thorough confidence of a straightforward journalist asking the right questions about the right topics from a refreshingly different perspective Given her subject matter, you actually wish she d allow herself a little personal rage, some occasional vitriol and human madness But no Klein is a cool character, calmly exposing the atrocities and mistakes of our Modern Era She even quotes Rilke, Brecht, and the rapper Juvenile.This book belongs on your shelf next to The People s History of the United States of America, but Klein is hardly the storyteller that Zinn is But like Zinn s magnificent and important work, The Shock Doctrine is about the Little Man, the Worker, the Poor, the Forgotten The Shock Doctrine continues on in that great and noble canon that is for The Rest.Despite such a sprawling, probing work that can at times wander and leap across themes and arguments, Klein can be quite poignant when she drops the complex and well constructed debate in favor of keen observations Observing the reconstruction following the Asian Tsunami disaster, Klein observes, What it looked like was hundreds of thousands of poor, brown skinned people the fishing people deemed unproductive by the World Bank being moved against their wishes to make room for ultrarich, mostly light skinned people the high yield tourists One thing was certain, though if peace was to take root in Sri Lanka, it needed to outweigh the benefits of war including the tangible economic benefits flowing from a war economy, in which the army takes care of the families of its soldiers and the Tamil Tigers look after the families of its fighter and suicide bombers We are fighting the same exact problem in Iraq That s the West for you, we figured out a way to get Peace But it s War Cheers Some day, Historians will find the non fiction books written about this era and probably mistake them for the plays of some raving mad lunatic genius, the next Shakespeare But no, unfortunately our Humiliation and our Embarrassment are Real Klein is haunting, making you realize that we live in a world where, Survival is determined by who can afford to pay for escape.

  6. says:

    This was a very illuminating work about how chaotic situations are used, and sometimes created, as cover for the imposition of drastic economic and political reorganization in vulnerable economies The end product of these actions is a so called free market model as advocated by the Chicago School of Milton Friedman and his acolytes Examples used include Chile, China, Argentina, Bolivia, South Africa, Russia, among others The technique is for western financial powers to swoop in during a time of financial crisis and refuse to lend a struggling nation any money until that nation agrees to a radical reworking of its economy This reworking is done in a shock, with many changes instituted all at once, with little or no warning These changes, as they are draconian toward the lower classes, usually need to be accompanied by severe political repression in order to enforce the transition What we see here is the mechanism of a growing form of corporatist colonialism.Klein parallels her examination of the stresses endured by many national economies with a look at actual, literal, personal shock treatment In the 1950s a researcher named Ewan Cameron did research on his theory that instead of Freudian therapy a effective method of treating mental illness was to erase the patient s personality using electric shocks Then the blank page would be receptive to reconstruction by the good doctor The shocks caused amnesia and extreme regression Cameron devised a new tool, one that applied six shocks at once, and even used a wide range of drugs to disorient and wipe clean as much of the patient s personality as possible Once the subject was reduced to a vegetative state, Cameron played them tapes dozens, maybe hundreds of times over The CIA took note and launched a program of its own.She posits a parallel between treatments that serve to erase personality with the economic and political shocks that struggling nations are forced to endure, shocks that are part and parcel of the move from a developmentalist economy, one that seeks local control and self sufficiency, to a globalist economy, one in which foreign investment in and ownership of local enterprise is encouraged While I found that at times Klein extended her discourse beyond the reach of her material, her analysis of the subject matter is compelling, her linkage of different forms of shock personal, political, economic illuminating, and the applicability of her work to the current economic disruptions frightening Despite its subject matter, this a compelling, and relatively fast read It should be mandatory reading for anyone concerned with politics, economics, world affairs or current events EXTRA STUFFAugust 4, 2011 the following article has particular relevance not only for the international implementation of TSD, but to its application within the USA It is an interview with Dr Michael Hudson, a guy who has been ahead of the curve for a long time on the roots of current economic atrocities June 18, 2012 Joe Nocera s NY Times column on how ALEC based programs are gutting democracy in Rhode Island

  7. says:

    I only got about into this I don t like the shifty way Klein argues her points I felt like I was being propagandized rather than educated.Much of her main shock doctrine argument seems to be just sort of a tightly woven set of linguistic parallels that are meant to suggest causation Something like Hitler had the autobahn built The autobahn allowed drivers to finally race where they wanted to go Hitler crafted what he thought of as the final solution to a race problem So you see, highway systems are part and parcel of genocide.You see, electroshock is a mostly discredited method of treating mental illness that results in profound disorientation and amnesia Electric shocks are also used to torture people in despotic regimes People recommending against gradual economic reforms have used the metaphor of shock treatment to describe rapid, all at once changes Ergo, these sorts of economists are like torturers trying to mess with our minds.And she uses the term free market the b te noir of her book to cover just about any economic circumstance she doesn t like, whether there s anything free about it or not.On the one hand, the free market villains swoop in after disasters to inflict their three trademark demands privatization, government deregulation, and deep cuts in social spending and on the other hand, this often than not gets illustrated with examples like the U.S paying huge sums of money to such corporations as those who provide various contracting services in Iraq You can call that bad, but don t call it privatization, government deregulation, and deep cuts in social spending And certainly don t call it free market anything.

  8. says:

    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos the situation is excellent MaoI read it once, and I couldn t believe it.I tried reading it again and I believe it even less.I want to, honestly And I feel as strongly as the author that The Shock Doctrine is changing the world But it runs in the face of all economics I have been taught and I find myself scorning and muttering alarmist to some of the provocative paragraphs Thesis The history of the contemporary free market was written in shocks Some of the most infamous human rights violations of the past thirty five years, which have tended to be viewed as sadistic acts carried out by anti democratic regimes, were in fact either committed with the deliberate intent of terrorizing the public or actively harnessed to prepare the ground for the introduction of radical free market reforms. i ek s take The imposition of a full market economy is thus rendered much easier if the way to it is paved by some kind of trauma natural, military, economic which, as it were, forces people into shaking off their old habits turning them into an ideological tabula rasa, survivors of their own symbolic death, ready to accept the new order now that all obstacles have been swept away And one can be sure that Klein s shock doctrine holds also for ecological issues far from endangering capitalism, a widespread envi ronmental catastrophe may well reinvigorate it, opening up new and hitherto unheard of spaces for capitalist investment.I will now read Seth Godin to recover.

  9. says:

    This is an ambitious book It tries to tie the economic politics of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia in the 1970s , Russia, Poland, China, South Africa in the 1980s and early nineties , the war in Iraq, the tsunami, and hurricane Katrina into a unified theory Obviously, certain investigative and interpretive biases are required to make this work Third world nationalism and developmentalism, in general, get off pretty easy in Klein s analysis As a specialist in Indonesia, I found her portrayal of the Suharto regime as a betrayal of the somehow viable Sukarno regime a bit evasive let us not foget that Sukarno was also an ideologue who ran the nation s economy into the ground in the name of fighting neo colonialism Making me wonder just how she d cooked the books in analyzing numerous other countries whose histories I don t know so well.That said, it offers a very provocative perspective tying together some of the most significant events of the past quarter century The thesis, simply put, is that the economic theory championed by Milton Friedman and his Chicago School, first play tested in the third world in the 1970s, has increasingly come home to roost in the West and Bush s America The gist of the theory, according to Klein, is a total rejection of Keynesian economics i.e the New Deal approach to combatting recession through government spending In contrast, the three guiding principles of the Chicago School are deregulation, privatization and cutbacks Sound familiar yet Transferriing as much of the public sector as possible to the private sector, eliminating government regulations of business, cutting back on services, protections and other economic benefits to the workforce The problem, as Friedman and his disciples realized early on, is that voting citizens don t actually want any of this, and will not vote for neoliberal policies through any normal, free democratic process The solution Make democracy abnormal Through shock and awe Wait for or instigate a state of crisis and emergency i.e war, natural disaster, mass torture, revolution and then implement neoliberal policies outside or, in many cases, in direct contradiction to democratic will However, as we have discovered most recently in Iraq, such tactics don t tend to settle down into widespread prosperity for ordinary people Rather, neoliberal governments find that if they let democracy operate normally again, they lose power Which is why the United States ended up supporting so many dictators In the name of spreading free market democracy.There are some sharp notions in this book I m particularly taken with Klein s generalization of Red Zone Green Zone to talk about zones of normalcy and nightmare created by neoliberal policies from Iraq to post tsunami Sri Lanka to New Orleans She also offers a persuasive refutation of the claim that we the US did the Marshall Plan in Europe, but when we tried it in Iraq, Arab Muslims just couldn t handle it Rather, while the Marshall Plan was rooted in Keynesian economics we rebuilt Europe s governments and public infrastructure , reconstruction in Iraq has been an anti Marshall plan, dismantling the Iraqi state and contracting all its functions to US corporations.The REAL problem of this book is how to present arguments like these to anyone who doesn t already concsider themselves anti globalization liberals I think that any intelligent person who has read Thomas Friedman and found his arguments somewhat persuasive, should read this book too, and decide what sounds most persuasive for themselves Unfortunately, I think most people will look at the jacket cover endorsements from Howard Zinn, Studs Terkel et al and make a snap call for the usual ideological reasons.THAT is not good for America.

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