The mandatory must-read book of Montreal’s own Naomi Klein’s entitled “The Shock Doctrine”, which attempts to connect the dots between shock therapy and torture, bluntly and without a doubt outlines how free-market terrorism has relied on wars and because of this it has come under great controversy by economists who rather relied on “Chicago-style” methods. It is sober, muted and chilling and literally the only book of its sort.
Around the world there are numerous people of power in countries on the continents of Europe, the Americas Asia and the Middle East who are cashing in on creating chaos. Heartless greedy war mongers who are making money by exploiting bloodshed and catastrophe so that they can brutally remake our world into what they want it to be. These people are called shock doctors.
The Shock Doctrine cracks open the secret history of our times, exposing these global profiteers. My only regret in this book is that it was published several years ago, and does not contain the names of several ministers in Finland, Holland, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and our very own George Papandreou.
Luckily for hellasfrappe readers, the book has been adapted into a short film of the same name. Hellasfrappe encourages all of its readers to watch this documentary and listen closely to the methods that our leaders use against us in order that we conform to their interests.
Naomi Klein (born May 8, 1970) is a Canadian author and social activist known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization.
Klein was born in Montreal, Quebec and brought up in a Jewish family with a history of peace activism. Her parents had moved to Montreal from the US in 1967 as war resisters to the Vietnam War. Her mother, documentary film-maker Bonnie Sherr Klein, is best known for her anti-pornography film Not a Love Story. Her father, Michael Klein, is a physician and a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Her brother, Seth Klein, is director of the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Her paternal grandparents were communists who began to turn against the Soviet Union after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and had abandoned communism by 1956. In 1942 her grandfather Phil Klein, an animator at Disney, was fired after the Disney animators’ strike, and went to work at a shipyard instead. Klein’s father grew up surrounded by ideas of social justice and racial equality, but found it “difficult and frightening to be the child of Communists”, a so-called red diaper baby.
Klein’s husband, Avi Lewis, works as a TV journalist and documentary filmmaker. His parents are the writer and activist Michele Landsberg and politician and diplomat Stephen Lewis, son of David Lewis, one of the founders of the Canadian New Democratic Party, son in turn of Moishe Lewis, born Losz, a Jewish labour activist of “the Bund” who left Eastern Europe for Canada in 1921.
Klein and her husband live in Toronto.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, was published on September 4, 2007, becoming an international and New York Times bestseller translated into 28 languages. The book argues that the free market policies of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics have risen to prominence in countries such as Chile under Pinochet, Russia under Yeltsin, and the United States (for example, the privatization of the New Orleans Public Schools after Hurricane Katrina). The book also argues that policy initiatives (for instance, the privatization of Iraq’s economy under the Coalition Provisional Authority) were rushed through while the citizens of these countries were in shock from disasters, upheavals or invasion.
Central to the book’s thesis is the contention that those who wish to implement unpopular free market policies now routinely do so by taking advantage of certain features of the aftermath of major disasters, be they economic, political, military or natural in nature. The suggestion is that when a society experiences a major ‘shock’ there is a widespread desire for a rapid and decisive response to correct the situation; this desire for bold and immediate action provides an opportunity for unscrupulous actors to implement policies which go far beyond a legitimate response to disaster. The book suggests that when the rush to act means the specifics of a response will go unscrutinized, that is the moment when unpopular and unrelated policies will intentionally be rushed into effect. The book appears to claim that these shocks are in some cases, such as the Falklands War, intentionally encouraged or even manufactured.
Klein identifies the “shock doctrine”, elaborating on Joseph Schumpeter, as the latest in capitalism’s phases of “creative destruction”.