Friday, December 05, 2008

Naomi Klein Profile at the New Yorker

Visit the New Yorker for an excellent profile of the work of Naomi Klein, political author, activist and critic of neoliberal globalization economics.

The profile contains a synopsis of Klein's latest book, The Shock Doctrine:

The central thesis of the book is that capitalism and democracy, free markets and free people, do not, as we’ve been told, go hand in hand. On the contrary, capitalism -- at least fundamentalist capitalism, of the type promoted by the late economist Milton Friedman and his “Chicago School” acolytes -- is so unpopular, and so obviously harmful to everyone except the richest of the rich, that its establishment requires, at best, trickery and, at worst, terror and torture. Friedman believed that markets perform best when freed from government interference, so he advocated getting rid of tariffs, subsidies, minimum-wage laws, public housing, Social Security, financial regulation, and licensing requirements, including those for doctors -- indeed, virtually every measure devised to protect people from the market’s harsh logic. Klein argues that the only circumstance in which a population would accept Friedman-style reforms is when it is in a state of shock, following a crisis of some sort -- a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, a war. A person in shock regresses to a childlike state in which he longs for a parental figure to take control; similarly, a population in a state of shock will hand exceptional powers to its leaders, permitting them to destroy the regulatory functions of government.

Full article at the New Yorker.


MartiniCocoa said...

I read the profile and thought what would the reaction be if President Elect Barack Obama had announced he was inviting Naomi Klein to his economic advisory team.

redante said...

Hi there

Oh man I would LOVE to see that happen! If anything just to see whose jaws start dropping. That's the type of bold, anti-establishment move that I would love to see from a mainstream politician.

Brian said...


Especially since Obama has chosen to go with a traditional, status quo Cabinet....with all "safe" choices. It's hard to ignore the sharp turn to the Right during the campaign and now during the transition.

The sign on the Transition office door reads.... "no progressives allowed" (At least in the major positions). He seems to have a few in the lower positions... emphasis on a few.