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View Diary: Book Review: Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" (208 comments)

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  •  This is an awesome book (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SusanG, ratzo

    Finished in three days, here's my review.  It really explains the "why" behind why a lot of what happened, happened.  The most chilling part is this:

    De-construction of that past 30 years,

    Economics is the bed-rock of society, and has precipitated more than a few political ousters. But what if economic shock therapy and regimes the world around were inherently linked?

    This is the subject of Naomi Klein's latest novel.

    The Shock Doctrine is a whirlwind look at history through the eyes of a dominant school of economic thought, the University of Chiacgo. It goes from South America to Europe, eventually returning home to America in cataloguing the effects of the Chicago School. By extending the Nobel-prize winning Amnesty International Human Rights report on General Pinochet's Argentianian torture regime, it adds necessary context that North Americans have lost out on.

    It all came down to a flood of funding to free market think tanks from companies opposed to FDR's Keynesian New Deal, and from the lack of competition from the fall of Communism; she talks about the lack of funding and lack of a Marshall Plan for post-Soviet Russia and post-Saddam Iraq. As any free market-er knows, competition is the foundation for a healthy and innovative market.

    Klein happens upon an important idea called the "Davos Dilemma", which contradicts the idea that global trade would bring world peace. She ties this in to the lack of progress in peace between the Israelis and Palestinians since the 1990s, linking that to the burgeoning homeland security bubble that Israel now offers the world with the slogan, "it's our birthright".

    In the end, she says no conspiracies are required. It all comes down to companies doing their jobs, to profit their shareholders. The problem is in governments relinquishing their jobs to act in the public interest to companies with countervailing interests.

    There are many reviews here from people who seemed to only read the back cover of the novel and think of it as an attack on Milton Friedman, rather than what the book really is: an enticing journalistic examination of the Chicago school and it's fruits. Simply put, 30 years of free market history shows that imposing solutions on people is not democratic and is not even pragmatic. What does this book tell us of human nature? Whatver we choose, goes.

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