Naomi Klein: “The Shock Doctrine”

By Mark L. Taylor

The Daily Call (9/19/11)

Author Naomi Klein’s 2007 book “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” clearly outlined the trajectory of an American economic model crafted by University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman that has been used with deadly efficiency in actions around the world and is now being leveled at the vulnerable American “homeland”.

Klein outlined this economic tool of empire at a benefit event for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a social justice research institute. In her address she outlines the Friedman’s disaster capitalism. While his economic model lies in ruin, his teaching on how corporations can brutally grab opportunity in the chaos of disaster – as we have seen in New Orleans, Lebanon, China, Afghanistan and Iraq – has proven to be a tragically astute tactic of turning whole nations over to corporate control.

The tactic was perfected by Friedman and his graduate student “Chicago Boys” in the bloody Chile regime of Augusto Pinochet; Friedman’s economic laboratory. As perfected in the Chilean fascist experience the three “shocks” for corporations to wrench control of a nation are:

1) Sudden, shocking crisis – pseudo, or otherwise - in the form of a surprise military coup, trumped up war or, in the case of New Orleans, natural disaster. The crisis panics people and the most radical of “solutions” are used as an excuse to push aside social programs, necessary regulations and, even, democracy.

2) In that moment of stunned disorientation, lightning fast installation of pre-packaged economic “reforms”, from nationalization of state resources to private voucher schools and the dismantling of social support systems is slammed into place. This is the role played by the various right wing think tanks.

3) The final shock is the indiscriminate use of state violence in the form of bloody suppression of protest, as has been seen in Yeltzen’s Moscow and Tiananmen Square, imprisonment and torture to keep the population in line through fear and intimidation.

That model has carried been carried on from one nation and global crisis to the next and is well on the way now here in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states targeted by the Koch brothers, the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Remember all the Walker talk about the trumped up budget crisis and the recent federal debt ceiling crisis showdown, with the resulting talk about torching education and social support programs?

“The Shock Doctrine” is the gripping story of how America‘s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world - through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

Klein says the hope is that the initial shock wears off; we awaken from our shock, shake it off and get re-oriented and active. That may be happening now, but don’t for a moment think that the danger isn’t real.

You won’t get this history in the mainstream media. In this series of videos Klein outlines the shock doctrine:

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