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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Anglais) Broché – 1 juin 2008


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Extrait

I met Jamar Perry in September 2005, at the big Red Cross shelter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dinner was being doled out by grinning young Scientologists, and he was standing in line. I had just been busted for talking to evacuees without a media escort and was now doing my best to blend in, a white Canadian in a sea of African- American southerners. I dodged into the food line behind Perry and asked him to talk to me as if we were old friends, which he kindly did.

Born and raised in New Orleans, he'd been out of the flooded city for a week. He and his family had waited forever for the evacuation buses; when they didn't arrive, they had walked out in the baking sun. Finally they ended up here, a sprawling convention centre now jammed with 2,000 cots and a mess of angry, exhausted people being patrolled by edgy National Guard soldiers just back from Iraq.
The news racing around the shelter that day was that the Republican Congressman Richard Baker had told a group of lobbyists, "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." Joseph Canizaro, one of New Orleans' wealthiest developers, had just expressed a similar sentiment: "I think we have a clean sheet to start again. And with that clean sheet we have some very big opportunities." All that week Baton Rouge had been crawling with corporate lobbyists helping to lock in those big opportunities: lower taxes, fewer regulations, cheaper workers and a "smaller, safer city" - which in practice meant plans to level the public housing projects. Hearing all the talk of "fresh starts" and "clean sheets", you could almost forget the toxic stew of rubble, chemical outflows and human remains just a few miles down the highway.
Over at the shelter, Jamar could think of nothing else. "I really don't see it as cleaning up the city. What I see is that a lot of people got killed uptown. People who shouldn't have died."
He was speaking quietly, but an older man in line in front of us overheard and whipped around. "What is wrong with these people in Baton Rouge? This isn't an opportunity. It's a goddamned tragedy. Are they blind?" A mother with two kids chimed in. "No, they're not blind, they're evil. They see just fine."
One of those who saw opportunity in the floodwaters of New Orleans was the late Milton Friedman, grand guru of unfettered capitalism and credited with writing the rulebook for the contemporary, hyper-mobile global economy. Ninety-three years old and in failing health, "Uncle Miltie", as he was known to his followers, found the strength to write an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal three months after the levees broke. "Most New Orleans schools are in ruins," Friedman observed, "as are the homes of the children who have attended them. The children are now scattered all over the country. This is a tragedy. It is also an opportunity."
Friedman's radical idea was that instead of spending a portion of the billions of dollars in reconstruction money on rebuilding and improving New Orleans' existing public school system, the government should provide families with vouchers, which they could spend at private institutions.
In sharp contrast to the glacial pace with which the levees were repaired and the electricity grid brought back online, the auctioning-off of New Orleans' school system took place with military speed and precision. Within 19 months, with most of the city's poor residents still in exile, New Orleans' public school system had been almost completely replaced by privately run charter schools.
The Friedmanite American Enterprise Institute enthused that "Katrina accomplished in a day ... what Louisiana school reformers couldn't do after years of trying". Public school teachers, meanwhile, were calling Friedman's plan "an educational land grab". I call these orchestrated raids on the public sphere in the wake of catastrophic events, combined with the treatment of disasters as exciting market opportunities, "disaster capitalism".
Privatising the school system of a mid-size American city may seem a modest preoccupation for the man hailed as the most influential economist of the past half century. Yet his determination to exploit the crisis in New Orleans to advance a fundamentalist version of capitalism was also an oddly fitting farewell. For more than three decades, Friedman and his powerful followers had been perfecting this very strategy: waiting for a major crisis, then selling off pieces of the state to private players while citizens were still reeling from the shock.
In one of his most influential essays, Friedman articulated contemporary capitalism's core tactical nostrum, what I have come to understand as "the shock doctrine". He observed that "only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change". When that crisis occurs, the actions taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. Some people stockpile canned goods and water in preparation for major disasters; Friedmanites stockpile free-market ideas. And once a crisis has struck, the University of Chicago professor was convinced that it was crucial to act swiftly, to impose rapid and irreversible change before the crisis-racked society slipped back into the "tyranny of the status quo". A variation on Machiavelli's advice that "injuries" should be inflicted "all at once", this is one of Friedman's most lasting legacies.
Friedman first learned how to exploit a shock or crisis in the mid-70s, when he advised the dictator General Augusto Pinochet. Not only were Chileans in a state of shock after Pinochet's violent coup, but the country was also traumatised by hyperinflation. Friedman advised Pinochet to impose a rapid-fire transformation of the economy - tax cuts, free trade, privatised services, cuts to social spending and deregulation.
It was the most extreme capitalist makeover ever attempted anywhere, and it became known as a "Chicago School" revolution, as so many of Pinochet's economists had studied under Friedman there. Friedman coined a phrase for this painful tactic: economic "shock treatment". In the decades since, whenever governments have imposed sweeping free-market programs, the all-at-once shock treatment, or "shock therapy", has been the method of choice.
I started researching the free market's dependence on the power of shock four years ago, during the early days of the occupation of Iraq. I reported from Baghdad on Washington's failed attempts to follow "shock and awe" with shock therapy - mass privatisation, complete free trade, a 15% flat tax, a dramatically downsized government. Afterwards I travelled to Sri Lanka, several months after the devastating 2004 tsunami, and witnessed another version of the same manoeuvre: foreign investors and international lenders had teamed up to use the atmosphere of panic to hand the entire beautiful coastline over to entrepreneurs who quickly built large resorts, blocking hundreds of thousands of fishing people from rebuilding their villages. By the time Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, it was clear that this was now the preferred method of advancing corporate goals: using moments of collective trauma to engage in radical social and economic engineering.
Most people who survive a disaster want the opposite of a clean slate: they want to salvage whatever they can and begin repairing what was not destroyed. "When I rebuild the city I feel like I'm rebuilding myself," said Cassandra Andrews, a resident of New Orleans' heavily damaged Lower Ninth Ward, as she cleared away debris after the storm. But disaster capitalists have no interest in repairing what once was. In Iraq, Sri Lanka and New Orleans, the process deceptively called "reconstruction" began with finishing the job of the original disaster by erasing what was left of the public sphere.
When I began this research into the intersection between super-profits and mega-disasters, I thought I was witnessing a fundamental change in the way the drive to "liberate" markets was advancing around the world. Having been part of the movement against ballooning corporate power that made its global debut in Seattle in 1999, I was accustomed to seeing business-friendly policies imposed through arm-twisting at WTO summits, or as the conditions attached to loans from the IMF.
As I dug deeper into the history of how this market model had swept the globe, I discovered that the idea of exploiting crisis and disaster has been the modus operandi of Friedman's movement from the very beginning - this fundamentalist form of capitalism has always needed disasters to advance. What was happening in Iraq and New Orleans was not a post-September 11 invention. Rather, these bold experiments in crisis exploitation were the culmination of three decades of strict adherence to the shock doctrine.
Seen through the lens of this doctrine, the past 35 years look very different. Some of the most infamous human rights violations of this era, which have tended to be viewed as sadistic acts carried out by anti-democratic regimes, were in fact either committed with the intent of terrorising the public or actively harnessed to prepare the ground for radical free-market "reforms". In China in 1989, it was the shock of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the arrests of tens of thousands that freed the Communist party to convert much of the country into a sprawling export zone, staffed with workers too terrified to demand their rights. The Falklands war in 1982 served a similar purpose for Margaret Thatcher: the disorder resulting from the war allowed her to crush the striking miners and to launch the first privatisation frenzy in a western democracy.
The bottom line is that, for economic shock therapy to be applied without restraint, some sort of additional collective trauma has always been required. Friedman's economic model is capable of being partially imposed under democracy - the US under Reaga... --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Revue de presse

"Klein tracks the forced imposition of economic privatization, rife with multinational corporate parasites, on areas and nations weakened by war, civil strife or natural disasters….pointing an alarmed finger at a global “corporatocracy” that combines the worst features of big business and small government…. Klein’s book incorporates an amount of due diligence, logical structure and statistical evidence that others lack….[P]persuasive…Provocative…. Required reading for anyone trying to pierce the complexities of globalization."
—Starred Kirkus review

"Impassioned, hugely informative, wonderfully controversial, and scary as hell."
—John le Carre

"Naomi Klein is one of the most important new voices in American journalism today, as this book make clear.  She has turned globalism inside out, and in so doing given all of us a new way of looking at our seemingly unending disaster in Iraq, and a new way of understanding why we got there."
—Seymour M. Hersh, Pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist for The New Yorker

"This beautifully written, very readable book will change the disgusting history it so calmly chronicles"
—Peter Carey, author of Oscar and Lucinda and Theft: A Love Story

"Her argument is well-documented, logical, riveting, and convincing."
—Jane Smiley, author of A Thousand Acres and Ten Days in the Hills

"This masterful book is a measured but furious call to arms.  Naomi Klein is Antigone before the King, the antidote to the feeling of inevitability that says that we must accept murder as a legitimate economic policy… A spectacular triumph."
—John Cusack, actor/filmmaker

"The Shock Doctrine is, simply put, a book without peer, an epic and riveting work whose message must be heard. With the persistence of a journalist, in the best sense of the word, and the rigor of a scholar, in its truest incarnation, Naomi Klein offers nothing short of a new paradigm for understanding politics…. Her book is honest, urgent and necessary to read. Through its eloquent writing, searing analysis and remarkable breadth, we confront the hubris and zealotry of envisioning a blank slate and being left, time and again, with a scorched earth. The Shock Doctrine is an essential book; only Klein could write it."
—Anthony Shadid, Pulitzer Prize winning Iraq correspondent for The Washington Post

"Naomi Klein is in the best tradition of I.F. Stone and Upton Sinclair, a muckraker who digs in where others accept the surface. I love her stuff and as a 20th Century man, I salute a 21st Century woman."
Studs Terkel, historian and author of Working

"A revelation! With unparalleled courage and clarity Naomi Klein has written the most important and necessary book of her generation. In it she exposes liars, murderers and thieves, ripping the lid off the Chicago School economic policy and its connection to the chaos and bloodshed around the world. The Shock Doctrine is so important and so revelatory a book that it could very well prove a catalyst, a watershed, a tipping point in the movement for economic and social justice."
—Tim Robbins

"Naomi Klein is an investigative reporter like no other. She roams the continents with eyes wide open and her brain operating at full speed, finding connections we never thought of, and patterns which eluded us. She shows us, in clear and elegant language, how catastrophes -- natural ones like Katrina, unnatural ones like war -- become opportunities for a savage capitalism, calling itself “the free market,” to privatize everything in sight, bringing huge profits to some, misery for others. To ensure the safety of such a system, it becomes necessary to constrict freedom, to assault human rights. The torture chambers for some then match the torturing of the larger society. This is a brilliant book, one of the most important I have read in a long time."
—Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United State

"Naomi Klein has written a brilliant, brave and terrifying book. It's nothing less than the secret history of what we call the 'Free Market'. It should be compulsory reading."
—Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things

"Naomi Klein as a writer is an accusing angel. This life-saving book, packed with thinking dynamite, provokes and instills a calm. It reveals a striking parallel between CIA prisoner interrogation technique and the blackmailing technique of the World Bank and I.M.F. for imposing disaster capitalism across the world; both want to induce by shocks a loss of identity. Hence calm is a form of resistance. A book to be read everywhere."
—John Berger, author of G, winner of the Booker Prize, and Ways of Seeing

"Naomi Klein's exposé is certain to be sensational…. She rips away the 'free trade' and globalization ideologies that disguise a conspiracy to privatize war and disaster and grab public property for the rich few. She is brilliant on the malevolent influence of Milton Friedman and the University of Chicago's Economics Department in promoting global privatization. She offers an excellent explanation for the failure to repair New Orleans after Katrina. Hers is a long-needed analysis of our headlong flight back to feudalism under the guise of social science and 'freedom.'"
—Chalmers Johnson, author of The Blowback Trilogy.


Praise for No Logo
:

"A movement bible."
The New York Times

"Klein . . . takes the mounting anecdotal evidence and places it in an analytical context that is articulate, entertaining and illuminating. . . . Her Canadian perspective allows her a spacious view of the terrain that many U.S. critics, obsessed with empire, often lack."
The Globe and Mail

"No Logo is an intelligently written and superbly reported account of a culture that has moved from selling products to hawking brands . . . A couple of chapters in, your mind is already reeling. Klein can write: favouring informality and crispness over jargon . . .convincing and necessary, clear and fresh, calm but unsparing."
The Guardian

"A riveting conscientious piece of journalism and a call to arms. Packed with enlightening statistics and extraordinary anecdotal evidence, No Logo is fluent, undogmatically alive to the contradictions and omissions, and positively seethes with intelligent anger."
The Observer --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.


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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 701 pages
  • Editeur : Picador USA; Édition : Reprint (1 juin 2008)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0312427999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312427993
  • Dimensions du produit: 14,8 x 3,4 x 20,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Journaliste, essayiste et réalisatrice, diplômée de la prestigieuse London School of Economics, Naomi Klein, née en 1970 au Canada, fait partie des penseurs les plus influents de la scène intellectuelle internationale. Elle est l'auteure du best-seller No Logo, traduit dans vingt-huit langues et devenu une référence incontournable dans le monde entier. No Logo offre un bilan d'une société issue de la mondialisation et du règne des marques ainsi que des nouveaux mouvements de résistance des citoyens.
Convaincue que seuls les enseignements dispensés par l'Histoire permettent à l'humanité de faire face au désarroi provoqué par les chocs, les crises et les traumatismes auxquels le monde ne cesse de se trouver confronté, Naomi Klein progresse dans son réquisitoire avec une détermination impressionnante afin d'éveiller les consciences et de prodiguer à ses contemporains d'authentiques outils de résistance pour faire pièce à la faillite programmée du politique.
Tout en dessinant une nouvelle éthique de l'investigation journalistique, La Stratégie du Choc s'affirme comme une lecture indispensable pour réévaluer les enjeux des temps présents et à venir, vis-à-vis desquels les citoyens du monde portent, ensemble, une responsabilité impossible à déléguer.
Best-seller international, traduit en vingt-sept langues, La Stratégie du Choc a valu à Naomi Klein de recevoir en février 2009 le prix Warwick.
Le documentaire inspiré de La Stratégie du choc et réalisé par Michael Winterbottom est sorti sur les écrans français au printemps 2010, il est parut au mois de septembre 2010 en DVD aux éditions Montparnasse.
Du même auteur, Actes Sud a déjà publié No Logo (2001 ; Babel n° 545) et Journal d'une combattante (2003 ; Babel n° 692).

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6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Alfred J. Kwak le 19 juillet 2011
Format: Broché
This awesome book was published in 2007, well before the 2008 banking crisis and the current (July 2011) USD and EUR crises. Having read its very well written 590 pages, with another 70 pp. of references, this reader is very worried and scared about what our rapacious, trans-Atlantic friends and its UK-based allies' current plans are with regard to Europe and its currency.

Naomi Klein, a Canadian journalist/activist provides an intellectual biography of Milton Friedman and how his ideas were put into practice by his followers, first in dictatorships like Chile, later in more democratic contexts, with its main tenets developed during the Cold War. MF called for "hollow" states worldwide, outsourcing as many tasks as possible to private companies deemed to be more effective and efficient than state agencies and companies.

The obvious examples of poor economic performance were countries behind the Iron Curtain and their satellites, where the State was the dominant but inefficient motor of the economy, stifling private enterprise. They could not be reformed from outside during the Cold War. Instead, developing countries under the sway of Keynesian ideas about mixed economies became targets for structural adjustment, liberalization and privatization. Efforts to change policy gradually were soon abandoned for the more effective shock doctrine', starting with Chile.
Crises, shock events came to be seen as helpful, nay, preconditions for swift adoption of economic shock therapy. Crises were anticipated, simulated, even provoked like in the Asian crisis in the late 90s. NK provides ample evidence of the methods to administer 'shock therapy' and of their immediate, sorry results in terms of job losses and sudden poverty.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Fréderick le 21 octobre 2012
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This detailed and perfectly documented study finally explains to me how the world has reached its present conditon, how the ONE PERCENT were created. It was a decades long, well planned process and we do not know the final result yet.
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Par indira le 22 juillet 2012
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Une lecture extrèmement convaincante et éclairante des quarante dernières années mettant à jour une logique à l'oeuvre dans une certaine politique américaine.
Il faut lire ce livre même si on n'est pas d'accord avec les théses de l'auteur.
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215 internautes sur 244 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Using "disaster captialism" to change society and its negative impact 11 décembre 2007
Par Wayne Klein - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
**FYI** Please note to the best of my knowledge I am NOT related to Naomi Klein.**

If you wonder what happened to the middle class, why poverty is on the rise and what the economies in a democracracy, dictatorship and "communism" have in common, you'll find lots of food for thought in Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE. Tracing the rise of the "Chicago Boys" laissez-faire economic beliefs, their impact on South America, China, Russia, Poland and South Africa and how it impacted their form of government, Klein makes a compelling argument for the flaws in Milton Friedman's economic science.

Naomi Klein's book looks at the conflict between Milton Friedman's "laissez-faire" approach to business and government where business is largely unregulated running itself and government is little more than a bare bones system. According to Klein, Friedman believed that the economic theories he espoused would be perfect and that any problems with it would be due to outside forces interferring with his free market world. His approach was in complete contrast to Keynes who believed that the prime mission of politicians and economists was to prevent unemployment and avoid a depression or recession by regulating the market place. People like John Kenneth Galbraith (heir to Keynes' mantle)believed part of the purpose of economic regulation was to keep our captalist system fair and prevent a small group of businesses from dominating the market. Galbraith also believed in bills like the Glass-Steagall act which created a firewall between Wall Street and various banking institutions (which former President Clinton helped to eliminate). The net result would be to prevent recreating disasters like the Great Depression and 1929 stock market crash (the current version of which contributed to part of the economic mess we're in today).

It's the conflict between these two economic philosphies that allows our economic world to thrive. You'll have to decide for yourself how accurately she reflects each man's philosphy based on what you know about each respective philosphy but I found, for the most part, that the book gave a pretty accurate summation of the benefits and issues at the core of each, as well as which classes benefit the most.

Klein suggests that "disaster capitalism", i.e., introducing radical changes in terms of economic and government policy when a country is in "shock" (taking advantage of the fact that massed resistence is unlikely to that change), is allowing the rise of unchecked multi-national corporations that take advantage of and damage our society in the process. She suggests that Friedman's beliefs that the market will manage itself and that free market capitalism undermined the Soviet Union is an idealized and naive belief. The impact for good and bad is that a business functions like a plant. If it receives too much sunlight and water, it will overgrow and strangle out everything else in the economic ecosystem. The net result would cause the system to become unbalanced with human suffering and economic disaster as the result if left unchecked. She traces a parallel path between the rise of Friedman's economic philosphy and the rise of human rights violations, rise and fall of various governments throughout the world and the opportunism of the business world to exploit it.

She ties all of this together looking at the economic policies and beliefs that are reshaping American society--for good and bad--into a different society where the gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to expand and one where the free market society is being radically retooled. The result is a society where the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer. The pressured middle class continues to shrink. This undermines the foundation of our economic growth. This book will probably divide those along the more extreme political lines but has the ring of truth nevertheless.

Klein crafts a fascinating book. Although some of her observations might be a bit of a stretch and her arguments occasionally flawed, she provides compelling evidence to support her thesis and connects the dots of events that might otherwise appear to be unrelated. Whether or not you agree with Klein or are outraged by her evidence, you'll find plenty of food for thought in her book.
801 internautes sur 929 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Stunning and Well-Researched Indictment of Friedmanian Neoliberalism 26 septembre 2007
Par Steve Koss - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE is a stunning indictment of American corporatism and institutionalized globalization, on a par with such groundbreaking works as Harrington's THE OTHER AMERICA and Chomsky's HEGEMONY OR SURVIVAL. Comprehensive in its breadth and remarkable for its well-researched depth, Klein's book is a highly readable but disturbing look at how the neoliberal economic tenets of Milton Friedman have been implemented across the world over the last thirty-plus years.

The author's thesis is simply stated: that neoliberal economic programs have repeatedly been implemented without the consent of the governed by creating and/or taking advantage of various forms of national shock therapy. Ms. Klein asserts that in country after country, Friedman and his Chicago School followers have foisted their tripartite economic prescription - privatization, deregulation, and cutbacks in social welfare spending - on an unsuspecting populace through decidedly non-democratic means. In the early years, the primary vehicle was dictatorial military force and accompanying fear of arrest, torture, disappearance, or death. Over time, new organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank were employed instead, using or creating impossible debt burdens to force governments to accept privatization of state-owned industries and services, complete removal of trade barriers and tariffs, forced acceptance of private foreign investment, and widespread layoffs. In more recent years, terrroism and its response as well as natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis have wiped clean enough of the slate to impose these Friedmanite policies on people too shocked and focused on recovering to realize what was happening until it was too late.

According to Ms. Klein's thesis, these revolutionary economic programs were the "medicine" deemed necessary by neoliberal, anti-Keynesian economists to bring underdeveloped countries into the global trading community. Ms. Klein argues her case in convincing detail a long chronological line of historical cases. Each chapter in her book surveys one such situation, from Chile under Pinochet and Argentina under military junta through Nicaragua and Honduras, Bolivia under Goni, post-apartheid South Africa, post-Solidarity Poland, Russia under Yeltsin, China since Tiananmen, reconstruction of Iraq after the U.S. invasion, Sri Lanka after the tsunami, Israel after 9/11, and New Orleans post-Katrina. Along the way, she lets various neoliberal economists and Chicago School practitioners speak for themselves - we hear their "shock therapy" views in their own words. As just one example, this arrogant and self-righteous proclamation from the late Professor Friedman: "Only a crisis - actual or perceived - producs real change...our basic function, to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable."

What the author makes inescapably clear is that the world economic order has been largely remade in Milton Friedman's image in the last few decades by adopting programs that would never have been democratically accepted by the common people. Military coups, violence and force, wars, induced hyperinflation, terrorism, preemptive war, climate disasters - these have been the disruptive vehicles that allowed such drastic economic packages to be imposed. Nearly always, they are developed in secrecy and implemented too rapidly for citizens to respond. The end results, as Ms.Klein again makes clear, are massive (and too often, continuing) unemployment, large price increases for essential goods, closing of factories, enormous increases in people living in poverty, explosive concentration of wealth among a small elite, and extraordinary opportunity for rapacious capitalism from American and European corporations.

Ms. Klein argues that from its humble beginnings as an economic philosophy, the neoliberal program has evolved (or perhaps devolved) into a form of corporatism. Particularly in America, government under mostly Republican adminstrations has hollowed itself out, using private sector contractors for nearly every conceivable task. Companies ranging from Lockheed and Halliburton to ChoicePoint, Blackwater, CH2M Hill, and DynCorp exist almost entirely to secure lucrative government contracts to perform work formerly done by government. They now operate in a world the author describes as "disaster capitalism," waiting and salivating over the profits to be made in the next slate-wiping war or disaster, regardless of the human cost. In an ominous closing discussion, Ms. Klein describes the privatization of government in wealthy Atlanta suburbs, a further step in self-serving and preemptive corporatism guaranteed to hollow out whatever is left of major American cities if it becomes a widespread practice.

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE is truly a head-shaking read. One can only marvel at the imperiousness of past (mostly) American governmental behavior, the grievous callousness of it all, the massive human despair and suffering created for no other reason than economic imperialism, and the nauseating greed of (mostly Republican) politicians, former political operatives, and corporate executives who prey like pack wolves on people's powerlessness and insecurity. Reading this book, one can no longer ask the question, "Why do they hate us?" The answer is obvious, and no amount of hyperventilation from Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, or Fox News can erase the facts and consequences of behavior that we as a country have implicitly or explicitly endorsed.

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE proves itself as shaming of modern American governmental policy as Dee Brown's epic of 19th Century America, BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE. It is an essential read for intelligent citizens who want to understand the roots of globalization and its blowback effects on our lives.
377 internautes sur 439 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An important read with some shortcomings 27 octobre 2007
Par Justin M. Feldman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Naomi Klein has written this book about the rise of what she calls "disaster capitalism": the global imposition/adoption of Chicago School (neoliberal) economics since the early 1970s. This is a particularly important book because, while many have written about the same topic, I have never seen it treated in a form that is both holistic (ie. a global history) and accessible (ie. largely free from the academic jargon of economics and social theory). The book does suffer from some problems however.

Klein's main thesis is problematic. She writes that the idea of economic shock therapy arose out of the same logic as Electric Convulsive Therapy (ECT). This idea is to create or exploit a destructive event in order to create regression, passivity, and a 'blank slate' on which to build a new order. In supporting this thesis, Klein uses all of Part I of her book to write about psychological torture and the CIA's mind control experiments. She attempts to develop a 'poetics of torture' that links the individual violence of ECT to the structural violence that occurs when neoliberalism is imposed as a governing strategy. Klein is no poet however, and the metaphor seems to die pretty early on in the book. She does thankfully offer a more implicit thesis that she invokes more regularly and supports more thoroughly: free markets did not develop through freedom, but through authoritarian or technocratic interventions.

Secondly, Klein treats capitalism as if it were only 35 years old. Her book however is thematically similar to the work of another woman who wrote on the same issues a century before: Rosa Luxemburg. By only going as far back as the rise of Keynsianism and developmentalism, Klein makes it seem as though neoliberalism is a radical historical exception. Yet it seems that, since the industrial revolution, it is Keynsianism that itself was the historical exception.

This book is mostly comprised of what are essentially case studies. Each case study could certainly be expanded into its own 600-page book, so simplification was necessary. I think that it is also necessary for the author to explicitly admit the complexity of any situation beyond just the power of market forces, which act strongly and ubiquitously but never alone. I think she does admit the shortcomings of her case studies for Israel/Palestine, South Africa, and Iraq (her best and most personally-involved ones), but not for the rest.

All in all, this book is worth a read and is a good introduction to one of the most powerful forces of our times. I just hope that it inspires people to read some other books that illuminate more of the complexities in regards to the theory and practice of neoliberalism in our communities, countries, and worlds. I particularly recommend David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism.
335 internautes sur 432 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The New "New Economy" 18 septembre 2007
Par Panopticonman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein brilliantly proposes a compelling counter-story to the prevailing fable of free market infallibility. Buttressed by painstaking and wide-ranging research, and an ability to see connections where others only see coincidence, Ms. Klein amply shows that profit-making is not the essence of democracy as Milton Friedman and his minions would have it. She shows instead that the machinery of the state and the requirements of "disaster capitalism" are now so tightly synchronized in their exploitation of disasters both man-made and natural as to be virtually one in the same.

Citing pertinent examples to prove her thesis that "disaster capitalism" is now rampant around the world - in Russia, in China, in Iraq to name just a few - she describes how in times of crisis, elites everywhere have learned that they can profit by implementing policies, e.g., "shock therapy" or "shock and awe," that would have been vigorously opposed in normal times. When these changes to Friedmanite free-market dicta are opposed, as they were in Chile, a third shock is implemented. This, according to Klein is a shock that is entirely man-made - the torture and murder of those who would stand in the way of the takeover of the public sector, or, as neo-liberal economists would have it, the bringing forth of a new birth of freedom.

During the "Reagan Revolution," Klein argues, the notion of the `Entrepreneur As Hero' was buffed to a high gloss though the influence of right-wing think tanks whose pronouncements were reported by a cowed and obedient media. A decade later in the dot.com era, entrepreneurs were burnished to blinding sheen when the media fed the world images of swashbuckling venture capitalists who were touted as bringing forth a new millennium through the Internet. Klein maintains that George W. Bush's "public offering" -- the War on Terror - covered slavishly and avidly by the media, has been wildly successful, lining the pockets of investors in the new Homeland Security sector as promises of taxpayer money everlastingly flowing into the coffers of the military-industrial-energy complex have been fulfilled. This is the new "new economy:" the looting of the public sector through the now tried-and-true methods of disaster capitalism.

THE SHOCK DOCTRINE reveals the many wounds that disaster capitalism has inflicted upon the body politic both here in the U.S. and throughout the world over the past 25 years. It is a breathtaking achievement. Highly recommended.
22 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
We are seeing the Shock Doctrine applied to the US 2 novembre 2011
Par LD - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The givens: Naomi Klein is a lefty (I am decidedly not) and I disagree with some of her stands. Looking at the 5 stars versus the 1 stars, there are some in each camp who are faith-based religionists in the capitalist theory camp and there are those who are just as religious in their opposition. Some say we are in another historic Depression and others vehemently say the US is back to growing.

I was in a position to see how Milton Friedman's theories along with several others (Chicago School, Greenspan, Alfred Kahn) actually changed the way business and life worked in the US. The breakup of AT&T did not benefit anyone but the speculators. Ditto with airline and trucking deregulation. The mortgage industry-Savings & Loan system collapsed. The South American sovereign debt crisis almost collapsed American banking. I saw it all from the inside and it was not anything like the 1 stars try to tell you.

Now let's talk about the book. She got the story basically correct about how other countries were forced to privatize what had been non-profits or government socialist programs. Money owed to US banks became excuses to force open opportunities for US financial exploitation. When Larry Summers and friends went to Russia to set up capitalism, it so ruined the country that it was abandoned. He and the other capitalists then ruined most of the largest universities in the US. They were right there to work their theories and contribute to the financial collapse of 2008-on.

Bottom line: The Shock Doctrine is a peak at the theory behind the actions that caused this mess. Other books discuss the acts that contributed to the debacle. Enough time has passed to check on how the rebuilding after the Thailand tsunami has worked out to see if Klein got the story correct. So far she is very close. That pretty well puts all the arguing to religious fervor. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Update: Just read "The Chastening" which details the IMF and US behind-the-curtain wheelings and dealings during the 1990s Asian and Russian meltdowns. All the characters involved in the US meltdown were key players in these crisis. The secret world of finance is revealed and how those countries were forced to swallow the "Shock Doctrine". Klein's book shows the after effects on the populace while The Chastening shows that the greedy and corrupt were bailed out.
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