Friday, March 11, 2011

The Shock Doctrine: Now In A State Near You!

Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine is perhaps one of the two or three best books I've ever read for explaining the politics and economics that's really driving the world today. (I even have a spare copy, for anyone who's interested in reading it--no way am I loaning out my hardcover of this book!) I think it's the one book that unifies and makes understandable the global changes in the political-economic system we fondly call capitalism.

I'd intended to post this video of Klein's appearance Tuesday night on The Rachel Maddow Show earlier this week, and after today's Japan earthquake, I think it's even more timely. What we're seeing now in Wisconsin, in Michigan, in literally dozens of states across the country - and what I think we'll soon see in post-quake Japan - is a prime example of what Klein calls "disaster capitalism." Please give the video your utmost attention, and remember, I still have a spare copy of the book.

MADDOW:  Do you see disaster capitalism at work in these state budget fights?  Because I do.

KLEIN:  Yes, I definitely do.  And—but it‘s important to remember that these guys have been at this for 30 years.  I mean, they‘re part of an ideological movement and they believe in a whole bunch of stuff that‘s not very popular.

You know, there are some policies in the ideological Republican playbook that a lot of people like: everyone likes a tax break.  But if you talk about you‘re privatizing the local water system, busting unions, privatizing entire towns, things like this, if you run an election and say this is what I plan to do, you—chances are you will lose that election.  And this is where crises come in.  They are very, very handy, because you can say we have no choice.

You don‘t have to win the argument any more.  You just have to say the sky is falling in.  We have to do this.  You can consolidate power.

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