Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Life Imitates Art Politics?

The Number 2 story scandalizing the MSM this week is the case of Dominique Strauss-Khan, who right about now probably wishes that Arnold Schwarzenegger had fathered two out-of wedlock children. Strauss-Khan, or DSK, as he's already being referred to, is alleged to have sexually assaulted a Hotel Sofitel housekeeper in his $3,000-a-night suite. Allegations of additional attacks by DSK against a young journalist in France, and another hotel maid in Mexico, are now being brought forth by the women allegedly victimized by the perpetrator. I don't think that Strauss-Khan's nickname, the "Great Seducer," is going to help his case much, either.

Now, I don't know if Strauss-Khan is guilty or not in any of these cases, but I find the whole affair to be a sad reenactment of DSK's day job as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund. The IMF has for decades raped Third World countries, forced them to perform self-mutilating acts of financial and monetary policy that primarily benefit First World countries and corporations.

Naomi Klein outlined all this in her brilliant book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, which "makes a cogent argument that the Milton Friedman school of economics (which has characterized American and European global economic policy for years) thrives on national economies that are in a melt down or in the midst of crises, many of the latter created as a result of IMF and World Bank policies."

The Shock Doctrine is, in my opinion, one of the most important books written in the last thirty years. And after reading it, I couldn't help but see an eerie parallel between Strauss-Khan's personal acts and public life. The exploitation of a crisis, be it national or individual, to advance an agenda that helps the outsider - agency or individual - profit, seems to be a trademark of "The Great Seducer's" corporate and personal technique.

One might describe it as taking advantage of a poor, defenseless entity, be it a nation or a woman, for professional or personal gain. I almost feel sorry for Strauss-Khan's lawyers.

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