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Author Topic: Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 07 September 2007 08:22 AM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Naomi Klein visits the rabble book lounge. Have a listen and share your reactions here.

[ 07 September 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 07 September 2007 09:32 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
YouTube also has some video shorts about her new book. Check it out over here: The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Kline and Alfonso Cuarón

I am re-reading Ellen M. Wood's The Origin of Capitalism: a longer view as well as E.P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class and there's a point that Wood makes there that bears repeating here. The market became capitalist when it became compulsory; the term "the free market" is, in fact, propaganda that disguises the real origin of capitalism as a social system. That is, perhaps, not a surprise when the prevailing view about capitalism's origin is that it was "always there" and a teleological view seems to dominate most orthodox (i.e., pro-capitalist) views.

quote:
Wood: ...the distinctive and dominant characteristic of of the capitalist market is not opportunity or choice but, on the contrary, compulsion. Material life and social reproduction in capitalism are universally mediated by the market, so that all individuals must in one way or another enter into market relations in order to gain access to the means of life. This unique system of market-dependence means that the dictates of the capitalist market - its imperatives of competition, accumulation, profit-maximization, and increasing labour-productivity - regulate not only all economic transactions but social relations in general. As relations among human beings are mediated by the process of commodity exchange, social relations among people appear as relations among things: the 'fetishism of commodities', in Marx's famous phrase.

Why is this relevant? It's useful to demonstrate how even in its murky origins, capitalism is presented as a "natural" social order and biological metaphors are used to justify the endless promotion of "things" over human relations. Behind it all is the nefarious and evil practice of trying to make permanent the exploitation of one human being by another and make it appear as natural as meeting one's 'freely chosen' needs. The implanted conviction that "there is no alternative" is very deeply rooted and matches the success of the most severe 'totalitarian' brainwashing.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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Babbler # 5594

posted 07 September 2007 04:18 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree. "The economy" was never as central to peoples lives as it has become over the last century and especially so in the last 25 years. Polanyi said that man's economy was embedded in his social relationships since time immemorial. But the new Liberal capitalism is an attempt to embed man in his economy. As far as neoLiberal capitalist ideology is concerned, man is just a walking set of insatiable material desires. We are one-dimensional prisoners of our own self-interested greed. It's a distortion of man, and when applied to society produces distorted results.

[ 07 September 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 07 September 2007 04:47 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
"The economy" was never as central to peoples lives as it has become over the last century and especially so in the last 25 years.

I think the people ousted by the enclosure of the commons and the highland clearances, those forced into slavery, and the indigenous peoples plundered, exploited and killed over the last few hundred years might disagree with the notion this has only recently become acute.

The Shock Doctrine has been tried and true for some time now. King Leopold used it well to his advantage, for example.

I'd argue that the capitalist system has always depended on keeping the populace off-balance. Then there was the 1950s, and a few people in a small part of the world were comfortable, all the while building a brutal military stockpile. And the comfort has been absurdly mythologized and universalized. And that pocket of time for the few is now somehow seen as the norm, while the decades of war and privation that rage around it (and through it, for many) are the exceptions.

As a couple of dudes wrote a while ago:

quote:
Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.

Communist Manifesto


[ 07 September 2007: Message edited by: writer ]


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 07 September 2007 05:06 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The notion of a gentler capitalism simply has me dumbfounded. This is a Canadian board. This is a country that was created through murder and theft, and which continues with its crimes, all the while making posters and theme songs about how broad-minded and accepting the state is.

It is a form of collective madness, this denial.

I don't know how indigenous peoples cope with this crap.

[ 07 September 2007: Message edited by: writer ]


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 07 September 2007 05:11 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
All that is solid melts into air ...

Marx certainly knew his Shakespeare, as he knew his Rousseau.

It is useful sometimes to observe that there is nothing new under the sun, as of course there isn't, but it is also often useful to observe the particularities of one's own time.

Me, I would call Dick Cheney a singularity. If Shakespeare and Marx were living now, I bet they would too. They would have loved the guy -- what material!


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 07 September 2007 05:20 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A Skdadl sighting. Hey lady, I've missed your comments.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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Babbler # 4117

posted 07 September 2007 06:42 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Don't go Skdadl! We need you!
From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
contrarianna
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Babbler # 13058

posted 07 September 2007 06:43 PM      Profile for contrarianna     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:

Me, I would call Dick Cheney a singularity. If Shakespeare and Marx were living now, I bet they would too. They would have loved the guy -- what material!


Closest rewrite material--Iago: adviser as puppeteer, sociopath, and all round malignant toad, whose final words could be turn out to be the same:
"Demand me nothing: what you know, you know: From this time forth I never will speak word "

From: here to inanity | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 07 September 2007 07:32 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You lucky duck. You got to quote skdadl here. I'm green with envy.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
DonnyBGood
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posted 08 September 2007 05:31 AM      Profile for DonnyBGood     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I haven't read the book yet but the essential psychology that she outlines in her Utube presentation is well known. What is more fascinating are the illustrations she uses and the consequences of the imposition of the neoliberal agenda.

The issue that interests me is the notion that it is ideas that shape human behaviour. That is, is it true or, as she quotes Milton Friedman, do ideas simply provide rationalizations for attavistic behaviours after the fact?

She also illustrates how essentially powerless governments are in the neoliberal world. They have been rendered ineffective by greed and porkbarreling as she illustrates in her discusion of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

She therefore concludes that the social democratic, humanist movement we belong to lost this battle of ideas. Well how does this follow? Government does not respond to the people and is controlled by an oligarchy. This oligarchy uses force and intimidation , controls the media, the police, the army and our elected represenataives to a large extent (through the party system). It rules according to its own agenda and system and does not entertain discussions other than to claim some hollow victory over phantom enemies wqe must forever be on the watch out for.

Did Naomi lose the "debate"? I hardly think so. The competition for the best ideas becoming public policy in a democratic society was and is fixed in favour of the worst ones. Thus she couldn't win it either.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 September 2007 11:09 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here is an author who implicitly critiques the views of someone like Naomi Kline:

quote:
Socialism, as I describe it here, is a natural response to the problems associated with the development of capitalism. The fact that it is rarely discussed any more is evidence of the effectiveness of the targeted systems of indoctrination known in our societies as education and information. The question of socialism has nothing to do with the crisis of capitalism, the destruction (real or imagined) of nature, or the alleged bourgeoisification of the working class. Because control over one's own existence is a fundamental human aspiration, the question will not go away as living standards rise, and it does not require a catastrophe to bring it to the forefront. The more our survival-related biological needs are met, the more our strictly human needs for autonomy and freedom demand to be satisfied.

The quote is from a piece by Jean Bricmont regarding the failure of the French left at ZNet. See

The Class Struggle Will No Longer Be Offshored.

The article shows the vapidity of post-modernist drivel and its inexorable dead end. "The defeat of the French left in the presidential and legislative elections was fair punishment for its lack of vision. Social democracy is still based on the exploitation of the third world, with which Europe must now create a new relationship."

The author elaborates a "back to basics" approach for socialists. He says:

quote:
To succeed, political movements must believe what they say. The victors on the right have not been the Keynesian, conservative wets (as Margaret Thatcher called them), but the hardliners. Until the left can come up with something better than moderately rightwing policies, it has no chance of winning. To change that, it must go back to the roots of the conflict between left and right. It must see beyond values, like feminism or antiracism, which the modern right is quite happy to adopt. It must address the fundamental question: who controls the economy?

In a word, the left needs to believe in socialism. A good read.

Bricmont is the author of the recent book, Humanitarian Imperialism. It looks to be an excellent expose of the ideological window dressing with which the more recent invasions, bombings, and occupations of the imperialist countries have been covered with.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 September 2007 11:39 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I do believe in socialism. And I think people like Rabble's Duncan Cameron have given us some very good arguments for technical socialism. The only things standing in our way are a misinformed public and a general lack of interest in politics among Canadian voters since the free trade and other betrayals of the 1980's-90's.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Solidarity4Ever
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posted 08 September 2007 11:45 AM      Profile for Solidarity4Ever        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
The only things standing in our way are a misinformed public and a general lack of interest in politics among Canadian voters since the free trade and other betrayals of the 1980's-90's.

Don't forget the mass killings and the crushing of the human spirit. But hey, those are only 'details of history', right?


From: The Earth | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 September 2007 11:49 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A critique of imperialism has typically been a dividing line between social democracy, particularly in the developed capitalist countries, and socialism. So Bricmont provides an important and useful service by insisting on linking socialism with anti-imperialism, and demonstrating why, as well as insisting on the word that too many are afraid to say anymore: socialism.

But I certainly wouldn't want anyone to misunderstand criticism of Klein from the left as in any way endorsing disagreement with her from the right. Her book looks interesting and well worth the read.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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Babbler # 11323

posted 08 September 2007 11:49 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Solidarity4Ever:

Don't forget the mass killings and the crushing of the human spirit.


Was that when they got yours? Gee, I'm sorry. RIP.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Solidarity4Ever
recent-rabble-rouser
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posted 08 September 2007 11:58 AM      Profile for Solidarity4Ever        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

Was that when they got yours? Gee, I'm sorry. RIP.


Got my what? Be more specific, butthole.


From: The Earth | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 08 September 2007 11:58 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Solidarity4Ever:

Don't forget the mass killings and the crushing of the human spirit. But hey, those are only 'details of history', right?


If this thread were to deteriorate into a juvenile debate about socialist versus capitalist experiments of recent history wrt body counts, you may lose your stomach for Liberal capitalism. So let's spare us that misadventure and stick with the thread topic.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 September 2007 12:24 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Solidarity4Ever: Got my what? Be more specific, butthole.

Perhaps you missed this part of the rules, policies and disclaimers?

quote:
You agree, through your use of this service ... to avoid personal insults, attacks and mischievous antagonism (otherwise known as "trolling").

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/policy.html


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 September 2007 12:52 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
[throws a dishcloth over his left shoulder] Well, that mess looks to be cleaned up. Who's for a nice cup of tea? It's almost 4 p.m. in Manitoba.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
duncan cameron
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Babbler # 43

posted 08 September 2007 09:16 PM      Profile for duncan cameron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Th Shock Doctrine deserved better than it got in the Globe review today. Here is my letter to the reviewer.

Dear Todd Gitlin,

I suppose I have been one of your admirers since the student anti-war movement. So i was surprised to read your intervention in the Globe and Mail today reviewing The Shock Doctrine. How you could have assumed that everyone of your readers knows about the problems of capitalism simply amazes me. But then, I have to conclude you have not been following Canadian public life too closely.

In the last 25 years a campaign has been underway to eliminate any voices or analysis that do not recognize the superiority of the Reagan/Thatcher vision of society. It has succeeded beyond any expectation of the forces behind it. The Canadian left is marginalized and has no access to the commercial media, and the Canadian BBC has caved as well.
Some 40 years ago, Pierre Trudeau emerged, a left liberal, with a background in labour issues, and became prime minister in part because of the impact of the new left on world politics. How far back we have gone, as a result of our success, those years ago, when your leadership was known around the world.

That is why Ms. Klein has become an important figure for those of us who have tried to show that capitalism still has its own problems. In her book Klein shows the excesses of capitalism in the context of the Iraq war and Katrina. She connects the dots and offer an analysis unavailable elsewhere of the pure capitalist approach to settling social problems. Shock, and awe, hell. Shock and privatize, yes. Ms. Klein understands that, of course, ideas matter, and that, in the capitalist resurgence, the key figure was Milton Friedman. By the way the FT has a review tosay of four economics biographies that reaches the same conclusion.
if I understood what you had to say, she reviewed a book of yours. You did not like the review. Given the opportunity you chose to settle a score.
You realize of course that close readers will question your own intellectual honesty by choosing this tack. I am simply saddened to see what you, a hero to many, have become: petty and self-centred. The ideals you once represented deserve a better performance.
Sadly, the sailor's saying resonates: beware a fallen beacon.

Yours truly,


From: vancouver | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lord Palmerston
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4901

posted 08 September 2007 11:09 PM      Profile for Lord Palmerston     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
N. Beltov, are you assuming Klein is a social democrat?
From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 09 September 2007 12:23 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, I did read in one of the interviews that she supports the NDP. It seems a reasonable conclusion.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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Babbler # 5594

posted 09 September 2007 12:55 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just because she's married to Avi Lewis, son of Stephen Lewis, and grandson of David Lewis ?. Maybe you're right, Lord Pee, perhaps Naomi married into the family for reasons other than their social democratic traditions. Maybe she's an anarcho-Marxist ?.

[ 09 September 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
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posted 09 September 2007 03:08 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think probably Klein can be judged on her own merits and not her husband's or her husband's family's. Just my opinion.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 09 September 2007 06:35 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
ahem. Thank the nice moderator, Fidel.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 09 September 2007 09:14 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
Well, I did read in one of the interviews that she supports the NDP. It seems a reasonable conclusion.

I'm pretty sure she's a social democrat, too, just based on the bits of her I've read. I think she falls into the "lite" category - not, I hasten to say, because she's a social democrat! But she gets people to pay attention to certain issues and that certainly has some value.
And she and Avi made a good movie


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 09 September 2007 10:25 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
I think probably Klein can be judged on her own merits and not her husband's or her husband's family's. Just my opinion.

Absolutely.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Lord Palmerston
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posted 09 September 2007 11:29 AM      Profile for Lord Palmerston     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have heard that she is anti-capitalist, anarchist, etc. but she is vague on the issue in this interview. Talking about extreme or fundamentalist capitalism could imply she wants a nicer capitalism, but not necessarily. Chomsky is an anarchist but he spends very, very, very little time talking about the need to overthrow capitalism. Maybe Klein is the same way.

I saw her talk in Toronto on Thursday and she did, in fact, vehemently oppose someone who gave the "it must get worst before it gets better" question/suggestion.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=10&ItemID=13725


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
DonnyBGood
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posted 09 September 2007 06:07 PM      Profile for DonnyBGood     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The main disagreement that the enlightened 21st century radical has with Karl Marx is the notion of a class war. He believed and so did Che Guevera that the only solution to capitalists was to kill them...

Since that time the engines of war and mass murder have rapidly made the possibility of winning a class war by violence impractical. In any case what was said back then was that workers would take control and where the capitalist calss used violence the working class would respond with the necessary force to eliminate that threat.

Well a quick read of the Klein position is the very correct analysis that violence does not work against those who are mastrers of the techniques of violence. It corrupts and turns liberators into monsters as we have seen throughout the world.

Reading today's New York Times article on Iraq and the effect of the troop build-up there illustrates the inherent instability of disaster capitalism and the ideology of shock and awe - it breeds monsters.

According to the article much of the lessening of violence was accomplished not by US soldiers but by ethnic cleansing that had already peaked before the troop arrivals. There is no society or safe haven for anyone there and where violence is quelled it pops up elsewhere.

So you have the future of the world predicted in the Iraq scenario. Walled neighborhoods surrounded by soldiers dealing out death as indicriminately as car bombs.Refugees of wealthy middle class neighborhoods fleeing for their lives, the population forced to collude with first one extremist group and then the other at the risk of death etc., etc.

The conclusion is that to achieve success the US would have to stay in Iraq forever!

So let us not go down that road. Let us say that homicidal mania is not the natural stae of humankind but an affliction. History therefore could not move by war or warfare driven by economics but by some other evolutionary process.

In April's New Internationalist magazine discusses the plight of the world's oceans. The startling fact is that human impact is causing a reversal of evolution! Oceans are being loaded with nutrients and chemicals that are causing enormous algae growth while other pollution is destroying the higher order of creatures that feed on it. Industrial fishing is eliminating certain species that fed on the more primitive jellyfish population which now is also ballooning.

The strength of writers like Klein and Linda McQuaig is they echo the wisdom of the working class. We ought not destroy what we have for a false promise. We should move from strength to strength. We should speak out against the attavistic folly of the current ruling elites.

My only question is does ideolgical thinking really effect the way people act? Or, and this seems more likely to me, do ideologies, indeed even grandiose political philosophies merely rationalize human behavior?

For example: I am at home depot where there is a demonstration on solar cells being given . The small crowd is interested enthusiastic. They like the idea of powering one's home cleanly and efficiently. According to my estimates 4 of the large ones would completely meet the energy needs of my place. I ask how much they are. All eyes lite on the sales guy. "Only $16,000 each - installed !" he says. People laugh and say thanks and head off to buy the box of nails or toilet flapper.

Now the Liberals are about to spend another $20 billion on nuclear reactors over the nest 10 years. The same amount of money spent on solar cells would provide 1.25 million solar cells for Ontarians. That is about enough energy for only 10% of homes in Toronto. But it is cost efficient for the government to pay 4 times the rate for solar generated power to citizens. So with a bit of thinking and strategizing Ontario could get into the mass production of solar cells. Computers used to cost 10 times as much. Using these economies we could probably power all homes in Canada with a solar power grid.

Those guys at Home Depot know it. Why don't we just do it?


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 09 September 2007 07:09 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
DonnyBGood: The main disagreement that the enlightened 21st century radical has with Karl Marx is the notion of a class war. He believed and so did Che Guevera that the only solution to capitalists was to kill them...

I call bullshit.

quote:
To prevent possible misunderstanding, a word. I paint the capitalist and the landlord in no sense couleur de rose. But here individuals are dealt with only in so far as they are the personifications of economic categories, embodiments of particular class-relations and class-interests. My standpoint, from which the evolution of the economic formation of society is viewed as a process of natural history, can less than any other make the individual responsible for relations whose creature he socially remains, however much he may subjectively raise himself above them.

from the Preface to the 1st German edition of Capital, by Karl Marx, dated July 25, 1867.

Obviously, if Marx believed that individual capitalists were not responsible for the social relations of capitalism, then why would he be in favour of killing any of them? Marx wanted an end to exploitation and he was the first to identify the social group that, he felt, would lead that yet-to-be finished struggle.

[ 09 September 2007: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
DonnyBGood
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posted 10 September 2007 02:25 PM      Profile for DonnyBGood     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
OK whatever the citation means, I don't think it supposes that capitalists would lead the revolution.

Would you deny that Marx predicted a violent revolution based on antipathy between the ruling capitalist class and the proletariat?

I think he was wrong on this that is all - another dynamic was truer to the reality of class relations.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 10 September 2007 05:22 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Latin America — Rising Class Struggle Forces Socialism onto the Agenda

Workers are struggling and rebelling around the world here and there. And an ideology in the last three most politically conservative nations clings to power by a dated and obsolete electoral system. And they've had to resort to stealing a FPTP election in 2000. I think that was a low point for neoLiberal capitalism as well as the unprecedented anti-warfiteering and anti-globalization protests around the world.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
kropotkin1951
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posted 11 September 2007 10:40 AM      Profile for kropotkin1951   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So what is an anachro-Marxist. Central planning by anarchists?

I've heard Naomi speak on her new book (I was at the CCPA fundraiser) She doesn't say what her personal belief is however there is no doubt from watching The Take that she admires the anarchist project that is ongoing in the take back the factories movement. Syndicalism in action. If you watch the Take I find it interesting that the workers in Latin America still have more rights than in Canada. If Canadian workers tried to occupy a factory that was closing the owner would get an injunction from the courts ,the RCMP would then order everyone to leave and if they didn't they would be arrested. If they were to try to go back into the factory they would be given significant jail time. But we are so democratic in Canada eh?


From: North of Manifest Destiny | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 11 September 2007 02:47 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Nobody else has linked to the published excerpts from the book, so here they are:

Guardian excerpt #1

Guardian excerpt #2

Guardian excerpt #3

Globe and Mail excerpt

They are well worth reading.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 12 September 2007 05:45 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
Nobody else has linked to the published excerpts from the book, so here they are:

Guardian excerpt #1


\

quote:
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.

They blamed Allende for shortages and spiraling inflation under his socialist government. And neoLiberalizers today will say the same things about Chile through to why we needed to Liberalize up in North America: inflation or stagflation of the 1970's and leading to their economic austerity measures of the 1980's and 90's as the cure. They would never mention the fact that U.S. hawks were printing money to fund an immoral war in Vietnam, or the mini-shocks that resulted from energy crisis of the 1970's, or of technological stagnation from a lack of capitalist investment in R&D as sources and causes of economic doldrums here.

But Chile was another case altogether. Exports and credit were cut off, and money poured in to provide covert aid for private businesses organizing strikes which crippled various sectors of Allende's economy. They exacerbated inflation as part of waging economic warfare on their own country from within and without. See declassified U.S. documents, CIA director Richard Helms hand notes from a meeting with the "doctor and the madman" who gave him orders to, "make the economy scream", in order to facilitate Allende's exit.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
mayakovsky
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posted 12 September 2007 09:20 PM      Profile for mayakovsky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In most exchanges I have seen between Klein and Gitlin I have been more sympathetic to Gitlin's position. I thoroughly enjoyed his 'Letters to a Young Activist'. With Klein I take exception to things like her last bit in the recent Macleans interview,

"You mean get involved with the government?
Yeah, or like a ... I don't even think of it as a government, Ken, because I just think we'd lose! I won't get past the campaign!"

To me she is saying I go around the world and get involved in local/grassroots struggles which are exciting and beyond the comprehension of average Canadians. No! Like Gitlin says the struggle here is different. It is not romantic, it's politics. But hey if you are supposedly down with the people but you can't speak to peeps. Well, you aint gonna get the props.


From: New Bedford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Farmpunk
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posted 14 September 2007 02:48 AM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Far be it from me to question D. Cameron but I don't think that using Trudeau as a paragon of working class political awareness is going to win over many people with even a lite knowlege of Canadian politics in the 70s.

"The strength of writers like Klein and Linda McQuaig is they echo the wisdom of the working class."

To echo Beltov: bullshit.

The current socialist-left has absolutely no real world communication skills. I would suggest this thread is an excellent example of the problem. It reads more like a political geek convention about defining the problem to the already converted. I enjoy reading this stuff but how many normal people would? What would they get out it?

In other words is there such a thing as pop culture socialism? If The Left remains deadly serious and academic it is going to fail.

Thanks for the links, Spector, Beltov.


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evernon
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posted 14 September 2007 06:12 AM      Profile for evernon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Todd Gitlin who back in the 6os was a student activist with SDS and today a respected professor of journalism at Columbia while noting Klein's abilities is nonetheless a little more critical and rightly so in my view:

Globe and Mail


From: Cumberland | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 14 September 2007 06:29 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by evernon:
Todd Gitlin who back in the 6os was a student activist with SDS and today a respected professor of journalism at Columbia while noting Klein's abilities is nonetheless a little more critical and rightly so in my view:

"Respected" - what a loaded term that is!

Todd Gitlin is just another "God that failed" ex-radical who has got tenure, made his peace with the system, and uses his ancient credentials to undermine the enthusiasm for change of those (like Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky) who are younger either in age or in world outlook.


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DonnyBGood
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posted 14 September 2007 08:51 AM      Profile for DonnyBGood     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
[/QUOTEhe current socialist-left has absolutely no real world communication skills. I would suggest this thread is an excellent example of the problem. It reads more like a political geek convention about defining the problem to the already converted. I enjoy reading this stuff but how many normal people would? What would they get out it?

In other words is there such a thing as pop culture socialism? If The Left remains deadly serious and academic it is going to fail.


Again I ithink there is a naieve assumption here that the story is unknown to the public at large to the working class The working class knows the story. You cannot defeat capitalism by force and implement a social democratic regime. Klein and McQuaig know this.

Thus what is the point of a "populist left wing ideology" ? We had that and did that in the 60's and 70's and it didn't work. It didn't work becaause no one new how ideology translated into action.

Protests don't work. Strikes don't work. The electoral systems on national scales don't work. The party system is moribund and facistic. Opting out doesn't work nor does opting in unless you want to sell out and have the requisite skills to do so.

So what is to be done?

I think that this lesson creates in itself an anti-leftist behaviour. But since "leftist behaviour" is mostly simply rational behaviour all that is left is attavism.

Look at punk rock as a typical example. It was intially a racist and violent creed that was laundered by the media and bands like the Clash to be "protest" - now that was bullshit. It was people doing things, making culture, lifestyles in reaction to liberal society. It had little anarchist or polirtical theory behind it. The rationalizations came later.

[ 14 September 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]


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evernon
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posted 14 September 2007 09:01 AM      Profile for evernon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

"Respected" - what a loaded term that is!

Todd Gitlin is just another "God that failed" ex-radical who has got tenure, made his peace with the system, and uses his ancient credentials to undermine the enthusiasm for change of those (like Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky) who are younger either in age or in world outlook.



Right, it is so easy to be churlish and critical when sitting back in an armchair doing just that.

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N.Beltov
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posted 14 September 2007 09:07 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I think Farmpunk was drawing attention to the atrophy of working class cultural institutions and expressions. I would agree; capitalism turns everything into a commodity, including culture, and sterilizes the goodness out of working class social, cultural and political traditions of resistance. Any good student of working class history knows that past struggles, and successful present ones, typically have much more than simply "political stuff" as ingredients for success.

Capitalism monopolizes what is communicated to working people, socially, culturally, and politically, and perverts, for the sake of profit and social control, working class culture into simply another product of capitalism. That is why it is so important to contrast the amorality of the market with real choices that truly represent the cultural and spiritual values of working people.


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Merowe
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posted 14 September 2007 09:22 AM      Profile for Merowe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DonnyBGood:



Look at punk rock as a typical example. It was intially a racist and violent creed that was laundered by the media and bands like the Clash to be "protest" - now that was bullshit. It was people doing things, making culture, lifestyles in reaction to liberal society. It had little anarchist or polirtical theory behind it. The rationalizations came later.

[ 14 September 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]


small thread-drifty nitpick: I thought punk started with the Ramones and the Sex Pistols; and the latter were from their inception groomed by Malcolm Mclaren and his partner Vivianne Westwood in a fairly savvy epater-le-bourgeosie style referencing the Situationists and the Lettrists for starters, so it may surprise you as it did me that they weren't a completely spontan phenom.

...and back to this excellent pithy-quote-filled (Beltov!) thread


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RosaL
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posted 14 September 2007 09:29 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
Capitalism monopolizes what is communicated to working people, socially, culturally, and politically, and perverts, for the sake of profit and social control, working class culture into simply another product of capitalism. That is why it is so important to contrast the amorality of the market with real choices that truly represent the cultural and spiritual values of working people.

My grandfather's generation spoke English as a second language. They had two or three years of schooling. They were desperately poor. They read , they followed politics minutely, and they discussed fine points of theory and practice with friends, family, and anyone they met who seemed to have interesting things to say. (Of course they did other things too.) Their children and grandchildren read "block-busters" and watch American Idol.

[ 14 September 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]


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N.Beltov
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posted 14 September 2007 09:58 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, they call it the "idiot box" for good reason. You would think that, with the built-in drama and conflict, shows depicting the social and political struggles of working people would be a natural for a TV drama, eh? "Manuel Werk, Union Organizer" or something like that. Millions of Canadians belong to unions but you would never know it from dramas and fiction on television.
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Fidel
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posted 14 September 2007 01:08 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
We've got to be able to compete with and take focus off mainstream news stories, like the our small-minded minority government's obssession with veiled women voters. Canadians will be talking about this non-issue from coast to coast for at least a week. They are able to pacify Canadians with this kind of tabloid stupidity week after week, month after month.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 14 September 2007 01:31 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
We've got to be able to compete with and take focus off mainstream news stories, like the our small-minded minority government's obssession with veiled women voters. Canadians will be talking about this non-issue from coast to coast for at least a week. They are able to pacify Canadians with this kind of tabloid stupidity week after week, month after month.

I fear it goes well beyond the news. The entertainment industry is the opium of the people.

[ 14 September 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 14 September 2007 05:34 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, it's too bad. Too many of us really don't have time to think about political platforms and policies. What people need are politicians to fit their busy life styles - a party that will do all the difficult thinking for everyone. Afterall, that's what they're paid to do, isn't it?. Canadians should never have to worry about making these kinds of important decisions even for a half an hour every four years. We should allow the politicians to do their jobs without interference from ordinary people who should just go to work every day and worry about things they deal with effectively within their own personal circles of control.

Democracy and politics are boring when it comes right down to it. And who could blame Canadians for our voter participation rates dropping over the 1990's since FTA and NAFTA-GST flip-flops by our two old line parties with almost identical overall support the other one's corporate tax cuts and big banking friendly policies in parliament as the net overall effect. With more than 100 years worth of Canada's two old line parties in Ottawa and provinces handing power off to the other, political decision making in Canada has been reduced to a coin toss, a 50-50 chance that one or the other stale, old line parties will form the government. If we ask the average Canadian on the street what they think of Canadian politics, they'll say what's the use? - or they're all corrupt. Canadian politics is made boring on purpose and therefore instilling even more power in the small number of hands of those who have it.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Farmpunk
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posted 14 September 2007 05:46 PM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey, isn't there a net rule against referring to media as the opiate of the masses that's on par with the first person to use Hitler as an example to back up their argument?

I guess the thread related point being that there's not a lot of people who're going to read Klein, or D Cameron, ever. I don't care what her lefty cred might be, but she's more well known than anyone else referenced in this thread, and certainly more influential than we are. And no one is going to read her book that isn't either a fan or an opponent. She's pitching ideas to an interested audience; selling herself to the same audience over and over. She's marketing herself. God forbid she write something considered unpublishable... She'd have to post that crazy shit on the net, where the loonies gather and the money is tight.

No one reads books anymore, regardless. Who-ever writes Klein's jacket blurbs has more audience influence than what's in her pages.

My definition of grass roots does not include writers like Klein. A high end writer can convey opinion but not set the agenda. Unless a base of support is built over time then it will inevitably fail. No one likes being talked down to, especially working people. It's like having a public servant from the Ministry of Ag telling me about the problems in farming and what I should be doing to try to earn a living. There's a separtion of reality there that is impossible to reconcile. Klein is a professional writer. She'll go to Iraq and New Orleans but has she ever sweated in a field in southern Ontario? Didn't Orwell run into this problem in Down And Out In Paris and London? Pretend working class comes across quite clearly, to a working person.

Who said that the populist grass roots socialism of the 60s and 70s accomplished little? The lefty pros since have done what exactly?

Do I have to have a mohawk to like punk? Whose a real punk artist? Likely someone I've never heard of, right? Guess I'm not punk or lefty enough to be a member of the club.


From: SW Ontario | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 14 September 2007 05:53 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post
A suggestion to the moderators for Farmpunk's status field: 'reality checker'.

Excellent posts, Farmpunk.


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unionist
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posted 14 September 2007 06:00 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
[unionist shakes his head in disbelief]

You think workers want to read literature written by other workers about how the system works?

Or that workers don't read books any more?

Come meet some workers and express those opinions. See how far you get.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 14 September 2007 06:05 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't know of any MP's or MPP's from the two old line parties who carried a lunch pail or brown paper bag to work every day.

There is the issue of internet access and cyber-democracy. More and more people want to find things out for themselves on the internet. It's interactive and makes Conrad Blech's and Thomson's newspapers seem obsolete and boring, a lesson in cutting down precious trees for the sake of political propaganda. I think leftists must make their presence felt on the internet like we never had with newsprint, radio or broadcast TV to nearly the same degree as the black cats, white cats or black n' white cats. The internet is at the foothills of development, and I think it will evolve into something really big in the near future.

And so here we are talking about Naomi Klein's new book. And she makes perfect sense to me. Internet forums and blogs could be one of the lanes of communication to mouseland.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 14 September 2007 06:19 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Gordon:
A suggestion to the moderators for Farmpunk's status field: 'reality checker'.

Excellent posts, Farmpunk.


I guess it's obvious you're not going to comment on the thread topic.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 14 September 2007 06:37 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

I guess it's obvious you're not going to comment on the thread topic.


Farmpunk actually didn't comment on the topic either, other than to opine that "No one reads books anymore..." My head is still shaking.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 14 September 2007 06:44 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Maybe they'd rather be parkouring ?.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
DonnyBGood
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posted 15 September 2007 04:24 AM      Profile for DonnyBGood     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Who said that the populist grass roots socialism of the 60s and 70s accomplished little? The lefty pros since have done what exactly?

Well this would be a huge debate woulddn't it? According to one theory what the 60's did was take a basically apolitical population in North America and encourage them to take positions on issues which they had no understanding or knowledge. They were encouraged as part of Nixon's "silent majority" to vote for right-wing programs. The media aided and abetted this by creating the illusion that the social justice issues like racism and poverty were solved. Criticism has been repressed by the "war on terror" (an oxymoron if there ever was one.)

Intellectuals like Chomsky, Marcuse, George Woodcock, Linda McQuaig, and Naiomi Klein provide glimpses of the reality behind this vast murk stirred up by the rebellious 60's.

I am glad they happened and agree they were positive but that was 47 years ago! And we have George Bush in the White House, a War in Iraq, Stephen Harper in Ottawa, Free Trade, internal combustion engines and Ontario "going nuclear" to solve its energy needs! Does it not appear as it did in 1848 that the forces of reaction have won all the battles so far?

The point is good ideas are not running the world bad practices are.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 15 September 2007 09:46 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And then neo-Liberal ideologues allied themselves with paleoconservatives.

Simplifying further we arrive at:

(neo-Liberal ideologues + paleoconservatives) = neoconservatives

(usury + mafia) = "free market economy"

ETA: Generally, very few of the ideologues have ever had to break a sweat for a living, just live off compound interest, usury, rent, and kick-back and graft by aggressive lobbying of successive weak and corrupt governments pandering to the ideology for personal gain and profit. Fascism is fun. Fascism is entertaining, a three ring circus with lots of sparkle and glitz.

Global warming and obligatory crises of capitalism should be encouraging people to think in terms of "we" for the first time since social gains were made in the 60's and 70's when red menace threatened status quo in the west.

~~ "When the last tree is cut down, and the last river is poisoned, only then will we realize we can't eat money" -- someone

[ 15 September 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
DonnyBGood
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posted 15 September 2007 12:09 PM      Profile for DonnyBGood     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Global warming and obligatory crises of capitalism should be encouraging people to think in terms of "we" for the first time since social gains were made in the 60's and 70's when red menace threatened status quo in the west.

~~ "When the last tree is cut down, and the last river is poisoned, only then will we realize we can't eat money" -- someone


At University a friend of mine took an introductory anthropology course. And there was a chapter on the field studies done on so called "primitive tribes" living by hunting and gathering. They discovered that one individual in this tribe had to work very little because he had discovered an ingenius way top trap turtles and always brought a few home to eat eack week for which he could barter other things but for which the tribe benefitted greatly over-all.

He was in a sense the prototype of the modern enrepreneur. There was one significant difference however. His inventiveness and success enriched the collectivity. Everyone partook of the turtle soup that was made.

This is what we need in the modern world - soclalist entrepreneurialism.

[ 15 September 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]


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duncan cameron
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posted 15 September 2007 02:58 PM      Profile for duncan cameron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Jane Smiley provides the kind of review of The Shock Doctrine that Canadian readers deserved to get from the Globe. Klein's own ideas are presented so we get to know what the book is about.http://www. commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/14/3841/
If you google Gitlin you get a debate he had with Klein about the Democratic Party and the war at the time of the last presidental campaign. Gitlin was against demonstations in New Year at the Republican convention because it would damage Kerry. Klein pointed out that unlike in Spain, American voters were not getting a choice between a war, and an anti-war party, so she thought protests were necessary to create awareness of anti-war thinking.
So when the Globe book review editor picked Gitlin to review The Shock Doctrine what was he up to? My guess was he wanted a negative review, so did his research to find someone with an axe to grind. Gitlin, the journalism prof. was used by big media, he must have known what was going on. That is why I wrote to him (see above)..

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RosaL
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posted 15 September 2007 02:58 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Farmpunk:
Hey, isn't there a net rule against referring to media as the opiate of the masses that's on par with the first person to use Hitler as an example to back up their argument?

I think it compares favourably with saying that people don't read books anymore.

[ 15 September 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Farmpunk
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posted 15 September 2007 04:40 PM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ammended commentary since some posters have decided to take me absolutely literally.

How many people are going to read Klein's book?

How many people who don't even bother to vote in NA, a significant number of people, will read Klein's book?

I probably will, if I can wade through the hideous reams of daily material that's availible at the touch of a mouse. Unionist doesn't need to read Klein, I'd suspect. Or Fidel. I probably should read the book, and hopefully will be able to find the time and the headspace.


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unionist
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posted 15 September 2007 04:57 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by duncan cameron:

So when the Globe book review editor picked Gitlin to review The Shock Doctrine what was he up to? My guess was he wanted a negative review, so did his research to find someone with an axe to grind.

Right on, Duncan, I had read the Gitlin-Klein exchange, which helped form my conviction that Gitlin has made peace with the "system". And thanks for the Smiley review.

[ 15 September 2007: Message edited by: unionist ]


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RosaL
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posted 15 September 2007 04:57 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Farmpunk:
Ammended commentary since some posters have decided to take me absolutely literally.

I think your point is quite clear.


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Farmpunk
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posted 15 September 2007 05:01 PM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"At University a friend of mine took an introductory anthropoly course..."

I've got an idea. Why not get some of Unionist's and RosaL's literate working class people, whom they know so well in reliably general terms, and begin your conversation with the above quote and the following paragraphs from DBG.

Then suggest they should really read Klein.

I'd bring that up to a working person in a second.


And, DGB, bringing up George Woodcock? I'm afraid I lean a little more towards Hugh Garner, who actually fought in the Spanish Civil War. But if you're into George and bookish anarchy, then that's fine with me. We'll be able to communicate better, with me being a redneck and all, if we establish that fact.

Or maybe you've never read Garner. You should.


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RosaL
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posted 15 September 2007 05:03 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Farmpunk:
"At University a friend of mine took an introductory anthropoly course..."

I've got an idea. Why not get some of Unionist's and RosaL's literate working class people, whom they know so well in reliably general terms, and begin your conversation with the above quote and the following paragraphs from DBG.

Then suggest they should really read Klein.

I'd bring that up to a working person in a second.


I'm a literate working class person. I don't know if I'll read this book.

ETA: I probably won't. There are other writers I prefer.

[ 15 September 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 15 September 2007 05:15 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Farmpunk:
I'd bring that up to a working person in a second.

Old guy used to live next door to my parents place. He had a grade six education maybe. Old Joe was a foster kid who'd worked on a farm while growing up in N. Ontario in the 1920's and 30's. Old Joe and his wife still maintained tradition with a family garden out back in case hard times made a comeback. He asked my dad, a grade nine graduate at the time, who he was going to vote for in a local election. Dad told him, well, I don't think the lawyer and the business man have carried a lunch pail to work like you and I've had to for the last umpteen years, so I'm going to vote for the union guy running for the NDP. He's new blood, and I think he deserves a kick at the can. By the next week, old Joe had an NDP lawn sign in his front yard.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
mayakovsky
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posted 15 September 2007 06:32 PM      Profile for mayakovsky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Personally, I don't think Gitlin has made peace with the system. His comments in his exchange with Klein where he disagreed were about strategy. I agreed with those points. I disagreed with what Klein said in the Maclean's interview. Are we both not left wing because we disagreed on certain points with Klein? Gitlin opened his review citing the history with him and Klein. In his review he didn't dismiss 'Shock Doctrine' but took serious issue with certain points. I also don't understand Duncan Cameron rushing to her defense here unless he is Klein's publicist?

I almost suspect there is what I would call Atwoodism going on here. 'Oh my good you disagreed with or don't like the works of a Canadian leftist icon, now we will hyperventilate against you!'


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unionist
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posted 15 September 2007 07:11 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by mayakovsky:
Personally, I don't think Gitlin has made peace with the system. His comments in his exchange with Klein where he disagreed were about strategy.

I didn't see that at all. Gitlin said that the whole focus had to be on defeating Bush in November 2004, otherwise no change was possible, especially with regard to the war in Iraq. He said electing Kerry could "re-start politics".

Klein pointed out that the Democrats had no platform of ending the war - that the war was ongoing - and therefore the people had to mobilize against the war. She said "this isn't Spain", where the people had the opportunity to vote for a candidate who was promising to immediately pull out the troops - they did - and he did.

There is no peace party in the U.S. right now, nor was there in 2003. The Democrats went on to gain control of Congress, and (as anyone without stars in their eyes was predicting at the time) absolutely nothing changed.

As was the case in Vietnam, there are only two factors which will end this war: 1) Inability of the U.S. to win militarily or politically. 2) Sabotage of the war effort on the home front. Electing another Clinton or Obama will have as much beneficial effect on peace as did the elections of JFK and Lyndon Johnson.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 15 September 2007 07:20 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I read the Gitlin critique, or at least page one of two of Google's cached version of it. Gitlin more or less summarizes the book with sneering sarcasm. He doesn't provide anything in the way of counter explantion for the basic premise of her book, which is that this neoLiberal-paleconservative alliance made in hell has been affecting real world events as a general pattern since Chile on 9-11-73. The Chicagoans have taken Strauss' "ignoble lie" and used it as a battering ram in various countries to turn them into Friedmanite economic experiments in basically what failed in 1929 America. Smaller doses of ideology at a time have managed to keep the patient from dying altogether in the big-giant lab here in Canada and U.S. Developing countries with smaller economies haven't fared very well after force-fed the ideologue's economic prescriptions and potions.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
mayakovsky
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posted 15 September 2007 08:12 PM      Profile for mayakovsky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wow, Laurel and Hardy followed each other!

Perhaps a Democratic White House would have ended the war or brought it to a slow conclusion. What if all those out there protesting had voted? (There was no increase in voter participation of those between 18-25 from 2000).

Yes. But to paraphrase Gitlin: the world isn't perfect.

Fidel, Having not read the book but I ask why are the examples pertinent to an international capital drive? New Orleans, Poland? Why didn't international capital predict and destroy a resurgent nationalist Russia?


From: New Bedford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 15 September 2007 08:19 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by mayakovsky:
Wow, Laurel and Hardy followed each other!

I apologize for taking your earlier post seriously and trying to respond to it seriously. And thanks for the witty rejoinder.


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unionist
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posted 15 September 2007 08:28 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by mayakovsky:
Perhaps a Democratic White House would have ended the war or brought it to a slow conclusion. What if all those out there protesting had voted?

Well, perhaps a Democratic White House would have attacked Iran by now, or gotten involved in a military adventure in North Korea. Or Darfur. Didn't Clinton bomb Sudan and Afghanistan and Serbia? Didn't a Democratic White House drop nuclear bombs on Japan and launch the Cold War and invade Korea and stay there for the next 57 years and embargo and invade Cuba? Wasn't it a Republican White House that "ended the war or brought it to a slow conclusion" in Southeast Asia and recognized the People's Republic of China and normalized relations with the Soviet Union?

There is no peace party in Washington except the one in the streets. Klein may not have put it quite that strongly, but she is far closer to the truth than Gitlin, who has become a mouthpiece for Democratic illusion-mongering.

[ 15 September 2007: Message edited by: unionist ]


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Fidel
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posted 15 September 2007 08:49 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by mayakovsky:

Fidel, Having not read the book but I ask why are the examples pertinent to an international capital drive? New Orleans, Poland? Why didn't international capital predict and destroy a resurgent nationalist Russia?

It wasn't without trying. The PNAC and capitalist friends tried to buy votes in Russian parliament in 2003 as the PNAC cabal was following through on a pretext for war and to liberate Iraqis from their oil. Putin apparently observed the attempt to buy off Russian politicians as a power play, an ajoinder to perestroika and the corrupted privatization decrees drafted by the bureaucrats with the aid of HIID, Yeltsin's people and money pouring in from the west.

They've been drafting Iraqi energy policy for privatizations of the oil, in Houston no less. American energy companies want the Iraqis to sign long-term contracts for oil similar to what the Russians signed in the 1990's for Sakhalin Island I and II development, only the Russians have since anulled those contracts citing a change in taxation of natural resource exports(not a bad idea if our feds ever gave a thought to curbing America's voracious appetite for cheap Canadian energy, Kyoto etc), and the Rooskies are saying it's all been done using free market mechanisms.

The production sharing agreements they're trying to force on Iraq, PSA's, are essentially as crooked as the ones forced on the Russians when that country was at a severe economic disadvantage in the 1990's. What happened in Russia with neoLiberal voodoo for deregulation and privatization was absolutely criminal. I tend to agree with Mikhael Gorbachev's comments of last year that the USSR should have been and could have been saved. What happened was a revolution from above, an enormous tragedy and largest attempt to separate people from the means of production and common good since British era enclosure.

And this is what they are trying to pull in Iraq and everywhere else the bastards can get a foot in the door.

[ 16 September 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 15 September 2007 09:03 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:
There is no peace party in Washington except the one in the streets. Klein may not have put it quite that strongly, but she is far closer to the truth than Gitlin, who has become a mouthpiece for Democratic illusion-mongering

No peace parties, just kick-ass Americanism! I'll never forget my sweet little aunt in Michigan telling us that Jimmy Carter was a wimp!. They needed a president then to kick ass, she said. A few Brits still suffer this affliction of imperialist power today with soccer hooloiganism when they travel abroad. Gotta KICK ASS for Queen/President, flag, fervent nationalism and all that rattle.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
DonnyBGood
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posted 16 September 2007 11:09 AM      Profile for DonnyBGood     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
He doesn't provide anything in the way of counter explantion for the basic premise of her book, which is that this neoLiberal-paleconservative alliance made in hell has been affecting real world events as a general pattern since Chile on 9-11-73.

"Atavistic: regressive - opposing progress; returning to a former less advanced state."

The assumption in Klein's book is that the ideology caused the change of events. What happened was that power brokers in Washington decided to end Chile's threat to their interests.

It is likely why Canadians do not elect a democratic socialist government. Voters feel it would be upended by the US. This is what Liberals think, particularly left wing Liberals. So they act as the proxy CIA in Canada sabotaging democratic socialists like Glen Clark.

Even the NEP was little more than an "innoculation" against a more assertive Canada. That is why Disaster Capitalism works so effectively. It is the "big lie" instead of the small liberal truism.

[ 16 September 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 16 September 2007 11:12 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

I apologize for taking your earlier post seriously and trying to respond to it seriously. And thanks for the witty rejoinder.


That's okay, unionist. Because when war party numero deux swaps power with war party number one in Warshington, and they have a brand new cosmetic government running the show, things will be different.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
duncan cameron
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posted 16 September 2007 09:13 PM      Profile for duncan cameron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Naomi Klein does not need me as a publicist, her own publishers world wide are doing very well by her, check out her website to see how well.
What irritates me is that when a major book comes out from a Canadian writer on the left, normally the book is not reviewed in Canada. Since The Shock Doctrine is being released around the world, it is reviewed, except the Globe goes out of its way to ensure the book is trashed.
Naoimi Klein should feel honoured to be seen as such a serious threat. In the meantime people looking at the review may not understand how seriously they should be taking the book.
Who is to blame? First the reviewer. Compare the gentle review given the Mulroney bio in the Globe by Willian Johnson who goes on to dump on what is substanitally wrong with his thinking, with the Gitlin review. Gitlin knows the book makes a serious case but conceals this in his review. Both reviewers reflect what the newspaper represents in their pieces.
How sad is that for freedom of speech. Long live rabble.ca where people can write honestly what they think, so long as they accept that others may decide to disagree.

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Fidel
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posted 16 September 2007 09:40 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And we think you're an excellent writer for the left, Duncan. Contributions from the likes of you are why I frequent this site.

I think the criticisms of Naomi's Shock Doctrine will tend to be haphazard and off the mark for several weeks more. And I think it's because her critics, all those half-hearted lefties and fence-sitting centrists are in shock right now as they digest the truth.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Paul Gross
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posted 17 September 2007 02:36 PM      Profile for Paul Gross   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I would not assume that Klein (or anyone) supports the NDP solely due to her spouse's family but this article (which may be the one N.Beltov referred to) states that she does support the NDP and has not ruled out being a candidate someday:

quote:
When push comes to shove, though, she is not that left-wing. A down-the-line Keynesian dressed in deceptively wolfish clothing; her stance on capitalism would have put her on the right wing of the British Labour party 25 years ago, along with yer Hattersleys and yer Healeys; she is no old-fashioned, hard-left Bennite.

She supports the moderately leftish NDP in her home country and does not rule out standing for election one day. That being said, as soon as she has not ruled the prospect out, she gets nervous about having not done so and takes a gulp of coffee. She is a very big deal indeed back home and such an admission will have the phone ringing off the wall. For a brief moment the media veneer has gone and she looks slightly embarrassed.

All she wants, she says, in response to the usual criticism levelled at her – that we know what she is against but not what she is for – is better regulation of these damnable corporations; not their absolute destruction. Nike and co merely need to be reminded that they are human and, as she might put it, occupy a public space.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article2459948.ece


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Lord Palmerston
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posted 17 September 2007 02:48 PM      Profile for Lord Palmerston     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yet she did The Take in which she seemed very sympathetic to the idea of workers' control of industry - that is a position way to the left of the NDP. Maybe she's moderated her views since?

Chomsky is also sympathetic to anarchism but most of the stuff he proposes is actually pretty reformist - that doesn't make him a moderate social democrat, does it?


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 17 September 2007 02:54 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
And we think you're an excellent writer for the left, Duncan. Contributions from the likes of you are why I frequent this site.

Ditto, I second the motion. Keep up the fine work please, Duncan.


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RosaL
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posted 17 September 2007 07:08 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Palmerston:
Yet she did The Take in which she seemed very sympathetic to the idea of workers' control of industry - that is a position way to the left of the NDP. Maybe she's moderated her views since?


I believe in workers' control of industry too and I'm not an anarchist And I think in the one article people keep citing, she said she voted for the ndp. (I've done that, too, and will surely do it again!) That's not the same as "supporting" the ndp.

All the same, I think the Times article has probably got it about right. Although (If this isn't too nasty) I sometimes wonder whether she really has a carefully worked out position.


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N.R.KISSED
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posted 17 September 2007 07:36 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wouldn't pay too much attention to a piece in the Times, especially with a title like "Miss angry's brand new target" No sexist condescension there. Referring to Tony Benn as "Hard Left" is an example of how far right political discourse has swung in the last 30 years.
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RosaL
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posted 17 September 2007 08:10 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by N.R.KISSED:
I wouldn't pay too much attention to a piece in the Times, especially with a title like "Miss angry's brand new target" No sexist condescension there. Referring to Tony Benn as "Hard Left" is an example of how far right political discourse has swung in the last 30 years.

All true. Nonetheless, I think the Times got it more or less right.


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Erik Redburn
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posted 18 September 2007 12:23 AM      Profile for Erik Redburn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/17/1411235

DemocracyNow! September 17 '07


Amy Goodman INTRO to broadcast interview
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, the bestselling author of "No Logo" and the co-director of "The Take." Her latest book is called "THE SHOCK DOCTRINE: THE RISE OF DISASTER CAPITALISM." She joins us in the firehouse studio for the hour.

#########

AMY GOODMAN: Pinochet's coup in Chile, the massacre in Tiananmen Square, the collapse of the Soviet Union, September 11th, the war on Iraq, the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Award-winning investigative journalist Naomi Klein brings together all these world-changing events in her new book. It's called THE SHOCK DOCTRINE: THE RISE OF DISASTER CAPITALISM.
Economist Milton Friedman once said, Only a crisis produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. Naomi Klein examines some of what she considers the most dangerous ideas -- Friedmanite economics -- and exposes how catastrophic events are both extremely profitable to corporations and have also allowed governments to push through what she calls disaster capitalism.
Naomi Klein writes in the introduction to Shock Doctrine the quote, The history of the contemporary free market was written in shocks. She argues, Some of the most infamous human rights violations of the past thirty-five years, which have tended to be viewed as sadistic acts carried out by anti-democratic regimes, We're in fact either committed with the deliberate intent of terrorizing the public or actively harnessed to prepare the ground for the introduction of radical free-market reforms.

I want to begin by playing excerpts from a short documentary co-written by Naomi Klein and Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron. It's directed by Cuaron's son Jonas. It's also called The Shock Doctrine. It premiered last week at film festivals in Venice and Toronto.

- Click to watch the entire film http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/short-film>


And here's another by Monbiot on related note:

"For the first time the UK's consumer debt exceeds the total of its gross national product: a new report shows that we owe £1.35 trillion. Inspectors in the United States have discovered that 77,000 road bridges are in the same perilous state as the one which collapsed into the Mississippi. Two years after Hurricane Katrina struck, 120,000 people from New Orleans are still living in trailer homes and temporary lodgings. As runaway climate change approaches, governments refuse to take the necessary action. Booming inequality threatens to create the most divided societies the world has seen since before the first world war. Now a financial crisis caused by unregulated lending could turf hundreds of thousands out of their homes and trigger a cascade of economic troubles."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,2157198,00.html


From: Broke but not bent. | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 18 September 2007 11:52 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I saw Naomi Klein very briefly on tv last night. She was talking about critiques of her books and seemed to be saying that there were many valid criticisms. She also indicated some embarassment over "No Logo", saying, "I was such a kid".

All this makes me think rather more highly of her than I did.


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 18 September 2007 01:07 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
N.R.KISSED: Referring to Tony Benn as "Hard Left" is an example of how far right political discourse has swung in the last 30 years.

I'm presuming that you meant to refer to Tony Blair and not Tony Benn. The latter abandoned his hereditary Lordship and successfully ran for the House of Commons instead. He's a hero to me; I would, however, call him the 'solid' left, rather than the hard left. But that's only because I think that being on the left is a good thing. I suspect most paid contributors to the Times of London don't share my views. Heh.

[ 18 September 2007: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


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N.R.KISSED
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posted 18 September 2007 02:43 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I'm presuming that you meant to refer to Tony Blair and not Tony Benn.

I know exactly who Tony Benn is, he is a democratic socialist, a position that used to be quite common and respected prior to thatcher/blair era. I said what I did to distinquish what would be considered hard left Stalinist or Maoist from democratic socialists. I would not even consider Phony B-liar left.


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N.Beltov
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posted 18 September 2007 03:06 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
OK, I see. You draw a dividing line inside the left (the way I see it). I would draw the key line between those sympathetic to socialist ideas and those antagonistic to them. And the two Tonys would fall on different sides of that line I think.

[ 18 September 2007: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 18 September 2007 03:51 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think that once the "political discourse" has swung to the right like this with widespread privatizations since Maggie and John Major, there is little else to do but let it run its course. It took 30 years for laissez-faire to fail in 1929 America, and then just 16 years in Chile. I think it's better for the left in the long run to allow the new capitalism to fail on its own, for the record and for posterity sake. And it's already failed and failing on several fronts along the NAFTA super highway leading to serfdom.

Meanwhile, British labour does what it can, and it's a not bad for a country without Canada's unparalleled in the world natural resource wealth. Canada should follow Britain's lead on social housing


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 18 September 2007 05:45 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Fidel: I think it's better for the left in the long run to allow the new capitalism to fail on its own, for the record and for posterity sake.

On so many levels, that's just so wrong. It's wrong because the left is about making lives better and not causing capitalism to fail. It's wrong because inaction will change nothing. People should never abandon the struggle for their rights, against oppression and injustice, for equality and above all for peace in the world. There are all kinds of possibilities: including more capitalism, or more socialism, or more extinctions, including our own - to name just 3.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 18 September 2007 06:23 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was meaning in terms of renationalisation of what was handed off to friends of conservative parties for a song. Once a publicly-owned company and assets are hacked away from the common good and stock shares bid up, I think it becomes far too expensive for any government of any stripe to buy them back. And especially so since they've refuse to use the Bank of Canada for infrastructure and social spending. Unless of course, social democrats should decide to run on campaign platforms to do what Putin did in Russia, the renationalisations using perfectly legal free market mechanisms and several billion dollar loans from China's state banks.

The time for renationalisations will come in Canada soon enough. 49 percent of Canadians were for public ownership of the oil in a survey last year. And there were no advertising companies with friends in Ottawa paid to promote that idea either.

What I meant to say was that Britain's labour party is pursuing social housing as per their tradition over there. Affordable housing is an important cornerstone of social democracy, and they're at least doing that. We've had an explosion of homelessness in Canada since Mulroney and Chretien. And inequality in the U.S. is ... well forget it.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
peacenik2
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posted 24 September 2007 07:06 AM      Profile for peacenik2        Edit/Delete Post
Naomi Klein debates Allan Greenspan today on democracynow.org:

http://tinyurl.com/2fnuz6


From: Nova Scotia, Canada | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 24 September 2007 07:37 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In the segment of the debate up on the website, Greenspan trivializes the rule of law in the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by making reference to actions that he thinks Hussein might have done in the future. Civilized people oppose "preventative arrest" for the same reason that they oppose such monstrous apologetic for US atrocities. Greenspan is another neoliberal who loves violence as a means to enforce his views on others. And this is supposed to be some intellectual heavyweight in the USA, deserving of awards and all sorts of kudos?

i wonder if he came to the debate with a sidearm and reached for it when he heard the word "culture"? Good grief.


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Frustrated Mess
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posted 24 September 2007 05:33 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The best part of that debate is split up and underlines, once more, that neo-cons are lying liars:

Greenspan on Clinton: "I stated that I’m a libertarian Republican, which means I believe in a series of issues, such as smaller government, constraint on budget deficits, free markets, globalization, and a whole series of other things, including welfare reform."

Later, Greenspan in response to Klein: "First of all, ideology is not what I hold."


From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 24 September 2007 09:37 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Does Greenspan come off unprepared to anyone else? The only case he really musters for himself is making Klein back off of the implication that he might have a hand in the "crony capitalist" deals handed out to corporate giants like Halliburton.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
M.Gregus
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posted 30 September 2007 11:52 AM      Profile for M.Gregus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The NY Times ran a review of The Shock Doctrine that looks to be more balanced than Gitlin's Globe review.

quote:
Klein is not an academic and cannot be judged as one. There are many places in her book where she oversimplifies. But Friedman and the other shock therapists were also guilty of oversimplification, basing their belief in the perfection of market economies on models that assumed perfect information, perfect competition, perfect risk markets. Indeed, the case against these policies is even stronger than the one Klein makes. They were never based on solid empirical and theoretical foundations, and even as many of these policies were being pushed, academic economists were explaining the limitations of markets — for instance, whenever information is imperfect, which is to say always.

Review here (subscription may be required).


From: capital region | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
DonnyBGood
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posted 08 October 2007 06:03 AM      Profile for DonnyBGood     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I was meaning in terms of renationalisation of what was handed off to friends of conservative parties for a song. Once a publicly-owned company and assets are hacked away from the common good and stock shares bid up, I think it becomes far too expensive for any government of any stripe to buy them back. And especially so since they've refuse to use the Bank of Canada for infrastructure and social spending

LInda McQuaig pointed out the inconsistency and inversion of purpose of the Bank of Canada, in her book, Ther Wealthy Banker's Wife. But the point I would like to make is that the policy of the bank is not an ideologically motivated policy in the sense that it is justified in any way by some sort of political program known to the public. In fact the public thinks the Bank of Canada should act in exactly the opposite way that it did in the 1980's. That is, when they know about its role at all.

Moreover, if you drill down into publically owned institutions like Petrrocan or say even any hospital, university, old-age home, they are hardly anything like worker's co-operatives in form or structure. Look at public tendering for public building. There are no publically owned construction companies, architectural firms, designers, eletrical and plumbing companies bidding for work. They are all private companies who extract profit from the process. Yet when a government enters into a public-private partnership by allowing financing to be provided privately for similar rates of return, somehow the entire project reeks of "privatization" and is universally attacked, often for good reason - that it is profiteering at the public trough.

But if the Bank of Canada funds the project and charged the same interest rates as regular banks - as they are bound to do because of laws eneacted by Mulroney & company - it would be solid, worthwhile, "social spending". Go figure.

Real social spending would be low interest rate loans between levels of government to develop infrastructure. It would be public companies that trained workers to build hospitals and schools, that would have their own corps of electricians and plumbers acting as civil servants. It would be publically funded architecure and design groups working on public housing and city planning that, like Medicare, could be implemented at cost.

Klein's most compelling argument is that she is not part of an elitist cabal that would oppose such socialistic processes in principle. She is not part of some dark council of manipulating ideologues who profess to be making things better for all when they are conciously acting to enrich themslves to the exclusion of the general benefit. She thinks for herself and rejects the powerful abuse of knowledge such groups promote. In a word she thinks for herself.

I would not agree with the New York Times that this undermines her intellectual and academic credits but rather, enhances them.

Chomsky has long been a critic of the appauling dishonesty in the American Academic community...Why should Klein be subject to their standard?


From: Toronto | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 October 2007 05:30 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DonnyBGood:

But the point I would like to make is that the policy of the bank is not an ideologically motivated policy in the sense that it is justified in any way by some sort of political program known to the public. In fact the public thinks the Bank of Canada should act in exactly the opposite way that it did in the 1980's. That is, when they know about its role at all.

Right. And I think most Canadians aren't aware of the bank bailouts. They aren't aware that Mulroney slid a bill through parliament on the quiet in 1991 removing statutory reserve requirements for chartered banks. And they've made huge profits ever since while national, provincial, and personal debts have gone through the roof. Why would a government decide to borrow money at high interest from private banks if they could borrow money for important infrastructure and social needs from the Bank of Canada at very low next to zero interest?

I did not read Wealthy Banker's Wife. I wondered if Linda McQuaig made any comments on the role of the Bank. You say she does, and so now I'll have to read them.

quote:
Moreover, if you drill down into publically owned institutions like Petrrocan or say even any hospital, university, old-age home, they are hardly anything like worker's co-operatives in form or structure. Look at public tendering for public building. There are no publically owned construction companies, architectural firms, designers, eletrical and plumbing companies bidding for work. They are all private companies who extract profit...

And the trend has even been to run public enterprise like private businesses with contracting out, downsizing, and over 170 repressive pieces of labour legislation enacted across Canada since 1982. Capitalist friends of our two old line parties don't want the end of the cow that needs feeding, just the end that gives milk.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13921

posted 11 October 2007 06:53 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's a review from "Lenin's Tomb":

http://leninology.blogspot.com/2007/10/perfect-crime.html

p.s. "Lenin's tomb" is a blog, for anyone who doesn't know.


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 12 October 2007 12:03 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey good site, RosaL. Thanks

quote:
As Naomi Klein relates it, the reformists under Gorbachev tried to remodel the system based on the Scandinavian model of social-democracy, but were quickly out-manouevred by the shock doctors, who rapidly put the whole former Soviet economy into a centrifuge and exposed it to numerous sophisticated measures to pour wealth into the pockets of a few rich bastards. (Actually, let's be a bit more creative than this. 'Rich bastards' is so 1970s, so let's design some new socialist invective. I'll give an award to the best contribution in the comments box. Anything relying on a vampire/leech metaphor is likely to be accurate, but old. A bunch of conjugated swear-words won't win anything except a few more in reply).

I forget who it was at the time, but he described the aspiring capitalists in Russia as "ruthless motherfuckers" "Extreme ways are back again" - Moby


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4140

posted 12 October 2007 05:16 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think the winning term for the best contribution was succubi.

If the shoe fits, wear it.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
Moderator
Babbler # 1130

posted 12 October 2007 06:25 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A delightful word, truely, and one upon which we will close for length.
From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged

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