Author of “The Shock Doctrine,” Naomi Klein, has been around the worlds documenting major crises and shocks to countries for years. Now she brings her attention to the United States and the “rolling shock” of the Trump presidency. She used to think that just saying no was enough but with the continued daily shocks of …
Tag: Naomi Klein
The leaders of 125 nations will meet on Tuesday at the United Nations for the largest summit on the climate since Copenhagen summit that ended in collapse in 2009.
Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.
By Naomi Klein, The Guardian
The truth about our planet is horrifying, but the true leaders aren’t the ones at the UN – they’re in the streets
At exactly 1pm on Sunday, the streets of New York City are going to fill with the sound of clanging pots, marching bands, church bells and whatever other kinds of noisemakers that participants of the People’s Climate March decide to bring along.
It’s being called the “climate alarm”, and the general idea is that a whole lot of people are going to make the very loud point that climate change is a true emergency for humanity, the kind of threat that should cause us to stop what we are doing and get out of harm’s way.
Is it a stunt? Well, sure, all protests are. But the mere act of expressing our collective sense of climate urgency goes beyond symbolism. What is most terrifying about the threat of climate disruption is not the unending procession of scientific reports about rapidly melting ice sheets, crop failures and rising seas. It’s the combination of trying to absorb that information while watching our so-called leaders behave as if the global emergency is no immediate concern. As if every alarm in our collective house were not going off simultaneously.
Only when we urgently acknowledge that we are facing a genuine crisis will it become possible to enact the kinds of bold policies and mobilize the economic resources we need. Only then will the world have a chance to avert catastrophic warming.
In her new book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” Ms. Klein outlines the need for “a new economic model to address the ecological crisis.” She joined Amy Goodman and Juan González of Democracy Now! to discuss the radical action that will be needed,
“We have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis,” Klein writes. “We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe – and would benefit the vast majority – are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets.”
Watch the livestream of the People’s Climate March on Sunday September 21 from 10:30am to 1:30pm ET via Democracy Now.
Americans are, generally, averse to “big” issues and thinking in the long-term. History is bunk (as Henry Ford famously said) to most Americans which is why exactly the same patterns in policy and execution of that policy are manifest in Afghanistan and Iraq as were shown in Vietnam. We, collectively, have learned nothing. At a time when people distrust government when it comes to the military or military actions believe absolutely everything the government says. 9/11 was a case and point. The government offered no evidence and, in fact, destroyed or seized any evidence that there was for the events with the excuse that we were “at war” though no war was declared and there was no country that we were at war with–rather, Americans swallowed whole that we were at war with “terror” which is completely impossible and irrational. This “War on Terror” which was to last, essentially, forever was swallowed by most of the left despite abundant evidence that the U.S. government has consistently deceived the public particularly since the national security state was established during the Truman administration. Some people on the left did object to this war on terror nonsense but no great figures on the left were the least bit skeptical of the government accounts of 9/11! Chomsky accepted that the government tended to lie about everything concerning war and foreign policy but not about 9/11! Somehow they found their hidden ability to tell the truth during that fateful date. Regardless of how any of us feel about the mechanics and cause of 9/11 I think we can agree that the government was hiding something.
The reaction to the events of 9/11 is why I have no faith in the American left–but I believe a real left can emerge but it must emerge out of what I call the Main Event. I don’t mean 9/11 either–it is just a milestone something that was, I believe, inevitable one way or the other. The Main Event is not actually an event but the ongoing horror of climate change. All the issues we talk about are important but they are candles in the sun of what is happening to our environment.
I want to talk about an article I read on the Counterpunch site. The article was written by the brilliant thinker Morris Berman and is entitled: Time to Abolish the American Dream: The Waning of the Modern Ages. He was musing about the issues we face when he came across something Naomi Klein wrote:
….she chastises the Left for not understanding what the Right does correctly perceive: that the whole climate change debate is a serious threat to capitalism. The Left, she says, wants to soft-pedal the implications; it wants to say that environmental protection is compatible with economic growth, that it is not a threat to capital or labor. It wants to get everyone to buy a hybrid car, for example (which I have personally compared to diet cheesecake), or use more efficient light bulbs, or recycle, as if these things were adequate to the crisis at hand. But the Right is not fooled: it sees Green as a Trojan horse for Red, the attempt “to abolish capitalism and replace it with some kind of eco-socialism.” It believes-correctly-that the politics of global warming is inevitably an attack on the American Dream, on the whole capitalist structure.
What follows is an email I sent to Naomi Klein, today, requesting permission to freely reproduce “The Shock Doctrine”. In a nutshell, teachers could distribute a serialized version to students after school, from the the comfort of a public sidewalk where they have First Amendment rights. They would do this, hopefully, not just out of concern for their own livelihoods, but for a broader concern for stimulating deep reform in the US.
…the BP disaster pulls back the curtain on something far more hidden: how little control even the most ingenious among us have over the awesome, intricately interconnected natural forces with which we so casually meddle. BP cannot plug the hole in the Earth that it made. Obama cannot order fish species to survive, or brown pelicans not to go extinct (no matter whose ass he kicks). No amount of money – not BP’s recently pledged $20bn (£13.5bn), not $100bn – can replace a culture that has lost its roots. And while our politicians and corporate leaders have yet to come to terms with these humbling truths, the people whose air, water and livelihoods have been contaminated are losing their illusions fast.
“Everything is dying,” a woman said as the town hall meeting was finally coming to a close. “How can you honestly tell us that our Gulf is resilient and will bounce back? Because not one of you up here has a hint as to what is going to happen to our Gulf. You sit up here with a straight face and act like you know when you don’t know.”
This Gulf coast crisis is about many things – corruption, deregulation, the addiction to fossil fuels. But underneath it all, it’s about this: our culture’s excruciatingly dangerous claim to have such complete understanding and command over nature that we can radically manipulate and re-engineer it with minimal risk to the natural systems that sustain us.
by Jay Reeves, John Flesher, Tamara Lush (AP) — Jun 16, 2010
GULF SHORES, Ala. – Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.
Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange phenomena.
Fish and other wildlife seem to be fleeing the oil out in the Gulf and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast in a trend that some researchers see as a potentially troubling sign.
The animals’ presence close to shore means their usual habitat is badly polluted, and the crowding could result in mass die-offs as fish run out of oxygen. Also, the animals could easily get devoured by predators.
“A parallel would be: Why are the wildlife running to the edge of a forest on fire?
But, but those Sea Critters, CAN’T RUN onto the Land, most of them.
“A term like capitalism is incredibly slippery, because there’s such a range of different kinds of market economies. Essentially, what we’ve been debating over-certainly since the Great Depression-is what percentage of a society should be left in the hands of a deregulated market system. And absolutely there are people that are at the far other end of the spectrum that want to communalize all property and abolish private property, but in general the debate is not between capitalism and not capitalism, it’s between what parts of the economy are not suitable to being decided by the profit motive. And I guess that comes from being Canadian, in a way, because we have more parts of our society that we’ve made a social contract to say, ‘That’s not a good place to have the profit motive govern.’ Whereas in the United States, that idea is kind of absent from the discussion. So even something like firefighting-it seems hard for people make an argument that maybe the profit motive isn’t something we want in the firefighting sector, because you don’t want a market for fire. ” – Naomi Klein
A foray into when the UNHOLY TRINITY comes back to bite the most indoctrinated, shocked nation in which it has ever been unleashed right in the ass.
As I often am wont to do, I went back to source material when troubled by this * new economic crisis. (* Which of course is neither new, nor could not have easily been predicted by previous models)
I am re-reading “The Shock Doctrine”. I loathe bogging down into economics, but her work is accessible. Normally understanding economics is about as easy for me as swallowing a VW and passing it sorted into its component parts in bags.
Bill Maher had Naomi Klein on this week past. We catch him on the Sunday Morning rerun * religiously. (* She says with full intended irony, being of the same mind that religious people are idiots for the most part)
“They moved the disaster from Wall Street to Main Street…”
I’d almost change my orientation to do this woman she gets it so very well.
“This is socialism for the Rich”
Andrew Sullivan I wanted to bitch-slap. He said exactly what I predicted the neo-cons would say: “Its the poor peoples faults for taking on loans…”
Not the cunning bastards who tricked us into taking loans they swore wouldn’t bubble from 8% to 18%, as they now have. Not the speculators driving up prices on oil. Its the STUPID poor people.
I wouldn’t do him if he was the last diseased prick on Earth and I drank a gallon of Spanish Fly in a post-battery Earth and both my hands were cut off.
I digress. Lets get back to the Real Trinity.
Wanna fear a Godhead? Fear this one.
I find myself, on some level, torn between my highly strained faith in American democracy and a perception that it no longer exists. I applaud and encourage political activism and cherish the activists that I know, but for all their heroism, commitment and hard work, I see us sliding steadily backwards. This has been my observation for the past 40 years. We progressives have faced unremitting defeat at the hands of the ultra-conservative ‘system’, which clearly serves our super-wealthy overlords – not us.
For some time, I have wondered at the adulation towards Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” by people who I know and respect. Finally, I’ve decided to brave it, and as I’m about halfway through, Jon Chait gives it a massive, ten page review. He’s gentler on it than I am, but that doesn’t mean he’s nice to it.
Klein’s relentless materialism is not the only thing driving her to see conservatives merely as corporate puppets. … Her ignorance of the American right is on bright display in one breathtaking sentence:
“Only since the mid-nineties has the intellectual movement, led by the right-wing think-tanks with which [Milton] Friedman had long associations–Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute–called itself “neoconservative,” a worldview that has harnessed the full force of the U.S. military machine in the service of a corporate agenda.”
Where to begin? First, neoconservative ideology dates not from the 1990s but from the 1960s, and the label came into widespread use in the 1970s. Second, while neoconservatism is highly congenial to corporate interests, it is distinctly less so than other forms of conservatism. The original neocons, unlike traditional conservatives, did not reject the New Deal. … And their foreign policy often collides head-on with corporate interests: neoconservatives favor saber-rattling in places such as China or the Middle East, where American corporations frown on political risk, and favor open relations and increased trade. Moreover, the Heritage Foundation has always had an uneasy relationship with neoconservatism. … And the Cato Institute is not neoconservative at all. It was virulently opposed to the Iraq war in particular, and it opposes interventionism in foreign policy in general.
It ought to be morbidly embarrassing for a writer to discover that the central character of her narrative [Friedman] turns out to oppose what she identifies as the apotheosis of his own movement. And Klein’s mistake exposes the deeper flaw of her thesis. Friedman opposed the war because he was a libertarian, and libertarian conservatism is not the same thing as neoconservatism.
Seriously, do people really believe her when she says that Israel scuttled the peace process to benefit its anti-terrorism industry? How the hell is this narrative even slightly believable?
I hope many of you are familir with Naomi Klein and her book, The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism. For those not, here’s a little about it. Read it. It contains essential information for understanding the past and persent, but hopefully not the future.
Here’s a great interview from yesterday in which Naomi Klein debunks Bush’s offshore drilling plan on Fox Business News’ Happy Hour Program. July 17, 2008
Telling like it is.
More, after the fold.