The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Author: Naomi Klein
Publisher: Picador Metropolitans, 2007
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism provides a detailed description of the origins and outcomes of neo-liberal economics and free market capitalism during the past 35 years. The major premise of the book is that unfettered capitalism, free markets, and globalization globalization
Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation thrive on catastrophes that create a state of public disorientation or collective shock. Such occurrences, either natural or manmade, provide opportunities to promote privatization, government deregulation Deregulation
The reduction or elimination of government power in a particular industry, usually enacted to create more competition within the industry.
Traditional areas that have been deregulated are the telephone and airline industries. , deep cuts to social spending, dismantling of trade barriers, reduction of taxes, and rapid transformation of societies toward free market economies.
The author traces the origins of this economic approach to Milton Friedman and his free-market fundamentalism. Friedman argued that disasters provide opportunities for market advancement. Klein traces the application of Friedman economics, beginning with his graduates from the University of Chicago ("Chicago Boys") who sought to impose free-market capitalism in Latin America. This effort was facilitated through terror tactics and economic shock therapy in Chile under Pinochet General Augusto Pinochet, one of the most controversial figures in recent Chilean history, was head of the military junta that ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, after the 1973 coup that overthrew the socialist government of Salvador Allende. and Argentina under Menem. In these cases, Friedman's students harnessed "the chaos and desperation of a hyperinflation Hyperinflation
Extremely rapid or out of control inflation.
There is no precise numerical definition to hyperinflation. This is a situation where price increases are so out of control that the concept of inflation is meaningless. crisis to pass privatization off as an integral part of the rescue mission" (p. 208). The author describes how other disasters, such as September 11, Katrina, the 2004 tsunami, and the Iraq war have provided shocks to affected populations and opportunities that have been exploited by governments and corporations to impose sweeping free market reforms and programs.
For example, Klein argues September 11 resulted in major collective trauma that was used and abused by the Bush administration (Friedman adherents) to suspend civil liberties and promote practices including privatization of government functions through outsourcing and creation of the $200 billion homeland security industry. Further, according to Klein, September 11 appeared to have provided this administration "with the green light to stop asking countries if they wanted the U.S. version of 'free trade and democracy' and to start imposing it with Shock and Awe Shock and awe, technically known as rapid dominance, is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming decisive force, dominant battlefield awareness, dominant maneuvers, and spectacular displays of power to paralyze an adversary's perception of the battlefield and military force" (p. 11). A primary goal of the Bush administration for invading Iraq was to privatize Iraq's economy following Friedman's approach. After the invasion, labeled Shock and Awe using Friedman's terminology, the U.S. imposed mass privatization, completely free trade, a 15-percent flat tax, radically smaller government through disbanding the military and firing public employees, and outsourcing reconstruction to non-Iraqis through no-bid contracts.
Klein's book is a must read. It is well written and documented. By tracing the origin and outworking of Friedman economics, it provides insight into the motivation underlying radical free marketization This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject.
Please help recruit one or [ improve this article] yourself. See the talk page for details. , deregulation, privatization, dismantling of civil liberties, and promotion of special interests that have characterized the Bush administration. The book provides a basis for understanding the limitations of deregulation and Friedman's radical free market approach, as well as the economic problems that can follow. Klein helps her readers understand how the United States got to where it is today--the credit crisis and widespread economic upheaval-by the promotion of Friedman's disaster economics.
**** A Must Read *** Worthwhile ** Skim It Over * Bottom of the Stack
James H. Dulebohn, Professor, Michigan State University Michigan State University, at East Lansing; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1855. It opened in 1857 as Michigan Agricultural College, the first state agricultural college.