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The Shock Doctrine
A readable, thoroughly researched account of how the neoliberal "free"-market ideology that we've been sold incessantly for thirty years is for the most part imposed. Journalist Naomi Klein shows that such programs have repeatedly been implemented without the consent of the governed when they are least in a position to comprehend or resist what's going on by taking advantage of the conditions of "shock and awe" brought about be natural disasters, or, when necessary, creating artificial ones. In country after country, from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia, and Iraq, ideologues raised in the Milton Friedman Chicago School have foisted their radical economic prescription of privatization, deregulation, and cutbacks in social welfare spending on leaders and populations bewildered by catastrophes and preoccupied with getting by from day to day, who in other circumstances would have organized and resisted. In earlier years, the means was dictatorial military force, accompanied by fear of arrest, torture, or disappearance to stifle dissent. In a later phase, organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank were used to create impossible debt burdens to force the acceptance of privatization of state-owned industries and services, removal of trade barriers and tariffs, infusion of private foreign investment, and widespread layoffs of the work force. More recent years have seen disruption through terrorism and direct military attack, as well as the exploitation of such natural cataclysms as hurricanes and tsunamis. In all cases, a small elite gains hugely in terms of enrichment and empowerment, while the majority pays the cost in misery, suffering, expropriation, and death.
"Truthout" interview with Naomi Klein at http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/122807J.shtml
"The Rise of Disaster Capitalism explodes the myth of "free market" democracy. It shows how neoliberal Washington Consensus fundamentalism dominates the world with America its lead exponent exploiting security threats, terror attacks, economic meltdowns, competing ideologies, tectonic political or economic shifts, and natural disasters to impose its will everywhere. Wars are waged, social services cut, and freedom sacrificed when people are too distracted, cowed or bludgeoned to object. Klein describes a worldwide process of social and economic engineering she calls "disaster capitalism" with torture along for the ride to reinforce the message--no "New World Order" alternatives are tolerated."-- Stephen Lendman. Full review at http://www.rense.com/general78/lendd.htm
"[Klein] demonstrates how free-market ideologues welcome, and provoke, the collapse of other people's economies. The result is a powerful populist indictment of economic orthodoxy."-- Publishers Weekly
"Naomi Klein is . . . a muckraker who digs in where others accept the surface. I love her stuff."-- Studs Terkel, historian and author of Working
"This beautifully written, very readable book will change the disgusting history it so calmly chronicles."-- Peter Carey, author of Oscar and Lucinda and Theft: A Love Story