Friday, April 13, 2012

From The Shock Doctrine

An amazing book – The Shock Doctrine – by Naomi Klein.  After reading just a few chapters, I knew it was an amazing book.  I got my first copy from WPVM, a local low power FM radio station.  They gave out the book for a donation I made.  I donated that book to the local library, since I wanted people to have access to this book.  I then bought another copy, which I gave to my brother for Christmas.  This was a few years back, but here are some things I wanted to share from that amazing book.

Here are a few quotes from the book that I retyped:

“Once you accept that profit and greed as practiced on a mass scale create the  greatest possible benefits for any society, pretty much any act of personal enrichment can be justified as a contribution to the great creative cauldron of capitalism, generating wealth and spurring economic growth – even it it’s only for yourself and your colleagues.”

……”In the seventies, when the corporatist crusade began, it used tactic that courts ruled were overtly genocidal: the deliberate erasure of a segment of the population. In Iraq, something even more monstrous has happened – the erasure not of a segment of the population but of an entire country; Iraq is disappearing,
disintegrating. It began, as it often does, with the disappearance of women behind veils and doors, then the children disappeared from the schools – as of 2006, two-thirds of them stayed home. Next came the
professionals: doctors, professors, entrepreneurs, scientists, pharmacists, judges, lawyers. As estimated three hundred Iraqi academics have been assassinated by death squads since the US invasion, including several deans of departments; thousands more fled. Doctors have fared even worse: by February 2007, an estimated two thousand had been killed and twelve thousand had fled.  In November 2006, the UN High Commission for Refugees estimated that three thousand Iraqis were fleeing the country every day. By April 2007, the organization reported that four million people had been forced to leave their homes - roughly one in seven Iraqis.”

…. “The unanticipated violence that now engulfs Iraq is the creation of the lethally optimistic architects of the war – it was preordained in that original seemingly innocuous, even idealistic phrase: “a model for a new Middle East.” The disintegration of Iraq has its roots in the ideology that demanded a tabula rasa on which to write its new story.  And when no such pristine tableau presented itself, the supporters of that ideology proceeded to blast and surge and blast again in the hopes of reaching that promised land.”

This book, “The Shock Doctrine” tells the story of how the University of Chicago’s school of economics developed a doctrine of 100% capitalism and 100% free-market system, then applied it around the world.  However, under ordinary circumstances, the majority of the population would reject these economic theories (developed by Milton Friedman).  It was only after “shocks” were applied that the economic theories could be applied by ‘the Chicago Boys’ on a society or country.  So, shock was applied, and while the shock was in effect, the policies were applied, whether the population wanted that or not.  It was done from Chile in 1973 to Iraq in 2003 to New Orleans in 2005….. and is still going strong.  It is a plan to privatize government assets (after the taxpayers had funded it) and turn them over to private hands.  It is a plan to take money from the ordinary taxpayers and funnel it up to the very wealthy, and to crush the
ordinary people along the way.

This summary does not do justice to the book – please go and read it – it is a very valuable piece of work that explains a lot of the policies behind US foreign policy.    I highly recommend this book.


MiepRowan said...

I'm surprised you haven't read that before. Yes, it is an amazing book, everyone should read it. It changed my life.

dancewater said...

I read it a few years back, and gave it away... bought a few more and gave them away. I found this quote in a word file a couple of weeks ago.

It is an amazing book, she really nailed it.