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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalismby Naomi Klein
Synopses & Reviews
In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America's "free market" policies have come to dominate the world- — through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.
At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq's civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves.... Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the "War on Terror" to Halliburton and Blackwater.... After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts.... New Orleans's residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened.... These events are examples of "the shock doctrine": using the public's disorientation following massive collective shocks — wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters — to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy. Sometimes, when the first two shocks don't succeed in wiping out resistance, a third shock is employed: the electrode in the prison cell or the Taser gun on the streets.
Based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, The Shock Doctrine vividly shows how disaster capitalism — the rapid-fire corporate reengineering of societies still reeling from shock — did not begin with September 11, 2001. The book traces its origins back fifty years, to the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman, which produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today. New, surprising connections are drawn between economic policy, "shock and awe" warfare and covert CIA-funded experiments in electroshock and sensory deprivation in the 1950s, research that helped write the torture manuals used today in Guantanamo Bay.
The Shock Doctrine follows the application of these ideas though our contemporary history, showing in riveting detail how well-known events of the recent past have been deliberate, active theatres for the shock doctrine, among them: Pinochet's coup in Chile in 1973, the Falklands War in 1982, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Asian Financial crisis in 1997 and Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
"'The neo-liberal economic policies — privatization, free trade, slashed social spending — that the 'Chicago School' and the economist Milton Friedman have foisted on the world are catastrophic in two senses, argues this vigorous polemic. Because their results are disastrous — depressions, mass poverty, private corporations looting public wealth, by the author's accounting — their means must be cataclysmic, dependent on political upheavals and natural disasters as coercive pretexts for free-market 'reforms' the public would normally reject. Journalist Klein (No Logo) chronicles decades of such disasters, including the Chicago School makeovers launched by South American coups; the corrupt sale of Russia's state economy to oligarchs following the collapse of the Soviet Union; the privatization of New Orleans's public schools after Katrina; and the seizure of wrecked fishing villages by resort developers after the Asian tsunami. Klein's economic and political analyses are not always meticulous. Likening free-market 'shock therapies' to electroshock torture, she conflates every misdeed of right-wing dictatorships with their economic programs and paints a too simplistic picture of the Iraq conflict as a struggle over American-imposed neo-liberalism. Still, much of her critique hits home, as she 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. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Klein's book incorporates an amount of due diligence, logical structure and statistical evidence that others lack. As a result, she is persuasive when she links past and present events, including the war in Iraq and trashing of its economy, to the systematic march of laissez-faire capitalism and the downsizing of the public sector as both a worldview and a political methodology." Kirkus Reviews
"Klein gives a freshness to examples that feel familiar — US oil companies in Iraq, tourist resorts in tsunami-destroyed beaches, privatisation after hurricane Katrina — by placing them in a wider context that includes Pinochet's coup in Chile in 1973 and the Falklands conflict in 1982." The Observer
"[A] book that has the potential to become a lightning rod of controversy and debate." Toronto Star
"[S]uperbly constructed and written....It deserves to be widely read." San Francisco Chronicle
"While Naomi Klein's new book may paint a cartoonish portrait of Milton Friedman and his impact on American foreign and economic policy, this nonetheless is a deeply researched, profoundly passionate and highly readable left-wing screed that everyone would benefit from reading." Chauncey Mabe, the National Book Critics Circle's Most Recommended list, winter 2008
The bestselling author of No Logo shows how the global "free market" has exploited crises and shock for three decades from Chile to Iraq
In Corporate Dreams, James Hoopes combines a historianandrsquo;s careful eye with an insiderandrsquo;s perspective on the business world. This provocative volume tracks changes in government economic policy, changes in public attitudes toward big business, and changes in how corporate executives view themselves. Whether examining the rise of Leadership Development programs or recounting JFKandrsquo;s Pyrrhic victory over U.S. Steel, Hoopes tells a compelling story of how America lost its way, ceding authority to the policies and values of corporate culture.
Public trust in corporations plummeted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when andldquo;Lehman Brothersandrdquo; and andldquo;General Motorsandrdquo; became dirty words for many Americans. In Corporate Dreams, James Hoopes argues that Americans still place too much faith in corporations and, especially, in the idea of andldquo;values-based leadershipandrdquo; favored by most CEOs. The danger of corporations, he suggests, lies not just in their economic power, but also in how their confused and undemocratic values are infecting Americansandrsquo; visions of good governance.
Corporate Dreams proposes that Americans need to radically rethink their relationships with big business and the government. Rather than buying into the corporate notion of andldquo;values-based leadership,andrdquo; we should view corporate leaders with the same healthy suspicion that our democratic political tradition teaches us to view our political leaders. Unfortunately, the trend is moving the other way. Corporate notions of leadership are invading our democratic political culture when it should be the reverse.
To diagnose the cause and find a cure for our toxic attachment to corporate models of leadership, Hoopes goes back to the root of the problem, offering a comprehensive history of corporate culture in America, from the Great Depression to todayandrsquo;s Great Recession. Combining a historianandrsquo;s careful eye with an insiderandrsquo;s perspective on the business world, this provocative volume tracks changes in government economic policy, changes in public attitudes toward big business, and changes in how corporate executives view themselves.
Whether examining the rise of Leadership Development programs or recounting JFKandrsquo;s Pyrrhic victory over U.S. Steel, Hoopes tells a compelling story of how America lost its way, ceding authority to the policies and values of corporate culture. But he also shows us how itandrsquo;s not too late to return to our democratic idealsandmdash;and that itandrsquo;s not too late to restore the American dream.
In her ground-breaking reporting Naomi Klein introduced the term "disaster capitalism." Whether covering Baghdad after the U.S. occupation, Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami, or New Orleans post-Katrina, she witnessed something remarkably similar. People still reeling from catastrophe were being hit again, this time with economic "shock treatment", losing their land and homes to rapid-fire corporate makeovers.
The Shock Doctrine retells the story of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's free market economic revolution. In contrast to the popular myth of this movement's peaceful global victory, Klein shows how it has exploited moments of shock and extreme violence in order to implement its economic policies in so many parts of the world from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia and Iraq.
At the core of disaster capitalism is the use of cataclysmic events to advance radical privatization combined with the privatization of the disaster response itself. Klein argues that by capitalizing on crises, created by nature or war, the disaster capitalism complex now exists as a booming new economy, and is the violent culmination of a radical economic project that has been incubating for fifty years.
About the Author
Naomi Klein is the award-winning author of the acclaimed international bestseller No Logo and the essay collection Fences and Windows. An internationally syndicated columnist, she co-created with Avi Lewis, The Take, a documentary film.
Table of Contents
Part I. The Corporate American Dream at Its Height and in Its Origins
1. The Corporate American Dream
2. Corporate and National Character
3. From Public Purpose to Private Profit
4. Corporations as Enemies of the Free Market
Part II. Corporate Failure and Government Fix
5. Corporate Crashes
6. Managers versus Markets
7. Corporations Blow Their Chance to End the Depression
8. Roosevelt's Confused Anticorporatism
Part III. The Corporation Strikes Back
9. The Right toand#160;Manage
10. Corporations Recover Their Moral Authority
11. Killing the Unions Softly
12. Creating Reagan and His Voters
Part IV. What Manner of Man(ager)?
13. Masking the Arrogance of Power
14. Responsibility versus Profit at General Motors
15. Critics of Managerial Character
16. JFK's Pyrrhic Victory over U.S. Steel
Part V. The Corporation in the Wilderness Again
17. McNamara and the Staffers
18. The False Confidence of the Anticorporatists
19. Corporate America Loses World Supremacy
20. Laying the Groundwork for the Corporation's Cultural Comeback
Part VI. Leadership
21. Managing by Values
22. Creating the Concept of Corporate Culture
23. Inventing the Leadership Development Industry
24. Reagan Aids Corporations by Bashing Government
Part VII. Entrepreneurship
25. Supply-Siders versus the Big Corporation
26. Reengineering the Corporation
27. George W. Bush, Enron, and the Great Recession
28. Can the Corporate American Dream Be Saved?
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