December 27, 2008
Naomi Klein on Obama

I am currently reading Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, detailing the way America has “converted” other countries to “freedom and democracy” using the often deadly ideology of Milton Friedman and how it uses the same doctrine when natural catastrophes occur to “remake a devastated or destroyed village to save it.”

This is one of the policies of Milton Friedman’s economic theories as put into practice and I had not realized until now that the term coined during the Vietnam War, “We destroyed the village to save it” was actually a literal interpretation of what Friedman proposed as a method to change a country’s economic system. New Orleans is a domestic example of the policy, which is losing a whole class of people who have lived there for many generations who will be replaced by wealthier and more Republican sorts.

Klein also traces the original CIA experiments in the late 1940s on torture and makes a very valuable and original argument that the same basic doctrinal belief system is used by those who justify electric shock therapy as torture, waterboarding and other forms of torture we have witnessed at Guantanamo Bay and other dark prison sites, to justify the policies of dramatically shocking (i.e. Shock and Awe) a nation into submission to institute economic policy changes urged by Milton Friedman. Murder, bloodshed and violence are the inevitable results of these policies.

However, until I finish the book, I will refrain from commenting any further thoughts on it, but this one book has created so far, a mental catharsis as dramatic as that engendered when I first read Eric Hoffer’s True Believer.

So to get some background on Naomi Klein, I went back and searched the archives of The Real News Network for anything that Naomi Klein had commented on and found the following video, which is part of a series of videos by Naomi Klein on the Real News Network. I urge you to listen to her comments about Obama and listen to the rest of the series of Naomi Klein videos if you find this one interesting. Please donate to The Real News Network either by direct donation, or by buying some of your books there, as the preceding link allows you to do.

I believe that I was wrong in my comments on Obama’s selection of Rick Warren to deliver his invocation at his inauguration, despite the black community’s church going members who don’t approve of gay marriage, who are an important constituency for Obama. But I do believe we on the left have been too complacent about Obama’s cabinet selections and we must turn on the heat by calling, writing, petitioning and eventually, perhaps later this year when Obama’s stance on Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan become clearer, by street marching to make Obama aware that the left will not sit idly by while he becomes another traitor to his class, as Bill Clinton did (unlike Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was a traitor to the rich class he belonged to, which was a positive for the poor and middle class). Obama and Clinton came from humble backgrounds and if they cater to their rich constituency, they are indeed traitors to their former class, who are most Americans who make modest or insufficient incomes.

Without further ado, here is Naomi Klein from August of this year. I wish I had taken this video seriously when it appeared, but I either missed it or was not paying attention. It’s past the time for us liberals giving a free ride to Obama. We must turn on the heat. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize this early on. The only thing I would suggest that we do is not to play into the hands of the right wingers, who will going after Obama for nefarious reasons, which is not what I am recommending.


Posted by Buck Batard at December 27, 2008 06:35 PM
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You read one of the seminal books. I'll be very interested in your future posts, as Naomi's research provides a filter, non filter actually, through which to view events like the multiple trillion dollar robbery we just witnessed. The country woke up for that and prevailed briefly in the House but the "shock 'n awe " boys put everyone back to sleep in the Senate. Anyway, hats off to Naomi for an excellent piece of original research and to you for reading it and getting it.

Posted by: david on December 27, 2008 7:59 PM

I think Naomi Klein's book is one of the most important of the last several decades. Finally someone has put everything together and exposed the game being played on the world by the "free market" ideologues.

She was and is right about Obama also. We now know that he is surrounding himself with people who believe the US has a right and duty to intervene militarily to protect corporate interests and people who are still wedded to the low-or-no regulation approach to financial markets.

Obama intends to use his "movement" to push through his legislative program which is pretty much a return to the Clinton years, not a real change or a real way forward.

The American people must make it absolutely clear that we will not tolerate the sort of halfway measures the Obama team and the Obama financial backers are proposing, that we insist on real change. Will that happen? IMHO, we have about as much chance of that as that the Pope will start ordaining lesbians.

Posted by: Charles on December 28, 2008 9:31 AM

I'll not spoil the book, but it sucks to watch history unfold.

Folks often demean me as "conspiracy theorist", yet for a lifetime I've I've studied a ten thousand year conspiracy, the same conspiracy that untold millions subscribe to, that you subscribe to.

This is a ten thousand year old conspiracy. Fuck your disrespect, you bow down to a god. Animals, bow down to gods.

It sucks to watch history unfold.

Posted by: Ten Bears on December 28, 2008 6:18 PM

Ten Bears, I'm an agnostic but not an atheist. I once was the latter but an LSD trip, my only one years ago, caused me to see some things in a very different light. I will say that if there is a Great Spirit, which if it exists, it is totally unlike us humans and perhaps it put us here for amusement and has a decidedly strong mean streak. But I do go to church regularly for the benefit of my better half and I have a libertarian philosophy on those who believe. Let them be if they aren't hurting anyone else. If that makes me part of the ten thousand year conspiracy, then so be it.

Posted by: Buck on December 29, 2008 9:23 AM
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