Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is one of the most important books I have read about the intensional cruelty of capitalism and America’s leading role in destroying the world in the name of corporate profits.
The idea behind the shock doctrine is that governments, working for the benefit of their corporate masters, use disasters to impose severe economic policies that would never be supported during the normal course of society.
Klein’s illustration of how the disaster brought to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina was used to destroy public schools and take land from folks living in poverty and give it to developers was heartbreaking.
Working with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, America uses money to take advantage of people around the world, removing them from their land, forcing them into squaller, and leaving them to die. The best example of this is Klein’s portrayal of what happened in Sri Lanka after a devastating tsunami.
The saddest example of the shock doctrine was the way America and its cronies took advantage of the government of Nelson Mandela after Apartheid by forcing it to honor the racist government’s debts and by refusing to provide additional funding if the government didn’t abandon many of its land reforms. Pathetically, America and its allies worked to instill a system in South Africa where the white people still control much of the land and industry.
Reading the shock doctrine I was outraged by the arrogance, racism, and stupidity of those entrusted to such powerful positions. When you see their greed and corruption so eloquently described, it’s hard to think of the corporate masters and their political tools as anything but terrible, racist, classist people.
The Shock Doctrine is a wonderful read for anyone interested in learning more about America’s negative impact around the world.