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No Is Not Enough by Naomi Klein

No Is Not Enough

by Naomi Klein

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This books was incredibly informative and insightful on how we've gotten to our current political climate, and well-written on top of that. Naomi Klein pulls on all her past works to explain what exactly is driving Trump and others like him into power: greed enabled by neoliberalism. She lays out the ways that they have used disasters both natural and financial in the past to gain power, and speculates on how they might go about doing that in the future. She talks about how empty brands make money while distancing themselves from anything that might need to be done to kept costs down in producing their products, and how ExxonMobil knew about climate change but covered it up for decades, just so they could turn a bigger profit. I definitely felt like I understood how we got to this point a lot better by the end of the book; however, I would have liked more detail on what we need to do to make sure this doesn't happen again. Not enough to take even one star off, though. I learned a lot from this book, and would recommend it to anyone who feels baffled by the turn things have taken in U.S. Politics. ( )
  VLarkinAnderson | Sep 24, 2018 |
Provocative but strident. It's worth reading, but her idealization of Bernie Sanders irked me. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Klein's latest work is aptly summed up by it's title, the necessity of doing more than just resting Trump but also creating a positive alternative for the future. Although it was published last summer it feels like it sums up the Trump regime's first year pretty thoroughly. Klein elaborates on the conditions in the USA that made Trump's election possible including: the shift in corporations from manufacturing products to downsizing resources and focusing on creating brand identities, the mainstream news media's infotainment style of political coverage that focuses on the personality clash of candidates rather than issues, the rise of reality television competitions, and even the culture of professional wrestling. The Democrats play a role in setting the stage for a Trump Presidency as well with their embrace of neoliberal ideology, their emphasis on wealthy celebrities having the solutions to world problems, and development of philanthropic organizations enmeshed with access to political leaders, all of which have been reflected in the dark mirror of Trump.

Klein then revisits her earlier book The Shock Doctrine, focusing on how it played out in Pinochet's Chile, the war in Iraq, and in post-Katrina New Orleans. Many of the actors involved in the catastrophic decisions in Chile, Iraq, and New Orleans are now major players in the Trump administration, and seem poised to exploit a disaster (natural, financial, or terrorist) to bring the shock doctrine to widespread application in the United States.

Klein revisits the coalition of activists who had success opposing the WTO and economic globalization in the 1990s, but organizational problems lead to its collapse after the September 11th attacks. Learning lessons from the previous generation of activists, Klein and others have created the Leap Manifesto in Canada as a model for activist coalitions around broad goals of economic equality and stopping/slowing climate change.

Klein's book seems like a quick summary of other books and ideas put together in one volume, but it's well-organized and pointed toward the situation we are dealing with today.

Favorite Passages:
"All this work is born on the knowledge that saying no to bad ideas and bad actors is simply not enough. The firmest of no's has to be accompanied by a bold and forward-looking yest - a plane for the future that is credible and captivating enough that a great many people will fight to see it realized, no matter the shocks and scare tactics thrown their way. No - to Trump, to France's Marine Le Pen, to any number of xenophobic and hypernationallist parties on the rise the world over - may what initially brings millions to the streets. But it is yes that will keep us in the fight.

Yes is the beacon in the coming storm that will prevent us from losing our way."

"In this sense, there is an important way in which Trump is not shocking. He is entirely predictable, indeed cliched outcome of ubiquitous ideas and trends that should have been stopped long ago. Which is why, even in this nightmarish world, will remain to be confronted. With US vice president Mike Pence or House speaker Paul Ryan waiting in the wings, and a Democratic Party establishment also enmeshed with the billionaire class, the world we need won't be won just by replacing the current occupant of the Oval Office."

“[Hillary Clinton's] failure was not one of messaging but of track record. Specifically, it was the stupid economics of neoliberalism, fully embraced by her, her husband and her party’s establishment that left Clinton without a credible offer to make to those white workers who had voted for Obama (twice) and decided this time to vote Trump”

“Trump’s assertion that he knows how to fix America because he’s rich is nothing more than the uncouth, vulgar echo of a dangerous idea we have been hearing for years; that Bill Gates can fix Africa. Or that Richard Branson and Michael Bloomberg can solve climate change”

"But crises, as we have seen, do not always cause societies to regress and give up. There is also a second option - that, faced with a grave common threat, we can choose to come together and make an evolutionary leap. We can choose, as the Reverend William Barber puts it, "to be the moral defibrillators of our time and shock the heart of the nation and build a movement of resistance and hope and justice and love." We can, in other world, surprise the hell out of ourselves - be being united, focused, and determined. By refusing to fall for those tired old shock tactics. By refusing to be afraid, no matter how much we are tested." ( )
  Othemts | Jan 22, 2018 |
Through a cognizant, unequivocal, and multi-faceted appeal, Naomi Klein argues that there are effective ways to fight back against the corruption, non-morality, and overall heinousness of the 45th President of the US and the ultra-conservative members of Congress. With biting clarity and sparing no alternative facts, she explores the rise of Trump as the ultimate brand, the ways that neo-liberalism (starting with Reagan) has taken over our corporate and political spheres, the growing selfishness and fear in our culture, and how US workers have born the brunt of the negative side-effects from this legacy. She infuses her arguments with personal experiences and popular culture, giving further weight.

After laying out these examples and appeals, she then goes on to suggest ways for citizens to stand up and take action to make real, lasting changes, developed within the context of a highly diverse conference that she attended. The main point is to say "no" less often, and say "yes" much more often. What she means by this is that it is more useful to promote positive societal changes, choosing values over policy, and rally around them, than it is to stand in confrontation to the hateful, vitriolic, purely capitalistic messages that are so often on the lips of politicians, CEOs, and others who stand to benefit from them. The way to get to this point is through fostering meaningful dialogue within communities of diverse groups. Reject the position of "me vs. you" and instead listen to what each other has to say about the topics impacting your lives. Through this kind of coming together, a culture of "yes" to positive changes can begin to grow. ( )
2 vote BooksForYears | Oct 24, 2017 |
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I’m not looking to overthrow the American government,
the corporate state already has.
– John Trudell
Santee Dakota activist, artist and poet (1946-2015)
For my mother, Bonnie Sherr Klein,
who teaches me more about shock resilience every day.
First words
… The two trends – the decline of communal institutions and the expansion of corporate brands in our culture – have had an inverse, seesaw-like relationship to one another over the decades; as the influence of those institutions that provided us with that essential sense of belonging went down, the power of commercial brands went up.

It means that, while our branded world can exploit the unmet need to be part of something larger than ourselves, it can’t fill it in any sustained way: you make a purchase to be part of a tribe, a big idea, a revolution, and it feels good for a moment, but the satisfaction wears off almost before you’ve thrown out the packaging for that new pair of sneakers, that latest model iPhone , or whatever the surrogate is. Then you have to find a way to fill the void again. It’s the perfect formula for endless consumption and perpetual self-commodification through social media, and it’s a disaster for the planet, which cannot sustain these levels of consumption. …
(while we’re at it, we might even spend less time producing and editing our personal brands on social media)
How it could get worse:
… some kind of democracy-avoidance strategy is needed, because many neoliberal policies are so unpopular that people reliably reject them both at the polls and in the streets. With good reason: as the tremendous hoarding (and hiding) of vast sums of wealth by a small and unaccountable global class of virtual oligarchs makes clear, those who benefit most from these radical social restructurings are a small minority, while the majority see their standard of living stagnate or slip, even in periods of rapid economic growth. Which is why, for those who are determined to push through these policies, majority rule and democratic freedoms aren’t a friend – they are a hindrance and a threat.
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"Remember when it all seemed to be getting better? Before Trump happened? What went wrong, and what can we do about it? Naomi Klein - scourge of brand bullies, disaster capitalists and climate liars - shows us how we got to this surreal and dangerous place, how to stop it getting worse and how, if we keep our heads, we can seize the opportunity to make it better. She reveals how Trump is not a freakish aberration, but an extension of the most powerful trends of the last century: celebrity and CEO-worship, Vegas and Guantanamo, soft porn and hard power, fake news and vulture bankers, all rolled into one. His election was not a peaceful transit but a corporate takeover, by people who've knowingly harmed people, societies and our planet. Now their deliberate shock tactics are generating wave after wave of crises, designed to disorientate us and stop us fighting back. This book is the toolkit for shock resistance, giving all of us what we need (including tips such as 'how to jam the brand' and 'kill your inner Trump') to win the argument and right their wrongs. Don't let them get away with it."--… (more)

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