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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster…

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007)

by Naomi Klein

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,918971,830 (4.19)115
  1. 30
    The Web of Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World by Mark Curtis (edwinbcn)
  2. 10
    Capitalism Unleashed: Finance, Globalization, and Welfare by Andrew Glyn (Jestak)
  3. 10
    The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule by Thomas Frank (AsYouKnow_Bob)
    AsYouKnow_Bob: Frank's canvas is somewhat narrower in scope, but the analysis of the effects of conservative governance is quite similar.
  4. 00
    Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (M_Clark)
    M_Clark: This book is a perfect compliment to the book of Naomi Klein who often cites it in her book. Its detailed descriptions of the follies of the people in the Green Zone in Bagdad provides additional coverage on the topics in Klein's book.
  5. 00
    The Revolution of Civil Society. Challenging Neo-Liberal Orthodoxy: The Development of the Progressi by Michael Lloyd (M_Clark)
    M_Clark: Milton Friedmann was heavily influenced by Hayek. This book attacks, in a very philosophical way, the fundamental philosophies of Hayek and the neo-liberals.
  6. 00
    Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia by Steven Stoll (M_Clark)
    M_Clark: Ramp Hollow looks at the way Appalachia was developed and exploited with the original settlers being progressively marginalized. It shows another side of capitalism long before Milton Friedmann was born.
  7. 01
    Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans--Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild by Greg Palast (brianjungwi)

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» See also 115 mentions

English (88)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (96)
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
Absolutely fascinating. You must read this book. ( )
  bibliosk8er | Aug 16, 2018 |
This book is a thorough attack on the philosophy of Milton Friedman and the neo-liberals of the Chicago school. It begins with a before and after analysis of those cases, like Chile, claimed by the Chicago school as their proof-points pointing out the damage done by these Chicago reforms. The general public was left much worse off after the Chicago people had done their damage while a few rich elites and multi-nationals were able to exploit the resources of each country.

Her main thesis is even more severe. She explains that there is no way that the people in a country would willingly accept the "reforms" of the Chicago school and they must therefore be imposed using shock and awe tactics. Those tactics extend to torture and forced disappearances of dissidents.

She illustrates her point with numerous examples ranging from Latin America to Russia, SE Asia, Iraq and New Orleans after Katarina. After reading her analysis, the reader is left asking whether there are really any examples at all where this neo-liberalism has ever worked. With so many thoroughly described examples, the book is long but absorbing. It is also one a book that leaves the reader feeling outraged. ( )
  M_Clark | Apr 10, 2018 |
Wow this book is good. MKUltra, Pinochet, Poland, South Africa, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iraq, New Orleans... Washington Consensus, IMF, World Band, Friedman, Chicago School...
This book has it all, is gripping and depressing, educational, even when you are already familiar with the material. Doesn't hurt to be reminded of the privatization / corporatization of the world, the ills that fare the poor and middle class, and the violence used to push these measures through. ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
You don't need to read of Margaret Atwood's post-apocalyptic dystopias to get a taste of one possible future: instead just look back ten or fifteen years, to New Orleans post-Katrina, or Iraq post 9/11.

The premise of this book is simultaneously horrifying, fascinating, and compelling. It's a sister work to “Hypernormalization,” Adam Curtis' 2016 documentary. Both tell the story of the ways that free-market fundamentalism actually doesn’t work, need to be reinforced with terrorist measures, and which governments continue to play make-believe with, putting up the facade of functionality.

That said, it’s an oversimplification to say that disasters are only exploited by free-market ideologues. In ecology, people use model of forest-succession called the shifting mosaic. A wind storm will take out old-growth forest in one section, opening up the opportunity room for a different mix of species. During disruption is the only time to easily introduce new models, whatever their politics. The Transition Towns core premise is that industrial society is failing us, and it’s up to us to build local, resilient alternatives. It’s lack of mainstream adoption probably has to do with the fact that our economy hasn’t fallen apart badly enough yet for these new seedlings to fully sprout up through the cracks. ( )
  willszal | Jan 23, 2017 |
I read this book over the course of a year. Not because it was particularly heavy going, or slow, but simply due to the sheer momentousness of the things being said. What Naomi Klein has achieved here is a staggering overview of an insidious global phenomenon, disaster capitalism, which just might be one of the most potent driving forces in world economics of the past fifty years. Starting from a basic premise that the confusion immediately following periods of shock puts people in a malleable state, economists led by the Chicago School teachings of Milton Friedman began applying the principle to whole countries, seizing on periods of mass shock (wars, coups, natural disasters etc) to force through radical free-market reforms and privatisations of state assets while the populations were still reeling from the aftermath. Klein charts this process from its genesis in South America to the post-Communist regions of Eastern Europe to the reconstruction fiascos in Iraq, Sri Lanka and New Orleans, showing how the unifying factor in each case was the desire of a select few to make obscene profits from the misery and suffering of untold millions.

It's a horrendous picture and in Klein's hands it's utterly convincing. The devastation sown in the wake of these disasters is all too real to ignore, yet it is only through the unifying lens of Friedman's theories that it begins to make some sort of sense. Disaster and chaos come to be seen not as destabilising forces but golden opportunities, at least for those in the position to take advantage of them. For the rest of us the results are devastating, blowing apart the ever growing gap between the rich and the poor, devastating social welfare programs, destroying communities, and driving countries into crippling debt.

It's rare that I ever read a book that has such a profound impact on my very world view, but this is such a book. I urge anyone at all interested in real world events to read this book immediately. Heck, I urge everyone to read this book period. It's that good. ( )
  StuartNorth | Nov 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
The Shock Doctrine shows in chilling detail how the free market has been backed up with violence over the last 30 years. I suspect it has stirred up a debate already.


» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naomi Kleinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiltsie, JenniferNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn't just some relic from the bad old days. It's alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312427999, Paperback)

Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn't just some relic from the bad old days. It's alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.

"At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq'' civil war, a new law is unveiled that will allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves… Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly outsources 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 residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be re-opened." Klein not only kicks butt, she names names, notably economist Milton Friedman and his radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s which she notes "produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today." Stand up and take a bow, Donald Rumsfeld.

There's little doubt Klein's book--which arrived to enormous attention and fanfare thanks to her previous missive, the best-selling No Logo, will stir the ire of the right and corporate America. It's also true that Klein's assertions are coherent, comprehensively researched and footnoted, and she makes a very credible case. Even if the world isn't going to hell in a hand-basket just yet, it's nice to know a sharp customer like Klein is bearing witness to the backroom machinations of government and industry in times of turmoil. --Kim Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:03 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Journalist Klein introduced the term "disaster capitalism." Whether covering Baghdad after the U.S. occupation, Sri Lanka after the tsunami, or New Orleans post-Katrina, she witnessed remarkably similar events: people still reeling were hit again, this time with economic "shock treatment," losing their land and homes to corporate makeovers. This book retells the story of Milton Friedman's free-market economic revolution. In contrast to the 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. At its the core 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, the violent culmination of a radical economic project that has been incubating for fifty years.--From publisher description.… (more)

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