Home > Books, politics > A hopeful read about you & us

A hopeful read about you & us

One of the first books I read after beginning to care about politics was Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism. It was both powerful and powerfully depressing, an accounting of decades of U.S. destruction in the name of “free markets.”

Today, its author has written something beautiful and empowering. I want to get back to sharing things we all can celebrate, and that means I’m going to try moving away from explicitly political stuff. But tonight? I want you to know that much of what I understand about politics, and about U.S. politics, I understand because of Klein.

When Klein writes that the U.S. oligarchs who’ve controlled the world for decades are scared of us, that’s something to seize. They’re trying to implement shocks that’ll confound, diminish, and separate us from each other.

That can’t happen if we’re willing to stand for and with each other. So, please, please, read Klein’s “Trump’s Crony Cabinet May Look Strong, but They Are Scared,” and prepare to reach across divides, because that’s what it’s going to take to save each other.

I refuse fear. I reject it absolutely. And why? Because I know you, and I know: together, we are invincible.

  1. January 27, 2017 at 3:35 am

    Interesting article. Klein nails it with: “This is not a peaceful transition of power. This is a corporate takeover.” That’s what I’ve been seeing, too. I agree with her and with you that these weasels are running scared from us, the customer with more power than we totally understand, yet.

    • January 27, 2017 at 5:12 am

      The Shock Doctrine was one heckuva hard read, but so powerful. Having read it, I wish I’d understood any of its history years–or even decades–ago. The military industrial complex Eisenhower warned against in 1961 (https://learningtospeakpolitics.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/with-thanks-to-eisenhower/) has grown so much stronger since, leading to barely comprehensible destruction. The same corporations destroying are contracted to “rebuild” in equations that dramatically favor profits over people. Yet for all The Shock Doctrine illuminates these things, it also emphasizes the power of community. It concludes with info on CELAC, a profoundly hopeful organization that excludes the U.S. for reasons more fully apparent now than ever before. The answer is in community, and I think/hope that’s becoming clearer. It sure is helpful when Klein says it! 😉

      (“Solidarity, not unity!” I’m often telling folks face to face. We don’t all need to agree, but standing together with our different strengths and wounds is important.)

      • January 27, 2017 at 5:18 am

        I’ve not read The Shock Doctrine. I minored in Political Science, so like your husband, lots of what is happening seems oddly familiar to me. I’ve heard/studied this before. Of course, it’s entirely different when the danger is abstract versus real. Interesting times, as they say.

        • January 27, 2017 at 5:21 am

          Indeed! It makes me laugh now how I’d say (up to early last year), “Why did you need a ‘vocabulary’ to talk about this stuff, Anthony? You’re eloquent enough!” I get it now, in this world where I’m much more adept at recognizing patterns–similarities to things I’ve already seen–than being able to articulate them. 🙂

  2. January 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Good job in the interview! As I watched and read this post a question comes to my mind in earnest not challenging and that is what was it that compelled you to put so much faith and belief in “The Shock Doctrine” to form such a deep feeling about it’s worthiness?

    • January 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      It’s not one thing, but many.

      I’d actually already read Greenwald’s With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful; that, in conjunction with my childhood and some of what I learned in law school, illuminated so much. With that context laid before I even opened The Shock Doctrine, everything illuminated by The Shock Doctrine fit perfectly with what I already understood from life, law school, Greenwald, and many articles. Everything I’ve read since–by many authors–fits within that framework, excluding USG narratives usually presented uncritically by corporate media.

      My L2SP post “The source of true power” originated with Klein’s book and answers some of this question, too. It’s a question on which I can’t spend much more time, because (1) it’s one I’ve already addressed extensively throughout L2SP and (2) takes my limited time away from what I hope to be part of accomplishing. (I did want to say something to it, though!)

      Paul B. Farrell’s review (from Dow Jones Business News) expresses it well:

      “To more fully grasp this new economy, you must read what may be the most important book on economics in the twenty-first century….The Shock Doctrine is one of the best economic books of the twenty-first century because it reveals in one place the confluence of cultural forces, the restructuring of a world economy as growing populations fight over depleting natural resources, and the drifting away of America from representative democracy to a government controlled by multiple, competing, well-financed, and shadow special interests.”

      • January 27, 2017 at 5:43 pm

        Thank you so much for the enlightenment! Really appreciate you took the time and now it’s perfectly clear it was not only the book but everything that came before it- the overall knowledge that I would not have picking up that book and reading it cold. You are way ahead of me. I only wish I had all that in my head! 😁 Thanks again!

        • January 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm

          I reread my comment and it sounds grumpy! I just meant to be candid. Writing about politics is exhausting, so I’m trying to get better about how I use what time I spend engaging in politics-related … anything. 🙂

          The book is great and picks up from ground zero, so I’d highly recommend it for content … but, man. It’s a tough read from almost the first word. It’s eloquent, but it’s content … yikes! That’s why I’m so glad to see these short articles. They touch on aspects of the book without all the heartbreak.

          (Sadly, I lose a lot of the details pretty quickly … but I’m pretty good at rummaging them up again, as long as their ideas get incorporated into my framework!)

          Happy weekend. 💕

  3. January 28, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    the ethics of profits
    certainly are ugly.

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