Everybody loves a good disaster (except those who are running for cover)
I am reading Naomi Klein's book "The shock doctrine - rise of disaster captialism". The central theme of the book is that global free-market capitalism (the one that is actually in practice these days, not the one idealized by various groups who call themselves anarchists or libertarians or various other names) thrives on disasters - when people are in a state of shock, either by natural (earthquakes, tsunamis) or man made (wars, military coup's) disasters, vested interests (politicians, corporations) find it easy to thrust free-market policies down their throats - when your worry at the moment is whether you will survive to see the sun rising tomorrow, you don't care about your state's natural resources/industries being auctioned away for the highest bidder. If you wish to see why the world is the way it is - how man's greed and complete insensitivity towards others drives him to commit horrible crimes - this is the book for you. You will learn how war's are "outsourced", how tsunamis and cyclones provide fortunes for the free-market "entrepreneurs"and how a nation's obsession with terror creates a "boom" for a new class of technology "companies". On the other hand, if you are looking for a scholarly, unemotional analysis of the free-markets as an economic system, this is not the book for you. The writer is not an economist, and she has no sympathy for the system. Some people also accuse her of demonising Milton Friedman and the "Chicago School" of economics. A fellow from the Cato Institute (a libertarian "think-tank") has produced a scathing criticism of her book. As usual, this fellow has caught on to the book's weak points and "extrapolated" from there to prove how worthless the whole thing is. It may also be good to check out the credentials of the Cato institute before reading the criticism (you may also find it interesting to read The crisis of public reason which is linked from this site). I couldn't resist putting this inline (source: http://www.thismodernworld.org/arc/TAP/01-libertarian.jpg )!
Mon Jul 7 08:03:27 2008
In the same line, there is another masterpiece - The corporation, a fantastic documentry. It is nicely taken and worth watching. www.thecorporation.com