[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Bloggers do Shock Doctrine
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sun Sep 16 11:24:14 BST 2007
Klein's doctrine: the bloggers' view
*The Shock Doctrine:* Our round-up from the blogosphere beyond Cif shows
similarly polarised responses.
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September 14, 2007 4:18 PM | Printable version
Jonathan Kay at Canada's National Post praises
Klein's gift for "sticky symbolism" saying the metaphors of shock, pain,
misery and exploitation she uses will stay with the reader. While he
claims that at points the book reads like an extended conspiracy theory,
elsewhere he likens Klein to a messiah figure: first she came to give
the Seattle anti-globalisation movement their bible in No Logo and now
she has returned to deliver the world from Milton Friedman.
Mark Mills at Shark Attack is much more scathing
"Far from being the Marx of the 21st century, Naomi Klein is a
conspiracy theorist whose work depends on a partial reading of history
and offers no constructive vision."
Elsewhere Richard Marcus agrees
<http://blogcritics.org/archives/2007/09/03/222312.php> with Jonathan
Kay that Naomi's work is no longer confined to the anti-globalisation
rally: "This is a book for people of all political stripes to read. Even
if you disagree with Ms Klein's politics, that won't matter. This is a
book about 'economics, stupid,' and not about whether you are on the
left or the right." Terence Corcoran, in a review for the National Post,
is not so sure, he calls
the book an "ideological busload of leftist fantasy."
Blogger Tim Worstall doesn't have high hopes for the book's success: "I
have a feeling that this new book ... is going to get a pretty thorough
pasting." He joins
the John Lloyd debate
about the book's discussion of Russia saying: "The fall of the Soviets
is a crime against democracy? What has that woman been smoking?"
New Athenian is "glad
<http://newathenian.wordpress.com/2007/09/10/shades-of-grey/> to see
that Jonathan Fenby calls her
on her analysis of Tiananmen Square." But the majority of bloggers are
impressed by Klein's investigative research. Godammitkitty at Hope and
Onions thinks Klein's new book proves
"that she has the scholarly patience and rigour to make these important
connections. Where others see only 'news,' Klein sees a multi-act play
-often with many hidden actors." Cabog finds Klein's work refreshing
<http://www.cabogue.com/2007/09/disaster-capitalism>: "Just when we were
getting bored of the all the predictable, half-assed George Bush
bashing, along comes a piece of proper research and economics to
reinforce just how dangerous he and his cronies have become."
Meanwhile Severian is still coming to terms
the shock of it all: "The double think required to believe we are
bastions of free thought and liberty while at the same time crushing
everyone who wants a little piece of the pie for themselves is
staggering." Klein could be exaggerating, Lauren Woody claims
Many are sold on Klein's disaster capitalism theory. Steven G Brant,
on 9/11, says Naomi's book shows "how entire societies have been taken
advantage of (one might even call it "cultural rape") by those entrusted
with leading them out of danger," making the wealthy wealthier and more
powerful. JJ at Unrepentant Old Hippy is patiently waiting for her copy
to arrive. She believes
the "ongoing disaster" of the last six years must have unfolded in the
way it did because someone, somewhere was making money out of it.
Speaking of making money, many bloggers are impressed with Naomi Klein's
publishers' marketing know-how. As Crawford Killian says
Cuar&oaccute; eight-minute trailer, "has spread across the web with a
speed that viral marketers will study very seriously."
Tim from Baby Got Books was also floored by the trailer and his first
commenter exclaims: "Whoa! Trailers for books? What'll they think of
next?" Henry Midgley thinks
<http://www.bitsofnews.com/content/view/6090/> Klein's latest venture
"provides a new vision of the next front on the air war over the
internet: the use of film and video to buttress words and pictures."
The Shock Doctrine was always going to cause a ruckus. At the moment the
blogs are split down the middle. In the words
<http://blog.markroseman.com/2007/09/book-the-shock-.html> of Mark
Roseman: "it's one of those books that will either support your existing
world view (in which case it does provide some new insights), or be
dismissed as so much socialist, leftist propaganda and whining. No
middle ground here."
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