The Shock Doctrine
Catastrophes from Katrina to Iraq from Afghanistan to the Asian Tsunami clear the way for corporations to move in and operate in newly privatized zones, pushing local government overboard. Kind of like shock and awe economics. Privatize, privatize, privatize is intoned like a mantra by the economic high priests of neoliberalism. The belief in the so-called free market is almost akin religious dogma. Abuses, shoddy work and rampant profiteering rule with little or no oversight or accountability. Governments sub-contract and outsource their essential functions and services as jobs float downstream from the public sector into the private. Free market neoliberalism is synonymous with democracy and since everyone loves the latter what’s not to like about the former? But what it really is, is a get rich quick crusade.
Naomi Klein is a senior correspondent at The Intercept and Professor of Climate Justice at the University of British Columbia. She was the inaugural Gloria Steinem endowed chair of media, culture and feminist studies at Rutgers University until September 2021. She is an award-winning journalist and author of many books including: How to Change Everything, On Fire: The Burning Case for A Green New Deal, No Is Not Enough, This Changes Everything, The Shock Doctrine, and No Logo. In addition to The Intercept her articles appear in The Guardian, Rolling Stone and The Nation.