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, award-winning journalist and columnist, is the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University. She is author of The Shock Doctrine, This Changes Everything, No Is Not Enough, The Battle for Paradise and On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal. Her articles appear in The Intercept, Rolling Stone, The Nation and The Guardian, She is co-founder of the climate justice organization The Leap.