Naomi Klein

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This
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Capitalism Vs. The Climate
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  • * New York Times non-fiction bestseller
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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

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Labor Leaders’ Cheap Deal With Trump

Published in the New York Times

For progressives, Donald J. Trump’s presidency so far has been a little like standing in front of one of those tennis ball machines — and getting hit in the face over and over again. Yet looking back, the blow that still has me most off-kilter didn’t come from the new president himself. It came two weeks ago, when several smiling union leaders strolled out of the White House and up to a bank of waiting cameras and declared their firm allegiance to President Trump.

Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump's Disaster Capitalism

Published at The Intercept

We already know that the Trump administration plans to deregulate markets, wage all-out war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” trash climate science and unleash a fossil-fuel frenzy. It’s a vision that can be counted on to generate a tsunami of crises and shocks: economic shocks, as market bubbles burst; security shocks, as blowback from foreign belligerence comes home; weather shocks, as our climate is further destabilized; and industrial shocks, as oil pipelines spill and rigs collapse, which they tend to do, especially when enjoying light-touch regulation.

All this is dangerous enough. What’s even worse is the way the Trump administration can be counted on to exploit these shocks politically and economically.

“Neoliberalism’s Final Frontier”: Watch Naomi’s Anti-Inauguration Speech on Resisting Trump [VIDEO]

On Friday evening, Jacobin Magazine, Haymarket Books, and Verso Books co-sponsored a lively “Anti-Inauguration” event at the Lincoln Theater in Washington, DC, where Naomi joined an exciting lineup of speakers offering their take on Trump and the way forward.

In her speech, Naomi contemplates the band of uniquely “junky capitalists” now ascending to power, and how to prepare for and respond to the violent shocks they’re already starting to unleash. She ends with a call to build and strengthen connective tissue between our movements as we push for alternatives to Trumpism.

Check out the full video below (the event begins at about five minutes in). Naomi’s remarks are followed by fantastic speeches from journalists Anand Gopal, Jeremy Scahill, and Owen Jones, and author and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.



Trump Defeated Clinton, Not Women

Published in the New York Times

For a great many women around the world, Donald J. Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton feels like a painful setback not just for democracy, but for our gender.

Voters chose a loose cannon of a man with zero government experience over a calm, collected and supremely qualified woman. The root cause of this injustice, many have suggested, can only be sexism — proof that the glass ceiling protecting the highest reaches of power cannot yet be shattered.

The reaction is understandable. It’s also wrong and unnecessarily demoralizing.

Of course no female or nonwhite candidate with Mr. Trump’s lack of experience, angry outbursts, boasts of sexual assault or trail of broken marriages could have gotten elected. That Mr. Trump did, while spouting such ugliness about women and minorities, speaks to deep and persistent strains of misogyny and white supremacy in American society.

Donald Trump’s Presidency Could Literally Mean the End of Their World

Published in The Nation

At the precise moment that Donald Trump was giving his acceptance speech, I was in a room packed with a thousand people in Sydney, Australia, listening to Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang, a leading activist from the island state of Kiribati. All day I had been sending e-mails with the subject line “It’s the end of the world.” I suddenly felt embarrassed by the privilege of this hyperbole.

If Trump does what he says and rolls back the (insufficient) climate progress won under Obama, inspiring other nations to do the same, Chi-Fang’s nation and culture will almost surely disappear beneath the waves. Literally, the end of their whole world.

Chi-Fang talked about how the Paris climate negotiations was a rare moment of hope. It’s not a perfect text, but island nations waged—and won—a valiant battle to include language reflecting the need to keep warming below 1.5. Celsius. “We didn’t sleep,” she told the crowd.

It Was the Democrats' Embrace of Neoliberalism That Won it For Trump

Published in The Guardian

They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent candidates. They will blame the corporate media for giving him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and WikiLeaks for airing the laundry.

But this leaves out the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism. That worldview – fully embodied by Hillary Clinton and her machine – is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate. If we learn nothing else, can we please learn from that mistake?

Climate Change Is Intergenerational Theft. That's Why My Son Is Part of This Story

Published in The Guardian

The short film I’ve made with the Guardian stars my son, Toma, aged four years and five months. That’s a little scary for me to write, since, up until this moment, my husband, Avi, and I have been pretty careful about protecting him from public exposure. No matter how damn cute we think he’s being, absolutely no tweeting is allowed.

So I want to explain how I decided to introduce him to you in this very public way.

For the past eight years, I have been writing and speaking about climate change pretty much around the clock. I use all the communication tools I can — books, articles, feature documentary, photographs, lectures.

The Carbon Tax on the Ballot in Washington State Is Not the Right Way to Deal With Global Warming

Published in The Nation

The imperatives of the climate crisis and the logic of economic austerity are at war—and Washington State is on the front lines.

So-called “revenue-neutral” carbon pricing—whereby the proceeds are used to fund tax cuts—has long been a cherished hobbyhorse of free-market economists and the odd Republican who favors climate action. It’s also the policy of choice for big polluters like ExxonMobil. And now this right-wing friendly model is being pushed in Washington State, thanks to Initiative 732.

40 Years Ago, This Chilean Exile Warned Us About the Shock Doctrine. Then He Was Assassinated.

Published in The Nation

In August 1976, The Nation published an essay that rocked the US political establishment, both for what it said and for who was saying it. “The ‘Chicago Boys’ in Chile: Economic ‘Freedom’s’ Awful Toll” was written by Orlando Letelier, the former right-hand man of Chilean President Salvador Allende. Earlier in the decade, Allende had appointed Letelier to a series of top-level positions in his democratically elected socialist government: ambassador to the United States (where he negotiated the terms of nationalization for several US-owned firms operating in Chile), minister of foreign affairs, and, finally, minister of defense.

Then, on September 11, 1973, Chile’s government was overthrown in a bloody, CIA-backed coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. This shattering event left Allende dead in the smoldering presidential palace and Letelier and other “VIP prisoners” banished to a remote labor camp in the Strait 
of Magellan.

When Political and Physical Realities Collide

Published in the Boston Globe

Get ready for some high-powered hugging. On Friday, some 60 heads of state and government will gather at United Nations headquarters in New York City to officially sign the climate change pact known as the Paris Agreement.

When it was unveiled in Paris last December, the headlines were euphoric. A “major leap for mankind,” said one. Another declared that the pact marked the “end of the fossil fuel era.”

But there were dissenting voices, too: James Hansen, arguably the most respected climate scientist in the world, called the agreement “a fraud really, a fake,” because “there is no action, just promises.” And in Paris, thousands of climate activists took to the streets to protest a deal they said was so weak that it would lead to catastrophic levels of warming.

So who’s right? Is the Paris Agreement a historic political breakthrough or is it a potential ecological disaster?

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