Naomi Klein

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On Fire
The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
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April 4: New Brunswick, NJ
April 4: New Brunswick, NJ
April 11: Philadelphia, PA
April 16: New York, NY
April 22: New York, NY
April 24: New Brunswick, NJ

Subscribe Interviews

Brainwashed by the Market: What Drives Naomi Klein?

Julie Wheelwright, Independent, September 14, 2007

Naomi Klein's critique of 'disaster capitalism' will echo around the world – but its roots lie in a scandal close to her Canadian home

The author and activist Naomi Klein has just endured a gentle mauling on the Today programme. Klein had been speaking about her new book The Shock Doctrine, arguing that capitalism's latest incarnation is about profiting from – even creating – crises. Diane Coyle, an economist and BBC trustee (and former economics editor of The Independent), sniffed that this argument was "another example of American imperialism". When we meet an hour later at a Soho hotel, Klein seems unruffled. "I did some research about Diane Coyle," she says, rooting through a file. She hands me a paper entitled "The Role of Mobiles in Disaster and Emergencies", which Coyle wrote for a mobile-phone trade association.

Naomi Klein Has Her Enemies

Finlo Rohrer, BBC News Magazine, September 13, 2007

Having made her name in the vanguard of the anti-globalisation movement, the writer and activist is now taking on "disaster capitalism", and looking to an older audience.

That most august journal the Economist has chosen to do battle with her in the past. In 2002 it described her as having all the "incoherence and self-righteous disgust of the alienated adolescent".

Venture into the blogosphere and there are more vitriolic views. On one message board she is dismissed as suffering "mindlessness and intellectual sloth" and of pandering to "elitist commies who want us all living in cubicles, not owning motor vehicles and eating government-provided tofu".

Free-Market Mischief in Hot Spots of Disaster

Patricia Cohen, New York Times, September 10, 2007

Festivalgoers in Venice and Toronto who attended the premieres this weekend of “The Shock Doctrine,” a six-minute film written by the author Naomi Klein and the director Alfonso Cuarón, saw images of electroshock treatments from the 1950s, animated pages from a C.I.A. torture manual and footage of the 9/11 attacks and the 2004 tsunami. The brief movie encapsulates the thesis of a new book of the same title by Ms. Klein: That unconstrained free-market policies go hand in hand with undemocratic political policies.

While Mr. Cuarón’s political passions can be glimpsed in his dystopian 2006 thriller “Children of Men” (Ms. Klein is a commentator on the DVD), most Hollywood directors don’t end up making promotional videos for thick texts about global economics. “When she asked if I was interested in doing a trailer,” he said from Italy, “my answer was, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do it.’ ”

Shock Wave Troopers

Brian Lynch, Georgia Straight, September 6, 2007

Naomi Klein exposes the economic ambulance chasers who take advantage of natural and economic disasters worldwide.

Milton Friedman, the Nobel-laureate economist and champion of unfettered global markets, was a great believer in preparing for disaster. As he wrote in the opening of his 1962 manifesto, Capitalism and Freedom , "only a crisis–actual or perceived–produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around." And Friedman worked his long career to ensure that the economic ideas lying closest to powerful politicians and bureaucrats in times of trouble were the ones he espoused most fervently: deregulation of industry, privatization of state-owned companies and resources, the shrinking of government to its barest essentials, and the complete freedom of capital to move according to its whims.

Why Capitalism Needs Terror: An Interview with Naomi Klein

Kenneth Whyte, Maclean's, September 10, 2007

Talking about war, free-market fundamentalism and a breed of politicos who thrive on disaster

There's a school of thought that free markets and democracy go hand in hand and together they make people free and prosperous. You're arguing that free-market ideology has triumphed around the world not because people have embraced the market but because the ideology has been imposed on them, often in moments of distress. Furthermore, these moments of distress have sometimes been created by governments as a pretext to bring in free-market policies. To top it all off, the policies haven't really worked. They've just enriched the people who introduced them. How's that for a summary?

That's pretty good. I would quibble with a few things. I don't know that there are examples of the governments themselves creating the crises.

No Logo Author Ready to Take Heat over Latest Opus

Pat Donnelly, Montreal Gazette, September 4, 2007

Book shock doctrine zaps capitalism. Links McGill brainwashing experiments with Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib

Less than a week before the launch of her new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Naomi Klein was in a buoyant mood.

Yes, she anticipates fierce criticism, she said, speaking from her publisher's office in Toronto. But with seven researchers and four lawyers (one Canadian, two British and one American) backing her up, she feels battle-ready.

"For every potentially libelous claim that I made," she said, "I had to produce the original document for. They didn't take anything at my word. It was really a very rigorous process."

As she proved with her bestselling No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, in 2000, Klein is not one to pull punches. The Shock Doctrine blames Milton Friedman's "Chicago School" of economists for harming many nations they set out to help.

Seven years after 'No Logo,' Naomi Klein back on bookshelves with 'Shock Doctrine'

Colin Perkel, Canadian Press, September 2, 2007

Seven years after the publication of "No Logo" launched her career as a populist, anti-globalization guru, Canada's Naomi Klein is back in bookstores this week with "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," a scathing indictment of unfettered free enterprise.

Learning about the link between capitalism and the bloody excesses of Argentina's ruling junta in the 1970s planted the seeds of her latest effort, but it was the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that pushed her to get writing.

"I wrote the book because I really felt personally overwhelmed and disoriented by the speed of change post-Sept. 11," Klein said during an interview at her publisher's downtown office.

"It was depressing to write and there were periods that were incredibly bleak."

Indeed, "The Shock Doctrine" is unrelenting, ripping away at the democratic facade of a capitalist system Klein accuses of paying mere lip service to fundamental notions of freedom.

Shocked and Appalled

By John Allemang, Globe and Mail, August 31, 2007

If there's anyone who knows the ins and outs of a successful marketing campaign, it's Naomi Klein.

So why is the author of the bestselling No Logo, the 2000 book that tore apart the pretensions of “Just Do It” brand-building while inspiring the social-justice spirit in young consumers, walking away from a screening of the video for her long-awaited new book, The Shock Doctrine?

“It's too disturbing,” she says, as she closes the door to the small room that started off as our meeting place but now feels more like an isolation chamber.

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