The Shock Doctrine in Paperback
You know that queasy feeling you get each time a crisis occurs? 9/11? The Iraq War? Hurricane Katrina? The explosion in oil and food prices? Well, guess what? Big companies like to capitalize on your distress by receiving fat government contracts and privatizing government functions from running schools to running wars and national security. That may not be surprising, but it's the government's job to put the nation's interest over corporate interests, right? Not so in the Bush Administration, which has eagerly used the shock of various crises to invade and occupy countries and to hand over no-bid contracts, public functions, and unprecedented power to their corporate cronies, the public interest be damned.
This "disaster capitalism" is the subject of Naomi Klein's 2007 book "The Shock Doctrine." Klein's book is now available in paperback. Klein held an interesting online discussion today at the Crooks and Liars blog. As Klein points out, the attempt by oil companies, President Bush, and the Republicans to use high oil prices to push for more offshore oil drilling leases is a classic Shock Doctrine tactic. So is the attempt by the multinational oil companies, through no-bid contracts, to grab control of 75% of Iraq's oil output now and into the distant future.
If you want to know whether "The Shock Doctrine" will be of interest to you, some fascinating interviews with Naomi Klein regarding her book can be found here with Bill Maher, here with Keith Olbermann, and, if you want a really in-depth discussion, here with Amy Goodman. I promise that you will not view another crisis in the same way again.