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Naomi Klein: Disaster Capitalism

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Commonwealth Club of California

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Wolfrich Avatar
Posted: 05.09.10, 05:58 AM
Nothing wrong about socialism. At least top priority is the commune and not the financial capital. So the center-piece of socialism is us, when the center-piece of capitalism is money. I rather stick to the people and ignore the paper.
Alf001 Avatar
Posted: 08.27.09, 08:04 AM
It's interesting the path the discussion is taking. Ms Klein's credibility as an economist may be questionable and we may debate the issues of capitalism and socialism, but at the end of the day, these are just ideological entities. People like you and me run these organizations and provide their own interpretations as to what social impact they will have on our lives. Sad to say many have less than altruistic visions of improving the quality of life we have and when greed and avarice steps in, the ideological entities take a back seat. Fredie Mac and Fannie Mae were aided and abetted in every aspect of the food chain. Banks, brokers, and overachieving consumers wanting to live the good life and pay later. We need to see the "enemy". Its us. We all created this problem but our approach to solving it is to blame others or the system..
sactownjudge Avatar
Posted: 08.25.09, 07:23 AM
LOL - toosinbeymen, classic. You conveniently choose to not address any of the headon factual challenges that Mr. Chait makes to Ms Klein's hilariously poor research and instead try attacking the New Republic. How weak, yet how typical. It's really the only way that a poseur like Klein can be defended.
oturista Avatar
Posted: 11.04.08, 01:44 AM
@ rwillems01: "It is a shame that the committed socialist (or communists, fascists, Marxists, etc), like Ms. Klien, can not see how bankrupt thier economic philosophies are." Fascists are socialists? Hmmm... Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet were socialist? Really? And why would you conclude that Ms. Klein is "a marxist/socialist/communist"? It sounds like the usual response from those who have very few knowledge of economics and politics other than the dominant version, emphasized by your comment "There is not one example of a successful application of a strong centrally planned economic program..." You are implying here that Ms. Klein believes that the alternative is this, and even that marxism or socialism inherently dictates a centrally-planned economy. I would argue that to criticize an ideology or someone who is criticizing an ideology, one should first know what they mean.
supersnapp Avatar
Posted: 11.03.08, 10:24 AM
Klein has an exception understanding of how both economics and politics work domestically and internationally. Her statements on Milton Freidman are 100% spot on. Friedman was simply mouthpiece for concentrated power, as is the University of Chicago School of Economics. Klein has woven together international events into a single comprehensive tapestry of corruption and self interest. That is why she is so dangerous and why its most important for conservatives need to try to discredit her. They have no answer to her statements. Klein is a giant, listen to what she says and writes. If you don't understand or refuse to listen to Klein you either work for concentrated power, know nothing about international economics or are highly propegandized. If you are paid by Morgan Stanley to perform fake research, I can see why you would dislike Klein. However, one thing that is not credible is that Klein does not know her stuff or that her research is not spot on. Form a group of people that consider William F Buckley or George Will as intellectuals or the corrupt CATO institute as a research center, this is laughable.
sactownjudge Avatar
Posted: 11.01.08, 08:39 AM
Really Toosinbeymen? That's what you've got? "TNR is a rag and you guys are trolls"...? Weak stuff, mate. Try challenging the factual assertions made by Chait and RoyalWe. Klein is blatantly, embarrassingly on the record as not having the slightest clue what a neocon actually is, who Milton Friedman is, etc., in spite of having devoted significant attention to them. And that's just the beginning.
samizdat Avatar
Posted: 10.27.08, 11:03 PM
Klein responded to that hit piece by Jonathan Chait: excerpt: Despite his later protestations, Milton Friedman openly supported the war when it was being waged. In April 2003, Friedman told the German magazine Focus that “President Bush only wanted war because anything else would have threatened the freedom and the prosperity of the USA.” Asked about increased tensions between the U.S. and Europe, Friedman replied: “the end justifies the means. As soon as we’re rid of Saddam, the political differences will also disappear.” [Read the whole interview in German and our translation.] Clearly this was not the voice of anti-intervention. Even in July 2006, when Friedman claimed to have opposed the war from the beginning, he remained hawkish. Now that the U.S. was in Iraq, Friedman told The Wall Street Journal, “it seems to me very important that we make a success of it.” All of this has nothing to do with my book, however. In The Shock Doctrine, I describe the invasion and occupation of Iraq as the culmination of Friedman’s ideological crusade because he was America’s leading intellectual favoring the privatization of the state – not because he personally supported the war, which is irrelevant. For more than five years Iraq has been the vanguard of this radical privatization project. Private contractors now outnumber U.S. soldiers and corporations have taken on such core state functions as prisoner interrogation. Furthermore, I never said Friedman was a “neo-conservative” and I discuss, at length, how difficult it is to find terms to describe the corporatist project that are acceptable to all readers. On page 17 (all page numbers refer to the Picador paperback) I write: “In the attempt to relate the history of the ideological crusade that has culminated in the radical privatization of war and disaster, one problem recurs: the ideology is a shape-shifter, forever changing its name and switching identities. Friedman called himself a ‘liberal,’ but his U.S. followers, who associated liberals with high taxes and hippies, tended to identify as ‘conservatives,’ ‘classical economists,’ ‘free marketers’ and, later, as believers in ‘Reaganomics’ or ‘laissez-faire.’ In most of the world, their orthodoxy is known as ‘neo-liberalism,’ but it is often called ‘free trade’ or simply ‘globalization.’ Only since the mid-nineties has the intellectual movement, led by the right-wing think tanks with which Friedman had long associations—Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute—called itself ‘neo-conservative,’ a world view that has harnessed the full force of the U.S. military machine in the service of a corporate agenda.” The significance of the “neo-con” label gaining currency in the mid-nineties is that it was then that the Republicans, under the leadership of Newt Gingrich and backed by the think tanks I mentioned, swept Congress promising a “Contract With America.” At this point, the label “neo-conservatives” was not a reference primarily to hawkish foreign policy positions but to harsh economic ones. Back in the mid-nineties, many of the people most associated with the neo-con label today – David Frum and William Kristol and much of the Weekly Standard crowd – were squarely focused on demanding Friedmanite cut-backs and privatizations inside the United States. Frum, for example, first made his name in the U.S. with Dead Right, his 1994 book exhorting the conservative movement to return to its free market economic roots. After Bill Clinton embraced much of this economic agenda, several of the key neo-con warriors narrowed their focus to American dominance on the world stage, a fact that has allowed their keen interests in Friedmanite economic ideas to be largely overlooked.
samizdat Avatar
Posted: 10.27.08, 10:53 PM
don't believe any of these wingnuts, they're still rehashing the same old arguments that are brought up every time captialism is in crisis. suddenly everyone is a "socialist" for pointing out the flaws (ie unchecked greed) in the system. Klein is definitely not a Marxist although she is part of the Left. in her book she is actually arguing for a less radical solution along the the lines of Keynesianism. If you want another critical voice of neoliberalism/neoconservatism, read Joseph Stiglitz, or if you want a real Marxist, read David Harvey.
farber2 Avatar
Posted: 10.27.08, 12:19 AM
I just seems to me that people on the right have been given a false sense of relevence from the passed 8 years of one of their own being in the driver's seat. the right always attacks the person that they disagree with, and nit picks and gives long disertations as "quick replys" where it is not appropriate. there must be many places where these essays are in high demand.
farber2 Avatar
Posted: 10.26.08, 09:25 PM
thank you.