The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Stephen Holmes writes:

The anti-globalisation movement suffered a dizzying setback on 9/11. Symbolic gatecrashing into the well-guarded meeting places of the super-rich suddenly seemed a much more sinister activity than before. Busting up branches of Starbucks and other Seattle-style antics became anathema in an atmosphere of injured and vindictive patriotism. But Naomi Klein, the combative theorist and publicist of anti-globalisation, was not about to accept such guilt by association. Her reply, The Shock Doctrine, deals with the corporate acquisitiveness that she sees as ravaging the planet and reformulates the ideas of the anti-globalisation and anti-corporate movements for a post-9/11 world. Klein believes she has found the answer to a question that has perplexed many on the left: if every modern American government has been a tool of powerful business interests, what, if anything, makes the Bush administration uniquely odious?

(LRB 8 May 2008)

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