Synopsis[ edit ] The book has an introduction, a main body and a conclusion, divided into seven parts with a total of 21 chapters. Part 1 begins with a chapter on psychiatric shock therapy and the covert experiments conducted by the psychiatrist Ewen Cameron in collusion with the Central Intelligence Agency. The second chapter introduces Milton Friedman and his Chicago school of economicswhom Klein describes as leading a laissez-faire capitalist movement committed to creating free markets that are even less regulated than those that existed before the Great Depression.
Sociology as Life, Practice, and Promise, rev.
For more information click here. Government programs come and go as political parties swing us back and forth between stock answers whose only effect seems to be who gets elected.
But on a deeper level, we tend to think about them in ways that keep us from getting at their complexity in the first place. It is a basic tenet of sociological practice that to solve a social problem we have to begin by seeing it as Naomi klein shock doctrine essay.
Without this, we look in the wrong place for explanations and in the wrong direction for visions of change. Consider, for example, poverty, which is arguably the most far-reaching, long-standing cause of chronic suffering there is.
The magnitude of poverty is especially ironic in a country like the United States whose enormous wealth dwarfs that of entire continents.
More than one out of every six people in the United States lives in poverty or near-poverty. For children, the rate is even higher. Even in the middle class there is a great deal of anxiety about the possibility of falling into poverty or something close to it — through divorce, for example, or simply being laid off as companies try to improve their competitive advantage, profit margins, and stock prices by transferring jobs overseas.
How can there be so much misery and insecurity in the midst of such abundance? It is simply one end of an overall distribution of income and wealth in society as a whole.
As such, poverty is both a structural aspect of the system and an ongoing consequence of how the system is organized and the paths of least resistance that shape how people participate in it.
The system we have for producing and distributing wealth is capitalist. It is organized in ways that allow a small elite to control most of the capital — factories, machinery, tools — used to produce wealth. It also leaves a relatively small portion of the total of income and wealth to be divided among the rest of the population.
In part, then, poverty exists because the economic system is organized in ways that encourage the accumulation of wealth at one end and creates conditions of scarcity that make poverty inevitable at the other.
But the capitalist system generates poverty in other ways as well. In the drive for profit, for example, capitalism places a high value on competition and efficiency. This motivates companies and their managers to control costs by keeping wages as low as possible and replacing people with machines or replacing full-time workers with part-time workers.
It makes it a rational choice to move jobs to regions or countries where labor is cheaper and workers are less likely to complain about poor working conditions, or where laws protecting the natural environment from industrial pollution or workers from injuries on the job are weak or unenforced.
Capitalism also encourages owners to shut down factories and invest money elsewhere in enterprises that offer a higher rate of return. These kinds of decisions are a normal consequence of how capitalism operates as a system, paths of least resistance that managers and investors are rewarded for following.
But the decisions also have terrible effects on tens of millions of people and their families and communities. Even having a full-time job is no guarantee of a decent living, which is why so many families depend on the earnings of two or more adults just to make ends meet.
All of this is made possible by the simple fact that in a capitalist system most people neither own nor control any means of producing a living without working for someone else.
To these social factors we can add others. A high divorce rate, for example, results in large numbers of single-parent families who have a hard time depending on a single adult for both childcare and a living income. The centuries-old legacy of racism in the United States continues to hobble millions of people through poor education, isolation in urban ghettos, prejudice, discrimination, and the disappearance of industrial jobs that, while requiring relatively little formal education, nonetheless once paid a decent wage.
These were the jobs that enabled many generations of white European immigrants to climb out of poverty, but which are now unavailable to the masses of urban poor. Clearly, patterns of widespread poverty are inevitable in an economic system that sets the terms for how wealth is produced and distributed.
But public debate about poverty and policies to deal with it focus almost entirely on the latter with almost nothing to say about the former. Murray sees the world as a merry-go-round. Instead, Murray argues, poverty is caused by failures of individual initiative and effort.
It would leave the working-aged person with no recourse whatsoever except the job market, family members, friends, and public or private locally funded services.While your essay if well written and well argued, I failed to see any alternative offered to replace or at least to begin replacing/changing our current capitalist system.
Jul 13, · Empire of Illusion is a good book that’s badly marketed. The type of people who see the title Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle and think, “Oh, hells yes, I am so reading that!” are the type of people who already know just about everything discussed in it.
With a title like The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Chris Hedges is guaranteed to. Get The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion columnists, editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, and book and arts reviews. Get The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion columnists, editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, and book and arts reviews.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is a book by the Canadian author and social activist Naomi benjaminpohle.com the book, Klein argues that neoliberal free market policies (as advocated by the economist Milton Friedman) have risen to prominence in some developed countries because of a deliberate strategy of "shock therapy".This centers on the exploitation of national crises to.
Naomi Klein is one of the leading thinkers in the anti-capitalist movement and this book is one of the most important historical narratives of this century. Taken from the web site – ‘At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil Continue reading →.