Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 17, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide

Star-Spangled Baggage
Science Finds New Routes to Energy

Paul Robeson: A Life

Truthdig Bazaar

The Pornography of Power

By Robert Scheer

Bad Samaritans

Bad Samaritans

Ha-Joon Chang

more items

A/V Booth

Naomi Klein on Climate Change, Union Busting

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Mar 11, 2011

This is one instance in which we would hope that Naomi Klein wouldn’t get it right, but as the “Shock Doctrine” author explains in this “Democracy Now!” interview, certain current events (ahem, Gov. Scott Walker) point to a troubling trend—or, as Klein puts it, a “frontal assault on democracy”—taking hold in the U.S. in a manner similar to what she describes as happening in South America and elsewhere in her book.

Also included in her discussion with host Amy Goodman from Wednesday’s show: the climate change crisis and the conviction of environmental activist Tim DeChristopher (click here to read transcripts of these interview segments).

Democracy Now!:



Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By samosamo, March 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment


By protect_your_rights, March 21 at 2:59 am
““So again I suggest educating your fellow citizen. Tell them
what’s going on in Republican run states. Tell them about the
legislation that was just passed in Michigan. Tell them about
what’s proposed in other states under the cover of “spending

Believe me, I have. Not just Klein’s books but Chalmer Johnson’s
books, Howard Zinn’s books, Scott Ritter’s books and even
books by Acharya S. Where I live, and even with distantly located
family members, these people find this kind of reading or as I
think of it, studying, too offensive and bothersome to read. Even
Mike Davis’ book ‘Late Victorian Holocausts’ is as discouraging
to read as Klein’s ‘Shock Doctrine’ but is sure as hell gives a
basis for imperialism mostly of the British flavor but also other
european countries and what they did in India and China.

That is what happens with a mainstream media that is owned by
just 4 or 5 very ultra neoconsevative owners. Couple that with
probably 70% of the people get their news from those msm
venues and you just can’t or it is just about impossible to get
people to see, read or hear anything contrary to what they have
been told so many times making it the truth instead of the

Report this

By protect_your_rights, March 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@samosamo - A lot of people don’t even know who Naomi Klein is.
And others have heard her name but don’t know about her theory.
Judging people on the basis of whether they are *willing* or not
to read her book is non-productive.

So again I suggest educating your fellow citizen. Tell them
what’s going on in Republican run states. Tell them about the
legislation that was just passed in Michigan. Tell them about
what’s proposed in other states under the cover of “spending

Awareness begins with one person speaking to another person.

Report this

By samosamo, March 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment


@protect your rights

I can only say that if people can’t read what Naomi Klein wrote
about how private business can be given the right to dissolve a
body of elected local governments(for now, wait until it happens
with the states) and set up their own version of a government in
its place, then it is a sad state of affairs and I offer you the
chance to educate them which in this country now, that is a hard
thing to do with the control the mainstream media has and how
pathetic the ‘school boards of education’ work. Think texass
school board of education re-altering history in the text books
they get. I mean what does it take to get people in all the states
to do what Wisconsin and people in other states are doing.

And I would think that the comment on the same article on
commondreams I copied and pasted here would be explanatory
enough to make people understand what is happening.

I have read Klein’s ‘Shock Doctrine’ and it was pretty tough going
but enlightening. So was here ‘No Logo’ and I look forward to
her ‘work in progress’ on climate change. Now there is
something I have a keen interest in.

Report this

By brian t bayer, March 14, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

can we re enact the mussolini execution here for
the masters of the universe on wall street?
we can broadcast it on fox because its the
appropriate corporate vehicle for such events.
and just like george carlin would have said
it would be sponsored by budweiser frito lay
tide and aunt jemima pancakes! i would say god bless
george but you know how he felt about god!
bet there would be a much lower amount of
malfeasance on the st. after just one round
of this! it speaks volumes to the 2 stimuli
that human being respond to most- money and

Report this
D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, March 13, 2011 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

My God! Naomi Klein is the most riveting speaker we have on the left.  She is an intellectual powerhouse. She is eloquent.  She is beautiful. She is compassionate. She is brave.  Compare that with what the Republicans offer: a semi-literate twit with an IQ teetering around 100 and the emotional intelligence of a thirteen-year-old. 

Wow! Naomi Klein is spot on. If you have not read The Shock Doctrine:  The Rise of Disaster Capitalism , read it.  Read it now. It connects the dots, from Chile to Indonesia to South Africa to Iraq and its predictions about what would happen after an economic meltdown in the west proved to be spot on.

And notice, too, her underlying message is positive. She sees the tide turning.  She sees the most desperate, ruthless tactics of Wall Street mean they recognize their gig is almost up.  And she points out something very specific: Obama is a centrist political animal.  As long as he can get away with doing what he’s doing, he’ll keep doing it.  The first time he looks out his window and sees one hundred thousand people who voted for him demanding he shuck the Wall Street hucksters from his cabinet, he’ll do so. We can implement positive change.

Notice how Naomi points out a starting point is taking the corporate money out of politics.  One way to do that would be to break up the corporate news media and start forcing the news media and presidential candidates to have real debates about what is going on in the world; and forcing the news media to provide free infomercials for presidential candidates, not the pap-n-crap that passes now for free speech.  But real actual programs where candidates would be forced to issue detailed platforms and to defend those platforms without the benefit of a walkie-talkie on their back and a bug in their ear.

And for the love of God, we have to get journalists out of the business of asking debate questions. They suck at it. We need university professors and other scholars asking questions of presidential candidates, not these suave turds that tend to float to the top of the television news media cesspool. 

Again, buy Naomi’s book. Read it. Give it to a friend.

Report this

By islandcynic, March 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only difference between our current “conservative” movement and
the fascists of yore is that our modern incarnation don expensive
business suits while their forebearers attired themselves nattily in
military garb! As things develop in this country, don’t be surprised if
the end results are the same! says berniem

There is a wise old man, name of Ed Deak, who tells about the Italian
dictator Benito Mussolini (the father of fascism) who ended his earthly
journey hanging by his legs from a lamp post on a street corner in
Milan with words “The crowd doesn’t have to know.  It must believe, if
only we can give them faith that mountains can be moved, they will
accept the illusion that mountains are movable and and thus maybe the
illusion may become a reality”

Yes, globalized capitalism may become a reality.  But it is more likely to
end up hanging by it’s heels from a lamppost and their prophets
pushing brooms.  There is only so much crap the human race is willing
to put up with, and it is a lot of garbage and crime, but we hit a limit at
some point.  The Republicans and their Kool-Aid drinkers have
overstepped their boundaries.  The globalized free market is a theory
that is dead and is time that economists admit it.  For all our sakes.

Report this

By Don, March 13, 2011 at 11:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m with you Larry Bell. I to will not be here much longer and will not live to see the
U. S. become a fascist state controlled by the greedy corporations and banks. I
take that back. We are already. Sad to say the people are so brain dead that they
keep electing the same corporate lackeys, Obama being a good example.

Report this

By protect_your_rights, March 13, 2011 at 6:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@samosamo—You said: “The whole
of america is basically already converted and also
oddly enough, the people for most part, don’t seem
that alarmed.”

Most people don’t know how this works. The example
Naomi Klein presents help explain how this is being done. It’s logically incorrect to say people don’t seem alarmed when MOST people simply wouldn’t have any basis to understand how these operations are performed. Don’t criticize, educate and spread the word.

Report this

By James, March 12, 2011 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t ever let a Republican hold office anywhere, ever again.

Report this

By samosamo, March 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment


“”“"Posted by SEAGLASS
Mar 9 2011 - 5:38pm
The Gov. of NJ using the Shock Doctrine scenario has taken over
my town (Atlantic City). He claimed with no proof other then
what he decided that AC needed him to essentially push aside
the elected Mayor and Council divide up the town and give the
part where most of the Casino Corps. are to a non-elected body
essentially run by his appointees who are mostly either right
wing Conservative political people or Casino managers. He
pushed to dissolve the Casino Control Commission that
regulated the Industry day to day and he also lent a Casino Corp.
under construction hundreds of millions of tax payer money ,
while at the same time claiming the State was so broke he
couldn’t afford to give any of the States homeowners who have
the highest real estate taxes in the country their annual State
rebate for the 2nd yr. in a row, essentially raising real estate
taxes 25%. He also lowered taxes on the top 2% at the same

The above is what I am talking about, it is comment from naomi
klein on CommonDreams. Now that may have happen in Atlantic
City and else where but I wasn’t trying to put immigrants as the
focus here. It is the outright take over of elected municipalities
being overturned and private companies taking over public

But you do bring up a good case scenario for a corporation to
shove the elected people out to be replaced with their cronies.

Report this

By SoTexGuy, March 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

For Same-O

Statistics just released show California is a majority ‘new wave’ immigration state.. More people living and born there are to recent immigrant families than to established families of non-hispanic, non-asian whites.. African Americans are also shrinking as a percentage of total population.

Hey, I’m not in any way saying these new Americans or Californians aren’t welcome or whatever..  Just don’t expect people newly coming from abject poverty and outright totalitarian regimes, now living in a land with social services, safe highways, 24/7 utilities and (near) freedom from blatant police abuses to get uppity about a little thing like corporatism!

It ain’t happenin’

Report this

By samosamo, March 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment


What was a little more than chilling was Klein’s assessment that
more corporations are gaining the power to disband current
‘elected’ local governments and setting up their own brand of
privatized governance. One would think this would do more than
make the citizens reason to just ‘reflect’ on what is going on in
their communities, towns, cities, counties and states. The whole
of america is basically already converted and also oddly enough,
the people for most part, don’t seem that alarmed.

Naomi is a chronic stutterer to the point of distraction in spite of
how right she is. And I don’t think she answered the ‘facebook’
person’s question about what can be done about these people.
No mention of a possible recall vote for removing state elected
people especially on false pretenses. Certainly a California way
removing people in office, isn’t it arnold?

Report this

By berniem, March 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

The only difference between our current “conservative” movement and the fascists of yore is that our modern incarnation don expensive business suits while their forebearers attired themselves nattily in military garb! As things develop in this country, don’t be surprised if the end results are the same!

Report this

By Larry Ball, March 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It can happen here contrary to Sinclaire Lewis’ book title.  Personally, I am glad that I’ll be gone soon enough and that I’ll be gone for a long, long time.

Report this

sign up to get updates

Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.