Thursday, September 04, 2008

Guru - Naomi Klein

Klein is touted by some as the new Chomsky. Here at CommonDreams she defends her book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism against "attacks" from the right.

Personally, I think Klein is just interested in pushing the book as long as possible. The public seems to lose interest quickly from one "bestseller" on the list to the next and it takes a lot of blow and hard to keep your book front and center at the cash register.

Klein addresses one such attack on The Shock Doctrine, from Jonathan Chait in an article at The New Republic, title Dead Left. Lol, how appropriate.

Klein claims she resisted responding to the "attacks" but now feels compelled to do so for her fans have spoken and request it.

It seems some disagree with Klein's portrayal of Milton Friedman as a supporter of the Iraq war.

KLEIN: I am not the one who should be embarrassed. 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."

Why, I don't know, but I did my own translation and came up with more or less the same version as Klein's translation - however, I did not draw the same conclusion, that of Friedman clearly being "not the voice of anti-intervention." Friedman did not sound particularly pro- or anti-intervention in Iraq, but he did appear to support one of the leftwing's foe/faux talking points - "tax cuts for the rich".

Friedman: The only right way is tax cuts. Then the government is forced to spend less.
FOCUS: But then the gap between high and low wage earners increases.
Friedman: Naturally those with the highest tax rate profit first. But they use their tax savings not only to eat or drink more. No, they invest – and that gets the economy going and helps all citizens in the long term.

Chait at TNR writes a much more articulate piece, and Klein's rebuttal is quite puny. But as she says, she was " clinging to summer vacation" ... before feeling the necessity to address the "attacks" for her fans.

All I can say is if you have read the old fart libertarian, anti-intervention, small government Friedman, have read Klein's work, and are objective you will have to conclude Klein is out of her league with this one.

Her arguments and conclusions in The Shock Doctrine are what's disastrous - largely tweaking facts to fit her audience, which seem to be "young radicals." Even if very few radicals actually read her book - they buy her rhetoric. The more radical of the "conspiracy" radicals are disappointed with her 9/11 stance, rightly so, as she takes the safe no-government-involvement road, the same as Chomsky - these two stand a little to the left side of the gate, keeping their audiences safely corralled, and some frustrated.

Question: Have you noticed how so many of the "young radicals" are also extremely anti-Zionist, anti-AIPAC controlled congress, US bowing before Israel, those five dancing Israeli, yadayada, etc. yet most of their intellectual gurus are Jewish?

As for Friedman's statement on the Iraq War in the WSJ "... it seems to me very important that we make a success of it," well Naomi, many of us who protested the war have come to the same conclusion. As to what Klein has done for the anti-corporate globalization movement, she's about 28 years too late.

No comments:

Content © 2005-2020 by Kate/A.