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Naomi Klein - The Shock Doctrine

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The Shock Doctrine is based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting, exploring the theory that our world is increasingly in thrall to a little understood ideology that is conquering the globe by systematically exploiting moments of disaster and trauma. This is the shock doctrine. A strategy evolving over the past thirty-five years, constructed by the late Milton Friedman, one of the most influential economists in the world.

Using detailed case studies from around the world, Klein explores how the shock doctrine uses moments of collective crisis – 9/11, the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina or the Falklands war for example – to usher in radical social and economic change beneficial to Wild West corporations when people are traumatised: effectively, when they are in a state of shock. Klein coins this phenomenon disaster capitalism. The aim of The Shock Doctrine is to prepare us for the next shock. Once the mechanics of the doctrine are deeply and collectively understood, Klein believes whole communities become harder to take by surprise, more difficult to confuse. It is through information, she says, that we become shock resistant and it is time to arm ourselves.

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