Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on January 22, 2008
Filed Under Green Report / Media
According to either the 1963 or the 1983 CIA Interrogation Manual (or possibly both — I’m a blogger, not a journalist), research concluded that after a crisis, be it real or perceived, a subject in shock reverts to a childlike state. Stunned into submission, the subject is more likely to follow a leader who tells him/her that everything is going to be okay.
Naomi Klein, in her book The Shock Doctrine, doesn’t make me feel like it’s all going to be okay. Her book makes me want a warm glass of milk and my blankie.
Klein, who also helped write the short film of the same name (co-directed by Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón and his son Jonás Cuarón), doesn’t paint a pretty picture. In fact, believe it or not, it’s — pardon the pun — shocking. She claims there’s an economic motivation to everything. And she backs it up with crack reporting. (Perhaps not like the kind you’re reading this very moment, but crack nonetheless.)
Klein believes there’s a dangerous, conspiratorial, unwritten doctrine in effect which basically says that the powers-that-be are powers that go way beyond blood and country; powers which bow to a ruler worthy of such adulation and devotion: the mighty dollar. She claims that a free-market radical named Milton Friedman and his Neo-con and Neo-Liberal pals came up with a theory to economically rule the world. Friedman’s “Economic Shock Treatment” theory posited profit as king, the market being the motivating energy behind all aspects of society: from healthcare, to schools, to the goddamn army. All profit driven.
Free trade. Privatization. Deregulation. Disembowelation of government. And the rich get downright filthy.
In order to get such fundamentally outrageous policies passed, Klein claims that some Friedman-influenced opportunists — be they Texan or otherwise — performed power snatches and land grabs purposely after a crisis (natural disasters, coups, wars, or any other “collective trauma”). Because after a crisis, when the flock was asleep, the opportunists could more easily pass the tough-to-pass legislation that allowed such despicable graft to appear.
After all, shocking legislation doesn’t seem quite as shocking immediately after a devastating tsunami.
Klein claims the powers-that-be took advantage of natural disasters, and worse than that, perpetuated their own man-made crises, in order to take advantage of the shocked collective. Shocked into oblivion, and then quickly into obedience.
The theory is scary. Shocking really, like a prod has been placed perhaps somewhere uninvited. And though the point of the documentary is to shock you, it’s not to shock you into acceptance, but rather, to shock you into resistance, and to arm that resistance with knowledge.
I just hope we’re not too shocked to notice.