This political writing by Naomi Klein shows a deviant view corporate capitalism. The book is fascinating in its historical view of contemporary crises and the incorporation of an enormous amount of information in an analytical framework. The framework chosen is however of betraying effect to the overall importance of the book. The shock doctrine creates the picture of interconnectivity of the world in an orderly and unidirectional manner. This however is not the case of the real world in which meaning and sequence is random; facts are accidental and disconnected. It is on this basis that I discredit the credibility of The Shock Doctrine. Contradicting facts should also be considered and not assumed to be nonexistent.
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Of all the political literature presented on the topic of economics of disasters, this is the most enlightening. I am enthralled by the attempt to incorporate the different dimensions of neoliberal economics into a comprehensible publication. Klein has avoided the inconsistencies of unverified conspiracies and is using the information from her investigative journalism to support her arguments. It is true as Klein says that most people in powerful and influential positions are corrupt and manipulative. Their only intent is to profit oblivious of the effect their action has on the poor in the society. It is also true that the poor have no protection against predation by corporate elites. The policies of liberalization and privatization are for increasing economic development and not equality of social classes.
I find it most difficult to comprehend the credibility of The Shock Doctrine particularly when it digresses from facts. It suggests that most economics have a bias towards the anti-poor perspective and its orientation to facilitation of unjust practices. Klein indicates the possibility of having an economy that is not dependent on doctrinal purity. She suggests the possibility of having a mixed economy with most segments of the economy in protection of the state and not private investors. She however fails to acknowledge that there may be limitation of the state in achieving control of resources and not necessarily yielding to corporate pressure.
On the issue of control of inflation, I am of the opinion that it can be equitable and consensual. In every instance that America and Europe have experienced lack of control of inflation, the private sector was only concerned with exploiting the situation for maximum profit. From such experiences, we learn to control inflation by cutting spending and increasing taxes. Runaway Inflation mostly affects the poor because the rich will always afford to leave or consume goods despite the high prices.
Klein portrays the chief economist as a tool of disaster capitalism who advocate and benefit from it. The economists are accused of designing a system that works consistently against people. However, I view this accusation to have generalized economists. Its justification is from the bias on the cases to study. Selecting of economists to study in the thesis only concentrates on those that will give Klein’s perspective. This bias inhibits the readers’ understanding of how the disasters could have economical solutions with the poor in mind. All the facts fit together and contribute to the overall development of the thesis.
In conclusion, the level of relevance to the current economic scenario causes The Shock Doctrine to be a significant scholarly article. It has however failed the credibility test by ignoring data contrary to the thesis. To develop her thesis, Klein concentrated only on the facts that will create a strong thesis with real power. Despite the fact that she was awarded the prize for writing and praised for being provocative, it remains that not all information in the book are to be believed. There is no balance of points of view between Klein and her antagonists.