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Posted by on Feb 23, 2011 in Politics | 0 comments

Shock Doctrine Politics At Play In The USA

Rand Paul on GMA this morning commenting on the USA Today poll finding that by a margin of nearly 2-to-1 Americans favor keeping union bargaining rights:

I don’t think the Tea Party started this, I think circumstances did. You know, the circumstances are that we’re in a recession. There’s less money coming in to state treasuries, less money coming in to Washington. So I don’t think we started the battle but we’re the ones pointing it out…and I think it gets worse before it gets better.

That’s a “Shock Doctrine” quote if ever there was one. Shock Doctrine politics are in play when politicians create a crisis, then exploit it to eliminate popular rights. Privatization of public services so the “market” can “work” is just another element of the formula.

The Shock Doctrine, published in 2007, is Naomi Klein’s book arguing that the free market policies of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman have risen to prominence in some countries because they were pushed through while the citizens were reacting to natural and/or man-made disasters and upheavals. These disasters are hyped and act as cover to push through unpopular reforms.

While I’ve not read the book, the six-minute video below was created as a visual companion for it by the Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, whose Children of Men remains one of my favorite films of the century. Klein said of the film:

“When I finished The Shock Doctrine, I sent it to Alfonso Cuarón because I adore his films and felt that the future he created for Children of Men was very close to the present I was seeing in disaster zones. I was hoping he would send me a quote for the book jacket and instead he pulled together this amazing team of artists — including Jonás Cuarón who directed and edited — to make The Shock Doctrine short film. It was one of those blessed projects where everything felt fated.”


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