Naomi Klein on social change

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42 Responses to “Naomi Klein on social change”

  1. noen says:

    “I analyzed how LePine blamed feminism which is not the same as agreeing with him.”

    I didn’t catch that, it really looked to me like you were justifying or making excuses. Sorry about leaping to that conclusion.

    “I will admit that I have been abused. Are you telling me that I will do the same and I am only to blame? I have not done the same.”

    Nor have I, but there is an increased likely hood of continuing the cycle, so yes it’s possible. My therapist would say that I suffer from ptsd, I suppose that is true though I can’t see it. I am more… fragile… I guess. A little too short tempered sometimes, though I’ve been able to control that pretty well lately.

    To understand LePine read Why They Kill or the book by the same author. I don’t buy the brain damage BS, LePine made a choice. He knew what he was doing.

    Asarian-host is a good resource for survivors. I know Mark, the sys admin and he genuinely cares. You can get free anonymous e-mail through them.

    I understand that those who sat by and watched that horror play out were frightened. I don’t blame them. On the other hand, just like with flight 93, if a few of these bits of human slime suddenly found themselves hanging from the nearest pole I bet there’d be a lot fewer cases like this. My guess is they respond well to direct incentives.

  2. willibro says:

    @21: Sorry, Mark, but the “wingnut” epithet is earned. Read Kev’s old posts. By him, every left analysis of every issue is just “wacky”, “BS”, “childish” and “fringe”.

    As for Klein: I honestly don’t know how people like her manage to get the right wing so upset. They’ve had everything their own way for almost a whole decade now, and quite obviously, the the Capitalist Paradise they promised us is almost here. Why, look at the great lives we all have!

  3. Jeff says:

    #14, great post. I think you pointed out that liberals (which I count myself as) need to hear from the far left, if only to be reminded of Ideals. The ideals of the mythic pastoral past and the post scarcity future are all about better times. She seems to want us to live better, but does not know how to get us there. She does denounce the system that allows her to sell her goods, and on that point she seems a wee bit hypocritical.

  4. Antinous says:

    #26,

    Correct. He just got comment privileges reinstated after being on probation.

  5. jihadjase says:

    She said ATM machine.

  6. Wickedashtray says:

    God, she just mouths the typical privledged ultra-left party line and has nothing of substance to say.

    Then again, this comes from Salon.com which is packed to the rafters with this shallow non-offensive drek.

  7. desiredusername says:

    “I didn’t catch that, it really looked to me like you were justifying or making excuses. Sorry about leaping to that conclusion.”

    Honestly, I don’t think you need to apologize. I think you jumped to the right conclusion, the natural conclusion. I was the one rushing into a burning building to try to save the souls of young men. The overarching truth of this massacre, though, was that it was directed towards any woman that was, is, or will be, making her own bid for equality and freedom from oppression. It was about violence against women. There is no doubt about it. So defense was probably the right reaction.

    “My therapist would say that I suffer from ptsd, I suppose that is true though I can’t see it. ”

    Incidentally I was going to be diagnosed with dissociative disorder but I resisted because I only wanted to identify my healing by the particulars of my experience and not by a label. I’m not ashamed of that label though. In other forums I coined a term, “survivor-pride” to represent how I feel about myself. Just as a gay person did not choose homosexuality, I did not choose survivor-hood. Therefore there is no sense in feeling anything but the maximum pride in myself about the subject, even if other people feel I should feel the contrary. At the very least there is certainly no reason for shame. Many people have an intuitive avoidance of survivors, probably because of this “higher incidence” truth, so you can’t expect to rely on someone else (even if that would help so much). Practicing pride in regard to wellness, is the best approach for me.

    “To understand LePine read Why They Kill or the book by the same author. I don’t buy the brain damage BS, LePine made a choice. He knew what he was doing.”

    Thanks for the resource. It was good information to read. I also don’t buy brain damage as a cause of murder or murder-suicide. LePine wrote lists and letters before hand. It was pre-meditated.

    Also thanks for the survivor resources. I will take a look at that website sometime, even if I don’t feel like I need it for myself, I can lend an ear. Too often people go to these forums only when they have a bad day and are seeking support and so they often fill up with an overly dire tone that doesn’t even reflect a survivor’s day to day variance of experience. I’ll try to make my first visit happen on a good day when I am only filled with platonic love for everyone.

  8. SimplyAaron says:

    I thought that what she had to say was very enlightened as far as the issues that she brought up.

    No more governments run by shadowy investor groups, yes please… Every human treated as an equal, dear god why isn’t this true… Useful information to promote social change, as much as I can stuff into my little head…

    I don’t really think she hit heavily on economics or globalization though, so I’m not to sure what a few are up in arms about.

  9. Jeff says:

    I think the Great God Greenspan has shown us the fallibility of “expert.” An economist can explain the economy like a meteorologist can explain the weather. And we all know how easy the weather is to control or predict. I don’t think Klien is wrong, I just think she’s arguing against human nature. Which is okay.

  10. coldspell says:

    Naomi Klein is not an economist. Her bio says she is a “former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics”, i.e. she gave some guest speeches.

    Corporate money cannot be removed from politics until politicians have no power. Even if campaigns had no corporate donations, politicians’ powerful influence will be sought through more covert gifts and favors.

    If you think the Republicans and Democrats have a strangle hold on third parties, wait until incumbent Republicans and Democrats control the campaign purse strings of the third parties with “public” election financing! They will fund themselves and create bureaucratic mazes to keep out political challengers.

  11. Cowicide says:

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    - Orwell

  12. Sean Blueart says:

    So, Lepine walks in and kills those he has labeled “women” and “fucking feminists”. Makes it easier for him to shoot at the “label” than at human beings. One culturally pervasive principal that is at play in America is the merciless practice of dehumanization via labeling and name-calling. This form of basic human indignity turns people into objects to be manipulated, and trying to effect policy using epithets like “gay, “right”, “left” , “evil”, “criminals”, “freedom fighters, “terrorists.” etc.

    Those interested in working for social change would best be served eliminating that faux veneer of language and wake up to the fact that they are dealing with actual human beings that are not inherently different from themselves, otherwise, they run the great risk of perpetuating the same dehumanization that they desire to abolish. First negating labels and other enemy images allows leaders of social movements to recognize that equal ground of basic human dignity and therefore be effective.

  13. Nato Welch says:

    Did anyone else find the pre-play ad (mine was for Pfizer) and the interstitial happy music creepy in this context? Couching Klein’s answers in this manicured, pop-sugar commercial format seems to take all the force out of her critique.

    Or perhaps I’m just oversensitive.

  14. Brian Carnell says:

    The Observer had a review of Shock Capitalism that sums it up pretty well from a more liberal-left perspective.

    I don’t know if Klein is dumb or not, but it doesn’t help that some idiot at Salon bills her as an economist in this video. That’s like saying Ben Stein is a biologist.

  15. anangbhai says:

    Let’s see, she denounces capitalism and blames elitist cabals for most of the world’s problems. But there’s nothing elitist about giving polemic speeches to celebrities whose endorsements are prominently featured on your book.
    Her husband got owned by Ayaan Hirsi Ali when he tried his anti-american schtick trying to correlate Ali’s repression as a muslim child with American capitalism.
    How about her fervent hatred for the free market while she herself uses capitalism and viral marketing to promote her own book?
    How about the contradiction in her statements that capitalism is forced upon people but there’s nothing wrong with enlightened individuals like her imposing their beliefs on suffering nations?

    She’s the Ann Coulter of the fundamentalist left. Silky Johnson needs to relinquish his Player Hater of the Year Award to Miss Klein, who having grown up and reaped the benefits of a capitalist society wants to save the rest of us from the deadening boredom of megamalls and suburbia.
    Lady, I hate soccer moms, jocks, valley girls, hipsters just as much as you but I wouldn’t wish poverty on someone just to save them from middle class ennui.
    Even when she cites historical events, she ruins it be correlating and twisting history and facts to her rabid ideology, drawing comparisons between capitalism and fascism like Ben Stein does with Darwinism and Eugenics. She denounces corporations that benefit from public funds then goes on to denounce private citizens who benefit from their hard earned money as elitists who want nothing more than to divide America into a class based society because they have money and some people don’t.
    Life is bad for a lot of people, but using SHOCK LIBERALISM by showing us images of poverty, war and ethnic violence and trying to guilt trip us because we’re living better lives isn’t going to help anyone. You’re just hating for the sake of hating because you can and it sounds so much better than being positive. Coulter doesn’t get air time because her rotting husk feels good about something in the world.

  16. Brian Carnell says:

    “One culturally pervasive principal that is at play in America is the merciless practice of dehumanization via labeling and name-calling. This form of basic human indignity turns people into objects to be manipulated, and trying to effect policy using epithets like “gay, “right”, “left” , “evil”, “criminals”, “freedom fighters, “terrorists.” etc.”

    And don’t forget a favorite of the Left which Klein herself has used on several occasions — scab.

  17. MITTZNZ says:

    And here I thought Ben Stein was a former colleague of E.O. Wilson.

  18. Bill Simmon says:

    @11: Lepine walks in and kills those he has labeled “women” and “fucking feminists”. Makes it easier for him to shoot at the “label” than at human beings.

    Really? “Women” is s dehumanizing label? I think we might be begging the question a bit.

  19. Kevitivity says:

    Her attacks of Milton Friedman in Shock Doctrine were downright childish and convinced me that she either doesn’t understand economics or is just a deluded idealist who cares little for facts. She is famous for using a lot of specious rhetorical techniques in her writing too – which leads me to believe that she is more guided by her emotions or political bias rather that reality. Yes, she is a dear to the fringe left – but to most people she is just dumb.

  20. Jacques says:

    I see the usual assortment of wingnuts are out in full force. Sad really.

  21. Brian Carnell says:

    @19 wrote “I see the usual assortment of wingnuts are out in full force. Sad really.”

    Ah, the left-wing counterpart to the inanity that Mark rightly criticizes @6.

  22. Sean Blueart says:

    @29 – I see that there are many issues here. The primary issue I’m attempting to address is the issue of basic unification and division. The theory I’m presenting is a theory of nonviolence. According to this theory; in the midst of a dispute, with a person or a gang that doesn’t share your values, it is essential to first establish a meaningful connection. A genuine connection can only be made by cultivating empathy based on consideration of the other party as primarily a human being.

    Our culture, which is based on domination structures in which a few dominate many, uses labeling as a primary tool for dehumanization. The right to be self-determining is a central need that all humans have and violence, at it’s most basic, is a violation of that right. Calling people names is a form of violence. It facilitates seeing the other person as a thing and not as a human being.

    My point is that using the dehumanizing tools of the dominating structure you’re trying to change will most likely be ineffective because you’re perpetuating that structure. It’s like thinking you can make peace with bombs and guns.

  23. Graham says:

    Only in America would someone like Klein be described as ‘far left’.

  24. kebko says:

    #30:
    “Part of the reason life is bad for many people is so ours can be better.”

    Our government may do things that make some people worse off. But that has nothing to do with capitalism. And everything economics since Adam Smith has taught us is that we are better off when others are better off.

    The idea that our wealth must be built on the backs of someone else is simply a fallacy, a misreading of inequalities that happen to exist at any given time. Over the last 20 years, there has been a poverty revolution, with huge parts of the world leaving subsistence poverty by the millions, and the amount of success any country has had in this respect is very highly correlated to their engagement with global capitalism. (See formerly the pacific rim, and currently India & China). The revolution is well underway. This kind of misguided altruism will only serve to keep people in poverty.

  25. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    Thank you, Brian. While we often disagree on politics, I aways find your arguments interesting and worthy of serious consideration because you back up what you say with examples.

  26. desiredusername says:

    @22. I think you are trying to frame an issue but this isn’t it. You are trying to elucidate a form of gender separatism that is harmful but “labels” is not the route.

    For one thing whether or not one is a gender or a human first should not be the issue. There will always be an inter change of precedences as contexts change. Gender differences exist. They will always exist. Gender similarities exist. They will always exist.

    It’s not easy to attempt to sympathize with a mass murderer, even more so one that borders on hateful to a particular gender or identity. Obviously the murders should not be excused but heartily condemned. However I think you are attempting to sympathize, perhaps, with the pre-murdering LePine and I think that is acceptable, personally.

    Here’s my opinion on the suffering of pre-murderer LePine.

    A. He is victim of violence from another man.

    B. He doesn’t receive sympathy from his mother for whatever reason.

    C. He doesn’t believe he receive sympathy from feminists even though they are anti-violence. In fact he may be told that “via culture, men are the cause of violence” and therefore by a rightful or wrongful experience of overly simplified separatist logic then he, being a man, is the cause of the violence he was victimized by, ergo he is suicidal.

    D. He equates the primary pain of the lack of sympathy from his mother for the violence he has experienced with that of feminists and thus projects it upon them. As feminism grows in popularity in society so then society in general is poised against him for it’s “callousness” to his suffering from violence.

    That in a nutshell I think is the problem that many men have with feminism as they have encountered it. Primarily suffering from violence but being accused of perpetrating it within simplified separatist feminist statements.

    One immediate example, I just read was in the wikipedia entry about this massacre. Since I had never heard of it I just read the entry. I noticed there was a section when the teenage boys that were victims of LePine were also accused of “not acting” to protect the women and were thus called co-conspirators. It was really painful to read that.

    In any case, its just best to remember that there area lot of differet wounds for many different kinds of people to heal. If you can heal your own then you should consider your life a complete success. Then you’d be in the best position to prescribe as well.

  27. Cowicide says:

    Naomi Klein is dumb, dumbest, really dumb, ignorant of economics, deluded, misleading, childish, emotional, fringy, a hater, foul-mouthed, fundamentalist, privledged [sic], vapid, niave, polemic, off-base, associates with anti-americans, etc., etc….

    Yeah, God forbid she speaks of human rights, corruption, fairness, etc. in this day and age…. that’s a whole lot to handle in American society nowadays, isn’t it?

    Wow, where did all this troll-action come from? I get the feeling this link was shared on some conservative site and they all flew in like an unwelcome, unhelpful disease.

    I’d love to see the referring sites related to the IPs for some of these dicks in here raging on this great, beautiful (inside and out), intelligent woman.

    I just wish I could wake up tommorrow and Naomi Klein was running for president instead of Hillary. Or, better yet… she WAS president. Be a country I could be proud of again…

    I don’t even know why great people like her try anyone. Many of you assholes don’t deserve someone like her looking out for you. You deserve a despotic regime… and I fear that’s what you’ll continue to get and drag the rest of us with your sorry asses while you’re at it.

  28. Sean Blueart says:

    @17
    “Really? “Women” is s dehumanizing label? I think we might be begging the question a bit.”

    I’m saying that I believe there’s a greater degree of dignity in considering a woman to be a human being first. Perhaps I didn’t make that clear.

    In my judgement, this is what Lepine did not do.He separated them by sex and in his mind, it was easier to kill the “women” by not first considering them human, like himself.

    My point is that it’s this same kind of separation that makes conflict and violence more palatable. It’s how we’re educatied to see each other.

  29. lollerkeet says:

    #14 “Life is bad for a lot of people, but using SHOCK LIBERALISM by showing us images of poverty, war and ethnic violence and trying to guilt trip us because we’re living better lives isn’t going to help anyone.”

    You should be guilty. Part of the reason life is bad for many people is so ours can be better. If you start taking a wholistic view of things, you basically end up with three choices:
    1. Accept the fact that we live in a decentralised Sparta and treat the Helots as such.
    2. Choose against empire and push for equality.
    3. Put your hands over your ears and cry ‘naa naa I can’t hear you”.

    If you believe that globalisation is an acceptable practice, then we can argue. If you refuse to admit to what is going on, there can be no discourse.

    If you believe, but want to avoid having to admit, that what you support is evil, then pretending it isn’t true is probably the best strategy.

  30. Sean Blueart says:

    @#22

    and I misspelled “education”

  31. desiredusername says:

    #36 People who blame mass murder on feminsits should disgust you, however I wasn’t blaming it on feminists. I’m sorry if I didn’t refine my statements sufficiently to assure you of that.

    Perhaps it would have been best to not attempt to talk about the two subjects of LePine’s mass murder and post#22 attempt to define a criticism of some early executions of feminism in the same block of text.

    I may have attempted to talk sympathetically about pre-murdering LePine just as I would have just as comfortably attempted to talk about pre-murdering Aileen Wuornos if that helps you understand that I do not wish you to feel the hurt and anger you feel.

    “LePine was brutalized by his father and then as so often happens became an abuser himself. He is responsible, no one else.”

    I will admit that I have been abused. Are you telling me that I will do the same and I am only to blame? I have not done the same. Though I have suffered much victim-blaming and I work on healing that much more than from the actual abuse. My guess is that the same goes for you.

    I also apologize for this comment because the amount of necessary qualification for each statement made makes this intractable reading. Perhaps that is why we restict this discourse, or any discourse in the face of so much pain.

  32. Jeff says:

    Corporatism, or Supra-capitalism, whatever you want to call it, can be reduced to family dynamics. Buying favors is behavior learned by children and applied by adults, which is nothing new. How do we disallow this “buying of power” when so many of us do it (albeit on a smaller scale) on a daily basis? The very core of capitalism is dependant on someone having less and someone having more. More is often considered Best: I have more than you, therefore I win! Isn’t that how people play the game? For the most part?

  33. noen says:

    #14 anangbhai
    “she denounces capitalism and blames elitist cabals for most of the world’s problems.”

    False. She denounces crony capitalism here and market capitalism elsewhere.

    “Her husband got owned by Ayaan Hirsi Ali”

    Hirsi Ali is a neocon.

    “How about her fervent hatred for the free market while she herself uses capitalism and viral marketing to promote her own book?”

    Criticizing the market economy does not equate to hatred of capitalism per se. Authoritarians often equate any criticism at all with “hate speech”. I wonder if that is going on here?

    “How about the contradiction in her statements that capitalism is forced upon people but there’s nothing wrong with enlightened individuals like her imposing their beliefs on suffering nations?”

    Naomi is not imposing her beliefs on anyone, she is promoting them. Again, authoritarians often do accuse those who merely promote their ideas with forcing those ideas on others. This is particularly true regarding homosexuality or, as in this case, any criticism at all of unrestrained market capitalism.

    #29 desiredusername
    “It’s not easy to attempt to sympathize with a mass murderer”

    But you’re going to try.

    “That in a nutshell I think is the problem that many men have with feminism as they have encountered it. Primarily suffering from violence but being accused of perpetrating it within simplified separatist feminist statements.”

    It is truly ugly to blame feminists for the Montreal Massacre. You disgust me. LePine was brutalized by his father and then as so often happens became an abuser himself. He is responsible, no one else.

  34. Graham says:

    Thanks for posting this. I wish more people pointed out the racism of ignoring the Iraqi bodycount.

  35. desiredusername says:

    Addendum to #38:

    I’m too used to being defensive to think clearly sometimes.

    The above stated more simply:

    I analyzed how LePine blamed feminism which is not the same as agreeing with him. If there isn’t anything further to conclude then there just isn’t.

  36. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    The “not even wrong” thing was from Wolfgang Pauli. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong) I don’t doubt Lancaster used it himself, since it’s a fun thing to say.

    Are you an economist, Shecky?

  37. arkizzle says:

    #32 Cowicide

    Hear Hear!

    Entirely.

  38. Pyros says:

    Looks like her career in the industry of dissent is moving full steam ahead.

  39. Kevitivity says:

    As far as anti-globalists go, Naomi Klein is probably the dumbest. And ya, that makes her really dumb.

  40. Antinous says:

    Given the current state of the world, who would admit to being an economist? At this point, I’d rather get my advice from Professor Trelawney.

  41. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    Kevitivity: Why make the assertion that Klein is dumb unless you explain why you think so? If you don’t explain, nobody is going to give a damn what you think.

  42. desiredusername says:

    Addendum to #39

    I do not feel like a fool for caring enough to continue to refine my statements on this subject. I will be happy to apologize and/or to clarify miscontruedly hurtful words a thousand times over if it was required.

    For the record, to make it clear, I do not agree with LePine’s reasoning or the “many men” I quoted here–>(“That in a nutshell I think is the problem that many men have with feminism as they have encountered it. Primarily suffering from violence but being accused of perpetrating it within simplified separatist feminist statements.”).

    My implication is that they who know the path of reasoning these men follow can then help them if they care to do so. No one is obligated to help anyone.

    That is why I said “If you can heal your own then you should consider your life a complete success.”

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