Naomi Klein (No Logo) and Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón (Children of Men) have created a short film to accompany her latest book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," whose thesis is that present-day global capitalism took hold when its advocates learned to exploit disasters. After a disaster (war, tsunami, terrorist attack), you can push your agenda for worsening labor conditions, looser regulation, and pocket-lining exercises (Enron, Halliburton) while the reeling, disaster-struck population of the world has its attention elsewhere.
Klein attributes this technique to Milton Friedman, who is reported to have said that "only a crisis -- real or perceived -- produces real change." She connects this idea to the fundamental notion underpinning CIA torture techniques (as reported in CIA interrogation manuals from 1963 and 1983) -- to produce a state of shock in which the victim is out of control of her faculties, a "suspended animation" that can be exploited to get victims to do things that violate their own ethics or beliefs.
The Cuaróns' filmmaking is superb, as is Klein's writing. This is a chilling and powerful 7-minute film, and it made me want to pick up the book as soon as possible.
Link to video, Link to The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Thank you for reading — After eight years on Boing Boing, the John Wilcock story will conclude next week! — From John Wilcock, New York Years, by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall — (See all Boing Boing installments)
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