Last Spring I read the Shock Doctrine and for a few months I was an evangelist for it’s ideas to everyone I talked to. But somehow the Shock Doctrine’s central thesis wasn’t the most present thing in my mind during this week’s financial meltdown. I guess I was so distracted by the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson saying:
(via the NYT)
that we’re literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally
I lost perspective as to what stage of the Disaster Capitalism process we’re in. I’ve read the case studies Klein set forth in her book. I understand the thesis. Yet I was one of those distracted by all of the bad news I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. It took an appearance of hers on Real Time with Bill Maher last night to get the gears turning in the right direction. Here are some interesting quotes I pulled this morning:
(via the NYT)
Most broadly, what are the long-term costs of the government’s stepping in to restore order after so many wealthy financiers became so much wealthier through what now seem like reckless bets on housing — bets now covered with public dollars?
(via Naomi Klein’s Blog)
But rest assured: the ideology [free market capitalism] will come roaring back when the bailouts are done. The massive debts the public is accumulating to bail out the speculators will then become part of a global budget crisis that will be the rationalization for deep cuts to social programs, and for a renewed push to privatize what is left of the public sector. We will also be told that our hopes for a green future are, sadly, too costly.
And that’s what appears to be the real A-bomb of this crisis. It isn’t the failing of the storied financial institution in NYC that’s been around for over 100 years. It isn’t the surprising turn to corpotate socialism thr fat-cats are advocating for themselves and their buddies. It isn’t the federal government stepping in at the 11th-hour showing a surprising ability to do something in the face of crisis (see Katrina, Iraq, 9/11, climate crisis, foreign dependency on oil, etc.). The real A-bomb is the DEBT we’re all going to inherit. Read more from Naomi to be better prepared than me.