Friday, August 08, 2008

North Coast Journal Reviews "Shock Doctrine"

Shane C. Brinton reviews Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" in this week's North Coast Journal. I've mentioned this book a few times here at We Do Not Consent, but since I never got around to writing a review, I'm glad to see the Journal run this. I will be sending a letter to the editor thanking them, and making a variation on just the one point I want to make here now. Brinton's review concludes:

If this book has a weakness it is, perhaps, Klein's apparent belief that the "shock doctrine" is something new and that she has cracked the case. While Milton Friedman's cold, calculating brand of capitalism is especially disgusting, the use of collective trauma for political and economic gains was around long before he was. Klein hasn't discovered something new so much as she has explained how a very old strategy is manifesting itself in even more atrocious ways. Still, this is an extremely well written, enlightening book, one of the best by a left-wing author in the last decade.
Brinton is totally right on about Klein not discovering something, but rather showing us more repeating patterns, or "historical echoes," to use Naomi Wolf's term from "End of America." I think this is a very effective way to create context and aids us in re-framing the way we discuss many of America's myths, such as so-called "free markets," "free press," and "free speech." Brinton didn't go there, unfortunately, and perhaps even lazily reinforced the shallow and unnecessary paradigm of Klein as "left-wing." I wish instead he had pointed out that the current echoes playing out have always defined what has been called fascism.


Labels: , , , , , , ,

Posted by Dave Berman - 9:09 PM | Permalink
Comments (0 So Far) | Top of Page | WDNC Main Page
As shown on
Dave's new blog,
Manifest Positivity

We Do Not Consent, Volume 1 (left) and Volume 2 (right), feature essays from Dave Berman's previous blogs, GuvWurld and We Do Not Consent, respectively. Click the covers for FREE e-book versions (.pdf). As of April 2010, paperbacks are temporarily out of print. Click here for the author's bio.

Back Page Quotes

"Give a damn about the world you live in? Give a damn about what you and I both know is one of the most shameful and destructive periods in American history? If so, do something about it. You can start by reading We Do Not Consent."

— Brad Friedman, Creator/Editor,; Co-Founder,

"If in the future we have vital elections, the "no basis for confidence" formulation that GuvWurld is popularizing will have been a historically important development. This is true because by implicitly insisting on verification and checks and balances instead of faith or trust in elections officials or machines as a basis for legitimacy, it encourages healthy transparent elections. It’s also rare that a political formulation approaches scientific certainty, but this formulation is backed up by scientific principles that teach that if you can’t repeat something (such as an election) and verify it by independent means, it doesn’t exist within the realm of what science will accept as established or proven truth."

— Paul Lehto, Attorney at Law, Everett, WA

"Dave Berman has been candid and confrontational in challenging all of us to be "ruthlessly honest" in answering his question, "What would be better?" He encourages us to build consensus definitions of "better," and to match our words with actions every day, even if we do only "the least we can do." Cumulatively and collectively, our actions will bring truth to light."

— Nezzie Wade, Sociology Professor, Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods

"Dave Berman's work is quietly brilliant and powerfully utilitarian. His Voter Confidence Resolution provides a fine, flexible tool whereby any community can reclaim and affirm a right relation to its franchise as a community of voters."

— Elizabeth Ferrari, San Francisco, Green Party of California

"This is an important collection of essays with a strong unitary theme: if you can't prove that you were elected, we can't take you seriously as elected officials. Simple, logical, comprehensive. 'Management' (aka, the 'powers that be') needs to get the message. 'The machines' are not legitimizers, they're an artful dodge and a path to deception. We've had enough...and we most certainly DO NOT consent."

— Michael Collins covers the election fraud beat for "Scoop" Independent Media

"What's special about this book (and it fits because there's nothing more fundamental to Democracy than our vote) is the raising of consciousness. Someone recognizing they have no basis for trusting elections may well ask what else is being taken for granted."

— Eddie Ajamian, Los Angeles, CA

"I urge everyone to read "We Do Not Consent", and distribute it as widely as possible."

— B Robert Franza MD, author of We the People ... Have No Clothes: A Pamphlet for every American