The Klein Doctrine

Johan Norberg has a review of Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism in the Cato Institute’s Briefing Papers 102 (May 2008). The article is called “The Klein Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Polemics.” I read this review a while ago when my buddy Mark posted it at his old blog. But recent discussions have made me want to post it here.

Naomi Klein drives me bananas. I’ve read a number of her tirades, particularly in NOW (a Toronto rag). Norberg is to be thanked for a) showing how shoddy Klein’s research is; b) defending the good name of economist Milton Friedman and dispelling the myths that Klein has propagated about him; and c) showing that capitalism is not the term to be used for recent American political injustices. Norberg should have called his article “The Schlock Doctrine” because that’s what Klein’s writings amount to: schlock.



Filed under books, capitalism, economics, libertarianism, liberty, milton friedman, naomi klein, reviews, socialism

5 responses to “The Klein Doctrine

  1. marknen

    Now we get to see the rise of Disaster Socialism :)

  2. I always wonder when people call what has happened in the last while capitalism. It is not in anyway capitalism. The only reason financial organizations did what they did was because of 1) Government encouragement to lend to less than ideal candidates 2) Knowledge before hand that they were so big that if they went under the government would bail them out. If number two was not the case, if they knew not only would they go out of business, but that if they misrepresented things they would loose their golden parachute by being held accountable for their actions if by not one else than the shareholders. If number one was not the case, they would never have lent money to people who they knew with a high level of certainty would not be able to pay them back.

    Oh well, so much for lefties presenting anything remotely close to the truth.

    • The proper term, I think, for abuses done in the name of capitalism is “mercantilism.” Capitalism itself is merely about markets that do not suffer from government manipulation and the freedom of individuals to live as they wish, so long as they do not hurt others. Klein obviously doesn’t get this, but that’s not surprising, because she obviously hasn’t read Friedman. If she only read him, forget about Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Berger, etc., then she would.

  3. Nathan Tyler

    One would think that leftists would be a little more prudent with their terminology, what with all of the unspeakable atrocities committed under the anti-capitalist/Socialist banner over the past century. Of course, that would be expecting these Vicars of Victimhood and Poverty Pimps to behave virtuously.

    In no way am I surprised that socialists are trying to utilize the current crisis to their best political advantage, and that entails much smear rhetoric. They’ve been doing the exact same thing with regard to ‘global warming’, where, according to them, the culprit is free-market capitalism. Socialists will use any lever they can to advance their cause of monolithic government and intellectual uniformity.

  4. Phil Brighton

    Klein is a Marxist twit, but she is very dangerous due to her rock star status among young colllectivists and other coercives.

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