Capitalism

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Naomi Klein

Language: English

Pages: 720

ISBN: 0312427999

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In this groundbreaking alternative history of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's free-market economic revolution, Naomi Klein challenges the popular myth of this movement's peaceful global victory. From Chile in 1973 to Iraq today, Klein shows how Friedman and his followers have repeatedly harnessed terrible shocks and violence to implement their radical policies. As John Gray wrote in The Guardian, "There are very few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is one of those books."

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El Mercurio, acting as the go-between. Through Kelly, the Chicago Boys sent a five-page summary of their economic program to the navy admiral in THE OTHER DOCTOR S H O C K 71 charge. The navy gave the nod, and from then on the Chicago Boys worked frantically to have their program ready by the time of the coup. Their five-hundred-page bible—a detailed economic program that would guide the junta from its earliest days—came to be known in Chile as "The Brick." According to a later U.S. Senate

being applied with sufficient strictness. The economy had failed to correct itself and return to harmonious balance because there were still "dis­ tortions" left over from nearly half a century of government interference. For the experiment to work, Pinochet had to strip these distortions away—more cuts, more privatization, more speed. In that year and a half, many of the country's business elite had had their fill of the Chicago Boys' adventures in extreme capitalism. The only people benefiting

ministration's particular brand of post-September 11 shock therapy is a fully articulated new economy. It was built in the Bush era, but it now exists quite apart from any one administration and will remain entrenched until the cor­ porate supremacist ideology that underpins it is identified, isolated and chal­ lenged. The complex is dominated by U.S. firms, but it is global, with British companies bringing their experience in ubiquitous security cameras, Israeli firms their expertise in building

wishes were ignored. (It was a lesson that would prove particularly handy for Rus­ sia's Boris Yeltsin, among other leaders, in the years to come.) In this way, Bolivia provided a blueprint for a new, more palatable kind of authoritarian­ ism, a civilian coup d'état, one carried out by politicians and economists in business suits rather than soldiers in military uniforms—all unfolding within the official shell of a democratic regime. CHAPTER 8 CRISIS WORKS THE P A C K A G I N G OF S H O C K T

into radical free-market demands. When crisis-struck countries came to the I M F seeking debt relief and emergency loans, the fund responded with sweeping shock therapy programs, equivalent in scope to "The Brick" drafted by the Chicago Boys for Pinochet and the 220-law decree cooked up in Goni's living room in Bolivia. The I M F issued its first full-fledged "structural adjustment" program in 164 THE SHOCK DOCTRINE 1983. For the next two decades, every country that came to the fund for a

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