Lucas Charpentier Charpentier من عند Yamaçlı Köyü, 36900 Yamaçlı Köyü/Selim/Kars, تركيا
As with all books that I don't finish, I'm not entering a star rating. Still, I got through about 75% of it and I thought I'd say a few words about it, for it was both a revelation and a huge irritant. The Shock Doctrine is about the Chicago School economists, spearheaded for many years by the late Milton Friedman. He and those who share his philosophy have had a profound effect on the world economy, leveraging the power of the World Bank and IMF to dictate the actions and policies of governments around the globe. The basic concept of the shock doctrine is that in order to stimulate economic change in a nation -- namely, to move it toward capitalism, privatization and deregulation, it can take a crisis, a shock to the system, so to speak. That crisis can be a natural disaster or the product of human intervention. Over the years, human intervention has become a common choice, and for that reason, we see questionable wars, coups supported by shady organizations, and the arm-twisting conditions imposed by the IMF when governments are in desperate need of assistance. I wasn't aware of any of this, and Naomi Klein's research and clear explanations really opened my eyes. I'm both disgusted and alarmed by what I learned. I think that everyone should be aware of this recent arc of history, and Klein's book is a great way to get the idea. So, why the frustration? Why didn't I finish the book? In my opinion, Klein was in desperate need of a strong-willed editor when she wrote this. She undermines her own credibility, over and over, in a couple of ways: First of all, peoples' words and actions speak for themselves, but she sometimes insists on casting aspersions upon them: for instance, she first introduces Vladmir Putin by describing him as "vaguely sinister looking." True, not true, whatever, this subjective remark is designed to vilify someone whose actions already make him villainous. So, it comes off as silly and makes her read like a less reliable writer. Second, and worse, Klein tends to use isolated, one or two sentence quotes from various people, and then use them to draw conclusions about that person's motivation or perspective -- conclusions that absolutely can't be reached via the quote she selected. Now it could be that Klein meticulously researched the people in question and that her statements are all accurate. Nevertheless, if she chooses to quote someone briefly and without context, and to leap from that quote to a conclusion that it doesn't justify, well, it's sloppy and disappointing. One day perhaps, I will pick this back up and finish it, but by the time I got three-quarters of the way through, I could see very well where The Shock Doctrine was headed, and I was too annoyed to slog my way to the end. While I am glad I learned what I did, I wish that someone had handed Klein her manuscript back with a whole lot of red ink.
I learned to travel without leaving the library at South Shore High School, Port Wing, Wisconsin.