Klein Attacks; Reason Magazine Goes AWOL
|Who’s Afraid of Naomi Klein?|
“So who’s reviewing Naomi Klein’s searing indictment of that bloodthirsty scoundrel Milton Friedman? I read a few pages in the store, and it appears he was little more than a bookwormy Jim Jones.”
This comment was posted on Reason magazine’s blog by a reader identified as “SxCx” on September 13, around the time Naomi Klein’s new book, The Shock Doctrine, hit the shelves. I found the post earlier today, about five minutes after I finished the book. As soon as I closed it, I jumped on the computer and loaded reason.com. I couldn’t wait to see how the world’s best written and most combative libertarian publication responded to Klein’s devastating critique of the idea that libertarian economics are synonymous with, or even compatible with, free societies. The book is 500+ pages, and there is a lot to respond to. Boiled down, The Shock Doctrine argues that the imposition of unpopular neoliberal economic reforms have always required “shocks”—coups, wars, terror campaigns, natural disasters—before they can be forced onto dazed and distracted publics. Rarely if ever, argues Klein, have radical free market policies—most closely associated with the career of Milton Friedman and his University of Chicago spawn—taken root in a democratic system in which the public was involved in, or even fully aware of, what was happening. Thus the grand neoliberal experiments have always taken place in places like Pinochet’s Chile. Klein gives us lots of well-sourced case studies.