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The Shock Doctrine

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It is always hard to notice a chance that happens in once lifetime when natural disasters and imposed calamities occur because one is always helpless and can not assess the situation surrounding them.  Shock Doctrine is a continuous use of public disorientation to achieve control and gains by imposing economic impair ness and dependency by influence in human relations deliberately.  For example, by application in South East Asia, the Tsunami incident wiped out the coasts destroying property and massive loss of life, instead of urgently rescuing the situation the beautiful beaches were auctioned off tourist’s resorts.  During and after the Iraq’s Civil War, new laws were enacted allowing the Shell and BP corporations to exploit the countries oil reserves.  These are global examples but near home, in New Orleans the hurricane Katrina a natural calamity destroyed properties and led to loss of life.  The residents still in this shock were shocked discovering that their public utilities were closed never to be reopened.  This is an example of the shock doctrine, usually implemented by conservative and neoliberal thinkers or opinion leaders whose influence and decisions are final.

            From the author, basing on historical research and for years on the ground reporting in disaster zones the book, The Shock Doctrine illustrates how disaster capitalism is applied.  It is clear that shock doctrine is accompanied by the greatest detrimental economic and political policies that are gains to the influential engineers.  For instance, from an explanation as expressed…. “the Republican Congressman Richard Baker had told a group of lobbyists, “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans.  We couldn’t do it but God did.  This is the political influence of authority and power of that developer in New Orleans had similar sentiments; …”I think we have a clean shed to start again.  And with that clean sheet we have some big opportunities” (Klein 31).  In situations of disasters people in authority and wealthy businessmen see it as opportunities to develop themselves economically and politically to gain self interests as the Republican congressman Richard expresses himself.  They are taking advantage of this situation instead of extending a hand of help.

From this it is vividly clear that there is a political influence in engineering their interests.  It is claimed by Klein that all that time Baton Rouge had been busy with lobbyist in order to lock in the big opportunities, lower taxes cheap labor, fewer regulation meaning that they are leveling the public utilities and housing projects.  From this kind of communication to the public one could immediately think that the existing problems are solved for ever and forgets of human remains, chemical out flows and toxic stew of rubble.  In this practical situation people lost life and properties were destroyed, it is satirical to see this as an opportunity of developing and advancing self interests.  The author asserts that Milton Friedman a grand guru of unfettered capitalism who wrote the rule book of or the contemporary, hyper mobile global economy, during this catastrophe was energized to write for the Wall street journal…“as the homes of the children who have attended them.  The children are now scattered all over the country.  This is a tragedy.  It is also an opportunity.” Friedman is a conservative and a neo liberal who has radical ideas and his influence is still valid right now in Washington and is very influential in the political sphere.

            With reference to the New Orleans lines were installed and power lines restored, school systems replaced with privately run charter school clearly illustrating the accompanied political influence and economical self interests for those who are wealthy using advantage over helplessness situations.  If it fails then they apply a shock doctrine to ensure their success.  The author Klein assert that “privatizing school system of amid size American city may be seen  as a modest preoccupation for the man hailed as the most influential economist of the past half century.  Yet his determination to exploit the crisis in New Orleans to advance a fundamentalist version of capitalism was also an oddly fitting farewell.  This is also evident in a phrase Friedman coined for the painful tactic; economic “shock treatment.” Most of the Shock doctrines around the world except natural calamities were international.

It is evident from September 11th 1999 incidence, the Bush administration, Washington institutions, American universities seized an opportunity in the name of war on terror to terrorize and exploit the less fortunate countries with the backing of Friedman’s friends and Donald Rumsfield making sure the whole activities was for profits.  This could be interpreted as a disaster capitalism complex…. “it is a global war fought on every level by private companies whose involvement is paid for with public money with unending mandate of protecting the US homeland in perpetuity while eliminating “evil” abroad (Klein 132).  This is a practical economic exploitation, forgetting to tackle the real problem and seeing a wrongly evaluated and analyzed public disorientation.  The disaster capitalism complex globally and in the US has been developed into a trend with new emerging huge markets and Information, Communication and Technology with Americas allies, United State firms, British Corporations, Israel companies deploying and facilitating with  expertise in security cameras, building of hi-tech fences and walls.  In addition to this they controlled insurance high margin profits, oil and gas industries (Klein 213).

            Mr. Milton Friedman’s influence around political circles and as a chief economist in the super power State is almost unbearable as it can be clearly be seen from his torrent words written in eulogy to him which never received concern but instead provided a window for discussion of the official brand of radical capitalism in the government’s orthodoxy globally after his passage in November 2006.  The State gives or provides wrong reasons to the public to make them believe and support the ideologies coined by self interest centered people in authority as I have illustrated from the examples. One Thomas L. Friedman goes to India to explore and find out. “I just wanted to understand why the Indians I met were taking our work, why they had become such an important pool for the outsourcing of service and information technology work from America and other industrialized countries” (Friedman 187). From this coincident in my opinion the Indians are justified to do so to earn a living instead of suffering and wait for aid with satirical rescue from self centered influential groups.

The Shock of Doctrine has clearly challenged in its presentation to stop the orchestrated raids on the public sphere in catastrophic situations and treating of disasters as profit making opportunities for the application of their neo liberal conceptualized politics ideologies what in my opinion is disaster capitalism.  With comparison, to Machiavelli’s advice that pain should be subjected to one once as Friedman’s everlasting legacy, the shock doctrine is calling outwardly for change in economic policy, ideologies, and extreme capitalism.  The author wants to stop the ideas of exploiting crisis, disaster and human rights violations intentionally by antidemocratic regimes and power.  The shock challenges the shock ideologies to be implemented without the view of opportunistic minds for profit making illustratively comparing it with the fall of Soviet Union which evidently shows that there has been power reckoning and asks of a crusade to deliberate world markets.  Suggestively it is possible to have a global market based economy without ideological purity that is applied.  As it is explained … “A free market in consumer products can coexist with free public health care, with public schools and with a large segment of the economy.”

In addition corporations should equally pay good wages, respect human rights to join unions and also the government to equally tax redistributing wealth to address inequalities.  “Markets need not fundamentalists.” Fried Milton asserts “politics and economics are separate…..individual freedom is a political problem and material welfare an economic problem…..any kind of arrangements can be combined with any kind of economic arrangements.”

Clearly this represents disaster capitalism ideologies… (Milton and Rose 154). “..economic arrangements are important because of their effect on the concentration or dispersion of power…History suggests that capitalism is necessary….problem is how to initiate and finance a campaign to do so.” This points how the ideologies are hutched (Friedman 7-17).From history after the Great Depression John Maynard Keynes suggested a kind of mixed regulated economy with system of checks and balances.  With this challenges Friedman’s allies and a counter revolution was initiated to counter it in the country and globally The Shock Doctrine challenges the believers in the shock doctrine to stop the cataclysmic change of blasting out people especially during this time when we are awakening to democracy practical impossibility as the author claims. In my opinion disaster capitalism should stop and freedom practiced to achieve democracy.


Klein, Naomi. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. United Kingdom: Published by Macmillan, 2007.

Milton, Rose D. Friedman. Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: Published by University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Friedman, Thomas .The World Is Flat [Further Updated and Expanded; Release 3.0]: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. New York: Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

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