In the first part, I reviewed the definition of Shock Doctrine as presented by Naomi in the book and what its two major components look like. I identified the timeline in question as well as the parameters in which she presents her ideas. I also discussed her definition of the doctrine that those who promote it along with the ingredients necessary for such a plan to take place.
In the second section I reviewed the evolution of Shock Doctrine over the time period in question, mainly the 1970s onwards, and reviewed its impact in the specified regions. I presented a before and after analysis as required in order to highlight her main points and show the effectiveness of this program. I also tied in the various majorproponents of this doctrine and their roles to date. I also included a small critique of those parts I felt were missing, but necessarily affecting the overall understanding of the impact of Shock Doctrine when applied.
In this final article I will show where we are with Shock Doctrine today according to Naomi and expand out beyond her book, given recent developments. I will perform a global review of the major salient points of her book and present her conclusion, as well as my personal comments on it. We must, however, always keep in mind that her entire thread reviews Shock Doctrine and its effects on other nations, the so-called third world. Up to the publishing of her book, that is where the majority of this doctrine has been applied. The industrialized world had been spared these disasters until very recently. In all fairness, it would have been near impossible for Naomi to anticipate the events that have unfolded since its release, yet the same parameters and the same essential results should be, and are, to be expected. As Naomi Klein points out, the main difference is, we are now seeing the Shock Doctrine being applied to the industrialized world as well.
By the arrival of the new millennium, Ms. Klein showed how the Shock Doctrine had completed its first complete tour of the world and nearly all the major revenue sources that were ripe for the taking. It had started out in the Middle East and went through the Pacific Ocean on its way to South America before heading for Eastern Europe and returning to Asia in the 90s for a triumphant ten-year stay. Many nations have been decimated by the policy with their people living for decades in abject poverty and in fear of the brutality brought on by the tyrannical regimes put in place by it. The steady stream of revenue generated by the doctrine's many hoover-like tentacles transfered ever increasing amount of the world's wealth into the hands of the few financial oligarchs who dictated its policy. Naomi also rightly demonstrates how, over the years, the operation grew in complexity, brutality and efficiency.
In the beginning, actually starting as far back as Iran, even though she doesn't point to it specifically, the policy was nothing more than a few monetary handouts to greedy tribal leaders with the goal of regime change and the continuation of imperial Western policy. But as time went on, the tactics became more honed and all-encompassing. Rather than merely seeking regime change and a return to the status quo of before, the doctrine began to dictate new internal policies in the country being attacked, overtaking their economic policies and curbing their political freedoms. Natural resources and major industries were laid bare and pillaged by the Western financiers while brutal, totalitarian regimes - with many of its elite law enforcement goons trained in the latest torture techniques at the School of the Americas in the US - ensured a cowered and beaten populace incapable of resistence.
At the same time, Naomi portrays the voracious appetite of the Western head financiers who ran the Shock Doctrine as expanding immensely at unimaginable proportions, demanding an ever increasing portion of the fiscal pie for themselves and an ever diminishingpile of crumbs for all others. By the time the 20th Century closed its final tours around the Sun, South America had been reduced to a continent of impoverished servants whose few oligarchs knew to keep their fortunes in the hands of the stars and stripes and away from the local masses. The former Communist countries of Eastern Europe had been pummeled into a wallowing mass of confused transformation and Asia had been turned into a barren stretch of plundered and destitute peoples.
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Naomi does a very good job of showing how the Shock Doctine is used to devastate whole nations, but she doesn't give the full story of how these policies are originated and fomented before they are put into practice. Though in the beginning there was little thought other than the immediate prize at hand, over the years the practitioners of this concept have increasingly plotted their plunder in advance, moving with greater agility and forethought through their victim's wealth, ensuring that the carcass left over contained fewer morsels for others to enjoy.
This becomes important in the new millennium where we see the results of Iraq, Afghanistan and the plundering of the Western countries themselves. These programs started in plot form up to a decade prior to their implementation. In fact, one can make the case that with the advent of the Reagan Administration in the US, and the Thatcher Administration in the UK, the seedlings for future harvests up to and including the current economic meltdown were being planted throughout their economies and laws via the battle cry of "Deregulation." They knew then that once the fox was granted the keys to the chicken coop, it would be at the discretion of the predator when to attack and devour the prey. Nevertheless, Naomi does a good job of acknowledging that these governments were responsible for the doctrine's development at the time and she reveals how both countries built upon these foundations which were later used to steal even more wealth from others.
Naomi's bottom line is that the power elite have a complete and concrete set of policies ready to be implemented at a moment's notice so that, when the time is ripe and circumstances are aligned, they are ready and able to set up their recovery program to its maximum and most devastating effect. Throughout the book she paints a very realistic picture of how these policies are quickly brought forward at the appropriate moment to take complete advantage of the chaos and confusion of a given disaster and turn it into a guaranteed money-generating black hole of immense strength that leaves the intended victim not only helpless and hapless, but penniless and powerless. Her portrayal of a group of ruthless modern robber barons with policy in one hand and a scoop in the other, is very accurate and well documented, but unfortunately, incomplete in its description of the total methods involved.
While she has the facts right as to the events - the steps taken once inside, the final push over the cliff of despair and the rape and pillage that take place, she doesn't give an accurate account of the necessary preparation and forethought that is performed in order to accomplish said doctrine at a moment's notice. She states that the proponents of the Shock Doctrine have their programs set up in advance and are ready in an instant when things crumble anywhere in the world. Her description resembles a vulture that waits patiently for its victim's demise.
Nothing could be farther from the truth, however. In every case, one can find signs of manipulation and premeditation on the part of these voracious globivores that resemble sharks more than vultures. In Iran, Prime Minister Mossadegh was overthrown in August, 1953, in a coup d'etat orchestrated by the MI5 and CIA agencies. However, the reason for their coup was the nationalization of the oil industry which occurred in 1951. It took MI5 and the CIA two full years to finally react. Only then, in 1953, were they finally able to arouse enough unrest in the country to have the Shah remove him from power.
In Guatemala, the United Fruit Company complained to the US government about President Arbenz' desire of expropriating unused land they owned with the purpose of giving it to the peasants in 1951. Yet, only in 1954 did the CIA launch Operation PBFORTUNE with a small band of rebels who eventually overthrew Arbenz.
In every instance it can be shown that the catalyzing event which started the machinations of the Shock Doctrine occurred years prior to the implementation process. Each project was separate and distinct and could not have been planned and boxed, stored away for future. The overall concept can be prepared in advance; i.e. (1) Identify stress points in the socioeconomic arena of the target country, (2) force a catastrophe to take advantage of those points, (3) swoop in and present and alternative to the disaster using an "or else" paradigm of immediacy, (4) lock in all profitable aspects of the target country, and (5) create a police state that publicly and visibly clamps down on any and all opposition. However, the target country is almost never in economic or political trouble prior to implementation process.
Naomi also talks a lot about the end of the Shock Doctrine and the awakening of the masses. While she is right to point to South America, Africa and Asia as areas where the populace of a few countries have risen against this horrific disaster policy, she barely acknowledges the fact that most of the main economies around the world remain in its embrace. Even while she was writing and publishing her book, the Shock Doctriners were busy creating their next coup, which only surfaced well after she had finished her work.
When the Shock Doctrine was published the financial institution leaders still resembled the old, gray-suited tightwads of the monetary Valhalla that we were all used to seeing. It would have been hard to see beneath the veneer to the underhanded tactics being implemented to derail the world's economy. Nevertheless, the current global meltdown that has come to pass post-publication was conceived long before her book came out. The NINJA mortgage loans that started the collapse could only be exploited after Congress changed the financing laws and President Bush dismissed a great portion of the inspectors who would have exposed the illegal practice.
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60 year old Californian male - I've lived in four different countries, USA, Switzerland, Mexico, Venezuela - speak three languages fluently, English, French, Spanish - part-time journalist for Empower-Sport Magazine. I also write four (more...)