Rikvan Jhamb Dr. HigleyEnvironment, Comm. & the Arts 16 December 2017 Naomi Klein Naomi Klein is a social activist, Canadian author, and movie maker known for her well-developed theories on politics and criticism of corporate globalization and her critique of capitalism. She originally became world famous for her well known book No Logo (1999). Her documentary The Take (2004), a film about manufacturing companies in Argentina, written by Klein and directed by her husband Avi Lewis greatly helped her rise up in society as well. Last but not least, her most famous work The Shock Doctrine (2007), a critical analysis of the history of neoliberal economics is what really propelled her into her work. She was born on May 8, 1970 and is forty-seven years old today. Naomi Klein has accomplished a lot in her career and uses her work to send messages to the public. Naomi Klein was born into a Jewish family in Montreal, Quebec. Her parents called themselves hippies and moved to Montreal from the U.S. in 1967 with severe views in opposition to the Vietnam War. Her mother, Bonnie Sherr, was a documentary film-maker. Naomi Klein’s father, Michael Klein, is a doctor and a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Naomi’s brother, Seth Klein, is director of the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Being communists prior to World War II, Klein’s paternal grandparents were communists, however started to take an opposing stance to the Soviet Union after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939. In 1942, her grandfather, an animator at Disney, was fired after the the 1941 strike, and changed his profession to a shipyard work. By 1956 they had ditched communism. Klein’s father grew up surrounded by ideas of social justice and racial equality, but found it “difficult and frightening to be the child of Communists”, a so-called red diaper baby. Klein’s husband, Avi Lewis, was born into a well-connected political and journalistic family; he works as a TV journalist and documentary filmmaker. The couple’s first child, son Toma, was born on June 13, 2012. Klein’s writing career began with contributions to The Varsity, a student newspaper, where she served as editor-in-chief. After her third year at the University of Toronto, she dropped out of university to take a job at The Globe and Mail, followed by an editorship at This Magazine. In 1995, she returned to the University of Toronto with the intention of finishing her degree but left academia for a journalism internship before acquiring the final credits required to complete her degree. Klein’s most famous and resounding work up to date is The Shock Doctrine. The shock doctrine is a theory for explaining the way that force, stealth and crisis are used in implementing neoliberal economic policies such as privatization, deregulation and cuts to social services. Klein explains her the shock doctrine using Scottish psychiatrist, Cameron’s “shock therapy” sought to return troubled patients to a blank slate on which he could write a new personality. Klein argues that a parallel “shock therapy” process has been used at the macro level to impose neoliberal economic policies in countries around the world. History suggests that shock therapy had the same impact/effect on mentally ill patients as people who recently suffered through a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. One of the earliest examples of the shock doctrine is the case of Chile. In 1973, Chile’s democratically elected socialist President Salvador Allende was overthrown in a coup d’état led by army general Augusto Pinochet, with support from the United States. Amid lingering turmoil created by the coup and tensions caused by the ensuing economic downturn, Milton Friedman suggested that Pinochet implement a “shock program” of sweeping reforms including privatization of state-owned industries, elimination of trade barriers, and cuts to government spending. To implement these policies, the Pinochet regime appointed to important positions several Chilean disciples of Friedman. Additionally, to squash popular movements that opposed these changes, the regime unleashed a notorious program of torture and “disappearances,” which ultimately led to the deaths of thousands of dissidents. An example of someone who utilizes the shock doctrine today would be the president of United States, Donald Trump. There have been plenty of scandals already throughout Trump’s administration. Some of these are a result of Trump’s ignorance. However, there are people around Trump who use these minor shocks to the public to cover the advance of pro-corporate policies that are not similar to what Trump promised during his campaign. So far what we have seen are minor examples of shock that Trump has used as cover up. Surely, later on when we experience a major example of shock under Trump’s administration, we have no idea of what is to come. Naomi Klein gives instructions on how to avoid the shock doctrine as well: Step 1: Know what is coming, Step 2: Get Out of Your Home and Defy the Bans, Step 3: Know your History, Step 4: Always Follow the Money, Step 5: Advance a Bold Counter-Plan. We can go more in depth with these steps. For example, for step one we can expect trump to impose some sort of state of exception or emergency where the usual rules of democracy wouldn’t apply. Protests, like the one of the muslim travel ban would likely be declared a threat to national security, and war would ensue. For step two, we cannot listen to the “stay in your homes” cries for public safety, we must defy them. In Argentina in 2001, president at the time declared a siege on the country, giving himself power to suspend the Constitution, he told the public to stay in their houses. However the people stood up for what they believed in and ended up forcing the president to resign because they would not listen to government orders. In 2004, Jose Maria Aznar was voted out from being president of Madrid after attacks on trains killed 200 people, and he used attacks to justify decision to send troops to Iraq, resulting in riots and chants of resignation. For step three, racism is prevalent in history, if non whites were to attack the US, anyone of the race of the people performing the attack would be subject to racism. We have already seen this as if someone is walking the streets in a Hijab or Burqa, they are instantly subject to terrorism because of the 9/11 attacks and history would definitely repeat itself if something of that nature were to happen again. For step four, we must examine who is getting richer and who is getting poorer from crises. The governor of New Orleans fired all the teachers he could during Hurricane Katrina because people were distracted by the natural disaster. He used this extra money that was originally for education to private companies. For step five, opponents of the Shock Doctrine need to team up and put forward an alternate plan.It needs to get at the roots of why these sort of crises are hitting us with ever greater frequency. We cannot just be defensive, we need to make a move and do something, say no to the shock doctrine, but that is not enough. We need to act against it. Personally, I believe the shock doctrine is inhumane. How can these political leaders such as Donald Trump and the governor of New Orleans live with themselves when they use devastating events to their advantage? It makes me ponder whether political leaders are supposed to be born with an instinct to always find a way to gain an advantage or if they are just simply bad people. The examples that were proposed earlier are only a handful of millions of political leaders that have served terms for their countries, states, or cities. There are definitely more leaders who have used the shock doctrine to their advantage but are just unknown. Before I knew anything about the Shock Doctrine, I thought of Donald Trump as a mad man and insane. However, after learning about the Shock Doctrine through Naomi Klein’s thorough study, it is clear that there is indeed a method to his madness even if it is not humane or agreeable with the public. However, whatever he is doing is working as he is the current President of the United States and has used the shock doctrine to its full potential. The Shock Doctrine is disturbing and makes me feel uneasy about how Donald Trump has used so many minor shocks to justify his radical actions. It makes one wonder, what’s next? Naomi Klein touches on this, but one cannot help but to think, what if there is another September 11th with Trump in office, or another Hurricane Katrina? It is evident that Trump will do whatever he can to take full advantage of these catastrophic events and the poor public will have no choice but to live with whatever he does. Naomi Klein’s last step to defeating the Shock Doctrine was a call to action. We need a counter-plan against the shock doctrine and saying no is not enough. The people need to work together to make a plan. We need to be aware and realize when the President would try to push through his policies and we need to be ready to do what we can to prevent him from doing so. Whether that is defying the “stay in your homes” alert which the public of Argentina in 2001 did or Madrid voting out Jose Maria Aznar of his presidency, the U.S. needs to follow these examples and needs to devise plans of its own so we can stop our president from committing actions that the public would regret not countering in the future. It is important for us to take a stand and do what is right. We cannot act like infants and be submissive to the who is running our country just because he has the title of “president.” We have to look to leaders in our community and have to be leaders ourselves. Politicians are often doing what they can do promote themselves as there are many examples of politicians trying to make moves to save themselves. Regular people in society have nothing to lose and will do what they can to stand up for themselves and their community. Donald Trump had less than half of America’s votes, but he won the electoral vote. That is a prime example of democracy failing to work and the government having a stranglehold on the public. We must fight against it and do what we can to prevent this from happening. Naomi Klein has given us all the tools to do what we can to put up a fight. We cannot let her advice be wasted and must take it seriously. Times like these where Donald Trump is the head of the United States, we cannot fall behind and have to fight against the shock doctrine. Other countries such as Madrid and Argentina have set a blueprint for the United States to follow. What can we do to defeat Trump’s shock doctrine? The president will do whatever he can to stay ahead of the game and get richer from any incidents that happen. We have to notice it when it happens and we must speak out. It just takes one person for a group to rise up. The United States has three hundred twenty-one million people. I am sure there are more than just a handful of leaders in our society who are not afraid to rise up and speak out. The government has dominated its people for years and it’s time to stop letting that happen as we have already seen subtle examples of Trump using the shock doctrine to his advantage. So let’s rise up and put an end to this together, as the people of the United States, a democracy, not a group of people who will give in to the man who holds the title as president of the United States.