Friday, September 14

The ostrich finally pulls its head out of the sand

On Monday evening I went along to a talk by Naomi Klein (author of No Logo and more recently The Shock Doctrine: the rise of disaster capitalism) and talk about rude awakening. I've never been very interested in politics or economics, and rather than having to deal with the horridness of the world I have often preferred to stick my head in the sand... you know, out of sight out of mind...

But Naomi's talk was so accessible and so mind-blowing that I just had to sit up and start paying attention. I was transfixed as she explained how governments exploit crisis situations: wars, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and whilst the country is in a state of shock they make what would otherwise be a political impossibility politically inevitable. Just like electroshock therapy regresses the psychiatric patient or POW to an infantile state, unable to make decisions, so does the crisis or disaster regress the people. And in that window of opportunity, when the people are frightened and confused, looking for guidance, governments can push through policies that otherwise would never be accepted.

And so I bought the book and I've not been able to put it down since. It's shocking how much I never knew; about the Bush administration, about what's been going on in Iraq, about what happened after the tsunami... and as scary as it is to find out, it feels great to finally be awake.

There is a great short film, made by film maker Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein and directed by Jonás Cuarón, that accompanies the book. I tried to download it here but it didn't work. Do have a look at it though, it's both shocking and thought-provoking. You can view it here on YouTube.

1 comment:

Edvard Moonke said...

the cynical manipulation of the masses is necessary.

the cynical manipulation of the masses is necessary.

the cynical manipulation of the masses is necessary.

can't have people becoming aware of those sort of facts, you know. there could be anarchy or even civil war.