Shock Therapy

For the past few days, I’ve had my head buried in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, a book outlining a process whereby unpopular economic theories (think widespread privatization and drastic cuts in social programs) are instituted following a crisis, be it a hurricane, a war, or the onslaught of an enemy (real or imagined), when the people are too shocked and disoriented to protest. For those of you familiar with something called 9/11, this should trigger disconcerting recollections of the creation of a booming industry in the name of “homeland security,” not to mention the vast sums of money allocated for rooting out the “enemy” abroad, as well as the use of “interrogation techniques,” also known as torture, which were practiced openly by the US government without fear of prosecution, thanks to the rewriting of a few pesky laws.

You may be wondering what in the heck this has to do with Chicago. Well, it just so happens that this wonderful theory of economic upheaval was created by Milton Friedman, the late University of Chicago professor, and he and his ardent followers have been instituting their particularly harsh brand of capitalism around the globe, acting as high-ranking advisors to politicians in Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, and the United States, among others. Pretty scary.

Check out the short film created by Klein and Children of Men director, Alfonso Cuaron, to learn more.

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