Naomi Klein (2017) No is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics
This book offers a most readable synthesis of Naomi Klein's previous 3 books, with some updates and a conclusion that is hailed on its covers as a "toolkit for shock resistance", a "blueprint for a worldwide counterattack" and a "manual for emancipation". While those 3 books, and the first two in particular, were grounded in years of careful research, I really didn't think the concluding chapters offered much in the way of a "toolkit", a "blueprint" or a "manual". Klein describes a bunch of people getting together somewhere in Canada in 2015 to come up with a "platform without a party" - a kind of positive list which has been puled together as a LEAP Manifesto. The term LEAP indicates the need for a great leap, rather than small steps, to tackle the inter-related problems of sustainable ecology, equity and social justice. You can download the manifesto, and other documents, and see lists of signatories at https://leapmanifesto.org.
Here's my summary of Naomi's summary of the three earlier books:
No Logo was about brands and the way in which 'branded' global corporations don't actually produce anything. They just market a brand and outsource production of goods and services to be sold under their brand. Klein did loads of research, following supply chains of, for example, Nike shoes, describing working conditions in the factories in China or Indonesia and the ways in which product developments are derived from observation of how urban young people in the US customise their trainers to look cool.
In No Logo, Klein also outlines the strategy used by corporations like Walmart or Starbucks to target an area where they buy up all the supermarkets or coffee shops, then when they've got rid of the competition, they'll develop surplus properties in order to retain control of the High Street.
What's new, in this section, is the analysis of the influence of TV game shows and 'reality TV' on populations which come to accept the inevitability and even desirability of dividing us all into a few winners and a whole lot of losers. Klein describes the Trump version on The Apprentice, the winning team would move into a luxury mansion with pool loungers, celebrities and champagne, while the losers would be able to peek at them through the hedge from the 'Trump trailer park', where they were living in tents with no electricity and eating off paper plates. Klein shows how Trump's election was an obvious step on from all this 'how to get rich' stuff, together with fake fights and the emotional charge of his TV wrestling shows, which has resulted in him being able to play the 'Mar-a-Lago Hunger Games with the full arsenal of US military power as his props.
Shock Doctrine takes us through all the places where, since the 1973 coup in Chile, where US neo-Cons (supported by the CIA and the IMF) have either fomented a crisis or exploited one (like a tsunami or a revolution), to impose their economic regime of free market capitalism. The first step was always to generate a sense of crisis and fear to suspend democracy in order to impose:
exploitation and appropriation of natural resources, raw materials...
deregulation (of workers' rights, equality measures, environmental protection and safety)
debt - individual and national
This Changes Everything is about climate change and local activism. I only skimmed this book but the point which emerges clearly now is that you can't separate questions of equity, democracy and social justice from the imperative to tackle the greedy devastation of the planet.
In No is Not Enough, Klein describes the massive demonstrations against the oil pipeline at Standing Rock by diverse groups who described themselves as "water protectors", and who persuaded the Obama administration to turn down the pipeline. It's all very heart-warming but then Trump reversed Obama's ruling so now the fight to say "No" continues, while Klein urges us to look at the values and principles that we can all agree on as those based on caring for the earth and one another.
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