A reader thinks that Naomi Klein should revisit the Louisiana story and see how the “shock doctrine” has progressed:
|Diane, I too have a passion for Louisiana, and a couple of friends there who also keep me in the loop.Your tireless efforts to tell the truth about what has happened in Louisiana since Milton Friedman decided to use “Shock Doctrine” to his advantage is very important to stopping Jindal from his merciless destruction of public education and democracy itself!
For those who are not familiar with Naomi’s introduction to “The Shock Doctrine – The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”- here is a brief excerpt from her intro:
“Over at the shelter, Jamar could think of nothing else. “I really don’t see it as cleaning up the city. What I see is that a lot of people got killed uptown. People who shouldn’t have died.”
He was speaking quietly, but an older man in line in front of us overheard and whipped around. “What is wrong with these people in Baton Rouge? This isn’t an opportunity. It’s a goddamned tragedy. Are they blind?” A mother with two kids chimed in. “No, they’re not blind, they’re evil. They see just fine.”
One of those who saw opportunity in the floodwaters of New Orleans was the late Milton Friedman, grand guru of unfettered capitalism and credited with writing the rulebook for the contemporary, hyper-mobile global economy. Ninety-three years old and in failing health, “Uncle Miltie”, as he was known to his followers, found the strength to write an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal three months after the levees broke. “Most New Orleans schools are in ruins,” Friedman observed, “as are the homes of the children who have attended them. The children are now scattered all over the country. This is a tragedy. It is also an opportunity.”
Friedman’s radical idea was that instead of spending a portion of the billions of dollars in reconstruction money on rebuilding and improving New Orleans’ existing public school system, the government should provide families with vouchers, which they could spend at private institutions.
In sharp contrast to the glacial pace with which the levees were repaired and the electricity grid brought back online, the auctioning-off of New Orleans’ school system took place with military speed and precision. Within 19 months, with most of the city’s poor residents still in exile, New Orleans’ public school system had been almost completely replaced by privately run charter schools.
The Friedmanite American Enterprise Institute enthused that “Katrina accomplished in a day … what Louisiana school reformers couldn’t do after years of trying”. Public school teachers, meanwhile, were calling Friedman’s plan “an educational land grab”. I call these orchestrated raids on the public sphere in the wake of catastrophic events, combined with the treatment of disasters as exciting market opportunities, “disaster capitalism”. ~Naomi Klein, “The Shock Doctrine – The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”  ~ read the excerpt as taken from here: http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/excerpt
I would like to see three media sources come to do a follow-up on Naomi Klein’s introduction to her world renowned book: “The Shock Doctrine – The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”.
Can we get Naomi Klein to do a follow up?
How about teaming up with Joanne Barkan who wrote, “Got Dough” [see link to this article here: http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/dissent/v058/58.1.barkan.pdf ] in Dissent Magazine?
And of course, how about teaming up with Ed Shultz? Cant he three of them get together with you to increase the public’s awareness of the unconscionable crimes being committed against Louisiana’s children, against their own state constitution? Gotta love, Ed! I’m so glad he had you on his show. I want him to invite you as a REGULAR guest! Still wish Maddow would wake up and bring you on too, but I digress.
I think the 4 of you could do some real good together as partners to help Louisiana get out of “disaster capitalism” and spread that healing to the nation, ridding us of the marriage between Neoliberalism and Neoconservativism through corporate education reform that is destroying public education and democracy!
Thank you again for helping the children, families, teachers, and communities of Louisiana by shining a light on the horrors of corporate education reform in this state.