RATING: 5-STARS *****
This is a really great book, capable of making people really think about the world, about the things people do in the name of profit and privileges. The huge amount of research behind this work is mind-boggling, especially since so much of the data was scattered across the globe, but the abuses it exposes to those who have not been aware before are worthy an extra star in my rating – it’s a six star rating, definitely.
The book is filled with passages that make you want to lose your lunch, gasp in horror, tear up or just boil in righteous anger at the injustices and abuse people were subjected to in the name of economy and progress (it’s pretty clear that progress is not in the province of capitalism, nor is democracy apparently). Of course there are other factors involved in the bloody dictatorships in Latin America than pure economical greed and laissez-faire manipulations, we know that it isn’t that simple, but the way Naomi Klein explains things makes sense too – almost too much sense, if you ask me. It’s hard to even imagine that people would be prepared to sacrifice thousands, even entire countries, only so companies and shareholders could fill their pockets. Nonetheless, we know that to look for compassion on Wall Street is an exercise in folly. The 99% movement has summed things up pretty clearly, hasn’t it? And everyone made damn sure to discredit them nicely – the modern media has a few things to put right again as well.
Anyone knowing their history is already aware that capitalism goes hand in hand with oppression, war, destruction (of habitats, cultures, and countries), monopolies, and violations of human rights. Just remember your Dickens and the workhouses, the Opium wars, the genocide of Native Americans and other native people across the globe in the time of imperialism and colonialism. We are seeing the same things done in the name of large corporations and their right to grow and make profit, to flourish. It’s stupidity to grant corporations or companies the same rights as human beings because they are not and are never going to be like us. They certainly don’t show any indication of bettering themselves, no?
Naomi takes us on a long ride of disasters and provides us with an even longer list of crimes committed before or after the disasters hit. Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, China, Sri Lanka, Poland, Russia, Iran, Iraq… and then the USA after Katrina – these are just some of the countries she focused on in her long exposé. What is remarkable is that the tale repeats time after time and in the wake of the disasters (whether coup d’état, hurricanes, tsunamis or a revolution) more people slide into poverty than ever before while a few guys in the right place to cash in rob the country clean. It makes me sick, it really does. Why should people be made to pay so a few people turn super rich? They were wealthy or well off before and certainly did not desperately need the money to have it squirreled away in off-shore accounts. We all know what the 99% movement revealed to us about the distribution of wealth in the world – the evidence speaks for itself.
So, this is definitely a book you should read or watch the movie they’ve produced. I’m intending to watch it soon and write a review of it too, but the book is definitely worth your time. I did not know of the situation in Poland, Russia and what was going on in the Indian Ocean after the tsunami, so I’m grateful to the author for enlightening me. The media certainly did not tell us about that, if I remember correctly. Hindsight is certainly 20-20 in this case, but learning from the mistakes of the past is one way of preventing future disasters like these, especially since recession and the economic crisis have hit Europe hard. Spain and Greece are in dire straits and we see the same scenarios again. I hope for the last time.