shock doctrine

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The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is a 2007 book by the Canadian author Naomi Klein, and is the basis of a 2009 documentary by the same name directed by Michael Winterbottom. The book argues that libertarian free market policies (as advocated by the economist Milton Friedman) have risen to prominence in some developed countries because of a deliberate strategy by some political leaders. These leaders exploit crises to push through controversial exploitative policies while citizens are too emotionally and physically distracted by disasters or upheavals to mount an effective resistance. The book implies that some man-made crises, such as the Iraq war, may have been created with the intention of pushing through these unpopular policies in their wake.


The book:

Part 1.. psychiatric shock therapy ..covert experiments .. Ewen Cameron in collusion with CIA… Milton Friedman and his Chicago school of economics, ..

Part 2.. transform South American economies in the 1970s, ..Chile led by ..Pinochet and influenced by .. Uni of Chicago ..Econ ..funded by CIA, and advised by Friedman. Klein connects torture with economic shock therapy.

Part 3..shock doctrine without the need for extreme violence ..Margaret Thatcher..Falklands War,

Part 4..shock doctrine was applied in Poland, Russia, South Africa ..

Part 5..”Disaster Capitalism Complex”, ..companies .. profit from disasters.

Part 6.. “Shock and awe” in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, which Klein describes as the most comprehensive and full-scale implementation of the shock doctrine ever attempted.

Part 7..about winners and losers of economic shock therapy –

Conclusion is about the backlash against the “shock doctrine” and economic institutions who, in Klein’s view, encourage it – like the World Bank and IMF.

above abbreviated from wikipedia page – and then on page – follows with reactions for and against..


naomi on shock doctrine – may 2020


have Naomi‘s book on hold/recommend at library.. (huge yay/thanks.. mar 2016 – library/overdrive got book.. *notes at bottom of page)

adding page as i just watched film (1:18:37) via thought maybe site:

notes from film:

state of shock – we become disconnected. what keeps us out of shock – is our history

donald hebb – sensory deprivation – at mcgill – pain might be more tolerable than shock. ewan cameron – continued it – but w/o letting patients stop it.. at allen memorial institution.

seen in human resources

janine huard – interviewed by naomi. interrogation … but for what purpose.. – torture manual

4 min – at same time – milton friedman – economic shock therapy – deregulated capitalism

oct 2008 – rumsfeld on milton – he is embodiment of truth that ideas have consequences. naomi: many of problems stem from ideas of m friedman

march 4 1933 – only thing to fear is fear itself – fdr

marshall plan – friedman waged a war against the new deal. if stopped regulating, economy would heal itself.

thesis of shock doctrine – that we have been fed a fairy tale: the utility of crisis – only then are changes achieved..

chile – friedman’s fellows learn how to distort. most stories don’t usually start with friedman. (uni of chicago and uni of chile)

arnold harberger – 1970 – nixon/cia order to not let hyundi (?) be president. military coup – w/us. funding everything done to destabilize.

sept 11, 70 – assault began on presidential palace. chile had had 41 yrs of peaceful democratic rule. chilean pre-cursor to shock and awe. more than 13000 opponents arrested/imprisoned. (wouldn’t go along with the brick – economic game plan).  nov 73 – 5000 prisoners released. movement toward communism replace with movement toward free market – didn’t work

march 75 – friedman called for shock treatment, he was simply prescribing the medicine. benefited wealthy at expense of poor. military dictatorship if you don’t play along.

76 – economic plan has had to be enforced. killing of 1000s. jailing/concentration camps.

letelier killed in car bomb – secret police behind bombing w/knowledge of cia

76 – same year friedman gets noble peace prize

22 min – trying to tell an alternative history of how capitalism came to dominate the world

next 0 argentina – same story as chile.. tactic of disappearing people. many techniques had been learned in u.s. – rape, breaking body parts, poking eyes out, … torture to intimidate people – use on students, union members… anyone who opposed economic policies of regime

25 min – 78 – argentina hosts world cup – close by – 1000s of prisoners..

among disappeared – 100s of pregnant women – who were allowed to give birth before they were murdered. 500 babies.. part of project to re-engineer entire society. gma’s and ma’s start to protest, turned detective, searching for children. general vida found guilty – sentenced to life.

28 min – 2009 naomi talk at hamilton uni. nixon fully supported this tactic – but not at home – worried about getting re-elected. 71 nixon turns back on friedman ideas and puts rumsfeld in charge. 79 – thatcher’s guru was friedman’s mentor – friedrick von hayek. and reagen in. so now britain and u.s. ruled by friedman ites. thatcher’s first 3 years of office, unemployment doubled, approval 25%

31 min – thatcher’s unpopularity showed friedman wasn’t working in demo society. what saver her was a crisis – war. 82 – argentina invasion to prove self as iron lady. war over in less than 3 months. wave of patriotic ness. thatcher wins election w/huge majority. so she can now push chilean practice. miner’s strike in britain – year long – thatcher used every means to destroy union – miners defeated and brings chicago rule to britain

86 – called the big bang.. before thatcher, ceo earned 3 times avg worker, 2007, 100 times. before reagan 43 times, 2005 400 times.

36 min – fall of communism was fairy tale

88 – gorbachev’s 3rd way – gradual transition to social democracy. collapse of communism. end of year berlin wall comes down.

91 – gorbachev hoping for support for his new economic plan arrives .. instead he was forced to shock. he was placed under house arrest. russian parliament building. boris yelstin – free market came to russia. yelstin’s advisors dubbed – the chicago boys. corruption rife, crime boomed. poverty rose

majority of russians opposed to chicago plan. march 93 – yelstin declares state of emergency. court rules illegal. sept 21 – yelstin dissolves parliament. clinton/gore throw weight behind russia. 100 protestors killed. oct 4 – yelstin orders troops to attack white house (russia?) yelstin now has absolute power. 98 – 80% of farms bankrupt. 70000 factories close. 72 million more people become impoverished.

47 min – bush chooses rumsfeld to be sect of defense. sept 10, 2001 – rumsfeld to privatize much of military. declare war on bureaucracy. 184 people killed.


49 min – think about these attackers of 9-11 (naomi talking) – where did they come from, why did they hate us.. words: pre 9-11 thinking; axis of evil; war against terror

sept 11 2001-2006 – 130 billion to private contractors. new economy built on fear.

50 min – bush – war on terror 1 – good vs evil. phase 1: bombing of afghanistan. taliban govt over thrown. guantanamo – 1st time techniques of kubeqs manual used in us. 3 prisoners… no charge

voices of guantanamo

779 prisoners. only 3 have been convicted of any offense.

52 min – bush – only thing i know for certain is these are bad people

invasion of iraq – 3rd largest oil reserves. bush war as mass torture. airstrikes so devastating to create mass shock and awe

54 min – size never been seen before. harlan ulman – author of shock and awe – hiroshima-like but in days and minutes. ie: 2-5 days all are exhausted

55 min – lootin of schools for opportunity of clean start – via head of ed

56 min – e forms of shock: 1) war 2) economic 3) enforcement (including torture)

may 2003 – brehmer envoy to iraq. declared country open for business. fired 500000 state workers.

57 min – money promised from bush for iraq – but instead spent on u.s. corps: creative comp: 100 mill to print new texts for ed; beroingi point 240 mill; arti 460 mill; etc. even new iraqi currency printed abroad. contractors of contractors of contractors.

1:00 – naomi in iraq – bodies left on roadside as warning to others. first 3.5 (time?) 61500 iraqis put in prison, 2000 – 19,000 remain in captivity. prison conditions awful. then admit 70-90% of arrests were mistakes.

1:02 – disaster itself opportunity for profit. u.s. military aid doubled since 2001. 700 billion a year

1:03 – eisenhower warned of danger of over poweredmilitary. war in iraq – most privitized war in modern history. 91 – 100/1 soldiers to contractors; 2001 100/10; 2003 100/30; 100/70.. to 1007 – more contractors than soldiers  (i might have numbers off)

2004 – blackwater was one of contractors. contractors operating in law-free bubble.

jeremy scahill

2006 – by time of hussain execution – 1000 iraq’s killed each week. 4 mill had to leave homes. 100s of 1000s killed. brehmer: i think people will see we did a great thing here.

1:06 – 2003 – katrina. vulnerable left stranded while economically secure driven out of town. naomi went… similarities to iraq. advocating self privatization of ed.

2004 – sri lanka tsunami. naomi there. land privatized and sold to luxury hotels.

this is shock – people too focused on emergency/daily concerns to protect their interests

first act – to allow collective memory to be wiped of resistance. will grimaldi – main torture center.

98 – penshaw arrested. thatcher by his side. 30 yrs for experiment to make way around globe to iraq. concentration camps/guantanamo/experiment of cameron – he erased all the past.

1:10 – janine – very hard to fight a govt

since de regulation in 80s lots of shocks: 87 black monday; 92 black wed; 97 asian contagion; sept 2008; sept 15 – lehman file for bankruptcy protection (billion in bonus)

1:14 – alan greenspan – credit tsunami. crisis secured obama’s victory. america wanted to change its course. result of de regulation and privatization

naomi – shock doctrine relies on us not knowing … but we’re becoming shock resistant.

1:15 – many compared obama with fdr.. story of fdr – visited by people promoting new deal and he said to them.. go out and make me do it.

fdr there were 4740 strikes

2007 – there were 21 strikes.

if we want responses that leave us healthier…. we are going to have to go out there and make them do it.


from Naomi page – notes from talks/interviews on shock doctrine…

on the shock doctrine (2007):

Published on Jan 17, 2014

disaster capitalism

i wanted to understand how shock really worked on the human mind

after reportng in iraq – (shock therapy) cutting person off of senses..  a state of regression – conversion of adults to childlike state – window/gap opens up – so that person being interrogated sees interrogator as parent figure

shock – something so big happens – an event w/o a story

the impulse to take advantage of these windows that open up after tragedy

there is an extreme comfort level with disaster – when this kind of chaos takes place – there is an opportunity

10 min – the love shack at guantanomo – making up for torture

13 min – bremmer – wanting to do the country makeover – before democracy set in – before people could vote… ie: all decisions made first, then allowed to vote

14 min – the answer that rings truest to me was in Ron Suskind‘s 1% (on iraqi invasion)

26 min – benefit from war: military, reconstructors, oil industry – when we say this has been a disaster (war) we have to ask – for who

44 min – milton friedman – falling in love with math – wanting to spread it – but an intellectual movement that is generously funded – a lot of intellectuals – put in think tanks – to think for profit – as think tank denizens – they don’t have to share where money is coming from

48 min – robbing people to be a part of the reconstruction of their country

sound like scotland potential

49 min – after being in iraq for that year – i certainly saw the appetite in the people for real democracy – and it was shoved out of their way by these foreign experts

50 min – ie: new orleans liberated billions of dollars for reconstruction. and ed was no doubt bad before.. now they had a chance to rebuild ed

51 min – huge – Naomi saying – i think we have little faith in people.. when we say we need to call in the experts.. the best cure for trauma is being allowed to be involved in reconstruction

iraqi’s saw this as an extension of the invasion – (that they weren’t allowed to help reconstruct) – learned helplessness – the cure for helplessness is helping.. being empowered to be part of some kind of a rebuilding process

54 min – the book is an argument for a mixed economy – a true democracy

if you shock countries – the revenge will never end.. (paraphrase)

56 min – i don’t know why we have failed to learn this lesson of history

– – –

2008 – interview by John Cusack on the shock doctrine:

part 1

interrogator tries to put prisoner in child-like state

shock is being harnessed to push through policies that would otherwise not

6 min – friedman’s public policy suggestion – public ed to privatization – after new orleans

the official narrative – freedom = free markets.. trying to debunk that myth

part 2

new economy – the only downfall is peace.. ie: war on terror – bush – deep pocketed venture capitalist

shock is about a gap between information and analysis

information, analysis, narrative – are the tools against shock resistance -the best way to counter is to understand the process

– – –

2012 via big think:

this model that had been imposed, coercively yet peacefully, wasn’t working anymore

so we came to – economic shock therapy..

using shock of natural disasters to push through policies.. a social re-engineering of society for the benefit of social corporations – ie: she was able to see becktal leaving s america and going to iraq – for same water push

debt crisis is another kind of a shock

i take a look at 35 yrs – of how various crises has facilitated the advancement – what i find – in the book – is that the disasters are getting bigger – there needs to be something more disorienting.

i do believe that crisis are required for people to accept these policies

my argument is not that no one benefits – what i’m saying is that the result is major inequality

9 min – the flip side of this economic model – is displacement – so slums develop –

the first phase of this expansion could use positive terms ie: gdp et al, but now since so many have tried it and it failed.. the model is in crisis.. people have a track record.. and they can measure the rhetoric against reality

– – –

*notes highlights from shock doctrine (2007):

shock doctrine kindle

the timing is good.. of course.. but perhaps overwhelmingly so.. highlight it all?

from end of book:

p 590 – the antidote to the feeling of inevitability that says that we must accept murder as a legitimate economic policy – @johncusack

on @NaomiAKlein ‘s call to wake up from our pluralistic ignorance of manufacturing consent ness et al


from beginning of book..

any change is a change in the topic – César Aira

intro – blank is beautiful

3 yrs of erasing/remaking the world – 2 passages: 1\  gen 6:11 – noah 2\ shock and awe create fears….achieving rapid dominance, the military doctrine fro the us war on iraq

p 4 – one of those who say opportunity in floodwaters of new orleans was milton friedman….. 93 yrs old….writes op ed for wsj 3 months after…’schools are in ruins… as are homes… children scattered… this is a tragedy. it is also an opp to radically reform ed system.’ …. vouchers..

charter schools are deeply polarizing in the us.. nowhere more than new orleans.. seen by man african american parents as way of reversing the gains of the civil rights  movement.. so mf – state was to protect freedom from enemies out and inside… to preserve law/order, enforce private contracts, foster competitive markets. in other words, to supply the police and the soldiers – anything else, including providing free ed, was an unfair interference in the market… in sharp contrast to glacial pace …levees/elect repaired.. school system took place w/military speed/precision… pre eminent lab for widespread use of charter schools… ‘katrina accomplished in a day what louisiana school reformers couldn’t do after years of trying’ – nyt

p 6 – 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.

p 7 – for more than 3 decades, friedman …and followers.. perfecting this very strategy: waiting for a major crisis, then selling off pieces of the state to private players while citizens were still reeling from the shock, then quickly making the ‘reforms’ permanent.

in essay: ‘only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. when that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. that, i believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive/available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable..’ – mf

agree with having alt’s.. just need to be alt’s that are beneficial to everyone… ie: a nother way

and agree with bucking the ‘politically impossible’ .. but not sure what – ‘becomes politically inevitable’ means.. i do believe we can today leap to betterness… so we can’t not..  but has nothing to do w/competition/privatization/markets…

once a crisis has struck… crucial to act swiftly.. impose rapid irreversible change before crisis=racked society slipped back into the ‘tyranny of the status quo’ – he estimated that ‘a new administration has some six to nine months .. to changes.. if it doesn’t.. it will not have another such opp.’ a variation on machiavelli’s advice that injuries should be inflicted ‘all at once,’ this proved to be one of friedman’s most lasting strategic legacies..

i agree with doing it all at once … not inflicting injury.. but rather.. rev of everyday life/choice.. via 7 billion awake/willing minds.. taking that step.. that leap.. for (blank)’s sake

p 8 – chile/pinochet – violent coup – advised by friedman : rapid fire transformation of econ: tax cuts, free trade, privatized services, cuts to social spending and deregulation… voucher funded private schools… known as ‘chicago school’ since many of pinochet’s economists were friedman students..

friedman predicted that the speed, suddenness and scope of the economic shifts would provoke psychological reactions in the public that ‘facilitate the adjustment’ he coined a phrase for this painful tactic: economic ‘shock treatment’

pinochet facilitated the adjustment w his own shock treatments… … torture cells… on those deemed most likely to *stand in the way of the capitalist transformation

*stand – thinking of Greg‘s recent post – on dissent getting in way of movement..

many in latin america saw a direct connection between the econ shocks that impoverished millions and the epidemic of torture that punished hundreds of thousands of people who believe in a different kind of society. as the uruguayan writer eduardo galeano asked, ‘how can this inequality be maintained if not through jolts of electric shock?’

p 9 – most people who survive a devastating disaster want the opposite of a clean slate: they want to salvage whatever they can and begin repairing what was not destroyed; they want to reaffirm their relatedness to the places that formed them.

p 10 – when i began this research into the intersection between superprofits and megadisasters,…

p 11 – Some of the most infamous human rights violations of this era, which have tended to be viewed as sadistic acts carried out by antidemocratic regimes, were in fact either committed with the deliberate intent of terrorizing the public or actively harnessed to prepare the ground for the introduction of radical free-market “reforms.”

then she lists several, along with the deaths/disappearances of thousands upon thousands of people in ie: argentina in 70s – 30 000 disappear; chile; china in 89 arrests tiananmmen square; russia 93 fire; falklands war 82 for thatcher in uk – crushing striking coal miners; nato attack on belgrade 99 – yugoslavia; …latin america and africa in 80s (not overtly violent); asia 97-98 financial crisis; ..

p 12 – via friedman – large-scale crisis provided nec pretext to overrule expressed wishes of voters and hand country over to econ ‘technocrats’


the bottom line.. while friedman’s econ model is capable of being partially imposed under democracy, authoritarian conditions are required for the implementation of its true vision..

p 13 – (friedmans sd working globally.. then bringing it home) …the u.s. retained a welfare system, social security and public schools, where parents clung, in friedman’s words, to their ‘irrational attachment to a socialist system…. then 95 – david frum calls for shock therapy  style econ revolution in u.s…. frum didn’t get.. but in 2001.. sept 11.. rumsfeld and bush team (friedman friends) seized the moment.. not because they plotted the crisis.. but that they had prayed for crisis… not only to launch war on terror – but to ensure .. almost completely for profit venture, a booming new industry.. breathed new life into faltering u.s. econ

p 14 – The role of the government in this unending war is not that of an administrator managing a network of contractors but of a deep-pocketed venture capitalist, both providing its seed money for the complex’s creation and becoming the biggest customer for its new services

and that’s just at home.. real money is in fighting wars abroad..

p 18 – For those inside the bubble of extreme wealth created by such an arrangement, there can be no more profitable way to organize a society. But because of the obvious drawbacks for the vast majority of the population left outside the bubble, other features of the corporatist state tend to include aggressive surveillance (once again, with government and large corporations trading favors and contracts), mass incarceration, shrinking civil liberties and often, though not always, torture

torture as metaphor

torture is more than a tool used to enforce unwanted policies on rebellious peoples; it is also a metaphor of the shock doctrine’s underlying logic

p 19 – torture or in cia language ‘coercive interrogation,’ is a set of techniques designed to put prisoners into a state of deep disorientation and shock in order to force them to make concessions against their will…. . to break ‘resistant sources’ is to create violent ruptures between prisoners and their ability to make sense of the world around them.

the shock doctrine mimics this process precisely, attempting to achieve on a mass scale what torture does one on one in the interrogation cell.

w/everyone preoccupied by the deadly new culture wars, the bush admin was able to pull off what it could only have dreamed of doing before 9/11: wage privatized wars abroad and build a corporate security complex at home

how sd works: the coup, the terrorist attack, the market meltdown, the war, the tsunami, the hurricane – puts the entire population into a state of collective shocks…

p 20 – like the terrorized prisoner who gives up the names of comrades and renounces his faith, shocked societies often give up things they would otherwise fiercely protect.

p 21 -80s – margaret thatcher (who called friedman ‘an intellectual freedom fighter’) and ronald reagan (who was seen carrying a copy of capitalism and freedom, friedman’s manifesto, on the presidential campaign trail

p 22 – when he died.. now a twin consensus about how society should be run: political leaders should be elected, and economies should be run according to friedman’s rules… ‘end of history.. of mankind’s ideological evolution… … a resolution was passed in u.s. congress praising him as ‘one of the world’s foremost champions of liberty, not just in econ but in all respects… schwarzenegger – declared jan 29 2007 – m friedman day… – freedom man

this book to challenge that….. the history of the contemporary free market – better understood as the rise of corporatism – was written in shocks……conquering  frontiers … including responding to disasters and raising armies…. more violence and larger disasters required to reach goal…

p 23 – the world as it is must be erased to make way for the purist invention…rooted in biblical fantasies of great floods/fires, it is a logic that leads ineluctably toward violence. the ideologies that long for that impossible clean slate, which can be reached only through some kind of cataclysm, are the dangerous ones..

p 24 – authoritarian communism is, and should be, forever tainted by those real world laboratories

p 26 – markets need not be fundamentalist..

? i don’t know. thinking we do need to clean that slate.. ie: measuring transactions..

part 1: two doctor shocks

we shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves. – george orwell

ch 1 – the torture lab

p 30 – electric shock therapy – to empty mind.. 1950s mcgill uni.. then at guantánamo bay and abu ghraib… trying to remake people from scratch

p 33 – more on mcgill experiments – by ewen cameron.. funded by cia  – 50s…. cameron plays role in u.s. torture techniques .. also offer insight into underlying logic of disaster capitalism..

p 35 – cameron had been… president of the american/candadian/world psychiatric assoc’s…

what she found… by early 50s.. cameron had rejected the standard freudian approach of using ‘talk therapy’ to try to uncover the ‘root causes’ of .. mental illnesses… not just repair … but re create .. patients… he (cameron) believed that only way to teach patients healthy new behaviors was to get inside their minds and ‘break up old pathological patterns.’ ..shock and awe warfare on the mind.. return to aristotle – clean slate – tabula rasa

p 40 – mcgill via cia grants – testing isolation – $20/day to college students.. – lowering of intellect.. and hunger for stimulation.. made them receptive

p 43 – in 1960 paper, cameron said there are two major factors that allow us to maintain a time and space image… where we are and who we are. those tow forces are a) our continued sensory input, and b) our memory… electroshock annihilated memory; isolation boxes annihilated sensory input

p 46 – why.. how… do we do this .. torture.. solitary.. et al

p 48 – on the regressing.. to dependent children.. … more likely to comply

free children not that way.. free children more bold by curiosity than many adults weak from manufactured consent et al

p 51 – this is what makes the bush regime different: after 9 11 .. it dared to demand the right to torture w/o shame..

p 52 – 2006 – torture still banned.. but now qualified as pain inflicted equiv to.. organ failure…  so now.. reading of kubark manual is essential for anyone in interrogation…. one of first – josé padilla – accused (2002) of intending to build a dirty bomb…. seen as …enemy combatant.. stripped him of all rights.. 1307 days torture… 2006 trial – ‘he lacks capacity to assist in own defense’

p 53 – on g bay as experiment in brainwashing

p 56 – wanted to tell her.. she was like iraq.. shocked country.. cameron – though genius at destroying people, he could not remake them… saying 75% of his patients worse off.. (but) then using – could hold a job – as indicator..

p 57 – the problem, obvious in retrospect, was the premise on which his entire theory rested: the idea that before haling can happen, everything that existed before needs to be wiped out.

p 58 – w/iraq – there was no blank slate, only rubble and shattered, angry people – who,, when they resisted, were blasted with more shocks,…

ch 2 – the other dr shock

friedman and laissez-faire laboratory

p 59 – there are few academic environments as heavily mythologized as uni of chicago’s econ dept in 1950s

like cameron at mcgill in same period.. uni of chicago’s econ dept.. an dmilton friedman.. both dreams rested on reaching back to a state of ‘natural’ health, when all was in balance, before human interferences created distorting patterns.

Cameron used electricity to inflict his shocks; Friedman’s tool of choice was policy

p 61 – hard scientists could point to the behavior of the elements to prove theories. friedman couldn’t point to any living econ that proved that if all ‘distortions’ were stripped away, what would be left would be a society in perfect health and bounteous, since no country in the world met the criteria for perfect laissez-faire

science of people ness.. good on that. but – his premise was off.. ie: not based on money..

p 62 – the starting premise.. is that the free market is a perfect scientific system… if something is wrong w/in a free-market econ – high inflation or soaring unemployment – it has to be because the market is not truly free.

so what it’s based on – market – and too – the markers used to determine success, ie: consumerism – cost, pay for labor, …

the chicago solution is always the same: a stricter and more complete application of the fundamentals..

and violence et al

p 63 – where leftists promised freedom for workers from bosses, citizens from dictatorship, countries from colonialism, friedman promised ‘individual freedom’ a project that elevated atomized citizens above any collective enterprise and liberated them to express their absolute free will through their consumer choices

so ..not absolute free will – consumerism assumed, et al

the marxists had their workers’ utopia, and the chicagoans had their entrepreneurs’ utopia, both claiming that if they got their way, perfection and balance would follow…. the question as always was how to get to that wondrous place from here

different place – but how to get there: a nother way

p 64 – mission of chicago school – strip market of interruption so that the free market could sing.. so marxism not enemy .. but keyneisians.. these were believers not in a utopia. but in a mixed econ – .. so like lukewarm ness to chicagoans…  mf et al believed business should be left alone to govern world as it wished.

the depression did not signal the end of capitalism, but it was, as keynes forecast a few years earlier – the end of laissez-faire – the end of letting the market regulate itself.

p 65 – after ww2 – western powers embraced principle that market economies need to guarantee enough basic dignity that disillusioned citizens would not go looking once again for a more appealing ideology , whether fascism of communism

a similar more radical mood on rise in developing world.. usually going under name of developmentalism, or third world nationalism

p 66 – by 1950s – developmentalists, like the keynesians and social democrats in rich countries, were able to boast a series of impressive success stories… most advance lab of developmentalism.. souther tip of latin america – southern cone: chile, argentina, uruguay, and parts of brazil…..headed by raúl prebisch from 50 to 63. prebisch trained teams of economists in developmentalist theory and dispatched them to act as policy advisers for govt’s across the continent… put ideas into practice w/vengeance, poring public money into infrastructure projects such as highways and steel plants, giving local businesses generous subsidies to build their new factories, churning out cars and washing machines, and keeping out foreign imports….

p 67 – developmentalism so staggeringly successful for a time that s cone.. became a potent symbol for poor countries .. proof that with smart, practical policies, *aggressively implemented, the class divide between first and third world could actually be closed.

*note: aggressively..

made for dark days at uni of chicago.. however.. powerful few who keenly interested in mf and chicago school ideas..

p 82 – indonesia – berkley’s chicago… in just over a month, at least half mill to 1 mill people were killed… travelers.. tell of small rivers.. clogged w/bodies…

p 85 – 75% of funding via cia

part 2 – the first test

p 91 – mf got nobel peace prize

ch 3 – states of shock

p 97 – in chile w/pinochet.. experiment w/free trade… chicago school’s first lab.. was a debacle

1975 – mf and arnold harberger flew to santiago at invitation of a major bank to help save the experiment.. friedman as a rock star… uses term for first time in speeches – .. shock treatment

p 102 – bush admin usually credited w/pioneering ‘the ownership society’ but in fact it was pinochet’s govt thirty years earlier, that first intro’d the idea of ‘a nation of owners’

p 103 – nyt: not often that leading economist w/strong views is given chance to test specific prescription for a very sick economy. it i sever more unusual when the economist’s client happens to be a country other than his own…(hayek and freidman in chile)

p 105 – letelier (allende’s former defense minister) wrote in 76 ‘during last 3 yrs billions of dollars taken from pockets of wage earners and place in those of capitalists and landowners… not accident but a rule.. base for a social project; not a liability but temp political success

p 109 – on disappearances.. may 1990 – secret police would dispose of some victims by dropping them in to ocean from helicopters ‘after first cutting their stomach open w/knife to keep bodies from floating…..disappearances turned out to be an even more effective means of spreading terror than open massacres, so destabilizing was the ida that the apparatus of the state could be used to make people vanish into thin air.

p 110 – once in custody, prisoners in argentina were taken to one of more than 300 torture camps across the country

p 112 – unexpected detail that there were brazilian soldiers in the room offering advice on the most scientific uses of pain…. mitrion (american police officer – intro ing torture in brazil).. took beggars off the streets and tortured them in classrooms so that the local police would learn the various ways of creating, in the prisoner, the supreme contradiction between the body and the mind.. mitrione then moved on ot conduct police training in uruguay… – where he was kidnapped/killed… … he had insisted.. like the authors of the cia manual, that effective torture was not sadism but science..

p 113 – stadium turned in to a giant lab..(prisoners) were test subjects in some strange experiment in sensory manipulation…. he saw the sun for a total of eight hours over eleven and a half years … he forgot colors…

p 114 – # of people who went through s cone’s torture machinery.. impossible to calculate… probably somewhere between 100 000 and 150 000 , tens of thousands… of them killed.

p 115 – a witness in difficult times – to be a leftist in those years was to be hunted…. rodolfo walsh – gregarious renaissance man, writer of crime fiction….. managed to intercept and decode a cia telex that blew cover of bay of pigs invasion.. that info is what allowed castro to prep for and defend against invasion…. in 77 even he was stunned by furious brutality that the argentine junta had unleashed on its own people.. in first year of military rule, dozens of his close friends/colleagues had disappeared in death camps and his 26 yr old daughter.. also dead..

p 116 – (letter delivered just before death/murder) – tells of generals’ terror campaign.. as well as involvement of cia in training argentine police.. ‘these events.. however, .. are not the greatest suffering/violation inflicted.. it is in the econ policy of this govt where one discovers… punishing millions .. through planned misery… policy transforms city into a ‘shantytown’ of ten mill people’…. walsh saw not as accident but careful execution of a plan – ‘planned misery’

p 117 – walsh murdered.. cover story..  ie: had to use dirty tactics because enemy was monstrous.. saying it was a war for

p 119 – u.s. knowing… people killed/disappeared.. not because of weapons (didn’t have any) but because of their beliefs. in the southern cone, where contemporary capitalism was born, the ‘war on terror’ was a war against all obstacles to the new order.

ch 4 – cleaning the slate

p 121 -letelier back in dc.. what frustrated him as trained economist.. was that even as the world gasped in horror of summary executions and electroshock in the jails, most ere silent in face of economic shock therapy; or, in the case of the international banks showing the junta.. free market fundamentals..

p 122 – letelier rejected frequently articulated notion that junta had two separate projects… one – experiment in econ transform.. other: evil system of torture/terror

letelier wrote a searing essay for the nation… ‘this particularly convenient concept of a social system, in which ‘econ freedom’ and political terror coexist w/o touching each other, allows these financial spokesmen to support their concept of ‘freedom’ while exercising their verbal muscles in defense of human rights….. letelier.. writes.. mf.. intellectual architect and  unofficial adviser… shared responsibility in pinochet’s crimes..

inflation a la Friedman,” Letelier argued, could not be done peacefully. “The economic plan has had to be enforced, and in the Chilean context that could be done only by the killing of thousands, the establishment of concentration camps all over the country, the jailing of more than 100,000 persons in three years … . Regression for the majorities and ‘economic freedom’ for small privileged groups are in Chile two sides of the same coin.” There was, he wrote, “an inner harmony” between the “free market” and unlimited terror.

76 – less than month later.. letelier bomb explodes in his car…. work of pinochet’s secret police..  assassins admitted to country on false passports w/knowledge of the cia..

p 123 – on pinochet in death.. evading all trials.. issuing letter.. he defended the coup .. saying he wished military action had not been necessary… on sept 11 1973

p 124 – lopez – first person to be double disappeared…..

judge – rewriting argentine history: killings in 70s not part of dirty war.. two sides… nor.. disappeared via mad dictators…. something more scientific/terrifying.. there had been a ‘plan of extermination carried out by those who ruled the country’… part of a system planned far in advance… destroying parts of society that those people represented.. genocide…

p 125 – he acknowledged that un convention on genocide defines crime as ‘intent to destroy.. national, ethnical, religious, or racial group’ .. the convention does not include … political… but he (rozanski) did not consider that exclusion to be legally legit… pointing to a little known chapter in un history.. dec 11, 46, in direct response to nazi holocaust, the un general assembly passed a resolution by unanimous vote barring acts of genocide ‘when racial religious political and other groups have been destroyed entirely or in part…….The reason the word “political” had been excised from the Convention two years later was that Stalin demanded it. He knew that if destroying a “political group” was genocidal, his bloody purges and mass imprisonment of political opponents would fit the bill. Stalin had enough support from other leaders who also wanted to reserve the right to wipe out their political opponents that the word was dropped.14 Rozanski wrote that he considered the original UN definition to be the more legitimate, since it had not been subject to this self-interested compromise.

genocide – huge.. taking out word – political – so basically – w/political gone.. could wipe out entire people’s who believed differently.. who dissented..

p 125 – junta’s goal – to establish a new order, like hitler hope to achieve in germany.. in which there was no room for certain types of people.. .. if genocide means a holocaust, these crimes do not belong in that category. however, if genocide is understood as these courts define it, as an attempt to deliberately obliterate the groups who were barriers to a political project, then this process can be seen not just in argentina but,… throughout the region that was turned into the chicago school lab..

p 126 – more on fall of communism, free markets and free people have been packaged as a single ideology… yet in s cone… it did not bring democracy.. it did not bring peace.. but required systematic murder of tens of thousands and torture of 100-150 000 …….. a system based entirely on a belief in ‘balance’ and ‘order’ and the need to be free of interferences and ‘distortions’ in order to succeed.

p 127 – chicago boys could scarcely have selected part of world less hospitable to this absolutist experiment than s cone in 70s… …. before terror campaign descended on argentina, rodolfo walsh had written, nothing can stop us, neither jai nor death. because you can’t jail or kill a whole people and because the vast majority of argentinians.. know that only the people will save the people..

p 133 – 72-76 , five executives from auto co fiat were assassinated… supplies cars to military.. and the green ford falcon sedan was vehicle used for thousands of kidnappings/disappearances…. on other end… military stationed at factory – prior to.. ford had to change lunch from 20 min to 1 hour.. give workers 1% of sales.. but that changed after coup.. military leaning on unions.. to eliminate unionism in factory

p 146 – nobel peace prize – amnesty international for fighting torture chamber/shock treatment.. nobel economic prize – m friedman – for using shock treatment..

torture right on grounds… for weeks.. electric shock…

p 139 – the torturers understood the importance of solidarity well, and they set out to shock that impulse of social interconnectedness out of their prisoners…… the point of the exercise was getting prisoners to do irreparable damage to that part of themselves that believed in helping others above all else, that part of themselves that made them activists, replacing it with shame and humiliation.

ch 5 – entirely unrelated

p 156 – The widespread abuse of prisoners is a virtually foolproof indication that politicians are trying to impose a system—whether political, religious or economic—that is rejected by large numbers of the people they are ruling. Just as ecologists define ecosystems by the presence of certain “indicator species” of plants and birds, torture is an indicator species of a regime that is engaged in a deeply anti-democratic project, even if that regime happens to have come to power through elections. As a means of extracting information during interrogations, torture is notoriously unreliable, but as a means of terrorizing and controlling populations, nothing is quite as effective.

Simone de Beauvoir, writing on the same subject, concurred: “To protest in the name of morality against ‘excesses’ or ‘abuses’ is an error which hints at active complicity. There are no ‘abuses’ or ‘excesses’ here, simply an all-pervasive system.”24 Her point was that the occupation could not be done humanely;..

there is no humane way to rule people against their will.

robbery, whether of land or a way of life, requires force or at least its credible threat; …

p 158 – sergio tomasella – tobacco farmer .. tortured/imporisoned five yrs… adds his voice to the argenine tribunal against impunity… he insisted that the abuse ,,, could not be isolated.. not individuals.. but corps.. we must remember.. the oligarchy is also controleed, by the very same monopolies, the very same ford motors, monsanto, philip morris. it’s the structure we have to change. this is what i have come to denounce. that’s all.

part 3 – surviving democracy

ch 6 – saved by war

p 164 – nixon helped put chicago boys in power in chile.. but diff route at home.. friedman would never forgive

p 166 – nixon: we are all keynesians now… via friedman – cruel betrayal

p 169 – thatcher’s catastrophic first term – confirm lessons of nixon yrs… radical/profitable policies of chicago school coulen’t survive in democratic system… econ shock therapy required more shock, ie: coup, torture by repressive regime..

p 170 – falklands war gave thatcher political cover she needed… she brushed aside un much as bush and blair did in run up to iraq.. uninterested in sanctions/negotiations.

p 172 – thatcher’s personal approval rating more than doubled… 25 to 59 .. falklands code-named operation corp… .. she talked of fighting enemy w/in.. ie: coal strikers….. intensify surveillance of union.. 3000 extra police a day… costly… message was clear – if thatcher take on coal miners.. who country depended on .. it would be suicide for weaker unions to take on new econ order.. so.. better to accept whatever… like reagan – firing 11 400 air traffic controllers.. … so she privatized 84-88..

p 173 – much like 9 11.. used to launch massive privatization initiative – in bush’s case, .. of security, warfare, and reconstruction…. thatcher’s success.. first .. to show .. chicago school econ .. didn’t need military/torture…  if have large enough political crisis…. a crisis that made her look tough and decisive rather than cruel and regressive..

p 174 – mf again – on need of crisis.. to take ideas to fruition.. allan meltzer elabs… ideas are alt’s waiting on a crisis to serve as catalyst of change.. normally workers want: jobs/raises, owners want: low taxes/relaxed reg.. and politicians have to strike balance.. but in econ crisis.. a currency meltdown… it blows everything else out of water… crisis are in a way a democracy free zone – gaps in politics as usual when the need for consent and consensus do not seem to apply.

did/do they ever?.. on need to redefine decision making… disengage from consensus… but with diff outcome.. not based on money

market crashes can act as catalysts for rev change… by destroying value of money.. takes masses one step closer to the destruction of capitalism itself..

disengage from money. yes that. no crisis needed.. just model how.. to disengage.. ie: radical econ.. as the day..

p 175 –  friedman and writes – in 70-80s.. produced the most significant vehicle to disseminate friedman’s views… 10 part pbs miniseries – free to choose.. underwritten by some of largest corps… getty oil, firestone, pepsi, gm, bechtel, general mills… chicago school policies now known as reaganomics..

ch 7 – the new dr…

p 177 – the use of cancer in political discourse encourages fatalism and justifies ‘sever’ measures – as well as strongly reinforcing the widespread notion the the disease is necessarily fatal. the concept of disease is never innocent. but it could be argued that the cancer metaphors are in themselves implicitly genocidal.. susan sontag –

on need for that metaphor.. ie: rna ness  .. just not with market .. money.. et al.. as goal.. rather.. betternes of 100% of humanity as goal..

p 178 – on bolivia – and coca farmers – (cocaine) – turned into military zone.. econ meltdown…

p 188 – how sachs helped beat econ crisis – inflation.. when really – people just back to selling illegal cocaine…  in bolivia… remarked so because he did it w/o war – heralded as evangelist for democratic capitalism… a kinder more peaceful era… ie: the think pinochet didi w/ a bayonet.. paz did w/in a democratic system

p 189 – story – told and retold.. only problem.. not true.. there was force, kidnapping, … took labor leaders to jungle.. put new plan in place..

p 191 – junta lite: in order for the regime to impose econ shock therapy, certain people needed to disappear – if only temporarily..

ch 8 – crisis works

p 192 – well, what is the sense of ruining y head and erasing my memory, which is my capital, and putting me out of business? it was a brilliant cure but we lost the patient. – ernest hemingway on his electroshock therapy, shortly before committing suicide, 1961

p 194 – hyperinflation not a problem to be solved, like sachs believe, but a golden opportunity to be seized.

p 196 – debt……. in brazil, the generals who came to power in 64 promising financial order.. managed to take the debt from 5 bill to 103 bill in 85….. much of what wasn’t spent on weapons .. simply vanished..

p 201 – market so bad.. argentina … leader 85 –  forced to unveil a brand-new currency..

p 202 – there were no institutions (other than imf and world bank) better positioned to implement his (friedman) crisis theory……. crisis opportunism was not the guiding logic of the world’s most powerful financial institutions. it was also a fundamental betrayal of their founding principles… the un, the world bank and the imf were created in direct response to he horror of the second world war… with the goal of never again repeating the mistakes that had allowed fascism to rise in the heart of europe…

p 203 – financed via 43 member initial countries.. were given explicit mandate to prevent future econ shocks and crashes like the ones that had so destabilized weimar germany…

p 204 – when list (policies of imf and worldbank) was complete, it made up nothing less than friedman’s neoliberal triumvirate of privatization, deregulation/free trade and drastic cuts to govt spending…. ‘keynes would be rolling over in his grave were he to see what has happened to his child’ – stiglitz, former ce of world bank

p 205 – when privatization and free trade policies are packaged together with financial bailout, countries have little choice but to accept the whole package

package deal ness

p 207 – argentina was not unique in this regard. by 1999, the chicago school international alumni included more than 25 govt ministers and more than a dozen central bank presidents from israel to costa rica, and extraordinary level of influence for one uni dept.

p 209 – menem had an even more brutal phrase for it (shock therapy): in a country still traumatized by mass torture, he called it ‘major surgery w/o anesthetic.’

p 210 – in moments of crisis, people are willing to hand over a great deal of power to anyone who claims to have a magic cure.

and crisis has so many flavors.. ie: people not awake.. pluralistic ignorance..

part 4 – lost in transition

ch 9 – slamming the door on history

p 218 – poland and solidarity movement.. 1981 – solidarity’s members rounded up in the thousands and its leaders .. arrested/imprisoned… forced underground.. in 83 – walesa (solidarity leader) awarded nobel peace prize.. although still restricted and couldn’t accept in person

p 222 – sachs becomes adviser to solidarity…. george soros, billionaire .. enlists/funds sachs… sachs and lipton write plan for poland’s shock therapy transition in one night. 15 pgs – sachs claimed.. was first time anyone had written down comp plan for transformation of a socialist econ to a market econ.

p 224 – sach’s fails to mention that in order to do shock therapy in bolivia.. kidnapping/imprisonment of leaders

p 227 – final decision came down to money.. all that mattered was winning relief from communist debts.. and stabilizing currency… if we had enough time.. might be able to putll off.. but don’t… sachs meanwhile could deliver the money.. strictly conditional of solidarity’s submitting to shock therapy..

halina bortnowska:You can no longer expect people to act in their own best interests when they’re so disoriented they don’t know—or no longer care—what those interests are.”

extraordinary politics – short-lived widow in which the rules of ‘normal politics’ (consultation, discussion, debate) do not apply – in other words, a democracy free pocket within a democracy..

have we not been living that for years..

p 229 – w/in years.. seemed world caught in extraordinary politics or in transition… (90s)

gorbachev: many decades of being mesmerized by dogma, by a rule0book approach, have had their effect. today we want to introduce a genuinely creative spirit

now was time to convert former communist countries to pure friedmanism, not some mongrel keynesian compromise.. the trick, as friedman had said, was for chicago school believers to be ready with their solutions when everyone else was still asking questions and regaining their bearings..

or perhaps.. design a system.. that is generated by 7 billion plus people doing that daily…

p 230 – winter of 89 – uni of chicago – speech by francis fukuyama (sr policy maker at us state dept)  – are we approaching the end of history..  message was clear…for unfettered capitalism.. don’t debate w/the third way crowd .. instead, preemptively declare victory.. those who object…. not just wrong.. but still in history..

p 231 – In 1989, history was taking an exhilarating turn, entering a period of genuine openness and possibility. So it was no coincidence that Fukuyama, from his perch at the State Department, chose precisely that moment to attempt to slam the history book shut. Nor was it a coincidence that the World Bank and the IMF chose that same volatile year to unveil the Washington Consensus—a clear effort to halt all discussion and debate about any economic ideas outside the free-market lockbox. These were democracy-containment strategies, designed to undercut the kind of unscripted self-determination that was, and always had been, the greatest single threat to the Chicago School crusade

p 232 – protesters in tiananmen square.. opposed govt’s moves toward unregulated capitalism.. but left out of coverage in western press

in 80 – deng invites friedman to china to tutor hundreds of top levels.. in fundaments of free market theory… he claimed hong kong…. despite having no democracy.. was freer than the u.s… since govt participated less in econ….. according to this version of transition.. same people who controlled under communism would control under capitalism… while enjoying substantial upgrade in lifestyle…

next.. workers give up rights.. for some of them to collect huge profits… but wasn’t going to be easy… so in 83.. deng orders creation of 400 000 strong people’s armed police.. charged w/quashing all signs of econ crimes (strikes/protests)… several units sent to poland for anti riot training..

p 234 – friedman stresses more not less shock therapy needed..  after return.. saying. i gave precisely the same advice to both chile and china.. should i prep for an avalanche of protests to being willing to give advice to so evil a govt…   but trip didn’t have desire results… the most visible.. opposition/demonstration by student strikers in tiananmen square..

in 2003 – protesters huge range of chinese society… catalyst for 89 mobilization

p 237 – will never be reliable estimates for how many killed/injured. the party admits to hundreds, and eyewitness reports at the time put the number of dead between 2000 and 7000 and number of injured as high as 30 000. protest followed by national witch hunt .. some 40 000 arrested.. thousands jailed… possible hundreds executed.. most were workers.. it was policy to subject arrested individuals to beatings/torture..

people claim it’s bloodiness is communism.. but five days in.. deng makes it clear he’s not defending communism but capitalism….

p 239 – the shock of the massacre made shock therapy possible…

it was this wave of reforms tat turned china into the sweatshop of the world…

according to 2006 study.. 90% of china’s billionaires.. are the children of communist party officials..

today.. collab arrangement.. seen.. companies help chinese state spy on citizens… to make sure that when students to web searches on phrases like ‘tiananmen square massacre’ or even ‘democracy’ no documents turn up.. creation of today’s market society was not result of spontaneous events – writs wang hui.. but.. state interference/violence

p 241 – 89 – 15% in poverty.. 2003 – 59% – in poland

p 242 – 90 – 250 strikes.. 92 – 6000.. 93 – 7500

p 243 – yet – somehow in years to come.. as dozens of countries struggle w/how to reform econs… the inconvenient details – the al would be lost… instead .. poland held as model.. proof that radical free market makeovers can take place democratically and peacefully… myth…

ch 10 – democracy born in chains

p 245 – history.. was not over just yet.. in s africa.. some people still believed freedom included right to reclaim /redistribute oppressors’ ill gotten gains… mandela (1990 – after 27 yrs in prison)

p 246 – in 1955   party (in s africa) – dispatched 50 000 volunteers.. task of collect ‘freedom demands’ from people… vision of a postapartheid world… demands: land given to all landless; living wages and shorter hours of work; free/compulsory ed


p 248 – mandela – no freedom w/o redistribution…

90 – mandela released.. no better time for third way – between communism and capitalism… because of release.. but also because of last 30 years build up..

p 250 – mandela president – 94 – but couldn’t redistribute stolen wealth… so.. today country stands as a living testament to what happens when econ reform is severed from political transform… s africa – politically.. people have right to vote… yet economically.. most unequal society in world..

p 251 – as mandela later put it – what the national party was trying to do was to maintain white supremacy with our consent.

p 252 – By the time the draft was complete, “there was a new ball game.” – on make democracy work – in s africa.. – getting political edge.. but never econ.. redistribute

p 256 – the bottom line was that s africa was free but simultaneously captured; each one of these arcane acronyms represented a diff thread in the web that pinned down the limbs of the new govt..

rassool snyman: the never freed us. they only took the chain from around our neck and put it on our ankles..

given the keys to the house but not the combination of the safe… the facade of governing.. but real governance take place somewhere else…

p 258 – when  i asked., how did this happen.. talks were admin ish.. technified… so no popular concern.. and … we missed it.. we missed the real story.. it was in those technical meetings.. that the true future of his country was being decided.. though few understood it at the time – gumede…..

“I was focusing on the politics—mass action, going to Bisho [site of a definitive showdown between demonstrators and police], shouting, ‘Those guys must go!’” Gumede recalled. “But that was not the real struggle—the real struggle was over economics. And I am disappointed in myself for being so naive. I thought I was politically mature enough to understand the issues. How did I miss this?”

sounds like ie: rushkoff.. and money as os…

sounds like all of us.. missing it..

focus on politics. real struggle econ-Gumede @NaomiAKlein ‘s shock doct & @rushkoff @davidgraeber : expose os as B & @leashless : disengage

p 259 – most distressingly.. anc spent more time denying severity of aids.. than getting drugs to 5 mill infected… since 90 when mandela left prison.. avg life expetancy for s africans dropped by 13 yrs.

p 260 – rather than keep on about redistribution.. when anc became govt.. it accepted dominant logic that only hope was to pursue new foreign investors… to create new wealth..

p 262 – of all constraints on new govt.. it was market that proved most confining.. and this in a way , is the genius of unfettered capitalism: it’s self-enforcing.

well.. self’s that aren’t really selfs.. no?

the person in side anc who seems to understand how to make the shocks stop was thabo mbeki – mandela’s right hand during his presidency and soon to be his successor (book about him by gumede)….. according to gumede, mbeki took on the role of free-market tutor w/in the party.. the beast of the market had been unleashed, mbeki would explain; there was not taming it, just feeding it what it craved: growth and more growth..

p 263 – mandela sounding more like thatcher (avoiding marxist/nationalist speak) than socialist revolutionary he was once thought to be… – wsj

mbeki – going shock – washington consensus.. june 66.. mbeki  unveils.. it…

p 265 – but it doesn’t work..

p 267 – sooka (heads s africa foundation for human rights): i think when you focus o torture and you don’t look at what it was serving, that’s when you start to do a revision of the real history.

p 272 – in end.. most persuasive argument for abandoning redistribution promises of freedom charter was the least imaginative one: everyone is doing it….. in 92 – mandela receives intense dose of this elite form of schoolyard peer pressure.. at wef in davos.. ie: even the most left wing govts were embracing washington consensus…

p 274 -By their very nature, people spearheading intense national transformations are narrowly focused on their own narratives and power struggles, often unable to pay close attention to the world beyond their borders. That’s unfortunate, because if the ANC leadership had been able to cut through the transitionology spin and find out for itself what was really going on in Moscow, Warsaw, Buenos Aires and Seoul, it would have seen a very different picture

ch 11 – bonfire of a young democracy..

p 276 – gorbachev liked by all – gorby – times cover man of year.. expecting same welcome in g7 91 meeting.. but message was…. if he did not embrace radical econ shock therapy immediately, the would sever the rope and let him fall…  story told in bland language… so generic that it has hidden one of the greatest crimes committed against a democracy in  modern history… russia, like china, was forced to choose between a chicago school econ and an authentic democratic revolution……. gorby knew only way was with force…

p 280 – 1991 – yeltsin went to parliament w/unorthodox proposal: if gave him one year of special powers.. could issue decree w/o bringing to parliament for vote, he would solve econ crisis

p 282 – if optimal conditions for profit making were created, country would rebuild itself, no planning required (it was a faith that would reemerge, a decade later, in iraq)

like 1 yr to…’s… but w/o profit/money as goal – ginormous diff… what if money were no object.. changes everything..

p 283 – ‘no more experiments’ was a popular piece of graffiti in moscow at the time..

helpful knowing this..

yet – everything is experiment.. back to a 5 yr old curiosity..

unsafe/unethical.. to let a child/adult think he’s experimenting .. when there’s a plan/agenda/profit in place…

p 285 – despite the fact that russia’s constitutional court once again ruled yeltsin’s behavior unconstitutional, clinton continued to back him, and congress voted to give yeltsin $2.5 billion in aid (used on military to blow up parliament/civilians)

p 288 – by the end of the day, the all-out military assault had taken the lives of approx 500 people and wounded almost 1000, the most violence moscow had seen since 1917….. the boston globe… russia escapes a return to dungeon of past… us sect of state, warren christopher traveled to moscow to stand w yeltsin and gaidar and declared, the u.s. does not easily support the suspension of parliaments. but these are extraordinary times..

p 289 – sacs, lauded for proving radical free market reforms could be compatible w/democracy.. continued to publicly support yeltsin …dismissing his opponents (parliament et al)  as a ‘group of former communists intoxicated by power.’ in his book – end of poverty.. sachs glosses over this dramatic episode…. just as he left out siege/attacks on labor leaders .. his shock program in bolivia

p 290 -So what did the Chicago Boys and their Western advisers do at this critical moment? The same thing they did when Santiago smoldered, and the same thing they would do when Baghdad burned: ..

liberated from the meddling of democracy, they went on a law-making binge

B and b ness

p 291 – standard policies that cause so much instant misery that they seem to require a police state to stave off rebellion

before shock therapy, russia had no millionaires; by 2003, the number of russian billionaires had risen to 17, according to forbes list

p 292 – in dec 1994 – yelstin did what so many desperate leaders have done throughout history to hold on to power: he started a war.

p 293 – in the end, election went ahead and yeltsin won, thanks to estimated 100 mill in financing from oligarchs (33 x legal amount) as well as 800 x more coverage on oligarch-controlled tv than rivals

p 294 – in other words, the russian people fronted the money for the looting of their own country..

russia – wealth ends up in hands of russian players.. not foreign partners…. in iraq.. after invasion.. u.s. would go even further, attempting to cut the local elite out of lucrative privatization deals entirely

p 295 – russia project housed at harvard institute – sachs was head of international develop there

p 296 – so if greed was to be engine for rebuilding russia, then surely harvard men and wives/girlfriends, as well as yeltsin’s staff and family, … were simply leading by example..

p 298 – sept 99 russia hit w/series of terrorist attacks.. all of a sudden.. nothing compared to fear to die in own apartment… man put in charge of hunting down ‘animals’ was pm.. vladimir putin

p 299 – dec 99 a quiet handover from yeltsin to putin, no elections necessary..

in absence of major famine/plague/battle, never have so many lost so much in so short a time.. by 98 more than 80% of farms bankrupt.. 70 000 factories closed… in 89 before shock therapy, 2 mill living in poverty.. mid 90s.. 74 mill

p 300 – drug epidemic, hiv, suicide, homicide.. all great increase.. by 95

p 302 – in latimes … lourie pronounced that ‘the russians are such a calamitous nation that even when they undertake something sane and banal, like voting and making money, they make a total hash of it

sane..? whoa.

p 303 – real problem w/blame russia narrative… preempts any serious examination of what the whole episode has to teach about the true face of crusade for unfettered free markets.. – most powerful political trend in past 3 decades….rather.. greed was kick start… was closest thing russia’s chicago boys and their advisers had to a plan… for what they were going to do after destroying russia’s institutions.

point of shock therapy – open window of enormous/quick profits.. not despite lawlessness but precisely because of it

50s friedman movement launch..was to recapture profitable/lawless frontier adam smith.. admired.. w/a twist.. rather than travel were is no law.. this movement set out to systematically dismantle existing laws/regulations to re create that earlier lawlessness.

spot on.. to laws/regs.. but not for purpose of profit.. for purpose of alive people… changes everything..

p 305 – smith’s colonists.. seizing .. waste lands… today’s mutinationals see govt programs, public assets and everything that is not for sale as terrain to be conquered and seized.. the po, national parks, schools, soc sec, disaster relief …

Where Smith saw fertile green fields turned into profitable farmlands on the pampas and the prairies, Wall Street saw “green field opportunities” in Chile’s phone system, Argentina’s airline, Russia’s oil fields, Bolivia’s water system, the United States’ public airwaves, Poland’s factories—all built with public wealth, then sold for a trifle.92 Then there are the treasures created by enlisting the state to put a patent and a price tag on life-forms and natural resources never dreamed of as commodities—seeds, genes, carbon in the earth’s atmosphere.

most dramatic case to date – 94 – year after yeltsin’s coup, when mexico’s econ suffered meltdown – tequila crisis: terms of u.s. bailout demanded rapid fire privatizations, and forbes announced process had minted 23 new billionaires….. clearly only lesson learned from russia is that the faster and more lawless the transfer of wealth the more profitable it will be..

p 306 – important thing: make changes irreversible.. and get them done before antibodies kicked in .. said president sanchez … banned political gatherings and authorized the arrest of all opponents of the process..

p 307 – carlos menem, the peronist president who came to power promising to be the voice of the working man, … downsizing and then selling the oil fields, the phone system, the airline, the trains, the airport the highways, the water system, the banks, the buenos aires zoo and eventually , the po and the national pension plan

russian and countries that followed – experienced milder version of yeltsin’s coups in reverse: govts that came to power peacefully and, through elections, found selves resorting to increasing levels of brutality to hold on to power and defend their reforms..

p 308 – goni’s last months/days even water wars – sent prices 300%, tax war – taxing working poor, gas wars… forced goni to flee and live in exile in u.s.

regimes that imposed mass privatization on argentina and bolivia were held up in washington as ie’s of how shock therapy could be imposed peacefully and democratically, w/o coups or repression. .. true they did not begin in a hail of gunfire, but both ended in one

seen as 2nd colonial pillage – first riches seized from land, second stripped from state.

calling for law/order after profits have all been moved offshore is really just way of legalizing theft ex post facto, mush as european colonizers locked in land grabs with treaties… lawlessness on frontier, as adam smith understood, is not the problem but the point, as much a part of the game as the contrite handwringing and pledges to do better next time.

ch 12 – the capitalist id

p 310 – 2006 – nyc – and red craze – bono et al.. can a tank top change the world.. buy stuff that’s (red) and money sent for aid… after all.. bono refers to sachs as ‘my professor’

p 3112 – trying to understand why sachs as so unsuccessful in russia..

sachs based vision on marshal plan… 12.6 bill (130 bill in today’s dollars) that the u.s. allotted for europe to reconstruct its infrastructure/industry after ww2…. sachs says marshall plan showed that ‘when a country is in disarray, you can’t just expect it to get back up on its feet in a coherent way by itself..

imagine a turtle ness

p 314 – sachs – said his real failing was in misreading washington’s political mood – thought they would back russia.. in fact sachs promised it.. .. sect of state under bush eagleburger  tells sachs – your analysis is right (surely unwise in a country where virtually only product held in surplus was nuclear arms) … but .. do you know what year this is..? clinton about to defeat bush – 92

to sachs it wasn’t greed.. but laziness.. lack of effort.. no debate.. nothings..

p 317 – for sachs, making of history is purely elite affair, a matter of getting right technocrats settled on right policies..

p 318 – as eisenberg notes…. original marshall plan came about not out of benevolence, or .. reasoned argument.. but fear of popular vote..

liberation from all constraints is.. chicago school econ (neoliberalism.. neoconservatism).. not some new invention but capitalism stripped of its keynesian appendages, capitalism in its monopoly phase, a system that has let itself go – that no longer has to work to keep us as customers, that can be as antisocial, anti democratic and boorish as it wants…as long as communism was a threat… keynesianism would live on..that was the real point of fukuyama’s ..’end of history’.. he wasn’t actually claiming that there were no other ideas in the world… but that w communism collapsing, there were no other ideas sufficiently powerful to constitute a head to head competitor..

p 319 – chicago boys saw it as liberation from keynesianism and the do-gooder ideas of men like sachs… the do nothing attitude that infuriated sachs.. was not sheer laziness.. but laissez faire in action: let it go, do nothing…


p 326 – at washington’s most powerful financial institutions, however, there was a willingness not only to create an appearance of crisis through the media but also to take concrete measure to generate crises that were all too real.. 95 –  debt et al

ch 13 – let it burn

p 334 – as had happened during great depression, crisis led to wave of suicides as families saw life savings disappear…

p 336 – as for imf, the world body created to prevent crashes like this one, it took the do-nothing approach that had become its trademark since russia

p 343 – human costs of imf’s opportunism were nearly as devastating in asia as in russia… 24 mill people lost jobs.. thailand losing 2000 jobs a day.. 60 000 a month.. s korea 300 000 wokrers fired every month….

p 344 – many rural families in philippines and s korea sold their daughters to human traffickers who took them to work in the sex trade in australia, europe and n america..

p 345 – albright… apparently saw no connection between the fact that so many thai girls were being forced into sex trade and the austerity policies for which she expressed her ‘strong support’ on the same trip..

what few were willing to admit at the time is that, while the imf certainly failed the people of asia, it did not fail wall street – far from it

p 347 – w/in two years, the face of much of asia was utterly transformed, w/hundreds of local brands replaced by multinational giants. it was dubbed – the world’s biggest going out of business sale.. by nyt..

it wasn’t only private asian firms tat were being sold to foreigners. like earlier crises in latin america and easter europe, this one also forced govts to sell public services to raise badly needed capital.. ie: water

p 349 – truth is.. asia’s crisis is still not over, a decade later. when 24 mill people lose their jobs in span of 2 yrs, a new desperation takes root that no culture can easily absorb. it expresses itself in diff forms across the region, from a significant rise in religious extremism in indonesia and thailand to the explosive growth in the child sex trade……. suicides… in s korea, now 4th most common cause of death , more than double the pre crisis rate, with 38 people taking their own lives every day

p 350 – the ugly secrets of ‘stabilization’ is that the vast majority never climb back aboard… they end up in slums, no home to 1 billion people; the end up in brothels or in cargo ship containers…

cia’s interrogation manuals warn that this process can go too far – apply too much direct pain and, instead of regression and compliance, the interrogators face confidence and defiance.. in indonesia that line was crossed, a reminder that it is possible to take shock therapy too far provoking a kind of blowback that was about to become very familiar, from bolivia to iraq.

p 352 – asia’s crisis was plainly a creation of the global markets. yet when the high priests of globalization sent missions to he disaster zone, all they wanted to do was deepen the pain…. after 1998 it became increasingly difficult to impose the shock therapy style makeovers by peaceful means – the usual imf bullying or arm-twisting at trade summits. the defiant new mood coming from the south made its global debut when the wto talks collapsed in seattle in 99

p 5 – shocking times

ch 14 – shock therapy in the usa

p 358 – project never quite as complicated as rumsfeld made it sound. beneath the jargon, it was simply an attempt to bring the revolution in outsourcing and branding that he had been part of in the corp world into the heart of the u.s. military….nike model: don’t own factories…outsource.. pour resources into design/marketing  microsoft model: tight control center..perform core competency outsource all else.

blackwater… tom peters…

p 360 – after a little more than seven months in office.. secretary had already stepped on so many powerful toes that ti was rumored his days were numbered.. at this moment.. rumsfeld called a rare ‘town hall meeting’ for pentagon staff… they wondered if he might resign… but instead – gave speech to declare war on pentagon bureaucracy…

sounds like he wanted war on B but bludgened w/ b ness

p 361 – he wanted less spent on staff and far more public money transferred directly into the coffers of private companies..

p 362 – defense dept should focus on its core competency: warfighting… outsource rest

i thought speech was going to cost rumsfeld his job, my source told me… it didn’t, and the coverage of his declaration of war on pentagon was sparse. that’s because his address was on sept 10, 2001

strange historical footnote that cnn evening news on sept 10 carried a short story under the headline ‘defense secretary declares war on the pentagon’s B and that the next morning, the network would report on an attack on the institution of distinctly less metaphorical kind, on that killed 125 pentagon employees.

p 363 – by time bush team took office.. privatization mania of eighties and nineties… successfully sold off or outsourced large, publicly owned companies…. from water and electricity to highway management and garbage collection. after these limbs of the state had been lopped off, what was left was the core’ – those functions of intrinsic to the concept of governing that the idea of handing them to private corps challenged what it meant o be a nation state: the military, police, fire depts, prisons, border control, covert intell, disease control the public school system and the admin of govt B

many of the companies that had devoured the appendages of the state were greedily eyeing these essential functions as the next source of instant riches – by late 90s

it was a move that brought the shock doctrine to a new, self referential phase: until that point.. crises pushed privatization plans after fact… .. now… crisis exploiting methods.. used to leverage privatization of infrastructure of disaster creation/response

p 364 – rumsfeld survived pass over of being reagan’s running mate by throwing himself into business… as ceo of international drug/chem company searle pharma… used political connections to secure fda approval for aspartame… then sells searle to monsanto.. earns $12 mill… the high steaks sale established rumsfled as a corp power player.. his status as former defense sect.. made hi a score for any company that was part of what eisenhower had called the military industrial complex… rumsfeld sat on board of aircraft manuf.. and was also paid $190 000 a year as a board member of abb.. swiss engineering giant.. who sold nuclear tech to n korea, including capacity to produce plutonium.

p 366 – 97 – rumsfeld named chairman of board of gilead sciences… company registered patent fo rtamiflue… preferred drug for avian flue.. if ever an outbreak.. govts would be forced to by billions of dollars worth of treatment from gilead… the patenting of drugs/vaccines to treat public health emergencies remains a controverisal subject.

us had been epidemicfree for several decades.. but polio outbreak. mid 50s.. ethics of disease profiteering were hotely debated…there is not patent, jonas salk (polio vaccine) told the boradcaster.. could you patent the sun

safe to say – rumsfled would have… his former company gilead.. owns patents on four aids treatments, spends a great deal of energy trying to block the distribution of cheaper generic version .. in developing world… some of gilead’s key meds were developed on grants funded by taxpayers…. gilead, .. sees epidemics as a growth market, and … encourage businesses/individ’s to stockpile tamiflu, just in case..

whoa. revinventors hangout same time

Our live roundtable kicks off in just under half an hour! Watch here:

on needing a nother way.. and Pardis – and on Jessica – micro ing it… using us all

p 367 – rumsfeld… companies… banking on apocalyptic future or rampant disease… one in which govts are forced to buy, at top dollar, whatever lifesaving products private sector has under patent…

367 – cheney, protege of rumsfeld… was same .. only banking on profits of war…

as sect of defense under bush sr.. cheney scales down troops.. and increases reliance on private contractors…  halliburton

pentagon was notorious for multi bill dollar contracts w/weapons manufacturers, but this was new.. not supplying military w gear but serving as manager for its operations…

p 368 – thanks to contract crafted by halliburton (wins contest for 5 yrs because wrote plan) and cheney when he was at pentagon, the company was able to stretch and expand the meaning of the term ‘logistical support’ until halliburton was responsible for creating entire infrastructure of u.s. military operation overseas..

cheney saw no reason why war shouldn’t be a thriving part of america’s highly profitable service econ – invasion w/a smile..

p 369 – in just 5 yrs at halliburton, cheney almost doubled amount of money company extracted from us treasury, from 1.2 bill to 2.3… while amount receive in fed lans and loan guarantees increased 15 fold…. before taking office as vp – cheney valued his net worth between 18 and 81 mill… wife at lockheed martin… gathering much as well… where firms needed new business model… at lockheed … a strategy emerged.. running govt for a fee..

so cheney.. overseeing infrastructure of war.. his wife.. overseeing infra of daily operations.. (taxes, email, )

p 371 – on bush and texas and prisons.. and ss to inspire worker capitalists…

p 372 – jan 2001 – heading to tech bubble.. econ downward … bush’s solution was for govt to deconstruct itself – hacking off great chunks of public wealth and feeding them to corp america, in form of tax cuts on the one hand and lucrative contracts on the other…

then came 9 11

p 375 – public pronouncements and photo ops aside, bush and his inner circle has no intention of converting to keynesiansim. ….. 9 11 reaffirmed their deepest ideological (and self0interested) beliefs – that only private firms possessed the intelligence and innovation to meet the new security challenge……bush’s new deal would be w/ corp america… a straight up transfer of hundreds of billions of public dollars a year into private hands it would take the form of contracts, many offered secretively, w/no competition … to network of industries: tech, media, communications, incarceration, engineering, education, health care..

p 377 0 Although the stated goal was fighting terrorism, the effect was the creation of the disaster capitalism complex—a full-fledged new economy in homeland security, privatized war and disaster reconstruction tasked with nothing less than building and running a privatized security state, both home and abroad.

just as internet launched dot com bubble, 9 11 launched disaster capitalism bubble…

The mantra “September 11 changed everything” neatly disguised the fact that for free-market ideologues and the corporations whose interests they serve, the only thing that changed was the ease with which they could pursue their ambitious agenda.

job was not to provide security but to purchase it at market prices…

the politicians create the demand, and the private sector supplies all manner of solutions—a booming economy in homeland security and twenty-first-century warfare entirely underwritten by taxpayer dollars

… bush regime… wholly outsourced mode of govt

another… counterintelligence…. created under rumsfeld… independent of cia….as ken minihan, former director of nsa…homeland security is too important to be left to the govt..

p 379 – cheney’s… if 1% chance doctrine.. act as if 100% chance.. allows for billions toward ie: smallpox attack

thru all various name changes (war on terror/islam/…. et al)… make war on terror unwinnable… but from econ perspective… unbeatable..  $270 bill a year (from tax dollars) increase of 137 bill since bush took office….. in 2003 – bush admin spent 327 bill on contracts to private companies… nearly 40 cents of every discretionary dollar… dc becomes dotted w/gray bldgs housing security start ups…

p 380 market for terrorism: 1\surveillance cameras 2\ analytic software to san tapes of cameras (contract w booz allen hamilton for 9 bill)  3\ digital image enhancement 4\ again more data mining ness – connect dots…

p 384 – dynamic ripe for abuse.. just as prisoners under torture say anything for pain to stop.. contractors have powerful econ incentive to use whatever techniques…  (suspects taken at airport or wherever to go to guantánamo or wherever)

p 385 – low tech version… pay for info  3000 to 25 000.. … so.. cells of bagram and guantánamo overflowing w goatherds, cabdrivers, cooks, …. all lethally dangerous according to men who turned them in for reward…

86% of prisoners at g were handed over by afghan/pakistani fighters/agents after bounties were announced…. 360 released…  able to track down 245 of them… 205 of them cleared of all charges…

in just few years.. homeland security.. which barely existed before 9 11.. now significantly larger than hollywood or music business..

p 386 – with it boom.. discussion about how changing culture.. no discussion with disaster econ…

What passes for debate is restricted to individual cases of war profiteering and corruption scandals, as well as the usual hand-wringing about the failure of government to adequately oversee private contractors—rarely about the much broader and deeper phenomenon of what it means to be engaged in a fully privatized war built to have no end

p 388 – you have corporatism: big business and big govt combining their formidable powers to regulate and control the citizenry

ch 15 – a corporatist state

p 393 – rumsfeld’s adamant refusal to stop making money from disaster while in the top security post in the country affected his job performance in several concrete ways.

p 395 – when rumsfeld left post of defense sect, he did so significantly wealthier.. a rare occurrence for a multimillionaire in public office.

cheney similar w/ halliburton…. intimately connected to decision to invade iraq, which cheney insisted was crucial to protecting us interests. as it turned out… war made americans less secure.. both physically and economically,, but it was a triumph for halliburton…. saddam did not pose a threat to us security but he did post a threat to us energy companies, since he had recently signed contracts with russian oil giant.. and was in negotiations with france’s total…

p 398 – public service is reduced to little more than a reconnaissance mission for future work in the disaster capitalism complex….. even worse.. there is no line..

p 402 – on baker.. mandate to erase 90-95% of iraq’s debt. instead.. debt was merely rescheduled..

kissinger.. cheney… rumsfeld.. ..

part 6 – iraq, full circle

ch 16 – erasing iraq

p 411 – (march 2004 – naomi in baghdad) – no one here cares about privatization, michael told us. what they care about is surviving….. the job of an outsider, he argued, is to try to document the reality of war and occupation, not to decide what iraqi priorities out to be.

p 412 0 architects of this invasion were firm believers in the shock doctrine – they knew that while iraqis were consumed with daily emergencies, the country could be auctioned off discreetly and the results announced as a done deal.

p 413 – bombs ..set the agenda here

p 418 – The brutal regimes that implemented Chicago School ideas in the seventies understood that, for their idealized new nations to be born in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, whole categories of people and their cultures would need to be pulled up “from the root.

p 420 – in the one percent doctrine, ron suskind…

as i’m reading 2016 (delayed from my desire to read a couple yrs earlier), Naomi’s book published in 2007, Glenn’s tweet about an article he wrote in 2012..


This is a good time to read/reread this … The sham “terrorism expert” industry – @ggreenwald…

In the next paragraph, Walt essentially makes clear why this lesson will not be learned: namely, because there are too many American interests vested in the perpetuation of this irrational fear:

Mueller and Stewart estimate that expenditures on domestic homeland security (i.e., not counting the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan) have increased by more than $1 trillion since 9/11, even though the annual risk of dying in a domestic terrorist attack is about 1 in 3.5 million. Using conservative assumptions and conventional risk-assessment methodology, they estimate that for these expenditures to be cost-effective “they would have had to deter, prevent, foil or protect against 333 very large attacks that would otherwise have been successful every year.” Finally, they worry that this exaggerated sense of danger has now been “internalized”: even when politicians and “terrorism experts” aren’t hyping the danger, the public still sees the threat as large and imminent


The best scholarship on this issue, in my view, comes from Remi Brulin, who teaches at NYU and wrote his PhD dissertation at the Sorbonne in Paris on the discourse of Terrorism. When I interviewed him in 2010, he described the history of the term — it was pushed by Israel in the 1960s and early 1970s as a means of universalizing its conflicts (this isn’t our fight against our enemies over land; it’s the Entire World’s Fight against The Terrorists!). The term was then picked up by the neocons in the Reagan administration to justify their covert wars in Central America (in a test run for what they did after 9/11, they continuously exclaimed: we’re fighting against The Terrorists in Central America, even as they themselves armed and funded classic Terror groups in El Salvador and Nicaragua). From the start, the central challenge was how to define the term so as to include the violence used by the enemies of the U.S. and Israel, while excluding the violence the U.S., Israel and their allies used, both historically and presently. That still has not been figured out, which is why there is no fixed, accepted definition of the term, and certainly no consistent application


That is what Terrorism is: a term of propaganda, a means of justifying one’s own state violence — not some objective field of discipline in which one develops “expertise.”

[could only read  like 1/2.. ads or whatever made it so slow]

fear up – interrogations.. more effective when shown torture.. rather than actually doing it.. people’s imaginations up the fear …

p 424 – bombing badly injured iraq, but it was the looting, unchecked by occupying troops, that did the most to erase the heat of the country that was….national museum… pillaged nothing less than records of the first human society….. museum – was the soul of iraq… like a lobotomy – gibson… deep memory of culture.. removed..

p 425 – planners quick to point out – looting done by iraqis…. true that rumsfeld did not plan for iraq to be sacked.. but he didn’t prevent… pentagon had been warned.. by leading archeologists… protect museums and libraries… et al…

p 427  agresto – going into iraq to re do higher ed – didn’t read on iraq before so tha the could start fresh too… if he would have read.. would have realized iraq *(had been more successful in our view of ed success than n mexico – where he was from) – so could have learned from them

* in () is my paraphrase… as it drives me nuts when we talk about success in ed system as a given success… esp in a book like this trying to get to root… ie: writes of n m having 20% able to do basic math on sales receipt.. that’s all manmade.. let’s not use that as our base..

p 428 – on the love shack (pringles and ice cream and tv) before letting people out of guantánamo – so that they would forget… it’s hard to believe – but then again, that was pretty much washington’s game plan for iraq: shock and terrorize the entire country……then make it all ok w unlimited supply of cheap junk..

p 430 – getting rights to distribute procter and gamble products would be a god mine – one wells stocked 7 11 could knock out 30 iraqi stores, a wal mart could take over the country

ch 17 – ideological blowback

p 432 – develop the private sector, starting w the elimination of subsidies… he stressed that these measures were ‘much more important and divisive than privatization’

p 433 – in iraq, washington cut out the middlemen: the imf and world bank were relegated to supporting roles, and the u.s.s was front and center…

p 434 – early laboratories..

p 435 – on sept 11 2001 he had been working as managing *director and sr political adviser at the insurance giant ….one month later… launched crisis consulting practice…… advertising his experience as ambassador at large for counterterrorism under reagan admin….

* got feels for friends who’ve being recruited to white house et al for Ed reform

p 436 – before invasion, iraq’s econ had been anchored by oil and 200 state owned companies… which provided staples…  bremer…. 200 firms privatized immediately… getting inefficient state enterprises into *private hands… bremer said, is essential for iraq’s econ recovery

*private – as she keeps adding… blink hands.. blind to culture et al… blind to ethics.. goal at hand.. is profit

bremer enacted a radical set of laws described by the economist in glowing terms as the ‘wishlist that foreign investors and donor agencies dream of for developing markets.’

the decree stipulated.. investor could sing leases/contracts that would last for forty yrs and then be eligible for renewal… so.. future elected govts would be saddled w deals … one area held back on was oil… but did tae possession of $20 bill worth of revenues from oil….

white house so focused on shiny new econ.. decided to launch brand new currency…. the uk firm de la rue did the printing and bills were delivered in fleets of planes and distributed in armored vehicles and trucks that ran a 1000 missions throughout the country – at a time when 50% of people still lacked water et al

p 437 – market created… just as homeland security complex was, w a huge pot of  public money. for reconstruction alone the boom was kicked off with 38 bill from us congress, 15 bill from other countries and 20 bill of iraq’s own oil money…… when announced… there were laudatory comparisons with the marshall plan… via bush… (claiming) lifting up defeated nations of japan and germany after ww2

what happened w billions for iraq’s reconstruct.. was anti marshall plan… mirror opposite.. wasn’t helping iraq to be self-sufficient .. but rather entice corp america…..iraqis had virtually no role in this plan at all… but rather.. commissioned a kind of country-in-a-box.. designed in virginia and texas .. to be assembled in iraq.. as occupation authorities repeatedly said.. a gift from people of u.s. to iraq

again.. sounds Ed reform ish… even to 1 laptop negropante/mitra ness

once again… iraqis cast in the role of awed spectators – first awed by u.s. miltary tech and then by its engineering and management prowess..

schooling the world et al… cultures saying education a given.. a means to freedom (even here in u.s. ie: ged ness).. yet comanded/comandeered defn of education is so not – drawing forth from within ness

p 440 – talking all the privatization going on in iraq – and ed companies drafted post saddam curriculum and printed the new textbooks. (creative associates, a management and education consulting firm based in dc, was given contracts worth more than 100 mill for these tasks)…… the green zone … a halliburton run city state.. w the company in charge of everything from road maintenance to pest control to movie and disco nights… bush admin saw oversight as a noncore function to be outsource.. the colorado based engineering and construction company ch2m hill was paid 28.5 mill in a joint venture with parsons to oversee four other major contractors.. .. even… job of local democracy was privatized.. by north carolina based.. given contract   466 mill.. dominated by high level mormons..

p 441 – on requests for generators..

thinking of jessica – and what generators do – 2 packs a day..

.. no generators.. american companies preferred to import their cement.. at up to ten times the price…

p 442 – as is now well known, nothing about bus’s anti marshall plan went as intended. iraqis did not see the corp reconstruction as a gift.. most saw it as a modernized form of pillage… see reconstruction as ‘a joke that nobody laughs at…ultimately sending the country spiraling into an inferno of violence..

as of 2006 – war had taking lives of 665 000 iraqis who would not have die if no invasion/occupation

yet – ralph peters.. retired us army officer.. et al… choose to blame the iraqis… ie: we did give iraqis unique chance to bild a rule of law democracy… but iraqis preferred to indulge in old hatreds.. violence.. bigotry.. corruption

sectarian divisions and religious extremism engulfing iraq can’t be neatly detached from invasion/occupation…. weaker before.. iraq was turned into a u.s. shock lab… ie: iraqis wanted secular govt… after…. 70% want islamic law as basis..


p 443 – After the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iraq badly needed and deserved to be repaired and reunited, a process that could only have been led by Iraqis. Instead, at precisely that precarious moment, the country was transformed into a cutthroat capitalist laboratory—a system that pitted individuals and communities against each other, that eliminated hundreds of thousands of jobs and livelihoods and that replaced the quest for justice with rampant impunity for foreign occupiers

via old chicago school boys ideology..

p 445 – that ideological blindness had 3 effects: damaged possibility of reconstruction by removing skilled people; weakened voice of secular iraqis; fed resistance w angry people..

current tweet from data and society:


We’re streaming @vm_wylbur‘s “Understanding Patterns of Mass Violence with Data and Statistics” talk live now

looking through his tweet stream while livestream gets rolling:


Just out, I wrote this about homicides by US police in 1/3 of homicides by strangers are by police.

notes from livestream:

data is always lying to you.. but if we know that we can fix it.. can’t use data in its raw form… ie: not what it seems…last century…. solved this.. ie: big data doesn’t work.. but now have so much more data.. we forgot what we learned then…

if we don’t know what we don’t know and we compare two different counts.. the stakes of ignoring this.. huge

stats rarely about magnitude.. but rather .. pattern…

what you don’t know is systematically diff than what you do know

i’m not talking about models that give us explanations… talking about models that help us figure out what’s not in our sample.. ie: data base of iraq body count

what does it mean to not know about something.. it means we have zero sources… so the notion of  a source.. gives us our first insight about what it means to have knowledge in the  world.. so ie: count proportion that has certain number of sources…

sources..? – who defines that..? i mean we’ve seen the exponential fly of ie: rumor ness

what kinds of events are covered by zero sources..

i’m not suggesting rise of isis is a result of bad data analysis

bad data analysis much worse than no data analysis..

[rest of notes on data & soc page]


back to book..

p 445 – The violence, these businessmen realize, is their only competitive edge.

was specific to iraq invasion/occupation.. but oh so global (geographically and ideologically).. no?

on washington’s obsession w writing constitution for iraq – many legal experts baffled… ie: no pressing need… iraq’s 1970 constitution , ignored by saddam, was perfectly serviceable, .. process of writing  a constitution is among the most wrenching any nation can go through, even a nation at peace. it brings every tension, rivalry prejudice and latent grievance to the surface.

why do we do it (reminds me of process of curriculum writing session after session.. year after year).. isn’t that what web is allowing us.. to disengage from consensus..?

p 450 – everyone knows that bubbles are not inflated with rules and regulations but by their absence…

and other stuff.. like competition, market ness, et al… otherwise.. we might actually see us.. connecting with whom/what/where ever ness is good.. if goal is betterness for everyone… and not only good… what we need… only way dance will dance

p 451 – on the subcontracting web – american taxpayer paid for air conditioner and after money goes through four hands…. there is a fan put in a room in iraq.. more to the point, all this time iraqis watched their aid money stolen as their country boiled.

ch 18 – full circle

p 458 – so washington abandoned its democratic promises and instead ordered increases in the shock levels in the hop that a higher dosage would finally do the trick.

p 460 – bremer flew back to washington for huddled meetings at the white house. when he returned to baghdad, he announce that general elections were off the table. iraq’s first ‘sovereign’ govt would be appointed, not elected.

p 462 – on body shocks… in first 3.5 year of occupation, and estimated 61500 iraqis were captured and imprisoned by us forces, usually w methods designed fo r’max capture shock’ roughly 19 000 remained in custody in spring of 2007..

p 464 – jeremy scahill – on hiring of private security companies like blackwater.. hired more than 700 chilean troops…

p 466 – perry (used to work at secret facility) becomes concerned that tecniques violate geneva convention… w/in 2 hours, team of military lawyers .. w 2 hour ppt presentation on why detainees not protected by geneva convention… et al

p 468 –  on letting detainees go.. ie: pushed off truck.. told you were arrested by mistake.. red cross said us military officials have admitted that somewhere between 70 an d90 % of detentions in iraq were mistakes…. so abu ghraib as breeding ground for insurgents.. all insults/torture make them ready to do just about anything. who can blame them – ali… if he’s a good guy, you know, now he’s a bad guy because of the way we treated him… – sergeant w 82nd airborne….. situation far worse in jails run by iraqis..

p 469 – 2006 nytimes report on faraj mahmoud… hanged from ceiling.. electric prod.. making body bounce off walls..

peter maass – 2005 – reporter embedded w special police… often tortured bodies were left with a sign bearing the signature of the death squad…. by 2005, these sorts of *messages had become a regular sight on roadsides in iraq

*messages – like today’s isis videos.. how we’re teaching each other well…

more high tech ways of conveying messages of terror.. terrorism in the grip of justice is a widely watched tv show on the u.s. funded al iraqiya network…. every night iraqis watch these confessions coming from the bruised and swollen faces of the unmistakably tortured… the show has a good effect on civilians… – adnan thabit told maass….maass questioned them about what he had seen in library… the peeled off skin….

fred lowy (psychiatrist) – the freudians developed subtle methods of peeling the onion to get at the heart of problem… cameron wanted to drill right through and to hell w the layers.. but… the layers are all there is.. so not a fresh start.. but .. confused..injured.. broken… shattered by saddam/war/each-other.. bush’s in house disaaster capitalists didn’t wip iraq clean, they just stirred it up..

p 471 – Countries, like people, don’t reboot to zero with a good shock; they just break and keep on breaking. Which of course requires more blasting—upping the dosage, holding down the button longer, more pain, more bombs, more torture.

bush.. et al.. still holding out for one good ‘surge’

p 472 – In the seventies, when the corporatist crusade began, it used tactics that courts ruled were overtly genocidal: the deliberate erasure of a segment of the population. In Iraq, something even more monstrous has happened—the erasure not of a segment of the population but of an entire country; Iraq is disappearing, disintegrating

2006 – 2/3 of them stayed home (from school) next came professionals: doctors, professors, entrepreneurs, scientists, pharmacists, judges, lawyers. and estimated three hundred iraqi academics have been assassinated by death squads since us invasions… doctors have fared even worse: by feb 2007 – estimated two thousand had been killed and twelve thousand had fled.

p 473 – w iraqi industry all but of the only local businesses booming is kidnapping. over just three and a half months in early 2006 nearly 20 000 people were kidnapped in iraq.. families either come up with tens of thousands in us dollars or identify bodies at morgue

p 476 – iraq was far too volatile for oil giants to make major investments, so no pressing need for a new law.. except to use chaos to bypass public debate on the most contentious issue facing the country..

p 479 – the wording of the work order was vague enough that ‘information technology’ could be stretched to mean interrogation

part 7 – the movable green zone

che 19 – blanking the beach.. the second tsunami

p 487 – dec 26 2004 – tsunami took lives of 350 000 people and left 2.5 million homeless…naomi goes to sri lanka.. one of hardest hit… 6 moths later to see how reconstruction efforts here compared with those in iraq..

p 490 – tsunami killed approx 35 000 sri lankans and displace nearly a mill… small boat fishing people like roger made up 80 percent of victims.. some areas closer to 98 percent. in order to receive food rations and small relief allowances, hundreds of thousands of people moved away from the beach and into temp camps inland.. many  long grim barracks made of tin sheet that trapped the heat so … many slept outside.

p 491 – missing from all artists’ impressions/blueprints were the victims of the tsunami – the hundreds of fishing families who used to live/work on beach… making matters worse. the 80 mill redevelopment project was to be financed w aid money raised in the name of the victims..

p 493 – of victims – it was as if this invasion of salt water and rubble was so humblingly powerful that … it also scrubbed away intractable hatreds, blood feuds and the tally of who last killed whom.. instead of endlessly talking about peace, sri lankans, in their moment of greatest stress, were actually living it.

ravaged sr lankans doing/being peace

p 494 – in 6 months, 13 billion was raised – a world record. in the first months, much of the reconstruction money reached its intended recipients – ngos and aid agencies brought emergency food and water, tents and tmp lean tots…. certainly had enough money for ie: housing .. but 6 months later.. progress had stopped.. … commissioning an endless series of studies and master plans from outside experts… as bureaucrats argued, survivors of the tsunami waited in the sweltering inland camps…

greedy bureaucrats talking/flapping/planning/plotting b via B

p 499 – people were vehemently opposed to these policies in the past, he told me, but now they are starving in the camps, and they are just thinking about how to survive the next day…. so it’s in that situation that the govt pushes ahead with this plan…

p 500 – according to wsj – world bank and imf had thrown weight behind telecom sale, making it a condition for release of roughly 47 mill in aid annually over 3 yrs.. linking it to about 4.4 bill in foreign debt relief for nicaragua.. phone privatization had nothing to do w hurricane reconstruction, or course, except inside the logic of the disaster capitalists at washington’s financial institutions..

p 501 – destruction carries w it an opp for foreign investment – announced guatemala’s foreign minister on a trip to he wef in davos 1999

not just any industry – five of ten members of the task force had direct holding in the beach tourism sector, … there was no one from the fishing or farming sectors on task force… not a single environmental expert or scientist or even a disaster …. specialist..

p 502 – the only direct money that the us govt was spending on small scale fishing people was a mill dollar grant to upgrade the temp shelters where they were being warehoused…

p 504 – touching story of mother escaping… et al.. her message: if you have something for me, .. put it in my hand..

tsunamis survivors in tamil nadu were left so impoverished that up to 150 women were driven to sell their kidneys in order to buy food

p 505 – same patterns everywhere… residents barred from rebuilding.. hotels showered w/incentives… it concluded that the setbacks could not be chalked up to usual villains of poor communication/underfunding/corruption. the problems were structural and deliberate: govt’s have largely failed …

nowhere compared with the maldives – … roughly 200 islands

p 506 – before tsunami.. maldives govt had been looking to expand number of resort islands… it faced the usual obstacle: people.

p 508 -The two economic poles of globalization, the ones that seem to live in different centuries, not countries, were suddenly put in direct conflict over the same pieces of coastline, one demanding the right to work, the other demanding the right to play. Backed up by the guns of local police and private security, it was militarized gentrification, class war on the beach. Some of the most direct clashes took place in Thailand, where, within twenty-four hours of the wave, developers sent in armed private security guards to fence in land they had been coveting for resorts. In some cases the guards wouldn’t even let survivors search their old properties for the bodies of their children

p 509 – the ngos bore the burnt of anger… they were visible slapping logos on everything… it was ironic, since the aid organizers were the only ones offering any kind of help…. yet – in a country as hot as sri lanka, these cars, with their tinted windows and blasting air conditioners, were more than modes of transportation; they were rolling microclimates…. originally contracted to rebuild schools… redirected to build toilets for people displaced by fighting… nyt

p 510 – impossible to say how much the decision to use the tsunami as an opp contributed to the rerun to civil war… one thing certain though: if peace was to take root in sri lanka, it needed to outweigh the benfits of war .. ie: war econ.. army takes care of families of soldiers and tamil tigers look after families of fighters and suicide bombers…

p 511 – enormous outpouring of generosity after tsunami had held out the rare possbility of genuine peace dividiend.. the resources to imagine a more equitable coutnry , to repair shattered communities.. instead… ottawa political sci roland paris has termed ‘a peace penalty’ the imposition of a cutthroat combative econ model

everywhere the chicago school crusade has triumphed, it has created a permanent underclass of between 25 and 60 percent of the population.. it is always a form of war…..

there are, as keynes argued all those years ago, political consequences to this kind of punitive peace – including the otubreak of even bloodier wars..

ch 20 – disaster apartheid

p 513 – katrina was not unforeseeable. it was the result of a political structure that subcontracts its responsibility to private contractors and abdicates its responsibility altogether – harry belafonte.. 2005

p 515 – as a grad of a private med school and then an intern at a private hospital, he had been trained simply not to see new orleans’ uninsured, overwhelmingly african american residents as potential patients.. (her encounter w/plush hospital in nola)

p 517 – collapsed levees of no will have consequences for neoconservatism just as long and deep as the collapse of the wall in e berlin had on soviet communism – wrote the repentant true believer martin kelly…

p 518 – w/in weeks, the gulf coast became a domestic lab for the sam kind of govt-run-by-contractors that had been pioneered in iraq

p 520 – when the same mistakes are repeated over and over again, it’s time to consider the possibility that they are not mistakes at all.. in new orleans, as in iraq, no opportunity for profit was left untapped..

emergency workers and local volunteer morticians were forbidden to step in to help because handling the bodies impinged on kenyon’s commercial territory. the company charged the state, on average 12500 a victim, and it has since been accused of failing to properly label many bodies. for almost a yr after flood, decayed corpses were still being discovered in attics.

p 520 – corps withdrew funds thru massive contracts.. then repaid govt not w  reliable work but w campaign contrib’s… the bush admin in turn increased the amount spent on contractors y roughly 200 bill between 2000 and 2006

washington could have easily  have made it a condition.. nola peoples helped rebuild.. but instead.. residents of gulf coast., like people of iraq .were expected to watch as contractors created an econ boom base on easy taxpayer money and relaxed regs

p 521 – using – immigration agents were on way – to get rid of workers they weren’t paying… and attacks on the disadvantaged, carried out in the name of reconstruction and relief, didn’t stop there…. nov 2005 – republican controlled congress announced that it needed to cut $40 bill from fed budget.. among were.. student loans, medicaid, and food stamps… in other words, poorest…. first w katrina.. then w unregulated handouts…

Not so long ago, disasters were periods of social leveling, rare moments when atomized communities put divisions aside and pulled together. Increasingly, however, disasters are the opposite: they provide windows into a cruel and ruthlessly divided future in which money and race buy survival

Baghdad’s Green Zone is the starkest expression of this world order. It has its own electrical grid, its own phone and sewage systems, its own oil supply and its own state-of-the-art hospital with pristine operating theaters—all protected by five-meter-thick walls. It feels, oddly, like a giant fortified Carnival Cruise Ship parked in the middle of a sea of violence and despair, the boiling Red Zone that is Iraq. If you can get on board, there are poolside drinks, bad Hollywood movies and Nautilus machines. If you are not among the chosen, you can get yourself shot just by standing too close to the wall. Everywhere

p 523 – at first i thought the green zone phenomenon was unique to the war in iraq. now after years spent in other disaster zones, i realize that the green zone emerges everywhere that the disaster capitalism complex descends, with the same stark partitions….

p 524 – amid the schools, the homes, the hospitals, the transit system and the lack of clean water … nola’s public sphere was not being rebuilt, it was being erased w the storm used as the excuse..

p 526 – much of hose funds have, quite legally, gone into huge investments in corp infrastructure…most dramatic has been blackwater’s investment in its paramilitary infrastructure.

p 527 – 90% of blackwater’s revenues come from the state contracts, …. yet the vast infrastructure is all privately owned and controlled. the citizens who have funded it have absolutely no claim to this parallel econ or its resources

sound like how people talk about fb twitter et al

p 531 – john robb (former covert action mission commander with delta force turned successful management consultant… manifest.. end result of war on terror…- .predicting green zone divide ness for everywhere in future.. so what was done for extraordinary circumstances.. now done for ord circumstances

ch 21 – losing the peace incentive

p 537 – lockheed martin..who rormer pres chaired committee loudly agitating fora war in iraq, received 25 bill of us taxpayer dollars in 2005 alone

p 538 – oil and gas industry is so intimately entwined with the econ of disaster – both as root cause behind many disasters and as a beneficiary from them…

p 539 – an econ system that requires constant growth, while bucking almost all serious attempts at environmental regulation, generates a steady stream of disasters all on its own, whether military, ecological or financial..

Our common addiction to dirty, nonrenewable energy sources keeps other kinds of emergencies coming: natural disasters (up 430 percent since 1975) and wars waged for control over scarce resources (not just Iraq and Afghanistan but lower-intensity conflicts such as those that rage in Nigeria, Colombia and Sudan), which in turn create terrorist blowback (a 2007 study calculated that the number of terrorist attacks since the start of the Iraq war had increased sevenfold).

p 540 – more panicked societies become… convinced terrorists lurking  …….

The only prospect that threatens the booming disaster economy on which so much wealth depends—from weapons to oil to engineering to surveillance to patented drugs—is the possibility of achieving some measure of climatic stability and geopolitical peace.

a nother way

for (blank)’s sake

p 542 – that israel continues to boom.. even as it wages war… demos just how perilous.. to build econ based on premise of continual war… and deepening disasters..

p 543 – we are not seeking a peace of flags, peres said, we are interested in a peace of markets…. israli pm: rabin; palestinian: arafat on white house lawn… 1994 – 3 won noble peace prize.. then it all went horribly wrong…. oslo may have been optimistic period in israeli-palestinian relations.. but famous handshake did not mark the sealing of a deal….. debates about who derailed the peace process or whether peace was ever the real goal .. are well known and have been exhaustively explored..

one was influx of soviet jews.. result of russian’s shock therapy… other was the flipping of israel’s export econ to high tech relating to counterterrorism… it was just 3 wks after handshake that yeltsin sent tanks to fire on parliament (sept 13 93)

p 545 – later waves of soviet (jewish) immigrants… desperate econ refugees… not drawn to israel but feel expelled from ussr….

palestinian’s displaced by this – roughly 150 000 palestinians left their homes in gaza and west bank every day.. and traveled to israel to clean streets and build roads, while palestinian farmers and tradespeople filled trucks w goods and sold them in israel and in other parts of the territories.. each side deepened on other… then… just as oslo came into effect… that deeply interdependent relationship was abruptly severed… suddenly, tel aviv had the power to launch a new era in palestinian relations…  on mar 30 93, israel began its policy of – closure… preventing palestinians from getting to their jobs…. began as temp measure… response to threat of terrorism.. it quickly became the new status quo..

p 546 – mini moscow in israel…. mid and late nineties.. israeli companies took global econ by storm.. in high tech… israel’s eco … most tech dependent in world. – 15% of gdp….. new arrivals played a decisive role… more highly trained scientists that israel’s top tech institute had graduated in 80 yrs existence..

p 548 – 2000 – 2nd intifada – (palestinian uprising against israeli occupation)…. arafat  (palestinian)- offered deal at camp david – turns back on deal..  israelis lost faith in negotiation… start building… security barrier… palestinians call – apartheid wall..

p 549 –  when israel’s niche… info tech.. meant sending software/chips to la and london.. not shipping heavy cargo to beirut and damascus.. success in tech .. didn’t require israel to have friendly relationship w its arab neighbors or to end its occupation…

tech allowing us to not be friends w neighbors

tech was first phase.. second came after 2000 dot com crash… .. had to find a new niche…  branch out from info/comm tech to security/surveillance tech.. new vision for them after 9 11 – homeland security boom… finance minister – netanyahu…

p 551 – israel’s pitch to n america and europe: war on terror you are just embarking on is one we have been fighting since our birth.. let our high tech firms/privatized spy companies show you how it’s done… israel – more tech stocks on nasdaq… more tech patents in us than china and india combined..

p 552 – len rosen.. it’s security that matters more than peace.. during oslo .. people were looking for peace to provide growth. now they’re looking for security so violence doesn’t curtail growth.

p 554 – security barriers may prove to be biggest disaster market of all…

p 557 – clearly israeli industry no longer has reason to fear war

p 558 – this is what a society looks like when it has lost its econ incentive for peace and is heavily invested in fighting profiting from an endless and unwinnable war on terror. one part looks like israel; the other part looks like gaza….. the disaster capitalism complex thrives in conditions of low-intensity grinding conflict.

p 559 – bantustans were essentially work camps, a way to keep african laborers under tight surveillance and control so they would work cheaply in the mines what israel has constructed is a system designed to do the opposite: to keep workers from working a network of open holding pens for millions of people who have been categorized as surplus humanity

israel has taken this disposal process a step further: it has built walls around the dangerous poor

conclusion – shock wears off

p 564 – the effects of the shocks that had been so integral to creating the illusion of ideological consensus were beginning to wear off

disengage from consensus ness… pluralistic ignorance..

walsh knew that shock, by its very nature, is a temporary state….before he was gunned down on the streets of buenos aires, walsh estimated that it would take 20-30 yrs until the effects of the terror receded and argentines regained their footing courage and confidence.

feeling that way myself

p 565 – in years since, that wide-awake shock resistance has spread to many other former shock labs – chile, bolivia, china, lebanon. and as people shed the collective fear that was first instilled with tanks and cattle prods…. many are demanding more democracy and more control over markets… these demands represent the greatest threat of all to friedmans’ legacy because they challenge his most central claim: that capitalism and freedom are part of the same indivisible project...

the bush admin remains so committed to perpetuating this false union that , in 2002, it embedded it in the nationals security strategy of the us

p 569 – gorbachev had a similar … vision.. to turn soviet union into a ‘socialist beacon’… s africa’s freedom charter, … was vision of this same third way: not state communism, but markets existing alongside the nationalization of the banks and mines, with the income used to build comfortable neighborhoods and decent schools – economic as well as political democracy.

p 570 – it is precisely because the dream of econ equality is so popular, and so difficult to defeat in a fair fight, that the shock doctrine was embraced in the first place..

In the sixties and seventies, the favored tactic for dealing with the inconvenient popularity of developmentalism and democratic socialism was to try to equate them with Stalinism, deliberately blurring the clear differences between the worldviews. (Conflating all opposition with terrorism plays a similar role today.)

p 571 – though the extent to which they provide genuine alternative remains a subject of intense debate…

our greatest need… no? not more debate… not more protest… but modeling a nother way to live.. as the day.

p 572 – mar 2006 – we are back..referring to the generation that had been terrorized in the 70s. in the huge assembled crowd, he said, were ‘the faces of the 30 000 disappeared comaneros returning to this plaza today… kirchner……. michelle bachelet, chile’s president, was one of the thousands who were victims of pinochet’s reign of terror

p 575 – many are pieces of state infrastructure – tool booths, highway maintenance, health clinics – handed over to he communities to run it’s a revers of the logic of govt outsourcing – rather than auctioning off pieces of the state to large corps and losing democratic control, the people who use the resources are given the power to mange them, creating, at least in theory, both jobs and more responsive public services.

p 577 – as a result, the imf… no longer a force on the continent. in 3005 – latin america made up 80% of imf’s total lending portfolio in 2007 – just 2 %… there is life after the imf, kirchner declared .. and it’s a good life.

p 579 – a state of shock by definition, is a moment when there is a gap between fast moving events and the information that exists to explain them..

p 580 – The interrogators know that prisoners talk. They warn each other about what’s to come; they pass notes between the bars. Once that happens, the captors lose their edge. They still have the power to inflict bodily pain, but they have lost their most effective psychological tools to manipulate and “break” their prisoners: confusion, disorientation and surprise. Without those elements, there is no shock

why realizing our pluralistic ignorance.. is to important

p 581 – lebanon is also undertaking some important economic reforms that are critical to making any of this work… condoleezz rice

p 583 – in what would have been music to the ears of katrina survivors, the hezbolah leader, sheik hassan nasrallah, promised the country in a televised address, ‘you won’t nee to ask a favor of anyone, ‘….. instead, hezollah did what renuka, the sri lankan tsunami survivor, told me she wished someone would do for her family: put the help in their hands..

p 585 – memory, both individual and collective, turns our to be the greatest shock absorber of all..

app ness – self-talk as data – as the day

p 586 – now, officials from the sub district come to ban tung wah to learn about ‘people managed tsunami rehabilitation’

p 587 – the results are communities stronger than the were before the wave…. a thai manifesto… the rebuilding work should be done by local communities themselves as much as possible. keep contractors out, let communities take responsibility for their own housing…

p 588 – the universal experience of living through a great shock is the feeling of being completely powerless: in the face of awesome forces, parents lose the ability to save their children, spouses are separated, homes -.. become death traps. best way to recover from helplessness turns out to be helping.. having the right to be part of a communal recovery…

these are movements that do not seek to start from scratch but rather from scrap, from the rubble that is all around..

rev of everyday life


puerto rico

David Atkins (@DavidOAtkins) tweeted at 2:52 AM – 1 Oct 2017 :

@NaomiAKlein thank you for inspiring me to write this.

Don’t Let The Vultures Shock Doctrine Puerto Rico



Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) tweeted at 4:34 AM – 1 Oct 2017 :

I have, and we all should be amplifying today. Nothing can justify this state violence. #CatalanReferendum (


puerto rico and anti shock doctrine

Brand new piece by @yeampierre + me: “Imagine a Puerto Rico recovery designed by Puerto Ricans” #AntiShockDoctrine

Original Tweet:

given the tools to become true partners and save themselves.


Joey (@joeyayoub) tweeted at 4:30 AM – 25 Nov 2017 :

Slavery in Libya: shock is not solidarity (


naomi  – 17 min video – on puerto rico

The Battle for Paradise: Naomi Klein Reports from Puerto Rico

Thank you!

Original Tweet:

5 min – who is puerto rico for.. who has right to make these decisions..

reimagining how island regenerates energy

9 min – had been following the monoculture of farming.. and getting food imported.. but after.. now multiple crops.. ie: not just coffee and sugar.. so farmers don’t have to starve anymore..

11 min – solar oasis.. farm school.. tiny islands of functionality in a sea of desperation..

fear that schools will be shut down .. outsider opp for reform