Sunday, December 02, 2007

Food for Thought

I'm not much for conspiracy theories. Overall, I think the temptation to make a case based on issues that have not been substantiated becomes an obsession and generally goes nowhere. I think such theories go nowhere for a couple of reasons. Either they were based on a desire or wish rather than factual information, or there was a nugget of truth and it's exposure enabled the offender to change tact and effectively cover up.

So, with that said, it is not my intent to promote a conspiracy theory. I simply raise an issue that piqued my interest and one that I intend to follow.

I read an interesting short article by Naomi Klein today. Right wingers who dismiss Naomi as a leftist loon and her new book The Shock Doctrine as a conspiracy theory are simply wrong and show their lack of depth, not to mention an inability to view the world from another angle. There is no question that Ms. Klein is on the left and I do not agree with her on all issues but as far as this book is concerned, it's not based on a vague theory. In fact she goes out of her way to illustrate that there is no grand plot to create shock, she simply points out how a specific ideology capitalises on it.

The article speaks to market reaction to climate change and it's rejection of green technology in favour of markets that deal with the outcome of climate change inaction. So, those means by which we could ameliorate the damage we have done and are doing are less profitable that what we'll require to contend with our inaction.

In other words, Governments with an ideology that support free markets and more importantly overall privatisation, based on their own articulated claims stand to realise their ideal more effectively by NOT engaging in meaningful action.

Here is the article.

So why did this pique my curiousity? It's an article about the US after all. The answer is obvious of course. We have only one ally going to Bali and that is the US. Baird blusters about getting the US on side, but come on, the history of our current government on this file is pretty obvious. They have crafted a position that is long on rhetoric, announcements that do not impede their inaction while leaving room to criticise the US, with their blessing I am sure.

So, can Naomi's assertion be brought to bear here? I don't know frankly but having read this and remembering this, gave me pause for thought. At the very least we are developing relationships with those groups and that is of concern to me.

The Cons have passed no legislation vis a vis the environment. They seem content to allow the "market" to take care of it all. They still have not announced who the renown advisers they are bringing to Bali with them. It's tomorrow right? Are they free market/privatisation supporters? We don't know and no one seems to be asking the question.

So, I put this out there. Is there a reason for concern?

You tell me.
Updates: This supports the inaction concept.


Ryan said...

This article reminds me of all of those 9-11 "inside job" conspiracy theories. Klein doesn't suggest that these regimes really create the catastrophies, they just capitalize on them.

In the case of 9-11, I've heard a bunch of people suggest that 9-11 was an "inside job" and that the Bush administration had a hand in it. I don't agree with that in the slightest, but I do think it's another case of taking advantage of a disaster situation to further your own goals.

And I'm sure that plenty of people who say that Klein is a conspiracy theorist have since come around to believing that the Bush admin has taken advantage of the aftermath of 9-11. What's so different?

Gayle said...

OT - but you got a nice mention on Don Newman today.

knb said...

Indeed ryan. I think we are a bit silent, complacent really in this country and this is somethng that needs to be looked at.

I wish Naomi would come home and speak to Afghanistan and the environment.

I know America lends good exposure, but we need some clarity here too.

knb said...

Thanks Gayle.

I thank you for noticing and I really thank Kady for noticing.

Who would have thunk it?

Gayle said...

It is the second time in two weeks you have been mentioned.

You are a star!

Ryan said...

One could argue the same "shock doctrine" is prevalent in any major moves by the conservatives. Case in point, here in Alberta, where we've been mighty rich for some time, still haven't started injecting money back into medicare, education and social programs to where they were in the 80's. In the 80's, Klein invented (according to a 1995 book by Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft, "Shredding the Public Interest") a catastrophic situation where Alberta's spending was through the roof and our debt was crippling. People saw it as the end of civilization and were willing to give full reign to his regime. The end result: massive cuts and privatization that has not been addressed in the slightest.

We see it in each and every situation that calls for massive privatization. Massive shock in order to wipe the slate clean.

Red Canuck said...

KNB - I was at work today, and as usual, missed Politics. But I'm thrilled to read that you were mentioned on the Brawwwwdcast!! That's fantastic...good for you...and well deserved. I'll have to see if I can hunt the clip down on the web.

As for the BushCo free-market advocates, they are anything but. They are indebted to the industries and lobbies that put them in power, and give innumerable no-bid contracts, grants and tax incentives back in return to those sectors, at the expense of others....hardly a "free-market" but one that curiously works in favour of the "garrisons", as Klein puts it.

knb said...

Interesting ryan. Does Stelmach have any desire to change things?

knb said...

Thanks RC!

Re' your comment vis a vis Bush, I agree with you. I think the concept has morphed to fit the current gangs needs and they hide behind terms like free market etc.

I haven't paid too much attention to the bidding process here but it occurs to me that there were some questions around single source bids.

The gun lobby concerns me at the moment as it seems there is no question that they are in the governments back pocket.

Ryan said...

You'll probably see that Stelmach has increased spending in all of the areas that were cut in the 90's. However, it's just to adapt to the explosive population growth and not about reinjecting badly needed cash into troubled areas.

Stelmach is no worse than Klein was, but the problem is that he's not any better. Except maybe the fact that he can watch his mouth in front of the cameras.

sassy said...

KNB - Excellent post – as always.

So, can Naomi's assertion be brought to bear here? I don't know frankly but having read this and remembering this, gave me pause for thought. At the very least we are developing relationships with those groups and that is of concern to me.
Both links take me to the same url? (is it me)

Is there reason for concern? - ----- , the price of everything, and the value of nothing is what this is all about. The quick fix, the so sought after 15 minutes, yes fleeting short term goals.

Is there reason for concern? - when long term honourable vision is not evident – oh yes!

OTHER – Don Newman – earned / applauded - :) ... virtual studio.

Red Tory said...

Way to go getting the the nod from Katie! (I just love her...)

Klein isn’t nearly as much of a crackpot as many on the Right would have us believe. Her theory has a good deal of validity to it, although I would depart in some significant respects with regards to conflating the economic theories of the Chicago School with various methods of “torture” and interrogation techniques developed by the CIA. That’s where things start going a bit screwy and tin-foilish in my opinion.

That said, the general principles of the “Shock Doctrine” are probably the best contextualization of the post 9/11 events that I’ve run across and one would be hard pressed to contradict her assertions given what we know of the PNAC agenda, the players involved and the “facts on the ground” if you will that have transpired over the last several years.

Should we be in the least bit surprised that guns are trumping butter (well, not exactly butter, but you know what I mean…) and investment capital favours swords over ploughshares? If people thought the cost of the war in Iraq has been heinously expensive ($475 billion so far and counting…), that’s nothing. Just wait until the Pentagon gets their begging bowl out in the next couple of years looking to replace all of the equipment lost in Iraq (something that’s curiously never really accounted for when determining the “cost of the war”) — new generation tanks, APVs, artillery, interceptors, “star wars” technology, etc. The tab will be counted in the trillions. And yet… combating climate-change will ruin the economy and beggar us all. Go figure.

Dame said...

You are all very high minded and kind if you see all this for "Reason For Concern " These ultra right governments are Committing the CRIME OF THE CENTURY against humanity ...should be in jail for treason wrecking the economy spending the Future of the children and forcing us to live in a Toxic stew … .
It is their way preventing the Progressives for doing good for a Decade or so By soakings all of us in DEBTH for a very long period..
They KNOW some days they will be banished from power they make sure to fix the wrongs will take decade{s}For good Governments ..
The Regan Mulroney "legacy" at works.. and now watch Harper to militarize Canada ..….
I am so mad I can’t even talk well.…. ..

Red Tory said...


knb said...

Sassy, thank you.

You're right, I messed up on the links and I'm having a devil of time trying to find the second one.

If I find it, I'll replace it.

knb said...

Thanks're still her fav.

I think you sum up well how her (Naomi) theory has been both spun and is credible.

It's of course not a surprise, but the tentacles are a bit daunting, no?

By that I mean they go unchecked. That is disturbing, no really disturbing.

This is not a story that is being followed in the US, which is very weird. I suppose they do not want their brush, that "nutty" brush to pick up any more nuts, as Klein has been described to be. That is the brush they paint with.

In an effort to be neutral, they ignore truth.

Looking forward to you coming back RT.

Tell us please about the new photo, :).

knb said...

Marta, I understand your anger. I share it and perhaps we should get more angry and show that in the public forum.

The problem at the moment, in my view, is Harper and co. have the stage.

If we raise these issues, he writes us off as nuts and he gets the press.

We have to find a way to get truth out. How we do that I am not sure. I am just trying to bring this discussion to the fore.

This is the only platform I have and I welcome your input.

I love that you don't hold back, btw.