Monday, February 23, 2009

Another perspective on The Shock Doctrine

Journalist Naomi Klein's appearance at the IMU last week made waves throughout campus, as evidenced by the several hundred people who attended the lecture. Like any charismatic figure with something to say, Klein has both devoted supporters and critics. 

Will Wilkinson, from the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. delivered a pretty passionate prebuttal the night before Klein's lecture, and Chris Patton ran a column in the DI last week on the discrepancies between Klein's conclusions and the evidence she uses to reach them. (And if the DI's website worked, I could link to it. Damn.)

Here's another perspective from Roman Skaskiw, an Adjunct Professor who teaches Creative Writing for Business. He saw both Wilkinson and Klein, and has also served in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

"I agree with Naomi Klein's criticism of Iraq, torture, the bailout, corruption and cronyism, but it seems a non-sequitur to implicate the free markets. When there is less government, there is less wealth given to the political cronies. The fact that our government decided to redistribute our wealth to incompetent bankers (who would have otherwise gone out of business) doesn't implicate the free market, it implicates government interference in the market, which is what Naomi seems to be calling for. I remain completely confused by this.

"We live in a country where 22 million people (1/7th of the labor force) is directly employed by the Federal Government. I don't think we can afford so much government, and I don't think my belief is small government casts me in the same light as the Bush administration, which did not increase economic liberties, but saddled us with more debt than all its predecessors combined. Pointing to the Bush Administration as proof that free markets and free market reforms are a source of evil is completely schizophrenic. 

"There seemed to be a free association in Naomi Klein's lecture between free markets and horrible things like corporatism, Iraq, torture, and Blackwater. Freedom and liberty work. Countries with the greatest economic liberty, always have the greatest political and individual liberty."

-Katie Hanson

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