The Shock Doctrine – a hypocritical short film

Found this video by Naomi Kline here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kieyjfZDUIc]

Ironically the video is a great example of the shock tactics that it assigns to Klein’s ideological enemies. You are shown a disturbing video of someone being electrocuted, and then fed a series of assertions which are questionable given a modicum of scrutiny. Of course, most people are too busy thinking “wow, someone being electrocuted, how awful” to think critically about the assertions that follow.

To pick just one example, the video implies that the Falkland’s War was somehow used to “shock” the British public into accepting Thatcher’s moves against the entrenched unions in the 1980s. To anyone who lived through the political strife during that time, the notion that in 1984 the public was shocked into compliance by Britain’s victory in a skirmish in 1982 is ridiculous. The British public were well aware of what Thatcher was doing, indeed some of them made quite a fuss about it; Most of them, however, recognized the folly of demanding that huge amounts of taxpayer’s money be used to prop up an entire industry that was no-longer economically viable.

Klein’s video argues that advocates of a free market can only make their case successfully by shocking the public into compliance. The righteous indignation might be more appropriate if the video wasn’t itself an example of exactly this tactic.

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