Oct 27 2011

The Shock Doctrine Exposes Disaster Capitalism in Action

Feature Stories | Published 27 Oct 2011, 9:31 am | Comments Off on The Shock Doctrine Exposes Disaster Capitalism in Action -

Print this Page Print this Page |

Oakland’s mayor and police department are facing national scrutiny this week over a violent police crackdown on the Occupy Oakland encampment that resulted in a 24 year old Iraq war veteran being critically injured. Scott OIsen survived the Iraq war only to be hit in the head by a police projectile. He is currently in critical care at Highland Hospital in East Oakland with a fractured skull and brain swelling. Several protesters have posted videos of the day long Oakland police raid. In this video, we hear the sounds of police shooting a flash grenade into a crowd of people who are trying to help Scott Olsen after he was hit. (See YouTube video below) Meanwhile, Atlanta’s mayor Kasim Reed, revoked his executive order allowing Occupy Atlanta protesters to camp in Woodruff Park. Police attacked the encampment and arrested 50 people. A similar incident took place in Baltimore, Maryland where overnight camping was declared illegal in order to oust Occupy Baltimore protesters. Here in Los Angeles, where relations between LAPD and Occupy LA have been cordial, Mayor Villaraigosa has now indicated that that could change. He declared yesterday that the tent city that has sprung up outside City Hall “cannot continue indefinitely.”

What protesters are angry about is Wall Street greed and the excessive enrichment of elites at the expense of the majority of Americans. But today’s state of affairs did not come about by chance – it was a carefully designed outcome based on the ideology of Milton Friedman and his colleagues at the University of Chicago that was first formally promoted domestically by President Ronald Reagan and has been continued by successive Presidents. It is a set of policies that push privatization, the funneling of tax dollars into corporate coffers, and the decimation of government jobs and social safety nets. We know it as “free-market capitalism” and Friedman, Reagan and their followers have successfully equated it with freedom and democracy. However, a number of historical cases reveal that the imposition of free-market capitalism has gone hand-in-hand with repression and dictatorship, not democracy and freedom. Such examples, writes the acclaimed author and thinker Naomi Klein, include Chile and Argentina in the 1970s, post-Soviet Russia in the early 1990s, and occupied Iraq in the 2000s. Oakland and other cities today are a testament to how wealth inequality here in the United States too needs the power of a militia to enforce it. Naomi Klein aptly titles this form of capitalism, “disaster capitalism” in her acclaimed book The Shock Doctrine. That award winning book was recently made into a film of the same name by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross.

KPFK Fund Drive Thank you Gift:

The Shock Doctrine – DVD – $120

Call 818-985-KPFK (5735) to make a pledge.

Oakland Policeman Throws Flash Grenade Into Crowd Trying To Help Injured Protester:

Comments Off on The Shock Doctrine Exposes Disaster Capitalism in Action

Comments are closed at this time.