Every once in a while I like to remind my self that there isn't simply a bumbling ineffective bureaucracy leading our nation, but a malice driven undercurrent disguised as such. With the system as it is today, so many of our calls ignored, letters and emails replied to by thinly disguised form letters with vaguely personalized responses, it is easy to forget that there is a group of people that have our political decision maker's nearly undivided attentions.
That is why I try to reread Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" at least once a year. It is part of what keeps the fire in my belly to work for change in our government, there are several authors I also look to for inspiration in this way, but Klein's work is one of the best. Very well researched and yet very readable. It is one of those rare works in the world that didn't sacrifice its legitimacy for accessibility.
The opening chapters shed a stunning light on the historical arc of free market capitalism. Once a person learns of its inauspicious roots and devious early proponents, it makes it hard not to see the modern salesmen of this deeply flawed concept as sinister characters. Not one to let an impression like that soil her work, Klein instead moves the spotlight onto the self delusional proponents and their propaganda in effect shifting the frame of reference for their modern counterparts from "sinister" to hapless dupes.
Spot on, is the over arching impression that anyone in this day and age who is still a ardent supporter of free market economics can not be much of a student of history. My final note however, is one of caution. This book can be a little hard on the soul. Learning the true role of american politics in the world can be more than a little upsetting. It is difficult to stay in the arm chair and switch back to monday night foot ball once the veil of "democracy restorer" has been lifted and we are forced to view the actions in the middle east for what they truly are.