Eat the Bankers

Eat the BankersNaomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is one of the most important books I’ve ever read. But at over 700 pages, I have had a hard time convincing many people to read it. So I was pleased to see that Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross had produced a documentary based on the book called (Surprise!) The Shock Doctrine.

Without the book for comparison, the documentary is really good. It reminds me of the many documentaries I saw when I was 17 or 18. Those films opened up my eyes to the way the world really was as opposed to the happy horseshit propaganda that came from the TV and classroom. So for those without the time or inclination to read the book, The Shock Doctrine is really worth watching.

The film of course, is a pale shadow of the book. One of the things that makes the book so great is the detail with which Klein tells the story—especially the story of Chile and Augusto Pinochet. So one more time: you should really read this book if you haven’t. And if you have read it, it is worth reading again, but I give you permission to skip Part 1.

My one criticism of the film is that it manages to have a happy ending, with lots of shots of Obama, since he had just become President when this film was made. Klein encourages people to organize and force Obama to do the right things. But after the OWS movement, I’m not sure I can believe that any amount of arm twisting would make the modern Democratic Party abandon their upper class base. Again, this is not a recommendation of the Republican Party. The Democrats are the party of the upper 10%; the Republicans are the party of the upper 0.01%. But in the long term, we’re going to have to replace the Democratic Party with something better.

Are you still sitting there? Why aren’t you out organizing!? If you need some encouragement, watch The Shock Doctrine.

Here is a lecture about the book by Naomi Klein:

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Eat the Bankers

  1. I purchased a copy of *The Shock Doctrine* a little while ago, but haven’t got around to reading it yet. I bought it after watching Naomi Klein speak as a guest on *Democracy Now!.* I will read it as soon as I finish the two books that I’m currently reading (*Texas Tough: The Rise of America’s Prison Empire, and *The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution*). The documentary sounds good too, but I think that I’d like to read the book first.

    Around the age of 17 is when I, too, really started to question many of the conventions and concepts that I had been brought up to believe or had been taught in school. Documentaries were, for me as well, one of the biggest catalysts that broke down my preconceived notions and set me on a path to critical thinking and analyzation. I also credit the many documentaries I watched during my last two years of high school with giving me impetus to read. I would watch a two hour documentary, then I would want to further investigate whatever subject the documentary was exploring. Gradually, I went from reading mostly novels to reading almost entirely nonfiction.

    I wish more people would read. After high school, when I would go to parties and other social gatherings, a lot of my friends and acquaintances would have a negative attitude toward reading. I would often hear people almost proudly assert that they don’t read. I could never understand it. I don’t know if it was because high school ruined reading for them or what their reasons were.

    Anyway, thank you for posting this. I’ve been putting off reading *The Shock Doctrine* for too long now.

  2. @Mack – I just read "Greatest Show" myself–it was very good. And I have "Texas Tough" sitting on my self in the queue.

    I don’t know what goes on with people. There is also the pride of being bad at math and spelling. Whatever. People seem to read more than ever, but just in small bits so they don’t have to concentrate for long.

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