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Peter Lang. Search Close. Advanced Search Help. The post-war landscape of Europe is unthinkable without the voices of the Austrian writers Ingeborg Bachmann — and Thomas Bernhard — Their work, coming after the devastation wrought by the Second World War and the Holocaust, is rooted in a specifically Austrian context of repression of this traumatic historical legacy.
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Do you have any questions? Contact us. Or login to access all content. If you don't have a disaster, make one. If you can, build compounds and Green zones and make sure you give enough fodder to create a simmering cauldron of hate that you can regularly call on to rise up and smash down with your brand new war machine.
And make sure it keeps on simmering, too, right, ISIS? We need a reason to keep getting the latest equipment to protect our super-rich bunkers.
It's great economics as long as your real intention is to get extremely rich. It's not good economics if you want long-lasting, sustained prosperity.
It's the looter's creed. Make situations you can profit from. Make sure you always negotiate from the ultimate position.
If that means making sure the rest of the world has a foot on its neck, then that's all for the best.
Laissez-faire, to these guys, means taking away all the safety nets. They're the same ones gutting social security, social protections, and basic food and health for the poorest people in our first-world nations.
They want no government, or to turn all governments into shells with no power to do anything. They've stated this creed a million times.
They want social darwinism at its worst. Keep everyone so shock and awed that they can take everything. Absolutely everything.
Let's judge an idea not on its stated ideal. Let's judge an idea based on its actual practice. If this wonderful ideal says it works best after a disaster, flawlessly re-establishing the free hand of the market, then by their own writings, we should have seen a flowering of cooperation, self-interest coinciding with everyone else's self-interest, and a natural growth of blanket prosperity that effects everyone involved.
It's pretty. I've read many great books on the Chicago Style of Economics and loved them. There has never been a free hand of the market.
The big banana corporation pressured America to secure its economic freedom. America got it's most famous laissez-faire economists to embark on a campaign, assisted with a ton of money, integral CIA support, and a bunch of extra vultures hanging in the wings, smelling blood in the water.
When the blood splashed and buildings with the elected government were murdered, all the looters moved in. Of course, back in the day, it was all ideological garbage.
Sticking it to the communists, bringing in democracy. Ignore the fact that they just bombed a democracy and Pinochet the dictator came in, got rich, and entered a very profitable loot cycle with the outside vultures.
It begs the question. If, each and every time, they bring in the Chicago School of Economics, they always bring the same result, then maybe we ought to question their motives.
I'm just waiting for other enemies of this paradigm to get their own shock and awe. Left-leaning college campuses?
Gay bars? All they need is a disaster. They can wait for it and exploit it like with Katrina, but they're perfectly willing to orchestrate them, too.
And give you wonderfully idealistic reasons why you should let them murder you, too. Dark, right? But real. You've seen these looters in the housing bubble.
The banking crisis. It's big. Very, very big. You can complain about transgenders in bathrooms all you like, but the really scary bits are right here.
And they can take us all down. View all 11 comments. This is a failed Noam Chomsky book. Firstly, Klein is working with a strange definition of capitalism.
When the free market economists who Klein refers to like Friedman and Hayek talk about capitalism they are referring to an economic system free of government intervention.
Klein however uses the word capitalist to refer to the current economic model— one in which governments and corporations work in tandem to explo spoilers ahead, but it's not fiction so don't worry about it Where do I begin?
Klein however uses the word capitalist to refer to the current economic model— one in which governments and corporations work in tandem to exploit the general population.
Edit: I realize that "capitalism" has multiple definitions, but the problem is that Klein uses a different definition from the economists she is criticizing, which makes her entire criticism seem like an assault upon a strawman.
Klein has essentially built a book around conflating capitalism with corporatism. This is fairly subtle in the first chapter, but reaches a point of real absurdity towards the end of the book.
Klein purposefully obfuscates this. However, this is more or less where the facts begin and end. She soon moves on to more dubious claims- for instance, blaming Friedman and his acolytes for the Iraq war in particular a war he expressly opposed and the military industrial complex in general.
It should be obvious to any reader that this sort of alliance between business and government has little to do with free markets, private property rights, or "capitalism" as defined by Chicago or Austrian school economists.
By the end of the book she really goes bonkers. She details the plight of several Sri Lankan fishing communities. Here is the story as she presents it: A hurricane hits Sri Lanka destroying many coastal settlements.
Hotel companies see an opportunity decide to take possession of the coastal property, which has been conveniently cleared of all those pesky villages.
The hotel companies move in and take possession of the beaches. When the villagers protest, the government police force defends the newly acquired beaches on behalf of the hotels using violence.
The villagers are reduced to living in poverty and squalor because their land was stolen from them by the alliance of hotel companies and government.
In summary, The hotel companies used the government to steal the private property of the fishing communities.
And this is supposed to be an example of free market practices that Hayek and Friedman would approve of. See the issue I'm having?
A modified version of this book would actually make for an apt criticism of corporatism, which is why I was tempted to give this book two stars.
However, the problem here is far deeper than a confusion of terms. She actually ascribes neo-Conservative ideas to Libertarian or Classical Liberal thinkers.
The Shock Doctrine is essentially the strawman from hell. And for that it earns 1 star. View all 5 comments. She begins her book with a discussion of a canadian woman who endured several years of experimental psychiatric work under the authority of David Cameron, worki I just finished The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, by Naomi Klein.
She begins her book with a discussion of a canadian woman who endured several years of experimental psychiatric work under the authority of David Cameron, working in a Canadian Hospital under contract with both the American CIA and the Canadian Defense Department to discover the ways in which the human mind breaks down under electro-shock, regression, and general mind-fucking lightless cells, limited outside contact, meals served at odd times--oatmeal for dinner, soup for breakfast, all announced as appropriate to the time of day to disorient the patient.
She checked in for anxiety--discharged with memory loss, incontinence, and regression to a toddler-mind-set. The tactics show up again in every country where the US has, in some manner, been involved in training police or military people to combat first communism, than leftism See: Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Columbia, Mexico.
Friedman believed that the free-er a market is no government regulations, no consumer protections, no corporate taxes , the more-free the people in that market will be: Democracy and Self-Rule are synonymous, then, with limitless profit-taking, no minimum wage, no state-services, etc.
But there was a problem, one that he himself admitted. Time after time, people kept demanding from their governments, or forming their own, that there be a minimum wage, there be an 8-hour work-day, that water be cheap or free, that electricity and infrastructure be state- or people-run.
Democracy kept tending towards "mixed-economies" state or community controlled electricity, oil, water, schools, etc. So, then, what to do?
Milton found an effective answer: Shock the fuck out of them. Already we knew that pain, applied correctly, will disorient people. Some of the shocks were manufactured violent coups, international currency manipulation , some were hijacked revolutions South Africa, Russia, Poland , and some were natural disasters the Tsunami a few years back, New Orleans , but with always the same result: foreign companies buy up everything in sight, plunging already impoverished and disoriented people into further pain and poverty.
To take care of the pesky problem of people fighting back, he with CIA trained soldiers arrested and tortured thousands of "enemies of the state," stealing children from prisoners and adopting them out to supporters of the coup.
Argentina and Uruguay: Similar situation. Some highlights included burning universities and killing professors , destroying copies of books by Marx and Neruda.
Ford Motor Company took out adverts in Argentinian newspapers to support the coup, "Ford commits itself to the struggle to bring about the great destiny of the Fatherland.
I assumed, just as the media suggested, that all those polish workers were striking for democracy and capitalism.
Their platform was "Socialism--yes; Corruptions of Socialism--no": they wanted worker-control of the state-run factories and businesses, not a free-market economy.
But just as they were negotiating their relatively bloodless coup, the white south-african government negotiated economic policies with the IMF and World Bank ensuring that such a thing would never happen.
When the ANC came to power, they suddenly found that there was no money to even turn on the electricity in the black ghettos, because almost all of their budget had to go towards paying down international loans the white government had taken out and taken with them when they lost power.
Sri Lanka: Images of the tsunami that destroyed thousands of shanties on the beaches led millions of people to give money to the relief effort.
But much of that money was channeled into the tourism industry. Iraq: Another created shock it was called Shock and Awe, remember?
The opposition to the oil-law is depicted in the media as an ethnic squabble, though every group agrees--they want no foreign companies owning their oil.
That, however, is not an option the US will tolerate. Oh, and remember the purple fingers? Those elections were annuled sometimes violently because the US wanted to pick the candidates.
Look at the laws he passed. New Orleans: A natural shock turned into the perfect laboratory for free-market ideals. Schools were privatised, hospitals closed permanently.
Neighbourhoods that had already begun rebuilding were bulldozed to make room for private developments.
This is all, of course, a very short summary. View all 4 comments. The evidence she presents is, at best, circumstantial and correlational, and it attempts to graft a veneer of evil onto the otherwise inflectionless economic policies conceived and implemented by the Chicago School under the formulative tutelage of Milton Friedman and his free market disciples.
It's unfortunate, because the case she presents—one drawing evidence from real world implementations across South America, Southeast Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe—is sufficiently strong without such a gimmick, making illuminative associations between the onset of financial crisis within Second or Third World polities and the usage of that crisis, primarily by the IMF and World Bank, the twin arms of the market-imposing Washington Consensus, to apply the shock of harsh economic re-orderings.
It allows her a greater leeway with stamping her Shock classification for the various state unraveling and IMF patching together in a manner conducive to transferring wealth to the banks and corporations of the already mighty West at the expense of the well-being, financial prospects, and civil rights of the struggling nations being commanded to so arrange their economic affairs.
In other words, there were myriad currents at play during several of these crises, and such complicating elements as nuance, subtlety, and interconnectedness can be given short shrift by the author when they do not fit themselves into her more simplified, more black and white determination of causality and purpose.
In consulting sources of a differing interpretation than Klein's—and particularly relevant in the South American polities, where the postwar practice of Import Substitution Industrialization ISI had produced domestic industries rife with inefficiencies, corruption, and foreign debt—it becomes apparent that, in some instances, and in one form or another, things were plenty grim beforehand; and if there was money sufficient for a reasonable system of safety nets, it came via the liberal supply of foreign cash sent in to governments riddled with corruption and economic stagnation.
Such is not a sustainable way of life—or, at least, not in the modern globalized evolution of it; and while Klein does point out how, with changes administered through governmental fiat via democratic pressure further down the line, when a measure of stability and economic strength had been maintained, several of the countries put under her microscope managed to achieve a better standard of living, she does not deem to allow that those early systemic shocks, in clearing out much deadwood and forcibly requiring governments and privatized industries to make gains in productivity and competitive prowess and adherence to accountability and the rule of law, were instrumental in setting the stage, however austerely and painfully, for those later ameliorations to be grafted onto a sturdier and more potentially enduring structure.
Some of the cases, as I noted. For others, like the Apartheid-turning of South Africa and the liberalization of Russia, Klein's critique is witheringly close to the mark.
The fire sale conducted under the auspices of Western governments, with a huge proportion of former state-owned industries being transferred, for absurdly low prices, into the hands of a rapacious private industry, is simply inexcusable.
And in the Iraq invasion and Hurricane Katrina, Klein presents a solid argument regarding the manner in which free market enthusiasts used such breakdowns in order to carry out a coup against one country's economy and another city's public services.
Klein also raises very relevant questions about the iron-bound requirements placed upon newly liberated countries to make good for the grotesque debts run-up by previous dictators and despots: we are long overdue for a serious reworking of debt-forgiveness in such cases.
It's not a simple thing to iron-out, for significant portions of that debt—at some level of the tiered flow—represents the savings of lower- and middle-class families who had no part in either the pre- or post-shock ordering of things—and it is for such reasons that I look forward to eventually tackling books like David Graeber's Debt which confront this problem head-on and with touted creativity.
The Shock Doctrine is a valuable contribution to modern political and fiscal discussion—with its encompassing thematic detail, mustering of evidence however selective in certain cases , and, most enjoyable of all, the author's superb writing.
What's more, there are plenty of volumes out there proclaiming the wonders of our recently erected globalized market system; those such as Klein's are a welcome tonic, sobering in their presentation, righteous in their outrage, and compelling in their urge for readers to question exactly how manipulable these recurrent financial crises are, both in the way they are brought-about and settled afterwards.
View all 6 comments. A very disturbing book indeed. I can't decide whether I feel that her paranoia got out of control, or whether it is indeed a fair representation of US foreign policy over the last years.
A lot of it rings true. Though I hope that the links between torture and economic theory are not as clear as she paints them Maybe we will learn more now that the Neo-Cons are going to lose control of the US.
Klein argues that the standard tactic the right has used is to wait for a crisis of some kind, and then use it as an excuse to rush through policies which they've prepared for this eventuality.
In some cases, they engineer the crisis intentionally. I can see that some of the government's policies can be defended as as a rational response to Britain's enormous debt.
And then you have things like reducing the number of MPs from to This is very advantageous to the Conservatives.
Now, people are often bad at comparing big numbers. Let's divide by ten million and try to relate it to something we can actually understand.
So, I'll suppose that my cousin somehow persuaded me to invest in his business venture, which sounded sensible but actually turned out to be a pyramid scheme that collapsed catastrophically.
Not surprisingly, my partner is all over my case, and is taking the opportunity to get her way on a number of issues while she has the moral upper hand.
A saving this small makes no real difference. It's just exploiting the situation. Well, as I see it, that's roughly what our government is doing now.
View all 17 comments. Shelves: issues , thinking , activism. I would seriously like to see every human on this planet read this book.
The whole text was rich in the exposing of history and deep analysis. I strongly encourage anyone reading it to stick through to the end.
The bulk of the book covers quite terrible things in the world, but the last chapter actually made me very hopeful and inspired.
Utterly brilliant! Shelves: current-affairs , politics , damn-the-man , history. While this has definitely helped fill some dramatic gaps in my knowledge, it was with much relief that I tucked myself into Klein's The Shock Doctrine earlier this week.
I'd attempted reading this in the heady afterglow of the election this past November but I was not in the mood to be depressed so soon and replaced it on my shelf.
Two months into Obama's presidency, as the economy crumbles into so many pieces which are then greedily consumed by the jackals that make up the banking industry, Klein's definitive history of Friedman economics and their entwined history with brutality, terror and disparity seems especially apt.
Granted, Friedman didn't do this all on his own. Rather, as Klein's thesis bears out, this occurs through a system of shocks to the nervous system of the target country, much as electro-convulsive therapy was developed as a means to wipe its subjects mind so that it could be reformatted into a socially acceptable form.
The first shock is generally political upheaval- a coup, terror attack, or governmental collapse, though Klein points out that natural disasters such as the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina work just as well, that so upsets the regular routine of life that citizens are willing to invest extraordinary powers in the government and silence any dissent for the duration of the emergency.
Sound familiar? Next comes the economic shock, during which the social safety nets so despised by free-market zealots are taken away and former nationally-owned industries oil, mineral, postal services, arms contracts, education, healthcare, pretty much everything are "privatized," or sold at cut-rate prices to foreign investors who, through some never-explained sleight of hand will then lead the country into its bright capitalist utopia.
Of course, as profit-driven enterprises are wont to do, this generally leads to corruption at unprecedented levels, currency inflation and record-bursting unemployment levels.
Everything is under control. Everything is very much under control. For, as social unrest grows, the next shock is coming.
These are the state-sanctioned terror squads that quell social unrest by creating an atmosphere of unwavering brutality and terror. These are the Disappeared leftists of South America, herded into football stadiums and machine-gunned, the distraught funeral gatherings broken up with water cannons and riot police.
These are electrodes under the nails, omni-present surveillance, bodies dropped from helicopters into farmer's fields, couples black-bagged during their own wedding ceremony and carted into torture facilities, in front of hundreds of witnesses who are all so very afraid to be next that they refuse to even acknowledge that the event occurred.
Klein charts the evolution of the titular Shock Doctrine from it's intellectual beginnings at the University of Chicago in the s in horrified reaction to the New Deal and the Keynesian philosophy that holds that a country's economy should work to best serve the working classes that are it's lifeblood.
Milton Friedman, godfather of this Doctrine, develops his economic theory of free-market systems using oh-so-precise calculations this is the man who cried and recited Donne's "Ode to a Grecian Urn" upon seeing a geometric proof yet lacks a real world opportunity to test them in.
Enter Chile in , an alleged 3rd world country who has just elected the radical Salvador Allende who is promising further nationalization of vital industries and expanded benefits to its citizens.
Obviously the man is a dangerous Marxist and must be deposed post haste, says the US-based United Fruit Company who has much to lose if these nationalizations occur.
No sooner said than done. With the useful assistance of the CIA, the military executes Allende and installs General Pinochet as dictator who, with assistance from his Chicago Boys worshipers at the fount of Friedman dismantles the complete economy and disappears hundreds of thousands of upstart leftists.
Okay, so that was a bit too bloody for the world's tastes, but you can't argue with the profits.
A few people got extremely rich, clearly the market works. Let's try that again, but this time a bit more slyly.
So Klein ushers us through nearly every political upheaval of the past 30 years, from the Thatcherite Falklands War to the end of Apartheid in South Africa and communism in both Poland and Russia, illustrating in very explicit detail the cooption of movements in the name of free-markets, the economic blackmail of the IMF's structural adjustment programs, and the destruction of true freedom in order to create free markets.
What is shown is not a series of isolated events but the creation of post-nationalist systems in which the state serves as the source of endless wealth for a very few and muscle for the extortion that takes place in the name of freedom.
Most effective is how, after hundreds of pages of showing how this program or pogrom worked overseas, Klein brings it home to the US and shows how the terror attacks of , the Iraq War, and the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina allowed the Friedmaniacs to enact their policies in the states.
Complete lack of oversight, no bid contracts, unregulated markets and massive speculation all ran rampant during the seven years of Bush's reign and Klein does well to show exactly how this system led to the economic armageddon that engulfs us today.
It is my only hope that Obama and his advisers have read and believed even one chapter of this book and seen Friedman's system for the massive fuck up that it is and are now looking to pull Keynes from the wilderness and enshrine his values firmly in the passages of law, finicky governors be damned.
Jan 28, Daniel Attack of the Books! Because I'm about 3 pages away from returning it to the library, I've all but stopped reading this and a buddy has told me that there are only specific passages that are worth reading, so I'll go find them, instead.
It is so full of ad hominem, straw man, "just-because-it-was-done-by-the-GOP,-free-marketists,-or-people-who-liked-Milton-Friedman,-so-it-MUST-be-bad" arguments that I am wondering what it I am supposed to get out of what feels a lot like a left-wing rant?
Klien hasn't actually arg Because I'm about 3 pages away from returning it to the library, I've all but stopped reading this and a buddy has told me that there are only specific passages that are worth reading, so I'll go find them, instead.
Klien hasn't actually argued anything that has any basis in reality. It's kind of feels like I'm listening to Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter, but instead it's a liberal who hates free markets and Republicans.
It's just one liberal talking point after another, sans documenation, lots of anecdotes followed by the summary dismissal of "all because of Milton Friedman and the Chicago school of economics" or "all because of shock free markets.
Her entire argument seems to be "free markets equal evil" but she neglects any type of logical connection between the two.
Example: she jumps all over charter schools, but never really says whats wrong with them or that they aren't working. The only problem she sites is that the school unions are gone and that teachers don't like them.
She implies that they are keeping the poor out of schools, but does not say it, because under a voucher system, students are funded to exactly the same level as under a non-charter system; they just get to choose what school they attend.
IN otherwords, the public is still paying for a free education, but now students and their parents get to choose what school She doesn't say.
Just says "it's bad for unions and teachers who worked in public schools before hate it" though she doesn't actually site any teachers.
Example: she jumps all over Chile because "Pinochet was there" but never really makes a connection between Pinochet and the free market, other than to say "because they both happened at the same time, it must have been the free market that lead to all those people being tortured.
Oh, she also forgets to mention that Pinochet is not in power any more but was ousted a long time ago. Example: she attacks free market implimentation in Iraq, but fails to mention that most countries don't have ANY economy after a war, and that implimentation of an economy in Germany and Japan after WWII and in Korea after the Korea War didn't do too bad for them Implimentation of a non-free market economy in the countries of Poland, Romania, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia, and Belarus didn't exactly work out for them Example: she attacks the free market for Russia's woes, but the free market was never implemented there.
The Kremlin has taken over control of the media and oil companies, as well as several other large conglomerates.
A list of the fifty richest people in Russia is also a list of the KGB class of and the "friends of Putin. This is a clear case of the tail wagging the dog.
It is widely credited as being the crisis that took down the then current party leadership in favor of leadership willing to open up China to allow more economic freedom, not the other way around, as she proposes that it was the suppression of all those masses who wanted democracy, not economic freedom, silly So, I am eager to know what redemptive qualities are in the book.
It reads like liberal drivel that one only believes if it provides supporting evidence for what one already believes.
Look for it on the discount rack of second hand book stores near you soon View 2 comments. This book can affect worldview, authority faith and believe in official history Please note that I have put the original German to the end of this review.
Just if you might be interested. Klein unleashes the shocking and disturbing facts of an economic policy practiced over more than four decades that can be described as a novelty of contempt for human beings, megalomania, and madness.
Also, that wants to mean something because of the recent, not entirely bloodless world history.
One of the found This book can affect worldview, authority faith and believe in official history Please note that I have put the original German to the end of this review.
One of the foundations and inspirations for the theories of the economist Milton Friedman are the experiments of the physician Ewen Cameron.
This pursued as a form of therapy the complete mental destruction of his patients employing electric shocks, drugs, solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, noise terror and subsequent reconstruction.
This was done, after sometimes months of pain, in the form of tapes, which predicted the severely traumatized patient's actual sentences.
For days and weeks. Based on this idea of wiping out a delicate psyche to build a better, healthier personality, Friedman developed the concept of destroying economies and then rebuilding them better and without the hassle of government interference.
An integral part was, after the collapse of the existing state, privatization, deletion or minimization of all state intervention such as health, education, infrastructure such as water, electricity, communication, pension system, employee protection laws, trade unions, all social achievements of Europe, environmental protection regulations and democratic fundamental rights.
These ideas had been rejected after the Second World War in a time of New Deal and Keynesianism as sick and entirely out of the question.
In the s, the democratic and insolent socialist governments of Latin America became so provocative for the US that they were all too happy to conjure up this hitherto outlawed economic doctrine.
Before Pinochet's coup, scientific legitimacy was sought for the approach of indoctrination of young Latin Americans by the Chicago Boys, advocates of neoliberal predatory capitalism.
These were educated in the US and then sent back to their Latin American universities and economic commissariats to form there eagerly new advocates of teaching.
This eponymous shock tactic is based on the concept, to hit the economic combatants in the weakest moment when he is paralyzed on the ground and can not defend himself to break him even in such a sustainable manner that he never recovers and all resistance is nipped in the bud.
In Chile, everything has now been reversed concerning democratic reforms, and a military dictatorship has been set up, state employees dismissed, social services cut or reduced to a minimum and privatized where possible.
The purpose of the tactics was to drive the fallen state as deeply as possible into a severe economic crisis to additionally weaken it and make it more compliant to its specifications with loans, economic sanctions and the occupation of raw materials.
The result for population, environment, and infrastructure was and is always the same. Distress, desperation, poverty, increased infant mortality, unemployment, contamination of natural resources, the misery of entire social groups and untold suffering.
However, thanks to the zealous young economists, scientifically utterly insincere and sorely prescribed infirmity.
As a bonus, the Americans gladly donated their torturers, who showed the right techniques on a living practice object utilizing tortures inspired by Ewen Cameron's experiments, death squads, and secret police.
The USA then used this principle to destroy entire societies in some Latin American states and succeeded in undermining democratic governments without triggering bloody civil wars and coups.
The elections were merely accepted, but in the back room, the same economic rules were taken almost one to one from Friedman's works.
As a result, a popular government was de facto disabled and had to bow to pressure from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization.
Also in South Africa, this perfidious tactic was used successfully. Before the massacre on Tiananmen Square in China, a radical neo-liberal economic reform was launched, and Friedman personally animated the Chinese rulers to a stricter approach.
But not only in the southern hemisphere, but the disciples of the most undeserved Nobel Peace Prize winner of all time also were not idle.
In the s, both Poland and Russia were vaccinated with these ideas and, under pressure to receive economic aid or to be left to themselves, were forced to accept the conditions.
As Margaret Thatcher at the low point of her popularity won another election through war games around the Falkland Islands and thus could undermine the English welfare state, so also Yeltsin, at the low point of his career, used the Chechen war on to increase the poll numbers back.
Stoke up nationalism, build up an enemy image, bombard, invade, massacre. In Iraq, the shock therapy technique reached its peak so far.
After the initial shock and awe tactics of the actual war, democratic elections were banned, civil servants dismissed, all contracts awarded to American companies to rebuild, Iraqi economy and infrastructure abandoned and arbitrarily abducted and tortured.
After the tsunami of and Hurricane Katrina, the favor of the hour was finally used to forcibly relocate those affected and survivors to redeploy the valuable land and shoreline for luxury hotels, modern homes, industrial fishing ports and fish farms.
The former residents have been relocated to slums and deprived of any livelihood, and have been told that a return would be impossible due to the risk.
Over the past ten years, a massive war industry has emerged, focusing not only on privatizing police and military power with ever-larger forces of security forces and mercenaries but also on counter-terrorism and surveillance electronics.
The theory that social gains and distributive justice in the United States and Europe of the 20th century were only enforced because of the fear of a spillover of communism and social unrest to the world socialist revolution is bizarre.
Thus, the whole social market economy could only be considered as a militarily necessary concept for creating a buffer zone in Europe and restraining the potential opposition in the US.
For since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the social systems of Europe and America are working on the same, though not so dramatic and spectacular, but slowly and creeping.
Und das will angesichts der bisherigen, durchaus nicht unblutigen Weltgeschichte schon etwas bedeuten.
Dieser erfolgte, nach mitunter monatelanger Pein, in Form von Tonbändern, die den schwerst traumatisierten Patienten positive Sätze vorsagten.
Tage- und wochenlang. Integraler Bestandteil war dabei die, nach erfolgtem Kollaps des bisherigen Staatswesen, Privatisierung, Streichung oder Minimierung sämtlicher staatlicher Eingriffe wie Gesundheitswesen, Schulbildung, Infrastruktur wie Wasser, Strom, Kommunikation, Pensionssystem, Arbeitnehmerschutzgesetze, Gewerkschaften, sämtlicher sozialen Errungenschaften Europas, Umweltschutzbestimmungen und demokratische Grundrechte.
Diese Ideen waren nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg in einer Zeit von New Deal und Keynesianismus als krank und absolut nicht in Frage kommend abgelehnt worden.
In den siebziger Jahren wurden die demokratischen und frech sozialistischen Regierungen Lateinamerikas dann doch derart provokant für die USA, dass man diese bisher geächtete Wirtschaftsdoktrin nur allzu gern wieder aus dem Hut zauberte.
Vor dem Putsch Pinochets wurde die wissenschaftliche Legitimation für das Vorgehen in Form der Indoktrination junger Lateinamerikaner durch die Chicago Boys, die Verfechter des neoliberalen Raubtierkapitalismus, angestrebt.
Nach dem, von Amerikaner auch militärisch geförderten, Putsch am demokratisch gewählten Präsidenten Allende wurden die Hämmer Schlag um Schlag auf die fassungslose Bevölkerung fallen gelassen.
Dazu wurde in Chile nun alles an demokratischen Reformen rückgängig gemacht, eine Militärdiktatur errichtet, die Staatsangestellten entlassen, alle Sozialleistungen gestrichen oder auf ein Minimum reduziert und privatisiert, wo dies möglich war.
Sinn und Zweck der Taktik war, den gefallenen Staat so tief wie möglich in eine schwere Wirtschaftskrise zu treiben, um ihn noch zusätzlich zu schwächen und mit Krediten, Wirtschaftsanktionen und Okkupierung der Rohstoffe noch willfähriger gegenüber den eigenen Vorgaben zu machen.
Das Resultat für Bevölkerung, Umwelt und Infrastruktur war und ist immer dasselbe. Not, Verzweiflung, Armut, erhöhte Kindersterblichkeit, Arbeitslosigkeit, Verseuchung der natürlichen Ressourcen, Verelendung ganzer Gesellschaftsgruppen und unsägliches Leid.
Aber dank der eifrigen Jungökonomen wissenschaftlich absolut hieb- und stichfest verordnetes Siechtum. Als Draufgabe spendierten die Amerikaner gerne eigene Folterausbildner, die mittels durch Ewen Camerons Experimente inspirierte Torturanleitungen, den Todesschwadronen und Geheimpolizisten die richtigen Techniken gern am lebenden Übungssobjekt zeigten.
Dieses Prinzip zur Zerstörung ganzer Gesellschaften wendeten die USA daraufhin in einigen lateinamerikanischen Staaten an, wobei es auch gelang, ohne das Auslösen blutiger Bürgerkriege und Putsche demokratische Regierungen handlungsunfähig zu machen.
Dafür wurden einfach die Wahlen anerkannt, aber im Hinterkämmerchen dieselben Wirtschaftsbestimmungen fast ein zu eins aus Friedmans Werken übernommen.
Dadurch war eine vom Volk gewählte Regierung de facto handlungsunfähig und musste sich dem Druck von Internationalem Währungsfond, Weltbank und Welthandelsorganisation beugen.
Auch in Südafrika wurde diese perfide Taktik erfolgreich eingesetzt. Vor dem Massaker am Platz des himmlischen Friedens in China wurde eine radikale neoliberale Wirtschaftsreform gestartet und Friedman persönlich animierte die chinesischen Herrscher zu einem härteren Vorgehen.
Doch nicht nur in der südlichen Hemisphäre waren die Jünger des wohl unverdientesten Wirtschaftsnobelpreisträgers aller Zeiten nicht untätig.
In den 90iger Jahren wurden sowohl Polen als auch Russland mit diesen Ideen geimpft und unter dem Druck, Wirtschaftshilfe zu bekommen oder sich selbst überlassen zu werden, zur Übernahme der Bedingungen gezwungen.
Wie Margaret Thatcher am Tiefpunkt ihrer Popularität durch Kriegsspiele rund um die Falklandinseln eine weitere Wahl gewinnen und dadurch den englischen Sozialstaat aushöhlen konnte, so griff auch Jelzin am Tiefpunkt seiner Karriere mittels Tschetschenienkrieg auf den Klassiker zur Steigerung der Umfragewerte zurück.
Nationalismus schüren, Feindbild aufbauen, bombardieren, einmarschieren, massakrieren. Im Irak fand die Technik der Schocktherapie ihren bisherigen Höhepunkt.
Nach der anfänglichen Shock and Awe Taktik des eigentlichen Krieges wurden demokratische Wahlen untersagt, die Staatsbediensteten entlassen, sämtliche Aufträge zum Wiederaufbau an amerikanische Firmen vergeben, die irakische Wirtschaft und Infrastruktur dem Verfall preisgegeben und willkürlich entführt und gefoltert.
Nach dem Tsunami und dem Hurrikan Katrina wurde die Gunst der Stunde genutzt, die Betroffenen und Überlebenden endlich zwangsumsiedeln zu können, um die wertvollen Grundstücke und Uferstreifen für Luxushotels, moderne Wohnhäuser, Industriefischereihäfen und Fischzuchtfarmen umzuwidmen.
Die ehemaligen Bewohner wurden in Elendsquartiere umgesiedelt und jeglicher Lebensgrundlage beraubt, wobei Ihnen erklärt wurde, eine Rückkehr wäre aufgrund des Risikos nicht möglich.
Überaus befremdlich ist die Theorie, nach der die sozialen Errungenschaften und die Verteilungsgerechtigkeit in den USA und Europa des 20 Jahrhunderts nur durchgesetzt wurden, weil man ein Überschwappen des Kommunismus und soziale Unruhen bis zur sozialistischen Weltrevolution fürchtete.
Somit könnte man die gesamte soziale Marktwirtschaft nur als militärisch notwendiges Konzept zur Bildung einer Pufferzone in Europa und Ruhigstellung der potentiellen Opposition in den USA betrachten.
Denn seit dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion arbeiten die Sozialsysteme sowohl von Europa als auch Amerika an selbigem, wenngleich nicht so dramatisch und spektakulär, sondern langsam und schleichend.
Basically, it is a deliberate and strategic use of shock therapy to implement unpopular policies, utilizing the exploitation of national crises.
The thinking is that the population would be so traumatized by the crises at hand, that they would pay little attention to what was happening, nor would they have the ca The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism was a riveting look at the policies advocated by economist Milton Friedman and his many followers at The Chicago School of Economics.
The thinking is that the population would be so traumatized by the crises at hand, that they would pay little attention to what was happening, nor would they have the capacity to resist.
Kline begins with individual patients that were experimentally treated with increasing frequency of electroconvulsive therapy treatments to induce a regression in the patients, thinking that then they could reshape their personalities.
She then moves to the early 's and discusses the use of the shock doctrine in South American countries focusing on General August Pinochet and the takeover of the Chilean government.
The premise of the disaster capitalism complex is also explored by Kline. Her theory is that corporations have learned to profit from disasters.
However, one of the most disturbing parts of the book were the events that ensued after the attack on the World Trade Center in September , where country was traumatized.
It was at this point that the Bush administration employed, as led by the neoconservatives, namely Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and John Bolton, in their shock and awe and in the invasion and supplemental occupation of Iraq.
Kline concludes with the winners and losers of economic shock therapy and the ultimate backlash against shock doctrine and the economic institutions supportive of it.
Needless to say, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this book. It is worth the read.
View all 7 comments. Shelves: politics. There are many detailed and eloquent reviews of this book already; however, I still feel like I have to write a review about this important book.
I've wondered for years why the world is the way it is. Why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Why countries in Latin America and Africa are so poor and undeveloped.
In fact, why can't all these countries be like us, what's wrong with them? This book literally turned my world upside down and changed my views on politics and economics.
No kidding. So here is one of the reasons why the world is a messed up place: the shock doctrine, a dangerous ideology that has been implemented by the "great" economist Milton Friedman and his misguided acolytes since the 's.
The plan is to shock people whether it's through a natural disaster or a man-made one and disorient them, and then swoop in implementing economic policies that benefit very few, and cripple many.
The economic policies are: 1. The most evil thing about this is that while America preaches freedom and democracy, the only way such policies can be implemented is through a repressive, dictatorial government.
And if you resist, you'll most likely be shot, or tortured and then shot. Just ask the people in Chile and Argentina.
They were the first countries to go through this experiment. While the people of these countries suffered from repression, poverty, torture, and death, the political leaders declared such economic policies as successful.
It made my blood boil to read about the way the Russian people were duped into such harsh economic policies.
People's pensions were taken away, social services cut; all of a sudden millions of people couldn't afford even a loaf of bread.
Instead of freedom and democracy, they got starvation, abject poverty, and a huge rise in crime. If you think that this can only happen in other countries, just look at what's happened right here in America the past few years.
Read about how much the people of New Orleans were swindled after Hurricane Katrina happened. Look at the state of the economy.
Yep, Bush's tax cuts and deregulation of Wall Street really helped us. I don't want to rant and rave anymore in this review. That is not my wish.
I wish instead for everybody to read this book because it will open up your eyes, my friend, it will show you how we all have been lied to and deceived.
It is only when we become aware of this problem, that we can work to change it. Shelves: non-fiction , favourite , political-science , , economics , history.
There is a kind of history that gets overlooked, that doesn't get taught in schools or universities aside from a fourth-year optional course that no one bothers to take.
It's a history that is fundamental to understanding our world, both past and present and where the hell we're going.
It's a history that touches everyone, regardless of class, gender, race or age, but that slips out the back door before anyone thinks to call it to account, put it on trial and expose its heinous crimes.
I'm talki There is a kind of history that gets overlooked, that doesn't get taught in schools or universities aside from a fourth-year optional course that no one bothers to take.
I'm talking about economic history, the history of economics, and the power economics plays in everything that happens in the world.
One of my biggest problems with the current trend in economic theory - what is called neo-liberal or neo-conservative economics, Chicago School economics, Reaganonomics, free-trade economics; whatever you want to call it - is that it's missing something pretty damn big: the human element.
They talk about this economic theory not only as if it were the only way to do things, or the best way, but as if it is autonomous of people - governments, business people, workers, farmers, the homeless.
That because of this absence of a human element, it is Good, and Right, and acts in Our Best Interests.
Nothing could be further from the truth. It would be impossible for economics to behave independent of any human interference, or action, governmental or otherwise.
Impossible, and undesirable. Trickle-down economics is complete bullshit, and always was. What the real result is, though, is an economic theory that is wholly unaccountable for what it reaps.
There are many things I love about this book. Klein puts the human element back into Chicago School economics, detailing with exhaustive research the impact of the policies of this economic theory on the many peoples of the world it has been forced onto forced is the right word; more on that later.
Giving the "ordinary" people of the world a voice is incredibly important, and is like shining a light on the free market's blood-stained hands.
It also exposes the real motivations behind the pretty speeches, the mercenary nature of this kind of economics, and the strings attached to the hands of the men and few women manipulating events and making the most money from it.
Yes, it always comes down to money, for these people. But dangerous too. What began as a book on the invasion of Iraq and what Klein at first thought was a recent "fundamental change in the way the drive to 'liberate' markets was advancing around the world" p.
She realised that Chicago School economics, and its figurehead Milton Friedman, has been experimenting with many countries over the last three decades, and that the theory is even older.
The theory is one of "radical free-market 'reforms'", of using natural and man-made crises - shocks - to stun a population into a stupor while a government forces these "reforms" onto the country.
This is one of the ironies of Chicago School economics, which Klein highlights: Friedman touted it as going hand-in-hand with democracy and freedom, when the exact opposite is true.
The kind of economic reforms he advised leaders to put in place were the kind that instantly robbed people of jobs, freedom of speech and movement, even their lives.
Their early experiments in South America - Chile, under Pinochet, and also Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil - involved by necessity a dictatorship, or corrupting or manipulating a democratically-elected, often socialist government, and using further "shocks" - torture, imprisonment, disappearances etc.
Meanwhile, big international corporations would sweep in and buy up all the newly privatised industries, then dismantle them, fire everyone, and run off with the profits.
Opening up a country for privatisation, in these cases, never benefits the country itself. This seems so glaringly obvious it's amazing that so many dictators and other leaders bought into it.
Sometimes they had no choice. Often held to ransom by the IMF and World Bank, or even by "aid" money in the aftermath of these crises, these shocks, they bowed down to pressure and did what they were told.
The need to create "clean slates" on which to build "model countries" and "model economies" was never more determinedly tried than in Iraq.
Klein successfully shows how Washington's drive to wipe the country of its history, to break it down and then slap this new economy onto it, had in turn helped create the violence, the fundamentalism that wasn't there before - or not widely supported by its population.
After the invasion, when Saddam was dethroned, the Iraqi people were indeed filled with new hope. They almost immediately began putting together their own local elections, democratically - for the first time in a long time - electing their own representatives.
The man in charge of the country at the time, Paul Bremer, who was hurriedly writing new laws to open the country up to private investment from America, quickly put an end to these demonstrations of people's democracy.
Hypocrites all. The book does end with some hopeful signs of recovery. South America, a place that has always had a highly politicised population, has come out of its collective shock and is slowly rebuilding, putting their countries back together again, picking up what was so bloodily interrupted all those years ago but this time with shock absorbers in place so that it cannot happen again.
I have always highly admired the various people of South America, who - if they had not suffered what they did - would now be one of the most prosperous places in the world.
By turning their backs on globalisation and free-market ideology, on disaster capitalism and all the muck that comes with it, they are once again on the path to something quite beautiful: a more ideal third way, a more harmonious structure that is as far from totalitarian communism think China and the USSR, North Korea and Romania as it is from disaster capitalism.
They are the ones to watch. The Shock Doctine is not an easy book to read - the prose is inherently readable and approachable, but the subject matter is intense, often depressing, incredibly sad and disheartening at times, and fills you with rage.
It has answered many of the questions that have puzzled me for so long, that no one else has bothered to properly explain - like why did Israel suddenly attack Lebanon, and why are they being such bastards with the Palestinians?
What the hell happened to South Africa when Apartheid was supposed to end? Why is Iraq such a mess? Because the economic theory "began" in America, and was so readily absorbed in that country, a lot of the book focuses on that country and certain people from it - but it is also a victim of its own policies, and I learnt a great deal about the hollow government Bush Jr.
It had no money, no resources, no manpower, no skills. Klein doesn't go into why America, the institution, is so ripe a place for this kind of economic theory, but I believe the book goes well with Ronald Wright's What is America?
I would have liked to hear more of what impact other countries, like the UK, had in Iraq, but they got barely a mention.
According to the point of the chapter, though, they weren't important. I've seen elements of this economic theory play out in my own home country, without the use of shock treatment: John Howard implemented all sorts of disastrous and unpopular policies, from cutting funding to Austudy now Youth Allowance , universities and public schools my old primary school couldn't even afford a librarian and had to lock up its library for most of the week ; he privatised Telecom many Australians bought shares - it's ironic, because before privatisation they already owned it and put through a new Minimum Wage law for 15 - 18 year olds, so that MacDonalds could fire its adult workers and hire cheap teenagers for the same job; as well as a law that enabled companies to fire employees and rehire them on contracts, meaning they had no job security no unions either , no benefits or holiday or sick pay, and were essentially paid less.
So sometimes it does happen without shock therapy - and Klein points this out too, though the cases are more rare and the policies are tamed down by the people - but Howard also had a dangerous majority and happily labelled anyone who disagreed with him including the thousands of protesters as hooligans and "un-Australian" - his biggest insult.
The Shock Doctrine is important, profound, educational and eye-opening. I would say that you might need to be in the right frame of mind for it - if you whole-heartedly disagree with the importance of government regulations and services, with nationalised education, health care and industry, if you think that free-market economics is inherently "good" for the middle class and poor people, that America is doing a "good" thing in Iraq, if Friedman is your idol and you have stocks in Halliburton or Lockheed Martin or CH2M Hill, you are not going to like this book.
Regardless of where you stand, it is confronting. But if you've ever felt the slightest unease over certain reforms and policies, if the word "progress" and "growth" don't necessarily equate "good" and "inherently right" in your gut, and if you care about the people no matter their country or skin colour, who have slipped further and further into poverty - this is the book for you.
You might never look at the world the same way again, and that's a good thing. You might never blindly believe what you hear, and that too is a great thing.
You might pause a moment to think "what's really going on here that CNN is smugly glossing over? It is a sickening read. The book describes how Milton Friedman's economic theories work when put into practice by admirers such as the American Republican Party, and the second President George Bush.
Friedman's ideas have consistently produced failing States. Iraq is one example the author discusses with plenty of evidence of how it is done: outsource the war to private security firms and the following pl 'The Shock Doctrine' describes how rich men rape poor countries while supposedly saving it.
Iraq is one example the author discusses with plenty of evidence of how it is done: outsource the war to private security firms and the following plan of 'nation building' to corporation employees in place of government employees.
Outsourcing promotes the theft of billions of taxpayer money through inflated billings while incompetent contractors look as if they are doing something to fulfill their contracts.
Klein also shows how governments, in trying to save themselves from a variety of economic crises, have employed Friedman's horrible policies, imposed on them by various international powers and banks, end up in reality impoverishing their citizens while foreigners and homegrown elites extract most of the wealth created and deposit it to their own personal bank accounts.
What the shock doctrine is, it is forcing a country to sell off most of its assets. Rich men take advantage of natural disasters or intentionally created financial crashes which bring a country to its knees.
When a country is faced with a sudden disaster where many people are suddenly out of work and governments are stunned by the suffering and fear and destruction, banks and corporations move in and rape the country while promising to fix the problems with cash borrowed at high interest while imposing strict limitations on social security, fuel supports or food subsidies to the poor.
The banks also force the sale of publicly owned electrical grids and water and sewer plants to private foreign companies and countries, who then fire the local employees and raise the price of the heretofore affordable necessities of daily life.
In other words, a troubled country is forced into deeper, more painful difficulties intentionally in order to force the selling at rock bottom prices of everything of value to business entities which have no interest in helping or saving the country's citizens.
While people are shocked and fearful because of disasters, they meekly allow the foreign corporations to 'save' them by stealing their assets and starving them.
Friedman also promoted using the most extreme methods on any protestors who dare to fight back at being raped, robbed and starved to deepen the shock and upset, through what used to be called brainwashing methods.
In actuality, it means using torture. View all 8 comments. Feb 10, E. On the one hand, " 'Day of Wrath' brings Russians on to the streets against Vladimir Putin " bears out her thesis of citizen blowback against unrestrained capitalism.
So apparently does " How China's internet generation broke the silence ". That article, however, goes on to note: Many in the west see it as self-evident that an increased flow of information will make officials more accountable and encourage people to challenge them.
Yet studies of the internet's impact in China are inconclusive. One found that people with access to unofficial information and the internet actually held a more favourable view of inequalities and the party's justification of them.
Another showed that blog posts on subjects such as political reform and freedom of expression were increasingly frequent, even when controlling for the rise in bloggers.
And " Britain leads in war on poverty, according to US academic " positively contradicts her other thesis that countries like Britain with its more Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism do worse than European socialist counterparts: Britain's story on child poverty is also better than many in Europe.
While the UK child poverty rate fell, "[it:] was rising or constant" on the continent. So far I agree with her.
The policy was intended to transfer wealth from the property-owning Chinese into Malay hands and has ended up benefitting only a small percentage of rich Malay families.
Rural poverty remains a problem. Thailand, on the other hand, which accepted the IMF loans and which saw its rural poor battered by the results ended up with a beneficiary of the reforms as its Prime Minister.
Each of these situations have inconvenient elements that are ignored and glossed over by Ms Klein in her book which presents a straightforward narrative of capitalist oppression under Friedman-omics with its manifesto of using shock and destruction to force down and implement unfettered free market policies.
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