Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Naomi Klein Is Smarter Than You (and Me)

With the collapse of our economy over these past few weeks, I've been meaning to give another shout-out to my journalist crush Naomi Klein. She knows things and explains them well, and she's been making the circuit on the talk shows, from schooling idiots on Fox News to having fun with Stephen Colbert.

For the second post in a row, I also need to give credit to Democracy Now!. Amy Goodman did me the pleasure of playing a full hour yesterday of Naomi giving a speech at the University of Chicago.

You see, the University of Chicago is building a $200,000,000 economics center to be named for free marketeer Milton Friedman. Milton taught at U of C, and influenced several generations of free market economists.

Naomi does a hell of a job of explaining what happens when this ideological economic theory gets played out in practice. (I'll give you a hint: It's not good.)

One would think that the market collapse would be an indictment of the Milton Friedman school of thought, but instead the right-wing followers of his theories are pushing for even less regulation. See "Gingrich, Newt."

Naomi's speech at U of C is wide-ranging, pointed, and smart. She discusses her grandparents, who were rabid Marxists, and their devastation of learning what was happening under Stalin in the Soviet Union. She tells this story to make an important point: the left has been held responsible for what happens to Marxist theory in practice.

Well, we've now reached a time when the right needs to be held responsible for the exploitation, greed, and devastation that occurs in the wake of right-wing, Milton Friedman, free market ideology when it plays out in practice.

Go, Naomi! Boy, I sure do have a crush on you. Maybe the missus will give me The Shock Doctrine in paperback for Christmas.

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