Two Kleins spoke about the growing Occupy Wall Street movement on Thursday's "Rachel Maddow."
The Washington Post's Ezra Klein was filling in for Maddow, and he brought on Naomi Klein, author of "The Shock Doctrine" and writer for The Nation.
Naomi Klein had just spoken at the encampment in Lower Manhattan, and she praised Occupy Wall Street for its ability to galvanize people across the country and for its peacefulness. She said that the lack of violence or "broken windows" had forced the media to cover the substance of the protests. The police attacks on Occupy Wall Street were "just feeding their movement," she said.
But Klein said that it remains to be seen how the protests will proceed and whether anything big will come of them. Making the movement about the so-called "99 percent" of Americans meant, she said, that "the sky's the limit...why not wait and see how big this is?"
One thing both Kleins agreed on was that the protests could give a jolt to the American left. Naomi Klein said that the left has become "NGO-ized." There was, she said, no shortage of well-meaning groups with media training and very specific demands of Wall Street and Washington.
"What they don't have is a base," she said. "...We have to work in a different kind of currency: bodies, energy, passion." Ezra Klein agreed, saying that, even though he loves making graphs and charts, "I can't say they get all that much done."
Naomi Klein also praised Occupy Wall Street for going to the heart of the country's financial sector to counter the notion that there is no money to spend in America. Planting a flag at "the site of maximal abundance" showed, she said, that "it is not a scarcity problem, it's a distribution problem." She called it a "stroke of organizing genius."