As a wave of anti-union bills are introduced across the country following the wake of Wall Street financial crisis, many analysts are picking up on the theory that award-winning journalist and author Naomi Klein first argued in her 2007 bestselling book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. In the book, she reveals how those in power use times of crisis to push through undemocratic and extreme free market economic policies.
"This is a frontal assault on democracy," Naomi Klein said today in an interview with Democracy Now! "It's a kind of a corporate coup d'etat."
On the continued protests against Gov. Scott Walker's attempt to curb union powers under the guise of a state financial crisis, Klein says, "The Wisconsin protests are an incredible example of how to resist the shock doctrine."
Klein has been reporting on global warming and the climate justice movement for years. "My fear is that climate change is the biggest crisis of all," Klein says.
"If we do not come up with a positive vision of how climate change can make our economies and our world more just, more livable, cleaner, fairer, then this crisis will be exploited to militarize our economies, to create fortress continents. We are really facing a choice. What we really need now is for the people fighting for economic justice and environmental justice to come together."
Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher was convicted last week of two felony counts for disrupting an auction of more than 100,000 acres of federal land for oil and gas drilling in December 2008. Klein talks about why she signed on to a public letter of support for DeChristopher. "What did Tim DeChristopher do wrong? They said that he participated in an auction and without the intention to pay," Klein says. "Oil and gas companies privatize the profits from their resource extraction but externalize the costs, being the pollution and the cleanup... Climate change [is] the biggest disaster of all and the highest price tag of all--this, created by the fossil fuel industries... They have no intention of paying that cost."