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« On The Lighter Side | Main | Time to Insist on Some Conceptual Clarity and Historical Truth »


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IMHO, Naomi Klein is well into the category of 'dangerously ignorant.' ;-)

I'm a couple chapters into the wonderful Free To Choose now and reminded of how brilliant Dr. Friedman was. An amazing clear thinker.

Thanks!! I'm passing on a link to this post to a number of friends. The best 7 minutes I've spent in a number of days.

Ever notice how many leftists are shockingly ignorant and how many leftists are pathetically dishonest? And how many are both?

It's a remarkable and wide spread characteristic.

And it seems to be getting worse.

Glad you all liked the video.

Devil's Advocate
Copious Dissent - Your Daily Dose of Liberty

Before you say Naomi is ignorant, read her book. There's over 600 pages of well researched information put together in a coherent manner, covering history with a social and geopolitical perspective greatly missing from a one dimensional economist like Friedman. While Friedman ideas are popular, it's only because they are an oversimplification of reality that appeals to ordinary people and simple minds. But who does it benefit most? Big corporations who would like people to believe the enemy is the government. However what people fail to see is this: Big business = Government. Leaning a bit more toward socialism would change that equation to Government = The people, and certainly big business don't want that... So what they do? Elevate Friedman to the status of a legend, a genius, so that the mass start to think, socialism = enemy of the people = government. Only in America do those simple stupid ideas prevail... you could say people in other countries are less bombarded by big business propaganda and a one dimensional political system.

No Jean.

Leaning more towards socialism we get the equation socialism + government = Mao, Stalin, Hitler.

You once again manage to ignore the position of laissez-faire, which means business without government, not big business with government.

But how would people be protected from fraud, force and coercion you might ask.

The answer is once again found in the very straight forward system of laissez-faire.

And it is what the US Republic was founded to achieve.

Klein's book "The Shock Doctrine" does not challenge Friedman's theory, which is that free markets require freedom of choice. Her whole thesis is that this is not how his theory has been carried out. Friedman shook hands with the butcher Augusto Pinochet, simply because Pinochet claimed to agree with Friedman's theories. In country after country the International Monetary Fund, claiming to adhere to Friedman's theories, has employed force to get countries to comply with its vision of the free market, and in nearly every case these markets have become less free because of the intervention of those who claimed to be advocates of Friedman's philosophy, whether they really were or not.

Jean have you even read her book? its full of half-truths and manipulation of historical events. Specially hilarious is her interpretation of the Tienanmen square massacre by the "capitalists" in the chinese COMMUNIST party.

If anything is Klein's ideas the ones that are oversimplifications aimed at simple minded and ignorant people with an absurd appeal to the power of the state to solve the problems of the people trough central planning relying on the old class struggle mentality and the fear of the people to individual liberty and the free markets.

I recommend you to read "Free to Choose" by dr Friedman and maybe you will open you mind to human freedom.

Geez Jean, what kind of fantasy world are you living in? Have you read Friedman? It would be a grand farce to say his ideas are an oversimplification made for the ignorant. Please read his chapter on Monetary Policy in "Freedom and Capitalism" and tell me how much of that you can understand, being seemingly highly intellectual and sophisticated as your post would suggest. Also, Friedman does not say the government is the enemy, he just explains, very thoroughly, how government interference in economics tends to have an adverse affect in many ways. I urge you to look at Spain as an example. One of the most socialist countries in Europe, but also one of the weakest economies and an almost 20% unemployment rate. Also, Government = the people? It does so more than you think already, but putting everyday joes in the position of making complex economic decisions is not something I find desirable. I used to have this same ideology as you do, then I lived in Europe. You think there's not big business propaganda here? If you think free market capitalism is a simpletons idea that only takes hold in America, socialism would be it's equivalent in Europe. People buy into it without ever investigating the economic repercussions it causes. The free market system is growing more and more in Europe because time has proven that the socialistic economic policies do more harm than good. I think you are very naive, untraveled, and unread to make such a statement, as is Klein by the way. She never finished college, and even admits that she ignored her studies to muckrake for the college paper. She has no background whatsoever in the field of economics, and seems to me, to be nothing more than a naive, pseudo-intellectual, sensationalist journalist. I just really can't go into detail about how naive and misinformed such ideas are, my sanity won't permit it.

As I don't believe any airhead who sells the vision of an idyllic society with smiling people loving each other, I can't believe a guy who idolizes human greed - that is the case of Milton Friedman ("what is wrong with greed?" - he said it). Because a realistic (that means not ideological nor moral) question arises: should humans do something just because they can? If you answer yes, then you can go and shoot your neighbor when he gets on your nerves. You don't do it because society (that is the community of people, not the government, darlings) has a kind of control over you (i.e. the law or religion or morality or pure common sense) that prevents harmful acts towards individuals and/or society - the rules of the game, dammit. So, if someone doesn't agree with any kind of societal control over the individual, he can meet his fellow chimps and start fighting over a banana. (Chimps are smarter than that, but anyway. I should rather replace them with Margaret Thatcher, who said "there's no such thing as society".) So, the thing in stake is how much control we agree upon.
And I want to ask you: are you happy with the world and the US situation in 2010, after 30 years of laissez faire and its offspring, corporate greed? Do you see many small enterprises (the essence of free economy) near you thriving? Don't you think that the free individuals should agree upon some kind of social contract that prevents capitalism's malfunctions caused by greed? And if you debate that corporate capitalism is a distortion of Friedman's or even Adam Smith's pure form, then you must allow your leftist or liberal or whatever fellow debaters to support (with much reasoning) that pure form socialism has nothing to do with the totalitarian regime imposed in Russia or even with the state owned means of production.
In this string of comments almost everybody denounces Naomi Klein's ignorance. I don't debate on that, but frankly Friedman's fundamentalist crusaders seem more ignorant to me, sometimes bordering on douche. That's why I wrote this lengthy comment - forgive me for the annoyance.

lol if one were to look for the wonders of Neo-liberalism, they only need to look at how wonderfully Chile turned out under Pinochet; how well Margaret Thatcher dealt with unemployment; and the many farmers that committed suicide in India due to a lack of government support and rise in economic inequality.

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