Wow. Reading this article by the Wall Street Journal about killed me. Remember the Shock Doctrine? In case you aren’t familiar, the Shock Doctrine is an argument put forth by Naomi Klien that basically asserts that governments learned from psychologists that when people are dealing with a massive “shock” (like the death of a loved one, the massive genocide of families, etc), their sense of shock is often so great that they can be convinced to do things they wouldn’t normally be convinced to do. Governments, Klien argues, have used this truth of human nature to implement increasingly strict and even violent policies against citizens that had (pre shock) vehemently stood against the policy. Think: the war on Iraq in particular, and how even as it made no sense to most of us, even normally pro-peace advocates were questioning if the war might be an necessary evil.
Many people argue that this “Shock Doctrine” is a bit hysterical. That it is giving too much credit to governments and groups in power. But–read this article by the WSJ.
For now, a coordinated rush of international humanitarian assistance is needed to save lives and support Haiti’s fledgling government. But once that process is in place, no time should be lost in encouraging Haitian officials to set ambitious goals and take charge of the country’s recovery. Psychologists tell us that the best time to change minds and mobilize people is when they have experienced a traumatic event. Once things begin to turn for the better, the incentive for substantive change will be lost.
It blatantly states right there for all to see. Use the shock doctrine. Use the shock of this horrific event against the Haitian peoples. And to me, it sounds like the author is advocating the implementation of capitalism:
In the coming weeks, Haitians might have a chance to reset expectations of what they might achieve. In the U.S., Haitian immigrants have proved industrious, inventive and politically involved—ideal qualities for a future Haitian middle class. In the homeland, Haitians should be encouraged to regard themselves as a community of problem solvers.
To get them off of welfare. And stop the thugs. And no more drug trading. Etc. Which stands as highly ironic, given that the one thing the article strongly advocates against (the return of President Aristide), is the one thing that Haitians have explicitly called for.
So the Haitians want the return of an exiled president and the U.S. wants the implementation of capitalism.
Given all the military build up in the name of “humanitarian efforts,” who do you think will win out?