Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fascism: We're Already There. Any Other Questions?

If you've stumbled onto this link, it's likely you're not necessarily one of the "good americans" who feel everything's hunky dory. But I would suggest reading the article below and really think. Do your really believe things are this bad? I hope so, because they are.

Blue Ibis

Chris Rowthorn
The Smirking Chimp
Sat, 29 Sep 2007 07:35 EDT

"Fascism: a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator"
-- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000


It is a truism in the blogosphere that one more terrorist attack will turn America into a fascist state. People speculate about what fascism in America will look like, or how they might fight it. Others boast that they plan to flee the country ahead of the coming fascist takeover of the United States. One cannot read these posts without a sense of bitter irony, because one thing is clear to those who are watching carefully:

The United States of America is already a fascist state.

The United States turned fascist on December 11, 2000. On that day, the Supreme Court essentially appointed George W. Bush president of the United States, stopping the recount of Florida votes, and, hence, the democratic process. The justices of the court then slipped away by night, ashamed of their role in murdering America's great experiment in democratic rule.

The Supreme Court decision of December 11, 2000 is the modern American equivalent to German President Hindenburg's swearing in of Hitler as chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. By swearing in Hitler as chancellor, Hindenburg set in motion a process which led to the Nazi dictatorship and World War II. In the case of the Nazis, the Reichstag fire of February 27, 1933 was the catalyst they needed to cement their grip on power. In the case of Bush and his backers, the tragedy of September 11, 2001 was the catalyst they needed to complete their full takeover of the American government.

When one looks at present-day America and reads plaintive musings about if and when America will turn fascist, it is useful to ask oneself the following question: When do you think the average German realized that he or she was living under a fascist dictatorship? How about the Japanese or Italians of the same period? Do you think that Hitler, Mussolini or Tojo made a public announcement to the effect of, "Dear Citizens: Please be advised that you no longer have any rights or political power. We have taken control of the government. Opposition and resistance are futile and will be punished."

The fact is, most of the "good" citizens of these countries clung desperately to the notion that it was business as usual long after constitutional government was dead and buried. Sure, they knew that their governments were a little further to the right than normal, but as long as they kept earning money and eating well, they ignored the grim realities of fascism.

It's easy to understand why: the "good" citizens weren't members of officially scapegoated groups or political activists, and thus they never felt the iron first of fascism. It's not like the government just suddenly started rounding up people at random and trucking them off to camps and executing them. No, it was only the "bad ones" who were carted off. It was the John Walker Lindhs, the Jose Padillas, the illegal immigrants and the Muslim Americans of their day who were carted off.

In fact, for the average citizen of Germany, Japan or Italy, it was only when the military adventures of their fascist governments started to go seriously awry did the reality dawn on them. Until then, if anything, they merely felt the stirrings of extreme patriotism and perhaps even satisfaction as their countries expanded outward. Indeed, for many, it was only when their countries lay in ashes did they fully understand what had happened. Only then could they see that a kind of cancer had run wild in their countries and come perilously close to destroying them.

In 2007, the average American is in exactly the same position as the typical German, Japanese or Italian citizen of the early to mid-1930s. Unless you happen to be a Muslim, a left-wing political activist, or a regular reader of left-wing political websites or journals, you could be forgiven for thinking that it's business as usual in the United States of America. You rise in the morning, read the morning paper, commute to work, get a paycheck, hit the ATM and watch the usual shows on television in the evening. Sure, we're officially "at war" but other than a few news stories and the usual yellow ribbons and bumper stickers, this doesn't really intrude into our realities.

But while all of us go about our lives like nothing has changed, the Constitution of the United States has been suspended, and with it, the democracy that it enshrines. Sure, Bush has never announced that he has suspended the Constitution. Rather, he has subjected it to a death by a thousand cuts. For, at last count, George W. Bush has appended 139 signing statements to laws passed by Congress, containing challenges to over 750 individual laws. These signing statements amount to 139 written declarations that George W. Bush and his allies consider themselves to be unconstrained by the law of the land and the will of the people. Or, to quote Mr. Bush: "(The Constitution) is just a goddamned piece of paper!"

On top of this, the Bush administration has repeatedly ignored subpoenas asking for information and directed aides not to comply with requests for information. And, more broadly, the Bush administration has made it clear that it will respond neither to the will of the people nor the will of Congress. Thus, in word and deed, the Bush administration is a dictatorship. And a country under the rule of a dictator is, at least by the definition at the start of this article, a fascist country.

Thus, in the last seven years, the United States has gone from a weak democracy, in which the people had weak but nominal control over their government, to a system where the government is under the control of "a unitary executive." And, of course, "unitary executive" is how you say "fuhrer" in modern American English.

Of course, this is not news to those unfortunate Americans who are presently languishing in military prisons without access to lawyers or due process. But, for most Americans, it seems absurd or even hysterical to declare that we are living in a fascist state. Arguments about signing statements, unitary executive theory or past Supreme Court decisions are mere abstractions and gain little traction.

Perhaps this is because fascism is like pornography: it's hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Indeed, the best way to distinguish pornography from art is not logical but aesthetic. Similarly, I would suggest that the best way to determine if a country is fascist is not intellectual at all, but aesthetic.

Fascism has a style, a language and a mood all its own. When enough of these outward signs of fascism are present, you can reasonably conclude that the country in question is fascist. For this reason, I have put together this short guide to some of the more obvious distinguishing features of fascism.


A Brief Guide to the Aesthetics of Fascism:

--Hypnotized by symbols: Whether it be the swastika of the Nazis, the rising sun of imperial Japan or the fasces of the Italian National Fascist Party, simple, visually striking and endlessly repeated symbols are the "look" of a fascist government. Check out any Bush speaking engagement, from his "mission accomplished" speech on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln to the Republican National Convention, and you will see him surrounded by the Stars and Stripes. And where Nazi leaders wore swastika armbands, American fascists wear American flag pins on their lapels. Sinclair Lewis observed that, "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." The symbols may be different, but if it looks like fascism, it's probably fascism.

--Impoverished language: Umberto Eco wrote that, "All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning." George W. Bush's tortured syntax is perfectly suited to speaking this language. In describing Newspeak, Orwell declared that words will be "not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be." Bush's speeches are peppered with words like freedom and democracy, when in fact, he means slavery and tyranny. Moreover, Bush is fond of accusing countries like Iran of illegally interfering in the affairs of other countries, much as Hitler accused other European countries of aggression as his armies overran the continent. The language may be different, but one fact is inescapable: if it sounds like fascism, it's probably fascism.

--Mood of pervasive fear: In Bush's America, people rightly believe that you may be subject to violence, harassment, arbitrary arrest or even torture if you challenge authority figures or speak out against the government. Since I started writing articles on political topics I have heard the comment repeated time and again: "You're going to be put on a list." Americans of all stripes live in fear of their government and few, if any, would dare question any authority figure, even if faced with the most blatant and unwarranted abuse of power. It is a sad fact that Americans are the only people in the developed world where citizens actively fear their own government. The tools of torture may have changed, but the essential fact remains: if it feels like fascism, it's probably fascism.

--The nation as homeland: The exaltation of the nation state as a promised land is perhaps the most basic sign of a fascist state. Twenty years ago, it would have been unimaginable to refer to the United States as a "homeland." The word would have stuck people as both antiquated and overtly totalitarian. Now, it is bandied about freely and we actually have a Department of Homeland Security. The strikingly fascist overtones of the word itself are troubling enough, but more troubling still is the thinking behind the word: America is an island in a hostile sea, surrounded by enemies who we must either vanquish or be vanquished by. Once again, if it sounds like fascism, it's probably fascism.

At this point, it is clear that America is in the early stages of fascism; it hasn't yet metastasized into the outright jackbooted fascism of Nazi Germany. But the country is poised like a boulder at the top of a slope, ready to roll into the abyss. In fact, it will take a miracle to keep this from happening. Consider the factors that could easily unleash outright fascism in the United States: the accelerating collapse of the US dollar; the follow-on effects from the subprime loan debacle; soaring energy prices (peak oil); catastrophic weather events caused by global warming; and, of course, the one thing that Bush's entire foreign policy seems almost guaranteed to bring about: another large-scale terrorist attack on American soil. Any one of these by itself could trigger outright fascism. Combine two or more, and American fascism is 100% certain.

We must realize that the full machinery of outright fascism is already in place. Private security firms like Blackwater are ready and willing to serve as the new Blackshirts. Patriot Act II has been written and provides the full "legal" framework for completely revoking the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and establishing martial law. The Pentagon has established Northcom to organize military operations in the United States and Canada. The Posse Comitatus Act has been gutted to allow the National Guard to serve in police actions all across the country. And detention centers have been built across the land and plans have been laid to intern millions of Americans.

History teaches that there is a point of no return in the evolution of a fascist state. Once that line is crossed, there is no turning back until the country lies in ashes and millions lie dead both inside and outside the country.
If you don't think it could happen in the United States of America, then you don't remember how easily Americans let themselves be robbed of their precious civil liberties in the aftermath of 9-11.

Thus, a presidential candidate who does not make restoration of constitutional government the centerpiece of his or her campaign should not even be considered. The first and most pressing order of business must be to repeal the Patriot Act in its entirety. Provisions that Democratic lawmakers deem essential to national security can be restored on a piece-by-piece basis as parts of other legislation. The Military Commissions Act of 2006, which suspended habeas corpus, must be repealed. The Department of Homeland Security must be downsized and brought under full and transparent civilian control.

In the longer term, meaningful campaign finance reform and public funding for elections must be enacted in order to put political power back into the hands of the people and to take it out of the hands of the Pentagon and allied industries. Because ultimately, it is the military-industrial complex, working with the electoral support of right-wing religious fundamentalists, that is behind American fascism.

A final note:

The least discussed news story of recent history appeared in the New York Times on February 4, 2006:

"The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract worth up to $385 million for building temporary immigration detention centers to Kellogg Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary...KBR would build the centers for the Homeland Security Department for an unexpected influx of immigrants, to house people in the event of a natural disaster or for new programs that require additional detention space."

Since it seems unlikely that cruise ships loaded with illegal immigrants are likely to wash up on American shores any time soon, one has to wonder what they mean by "new programs that require additional detention space".

For the love of God, IS THIS AMERICA?

About author:

Chris Rowthorn is an American journalist based in Kyoto, Japan. He has written for the Japan Times and Kansai Time Out.
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Political Ponerology: Evil is Real

Images make words come alive. "WithConscience" truly is. Why is everyone not as outraged?

Blue Ibis



"In the author's opinion, Ponerology reveals itself to be a new branch of science born out of historical need and the most recent accomplishments of medicine and psychology. In light of objective naturalistic language, it studies the causal components and processes of the genesis of evil, regardless of the latter's social scope. We may attempt to analyze these ponerogenic processes which have given rise to human injustice, armed with proper knowledge, particularly in the area of psychopathology. Again and again, as the reader will discover, in such a study, we meet with the effects of pathological factors whose carriers are people characterized by some degree of various psychological deviations or defects." (Lobaczewski, 42)

With very few exceptions down the ages, discussions in moral philosophy - the study of right conduct - have failed to systematically investigate the origin, nature, and course of evil in a manner free from supernatural imaginings. Evil was often considered something to be endured rather than something that could be understood and eliminated by rational measures. And - as Lobaczewski demonstrates - the origin of evil actually lies outside the boundaries of the conventional worldview within which the earlier moral inquiries and literary explorations were conducted. Evil requires a truly modern and scientific approach to lay bare its secrets. This approach is called "ponerology", the study of evil, from the Greek "poneros" = evil.

The original manuscript of this book went into the furnace minutes before a secret police raid in Communist Poland. The second copy, painfully reassembled by scientists working under impossible conditions of violence and repression, was sent via courier to the Vatican. Its receipt was never acknowledged - the manuscript and all valuable data lost. In 1984, the third and final copy was written from memory by the last survivor of the original researchers: Andrew Lobaczewski. Zbigniew Brzezinski blocked its publication.

After half a century of suppression, this book is finally available.

Political Ponerology is shocking in its clinically spare descriptions of the true nature of evil. It is poignant in its more literary passages revealing the immense suffering experienced by the researchers contaminated or destroyed by the disease they were studying.

Political Ponerology is a study of the founders and supporters of oppressive political regimes. Lobaczewski's approach analyzes the common factors that lead to the propagation of man's inhumanity to man. Morality and humanism cannot long withstand the predations of this evil. Knowledge of its nature - and its insidious effect on both individuals and groups - is the only antidote.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Cindy Sheehan Nails It Again

If any one were to ask me what is my position on Shrub, the US Gov and the neocons in general? I would hand them this. Go Cindy!

Blue Ibis


Cindy Sheehan
Tue, 25 Sep 2007 15:21 EDT

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the president of Iran spoke at Columbia University today. I heard that he was invited there because the President of Columbia wanted to foster a "free exchange of ideas." Even though I am not an Ahmadinejad supporter, I know he was elected in Iran in a knee-jerk and understandable response to the USA's bloodily unnecessary invasion of Iraq, as many reactionery governments have been elected in that region and all over the world in response to the spreading US corporate and military empire.


Citing such human rights' violations in the form of imprisonment and executions, the President of Columbia University, very boorishly said that Ahmadinejad appeared to be a "petty and cruel dictator." First of all, how does one invite someone to your place for a "free exchange of ideas," and be such a rude American? Did he only invite Ahmadinejad so he could publicly scold him or to become the darling of Fox News?

Secondly, what about our President who appears to be a "petty and cruel dictator?" George Bush presided over a stunning amount of executions when he was Governor of Texas and the US is operating torture prison camps, openly and secretly, all over the world. BushCo has fought the Supreme Court and Congress for the right to hold thousands of humans without their human rights of due process and they have also been strenuously committed to the strategy of torture - or "enhanced interrogation methods" as the Ministry of Truth likes to call it. A Reverend gets beaten down in the halls of Congress; nooses are being hung in the south; students are being tased on campuses and Congress is censuring Freedom of much evidence do we need before we decide that something is profoundly wrong in present-day America?

In 2006, China, the leading practitioner of state sanctioned murder in the form of execution, killed 8000 people in this manner. However, the Premier of China is welcomed to the US by George Bush who is probably envious of President Hu Jintao's record . We borrow vast sums from China to wage our wars and China is our major trading partner. Wal-Mart's cheap and dangerous crap is manufactured by near slaves there, but somehow that is okay? Somehow it is okay to welcome Communist China with open arms, but demonize and disparage a Socialist like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela? America has a very lucrative prison business and is the only country in the Americas that practices execution. A barbarian is a barbarian no matter what color, religion or nationality they are.

George Bush has added signing statements to almost 1000 bills that he has signed into law saying that he doesn't have to obey those very same laws. We have the Nazi-ist sounding Department of Homeland Security which seems to be obsessed with keeping my un-zip-locked baggied lip-gloss off of flights. The un-Patriot Act and breaking of FISA laws and our 4 th Amendment right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure have turned the "Land of the Free" into the "Home of the Slaves."

To put the cherry on the sundae of the crimes that BushCo have committed, they have sent hundreds of thousands of our own sons and daughters to occupy a country that was no threat to America or its neighbors. Thousands of Americans are dead, wounded or mentally screwed up and millions of Iraqis are dead, wounded, mentally screwed up or displaced from their homes.

Another boorish American, Scott Pelley (of 60 Minutes) hammered Ahmadinejad about sending weapons into Iraq without even once acknowledging the immoral tons of weapons that we rained on the citizens of Iraq during "shocking and awful;" the cluster bombs that look like toys that litter the killing fields of that country and have killed and maimed so many children; the mercenary killers that outnumber our troops and use the people of Iraq for target practice; the thousands of tons of weapons that the US let out of such weapons dumps as al-Qaqaa that were left unguarded while the oil ministry was heavily fortified. Not to mention that America supported Iraq in its eight year long war with Iran that killed an unbelievable amount of people on both sides of the border. The hypocrisy of our system is spectacular and deadly in both ignorance and arrogance.

We here in America are living in a fascist state that regularly puts corporate profits and an insatiable and evil thirst for power above people and their needs. Our supercilious leaders and media are so busy calling the kettle black, they don't notice or care how dark our pot is. We are supporting Israel in their human rights violations against Palestine, illegally occupying two countries on our own and we have the nerve to claim any kind of moral superiority over anybody?

The fascist, near dictatorship of the Bush regime (a la Nazi Germany) has even intimidated universities to align with their hypocritical murderous rhetoric. Universities should feel free to invite anyone to speak to open much needed dialogue in our country and in the world. And if a person is invited, they should be treated by the person who invited them with a slight modicum of courtesy and then let the rocking and rolling begin with the "Q & A"...which would truly be a free exchange of ideas. I am surprised President Bollinger didn't have President Ahmadinejad tased.

Peace is going to take all the nations working in cooperation to limit naked aggression and human rights' violations, not just the ones which the US declare as evil. How many nukes do we have? How many does Pakistan have? How many does India, Israel, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union have? Should the rhetoric be about destroying all weapons of mass destruction and not just prohibiting Iran from obtaining one?

Many countries are committing human rights' violations and sending arms and troops into many parts of the world. America's biggest export is violence and we would do well to call for an end to all occupations and violence by beginning to end our own.

Let's clean our own filthy house before we criticize someone else for theirs.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and Dear President Bush.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Miss Manners Would Be APPALLED

From Signs of the Times, the POV that CNN, Rupert Murdoch, or Clearchannel would never dare to offer. How much more boorish can the US make itself look to the rest of the world? Could you imagine Bush being invited to speak at a respected educational institution in some foreign (try really, really, really hard, ok? just for this little exercise) and then a representative of another country subjecting the US head of state this kind of insult as he is being introduced, (no matter how worthy he may be of it)?

Didn't think so,

Blue Ibis

Nahal Toosi
Associated Press
Mon, 24 Sep 2007 22:25 EDT

NEW YORK - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defended Holocaust revisionists and raised questions about who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks in a tense showdown Monday at Columbia University, where the school's head introduced the hard-line leader by calling him a "petty and cruel dictator."

Comment: At least one faculty member, professor of Iranian studies Hamid Dabashi, thought it hypocritical for Bollinger to invite Ahmadinejad to speak and then insult him before he did.

Ahmadinejad portrayed himself as an intellectual and argued that his administration respected reason and science. But the former engineering professor, appearing shaken and irate over he called "insults" from his host, soon found himself drawn into the type of rhetoric that has alienated American audiences in the past.

Comment: If you watched Ahmadinejad's "60 Minutes" interview, you'd have seen how he threw the abuses at Abu Ghraib, the endless, illegal detention of foreigners at Guantanamo, and the NSA's super-secret surveillance program back at his interviewer.

It's obvious that Ahmadinejad is talking about the U.S. when he talks about nations that misuse power and knowledge to "try to control all in the name of combating insecurity and terrorism." He continues, "They do not respect the privacy of their people, they tap telephone calls and try to control their people... by using precise scientific methods and planning, they begin their onslaught on the domestic cultures of nations."

He provoked derisive laughter by responding to a question about Iran's execution of homosexuals by saying: "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country ... I don't know who's told you that we have this."

Comment: We believe that it is fairly well established that Iran does, indeed, have homosexuals. One begins to question what this whole charade is all about with such ignorant remarks being made by the president of Iran. Is it his assignment to make American's really dislike him so it will be easier for the Bush-Reich to bomb Iran?

Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, set the combative tone in his introduction of Ahmadinejad: "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator."

Comment: All things considered, that was just plain rude.

Ahmadinejad retorted that Bollinger's opening was "an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here."

Comment: He had a point. You don't invite someone to speak and then insult them. Bollinger exhibited a serious lack of class and manners.

"There were insults and claims that were incorrect, regretfully," Ahmadinejad said, accusing Bollinger of falling under the influence of the hostile U.S. press and politicians.

Comment: If Bollinger didn't insult Ahmadinejad, he would probably lose his job rather quickly.

Ahmadinejad drew audience applause at times, such as when he bemoaned the plight of the Palestinians. But he often declined to offer the simple answers the audience sought, responding instead with his own questions or long statements about history and justice.

Comment: Such problems are not really amenable to simple answers.

Ahmadinejad has in the past called for Israel's elimination. But his exact remarks have been disputed. Some translators say he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," but others say that would be better translated as "vanish from the pages of time" _ implying Israel would disappear on its own rather than be destroyed.

Comment: That is just disingenuous. It has been clearly proven that Ahmadinejad NEVER "called for Israel's elimination."

Asked by an audience member if Iran sought the destruction of Israel, Ahmadinejad did not answer directly.

"We are friends of all the nations," he said. "We are friends with the Jewish people. There are many Jews in Iran living peacefully with security."

Comment: No doubt. He knew it was a loaded question.

He also said Palestinians must determine their own future.

Ahmadinejad's past statements about the Holocaust also have raised hackles in the West, and were soundly attacked by Bollinger.

"In a December 2005 state television broadcast, you described the Holocaust as the fabricated legend," Bollinger told Ahmadinejad said in his opening remarks. "One year later, you held a two-day conference of Holocaust deniers."

Bollinger said that might fool the illiterate and ignorant.

"When you come to a place like this, it makes you simply ridiculous. The truth is that the Holocaust is the most documented event in human history," he said.

Comment: Indeed. And much of the documentation shows that many of the claims of Israel about the Holocaust are twists on the truth, or complete fabrications. The documentation proves that Zionism, itself, was complicit in the Holocaust. Bollinger has only exposed himself as a lackey for the Israel lobby here.

Ahmadinejad denied he had questioned whether the Holocaust occurred.

"Granted this happened, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?" he said.

Comment: And that is really the point, isn't it? If Europeans and Americans "committed the Holocaust" against Israel, how come they didn't mark off some of their own territory and give it to the Jews instead of dispossessing and entire other nation?

But Ahmadinejad went on to say that he was defending the rights of European academics imprisoned for "questioning certain aspects" of the Holocaust, an apparent reference to a small number who have been prosecuted under national laws for denying or minimizing the genocide.

"There's nothing known as absolute," Ahmadinejad said. He said the Holocaust has been abused as a justification for Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians.

"Why is it that the Palestinian people are paying the price for an event they had nothing to do with?" he asked.

Comment: And that is the truth. But I don't think Bollinger wanted the truth. He wanted to demonstrate that he was a good Zionist lap-dog.

Asked why he had asked to visit the World Trade Center site - a request denied by New York authorities - Ahmadinejad said he wanted to express sympathy for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Comment: Refusing him permission to do so was just plain petty. But then, that's what the U.S. has become: a petty tyrant.

Then he appeared to question whether al-Qaida was responsible, saying more research was needed.

"If the root causes of 9/11 are examined properly - why it happened, what caused it, what were the conditions that led to it, who truly was involved, who was really involved - and put it all together to understand how to prevent the crisis in Iraq, fix the problem in Afghanistan and Iraq combined," Ahmadinejad said.

Comment: Another truth that Bollinger didn't want to hear.

Bollinger drew strong criticism for inviting Ahmadinejad to Columbia and had promised tough questions in his introduction. But the stridency of his attack on the Iranian leader took many by surprise.

Comment: He drew strong criticism only because the Israeli lobby and the Zionist controlled media worked very hard to make that criticism seem like it was the true expression of the citizens of the U.S. It is all manufactured propaganda.

"You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated," Bollinger told Ahmadinejad about the leader's Holocaust denial. "Will you cease this outrage?"

Comment: Again, Bollinger shows his lack of class, manners, intellectual integrity and demonstrates his obeisance to the Israeli lobby.

Bollinger's introduction was "very harsh," said Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian studies at Columbia University.

"Inviting him and then turning around and alienating and insulting an entire nation whose representative this man happens to be is simply inappropriate," said Dabashi, who also criticized Ahmadinejad.

Instead of addressing most of Bollinger's accusations directly, Ahmadinejad offered quotes from the Quran and criticism of the Bush administration and past American governments, from warrant-less wiretapping to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.

He closed his prepared remarks with a terse smile, to applause and boos, before taking questions from the audience.

In Iran, Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia could be seen on Arabic satellite channels and state television's Arabic-language service, but it did not appear on channels that broadcast in Farsi, the language of Iran.

Asked about his country's nuclear intentions, Ahmadinejad insisted the program is peaceful, legal and entirely within Iran's rights, despite attempts by "monopolistic," "selfish" powers to derail it. "How come is it that you have that right, and we can't have it?" he added.

Comment: Very good question. Of course, we all know the answer: double standards and "The Shock Doctrine." Iran is next in the target for being taken over and having its resources appropriated. It must certainly not be able to defend itself.

President Bush said Ahmadinejad's appearance at Columbia "speaks volumes about, really, the greatness of America."

Comment: Yeah, right. What speaks volumes about the pettiness of the Zionist controlled Bush Administration is the way Ahmadinejad was treated. And it doesn't speak to greatness, but pettiness.

He told Fox News Channel that if Bollinger considered Ahmadinejad's visit an educational experience for Columbia students, "I guess it's OK with me."

But conservatives on Capitol Hill were critical. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, said he thought the invitation to Ahmadinejad was a mistake "because he comes literally with blood on his hands."

Comment: It's pretty well established how much blood is on the hands of the Bush Administration so this is disingenuous at best, psychopathic blaming of the intended victim at worst.

Thousands of people jammed two blocks of 47th Street across from the United Nations to protest Ahmadinejad's visit to New York for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly session. Organizers claimed a turnout of tens of thousands. Police did not immediately have a crowd estimate.

Comment: All organized and paid for by the Israeli lobby and beefed up with every pathological deviant in the area. We wouldn't be surprised if they bussed in protesters.

The speakers, most of them politicians and officials from Jewish organizations, proclaimed their support for Israel and criticized the Iranian leader for his remarks questioning the Holocaust.

Comment: Oh yeah, gotta keep that guilt fence up around the rest of the world.

"We're here today to send a message that there is never a reason to give a hatemonger an open stage," New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said.

Comment: And so, George W. Bush and most of the members of his administration, and many pathological sycophants should be kept in the background and never allowed to speak.

Hundreds of protesters also assembled at Columbia. Dozens stood near the lecture hall where Ahmadinejad was scheduled to speak, linking arms and singing traditional Jewish folk songs about peace and brotherhood. A two-person band nearby played "You Are My Sunshine."

Signs in the crowd displayed a range of messages, including one reading: "We refuse to choose between Islamic fundamentalism and American imperialism."

Associated Press writers Karen Matthews and Aaron Clark contributed to this report.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Targeting - The Signs are There. Will YOU See?

A Best of the Web from Signs of the Times. Naomi has brought a keen eye to to our downward spiral. She has documented point by point where we are following the path to fascism just as Germany did 70 years ago. We aren't even showing much imagination about it.

Blue Ibis

Naomi Wolf
The Huffington Post
Mon, 24 Sep 2007 12:36 EDT

The precedent set last week, of the U.S. Senate saying that we in America face possible state censure for what can be ANY criticism of the military -- on the basis that such criticism can 'impugn the honor' of the military -- is dangerous in the extreme if you know your history.

Yeah, I didn't like the wording of the ad either. But the attack on by the Senate last week is not an aberration but is part of a dangerous -- and accelerating -- trend of echoes from the past.

Students of history know that the National Socialists in Germany, before they came to power, made multiple assaults on democracy by pushing for laws and that expanded penalties for opponents' speaking out against certain subjects. What they -- and then Stalin, who studied Hitler -- perfected was the identification of a 'third rail' of untouchable subjects that one could never approach critically without facing escalating penalties -- job loss, personal attacks, or, just a little later, criminal charges. These subjects were the war, the party itself, and the military. Making these subjects sacred and untouchable allowed National Socialists to commit any number of crimes by explaining that the abusive actions were taken in the name of the off-limits-to-criticism ideals.

Then once they came to power, they developed an ever-expanding network of laws criminalizing ever expanding minor actions critical of the state or of the military or the paramilitary forces; they developed broad definitions of 'treason' and of what it meant to 'impugn the honor of the nation' -- so that soon it became a crime against the state, defined as an assault on patriotism and a form of treason, to listen to the BBC or to speak up for an imprisoned Jew or communist.

The precedent set last week, of the U.S. Senate saying that we in America face possible state censure for what can be ANY criticism of the military -- on the basis that such criticism can 'impugn the honor' of the military -- is dangerous in the extreme if you know your history.

First of all, and I say this with tremendous admiration for the men and women of the U.S. military, this is a 'duh' moment if you have read anything about closing societies of the past: in a closing society the leaders will ALWAYS send trusted, admired military personnel to make its case to the population and to apparently legitimize the power grab: Pinochet secured his coup by terrifying citizens about a plan to assassinate military leaders and then sent military leaders to speak to citizens, asking them not to defend Allende. The list of would-be dictators who utilize trusted military men and women for these advance PR purposes is quite long.

The fact is that military leaders in our own and other countries can and do sometimes lie to the people to advance the interests of what are sometimes corrupt leaders. This is not a personal attack but an acknowledgment of history -- witness the Vietnam war. Had Colin Powell been called to account for lying to us and the UN about the WMD, nearly four thousand Americans might be alive today; but had this benchmark of state censure for American speech preceded his testimony, even more voices would have been stilled. The Founders placed in Congress the ability to oversee the military precisely because they knew that when pressed by a corrupt executive, any standing army, even an American one, even a standing army made up of nothing but decent men, can be directed to any purpose -- purposes not necessarily in the people's interest.

In my book, End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, I have written about the blueprint for fascism, and about the fact that there are 10 classic steps to closing down a democracy. When I was researching the book, the general principles that leapt off the pages of history, about how leaders crush an open civil society, were alarming enough. Knowing 'the blueprint' was even more shocking as I looked around at what was unfolding in America, because it was so predictive. From reading German history, which shows how a 'fascist shift' is engineered by expanding the definition of 'terrorist' increasingly to include citizens that look more like you and me (a tactic imitated by Stalin, the East German Stasi, the Chinese Politburo and now the Egyptians, who are referencing the Patriot Act as they round up opposition leaders and put them in jail) one could tell in fall of 2006, when laws were passed to make Animal Liberation-type action against property a form of 'terrorism,' that environmentalists would start to be targeted and tried as terrorists -- which actually happened by March of the next year.

Comment: See Naomi Wolf's article 'Fascist America, in 10 easy steps' HERE

From reading history, one could predict with absolute certainty that within two years of citizens accepting laws that permit the suspension of habeas corpus and the abuse of prisoners by the State, that the State would start to hurt people at home. (I challenge readers to name a single society that has created a network of secret prisons where torture takes place -- that then did NOT eventually use force against dissidents, opposition leaders and other members of civil society at home).

So those predictive elements of 'the blueprint' are bad enough. But these are still generalizations -- you can intellectualize them away. What really set me aback profoundly, though -- actually setting my hair on end at times -- was what I have come to call 'historical fingerprints.' These are the moments when the small details of events in fascist crackdowns of the past are so directly echoed by small details -- signature details -- of events in the present that it is very hard to avoid the hypothesis that someone influential in this administration has rather brilliantly studied history -- not just the politics and tactics of fascism but its culture and imagery and language -- and is reusing what has been shown to work.

The National Socialists introduced the term 'Heimat' -- Homeland. The Bush administration introduced the term 'Homeland,' as in 'Homeland Security,' to take the place of the more neutral 'Domestic' or 'Internal.'

Stalin coined the hyped notion of what he called 'sleepers' or 'sleeper cells' -- these were purported to be secret terrorist agents of global capitalism who would pretend to be good Soviet citizens, perhaps for years, but who would rise up at a signal to wreak mass havoc on Soviet society. By 2002 the White House introduced the term 'sleeper cells,' which was not in common usage in America.

Joseph Goebbels pioneered the 'embedding' of reporters with military troops as a way to support favorable coverage; William Shirer was embedded with German troops in the invasion of France and Nazi filmmaker Leni von Riefenstahl was embedded with German troops in Poland.

Early on, Hitler sought legislation that retroactively protected the SS from war crimes. This was a major step to opening the door to the violence against German citizens that followed. The Bush administration has sought to shield its violent interrogators retrospectively from being charged with war crimes.

Lenin set up military tribunals that bypassed the judiciary. Mussolini imitated this and did the same. Stalin imitated Mussolini and set up secretive military tribunals that bypassed the established judiciary. The National Socialists created the 'People's Courts' that bypassed the legitimate judiciary. These courts stripped prisoners of habeas corpus and were characterized by prisoners having no right of appeal.

Stalin pioneered the use of sleep deprivation, extremes of hot and cold, standing (or 'stress') positions, psychological humiliation, the use of dogs, and a separate facility to punish uncooperative prisoners in the Gulag with prolonged isolation. Guantanamo and U.S.-held Iraqi prisons reproduce the same tactics. (By the way, after a few days in a 'standing position,' which you recall Donald Rumsfeld supported, innocent prisoners in the Gulag would 'sign anything.')

Nazi propaganda claimed that Jews hid from arrest in 'mouseholes.' When the scene of Saddam Hussein's capture was presented to the world, talking points, widely picked up by the media, introduced, again, a term that was generally unfamiliar in the U.S.: Hussein had been hiding in what they called a 'spider-hole.'

German troops tormented the imprisoned leader of Austria, Kurt von Schuschnigg, by blasting popular music into his cell day and night; U.S. interrogators do the same with rock and roll in U.S.-held Iraqi prisons.

National Socialists shaved the beards of Jews in streets and in the early days of the secret SA prisons, as a form of psychological humiliation. Incredibly, unbelievably, a U.S. spokesman gave an interview recently in The Washington Post about a detention center he oversees in Iraq -- where, he seemed to be saying, prisoners could be kept indefinitely at his discretion, a set of guidelines I am struggling to distinguish from those that formally define a gulag or a concentration camp. He proudly told the reporter that moderate Muslim prisoners had forcibly attacked and shaved the beards of more radical Muslims. Here is how he described the incident:

We had a compound of moderates for the first time overtake . . . extremists. It's never happened before. Found them, identified them, threw them up against the fence and shaved their frickin' beards off of them. . . . I mean, that is historic.

This would be an act of mass prisoner violence that, if this story is indeed true, would surely have been prevented by U.S. troops unless it was seen as acceptable. Human Rights groups have also reported that prisoners in U.S. custody have had their beards forcibly shaved as part of their humiliation in U.S. held prisons.

The Chinese Politburo calls the secret surveillance file that keeps track of the work and private life of every Chinese citizen an 'iron triangle.' Bush referred to his former key group of advisers as the 'iron triangle.'

When the WMD argument ran dry, the White House argued that we had to invade Iraq, a country that was not at war against us, because, the administration claimed, Iraq was a staging-ground for Muslim terrorists to attack us, and because Saddam had massacred ethnic minorities like the Kurds. National Socialists told the German people that the country had to invade Czechoslovakia, a country which was not at war with Germany, because, they argued, it was a staging-ground for Bolshevik terrorists to attack Germany, and the Czechs were butchering ethnic minorities, the Slovaks, Germans, Magyars and Poles.

A U.S. government spokesman, in the wake of the foiled sneaker-bomb plot from London, gave a sound bite that was widely picked up -- and one that was unusual, for a government bureaucrat, it its use of dark poetry: if this had gone forward, he said, the world would have stood still. Hitler said of his military plans in 1940-41, that 'When "Barbarossa" begins, the world will hold its breath.'

Take a look at Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, especially the plane descent. Then take a look at the 'Mission Accomplished' photo-op.

Finally, we are seeing fingerprints in the way that our government is conducting surveillance on its own citizens. Consider, for example, the following passage in a recent Washington Post article:

Zakariya Reed, a Toledo firefighter, said in an interview that he has been detained at least seven times at the Michigan border since fall 2006. Twice, he said, he was questioned by border officials about 'politically charged' opinion pieces he had published in his local newspaper. The essays were critical of U.S. policy in the Middle East, he said. Once, during a secondary interview, he said, 'they had them printed out on the table in front of me.'

Readers of U.S. war correspondent William Shirer's Berlin Diary know that this was a tactic perfected by National Socialists to intimidate critics and newspaper reporters: Nazi press officials would interrogate Shirer -- while displaying copies of personal telegrams that he had sent to his newspaper editor on the desk between the two men and they spoke.

These echoes of the past are truly disturbing and, as mentioned, are part of a larger fascist shift in this country. The good news is that a revolution is brewing fast. A coalition of organizations including Amnesty International USA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Human Rights Watch -- representing nearly five million Americans -- has formed to fight back against government assaults on our Constitution and our liberties. It is called the American Freedom Campaign and I urge you all visit the AFC site to learn more and to join the movement to save our democracy.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Update on Where YOUR US Tax Dollars Go

Still waiting for those new textbooks (forget the new school)? How about repairing a few bridges, or a hospital. Sorry, Israel is ahead of the line here, to the tune of about 30 BILLION dollars which supports the likes of Ehud Barak. Don't you feel good helping such a hero? Isn't it worth your kids making due with the out of date school books? Oh, and make sure your car shocks are ok. The roads aren't going to get repaired soon either.

Blue Ibis

Khalid Amayreh
Mon, 24 Sep 2007 02:10 ED

Ehud Barak, the certified Zionist war criminal, is threatening to turn Gaza Strip into a full-fledged concentration camp.


Last week, the Israeli war minister who is believed to be responsible for the murder of hundreds of Palestinian children during the first few months of the Aqsa Intifada in 2000 and 2001, disclosed a new policy toward the Gaza Strip resembling very much the manner in which the Nazi authorities treated Jews in the course of World War II.

Barak said he would make sure that very little food and medicine will be allowed to reach Gaza. He also said that Israel would cut off electricity supplies to the hermetically blockaded costal enclave which already looks very much like a concentration camp.

For those who don't know, Barak has a long history of criminality and murderousness toward the Palestinians. In 1998, when he wanted to impress the Israeli public to elect him as Prime Minister, he had to remind them of the most graphic details of one of his murderous missions in Beirut.

The ghoulish tactic worked, and the Israeli Jewish public gave him a certificate of good conduct.

Now Barak is planning to become Prime Minister once again, and his way to expedite and accelerate his plans in this regard is by murdering Palestinian children nearly on a daily basis.

On Thursday, 20 December, the Israeli occupation army murdered three additional Palestinian minors in the Gaza Strip. One of the boys was crushed to death by an American-supplied bulldozer. Graphic pictures of the badly-mutilated boy were shown all over the world, while Israeli boys and girls on talkback forums were busy congratulating themselves "on teaching Palestinians a lesson.!"

More than 20 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children have been murdered by the Israeli occupation army so far this month.

The Israeli army acknowledges rather reluctantly that civilians are killed when tanks fire their heavy artillery shells onto crowded Palestinian neighborhoods.

And every time Palestinian civilians are murdered, which happens routinely, the Israeli government says "sorry," claiming that the victims are not targeted deliberately and the victims are merely "collateral damage."

Well, one doesn't have to be a great military expert to understand that when tanks fire their heavy shells onto crowded civilian neighborhoods, children and civilians will be killed and maimed.

In the final analysis, killing knowingly is killing deliberately, and when the killing happens on a daily basis and the number of civilian victims is in the hundreds or thousands, intent becomes irrelevant.

It is widely understood that one of the main reasons for the persistent and unmitigated pornographic killings of helpless and unprotected Palestinians is the disgraceful silence of the international community, especially the United States , toward Israeli criminality.

This is not a new behavior. The US always looked the other way whenever Israel indulged in murdering civilians, even when there is no question as to the deliberate targeting of civilians, as was the case during Israel's genocidal campaign against Lebanon in 2006, as testified by Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations.

Of course, a country that killed or caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians under the false rubric of ridding Iraq of its non-existent weapons of mass destruction can't be expected to behave morally.

After all, the last thing racist and Godless Ashkenazi Jews who hold the Bush administration by the throat, is matters of justice and morality.

But the world is not only America and Israel . There are millions of other peoples around the world who don't accept America's Nazi-like approach toward international politics, which is based on unilateralism, hegemony and coercion.

Today, the creeping Jewish genocide in Palestine takes many forms. These include starving millions of innocent Palestinians, barring Palestinians from accessing food and work, mainly by transforming their population centers into detention camps and constantly killing Palestinians, including children.

True, the scope of the daily killings has not reached the Auschwitz levels. But the fact that it hasn't is not attributed to Zionist morality or magnanimity but rather to concerns about possible reactions by the international public opinions.

This means that Israel, a country that has much in common with Nazi Germany, wouldn't hesitate to adopt a more daring approach toward the Palestinians if the world's callous indifference toward the Palestinian plight continued.

In short, the world has to make its stand clear. Is it willing to allow Israel to commit a holocaust by killing and/or causing the death of tens of thousands of Palestinians?

Does the world believe that a holocaust against the Palestinians will be kosher just because Jews, not Germans, happen to be the perpetrators?

In the early 1940s, the world, or much of it, stood silent as the Gestapo, SS and the Wehrmacht were exterminating innocent people, Jews and non-Jews in order to fulfil the nefarious concept of "the Master race."

Now, the world is passively watching Israel's creeping genocide against the Palestinians, all in the name of Jewish nationalism and "the chosen people."

Has humanity reverted to the age of cannibalism?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Blackwater - Food for Thought

Sun, 23 Sep 2007 12:33 ED

Iraqi investigators have a videotape that shows Blackwater USA guards opened fire against civilians without provocation in an incident last week in which 11 people died, a senior Iraqi official said Saturday. He said the case had been referred to the Iraqi judiciary.

Iraq's president, meanwhile, demanded that the Americans release an Iranian arrested this week on suspicion of smuggling weapons to Shiite militias. The demand adds new strains to U.S.-Iraqi relations only days before a meeting between President Bush and Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said Iraqi authorities had completed an investigation into the Sept. 20 shooting in Nisoor Square in western Baghdad and concluded that Blackwater guards were responsible for the deaths.

He told The Associated Press that the conclusion was based on witness statements as well as videotape shot by cameras at the nearby headquarters of the national police command. He said eight people were killed at the scene and three of the 15 wounded died in hospitals.

Blackwater, which provides most of the security for U.S. diplomats and civilian officials in Iraq, has insisted that its guards came under fire from armed insurgents and shot back only to defend themselves.

'A criminal record'

Khalaf also said the ministry was looking into six other fatal shootings involving the Moyock, North Carolina-based company, including a Feb. 7 incident outside Iraqi state television in Baghdad in which three building guards were fatally shot.

"These six cases will support the case against Blackwater, because they show that it has a criminal record," Khalaf said.

Khalaf said the report had been "sent to the judiciary" although he would not specify whether that amounted to filing of criminal charges. Under Iraqi law, an investigating judge reviews criminal complaints and decides whether there is enough evidence for a trial.

But government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Saturday that no decision had been taken whether to seek punishment for any Blackwater employees.

"The necessary measures will be taken that will preserve the honor of the Iraqi people," he said in New York, where al-Maliki arrived Friday for the U.N. General Assembly session. "We have ongoing high-level meetings with the U.S. side about this issue."

Al-Maliki is expected to raise the issue with Bush during a meeting Monday in New York.

It is doubtful that foreign security contractors could be prosecuted under Iraqi law. A directive issued by U.S. occupation authorities in 2004 granted contractors, U.S. troops and many other foreign officials immunity from prosecution under Iraqi law.

Security contractors are also not subject to U.S. military law under which U.S. troopers face prosecution for killing or abusing Iraqis.

Iraq to push for changes

Iraqi officials have said in the wake of the Nisoor Square shooting that they will press for amendments to the 2004 directive.

A senior aide to al-Maliki said Friday that three of the Blackwater guards were Iraqis and could be subject to prosecution. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

Shortly after the Sept. 20 shooting, U.S. officials said they "understood" that a videotape had recorded the incident in Nisoor Square but refused to give more details. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not supposed to release information to the media.

Following the Nisoor Square shooting, the Interior Ministry banned Blackwater from operating in Iraq but rolled back after the U.S. agreed to a joint investigation. The company resumed guarding a reduced number of U.S. convoys on Friday.

The al-Maliki aide said Friday that the Iraqis were pushing for an apology, compensation for victims or their families and for the guards involved in the shooting to be held "accountable."

Hadi al-Amri, a prominent Shiite lawmaker and al-Maliki ally, also said an admission of wrongdoing, an apology and compensation offered a way out of the dilemma.

'They are always frightened'

"They are always frightened and that's why they shoot at civilians," al-Amri said. "If Blackwater gets to stay in Iraq, it will have to give guarantees about its conduct."

Allegations against Blackwater have clouded relations between Iraq and the Americans at a time when the U.S. administration is seeking to contain calls in Congress for sharp reductions in the 160,000-strong U.S. military force.

Adding to those strains, President Jalal Talabani demanded the immediate release of an Iranian official detained Thursday by U.S. forces in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah.

The U.S. military said the unidentified Iranian was a member of the Quds force -- an elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards accused of arming and training Shiite militias in Iraq.

A statement issued Saturday by Talabani's office said the arrest was carried out without the prior knowledge or the cooperation of the Kurdish regional government.

"This amounts to an insult and a violation of its rights and authority," said the statement, quoting a letter Talabani sent to Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Talabani, a Kurd, is one of Washington's most reliable partners in Iraq.

'Our dismay over the arrest'

Talabani said Iran had threatened to close the border with the Kurdish region if the official were not freed - a serious blow to the economy in the president's political stronghold.

"I want to express to you our dismay over the arrest by American forces of this official civilian Iranian guest," Talabani wrote to Petraeus and Crocker.

Five Iranians said to be linked to the Quds force were arrested in the Kurdish city of Irbil and remain in U.S. custody.

Also Saturday, the U.S. military announced the death of two more U.S. soldiers - one of an unspecified non-combat related injury and another in a vehicle accident in Diyala province. The deaths raised to at least 3,795 members of the U.S. military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The U.S. said seven insurgents were killed and 12 were captured in a raid in Musayyib, 40 miles south of Baghdad. A U.S. statement said one of those captured is believed to know the whereabouts of senior al-Qaida in Iraq leaders.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Shock Doctrine? You Bet Your Neurons!

Yes, it's long, but it's the Day of Rest. Pour another latte and give your brain a good workout. Naomi Rocks! And check out the Transmarginal Inhibition link. It explains how this these shock tactics are aimed at literally re-wiring our brains.

Blue Ibis


Stephen Lendman
SJ Lendman Blog
Wed, 19 Sep 2007 16:27 EDT

©Signs of the Times

Naomi Klein is an award-winning Canadian journalist, author, documentary filmmaker and activist. She writes a regular column for The Nation magazine and London Guardian that's syndicated internationally by the New York Times Syndicate which gives people worldwide access to her work but, curiously, not to its own readers at home.

In 2004, she and her husband and co-producer Avi Lewis released their first feature documentary - "The Take." It covered the explosion of activism in the wake of Argentina's 2001 economic crisis. People responded with neighborhood assemblies, barter clubs, mass movements of the unemployed and workers taking over bankrupt companies and reopening them under their own management.

Klein is also the author of three books. Her first was "No Logo - Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies" (2000) that analyzes the destructive forces of globalization. Next came "Fences and Windows - Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate" (2002) covering the global revolt against corporate power.

Her newest book just out is "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" which explodes the myth of "free market" democracy. It shows how neo-liberal Washington Consensus fundamentalism dominates the world with America its lead exponent exploiting security threats, terror attacks, economic meltdowns, competing ideologies, tectonic political or economic shifts, and natural disasters to impose its will everywhere. Wars are waged, social services cut, and freedom sacrificed when people are too distracted, cowed or bludgeoned to object. Klein describes a worldwide process of social and economic engineering she calls "disaster capitalism" with torture along for the ride to reinforce the message - no "New World Order" alternatives are tolerated.

"Free market" triumphalism is everywhere - from Canada to Brazil, China to Bulgaria, Russia to South Africa, Vietnam to Iraq. In all cases, the results are the same. People are sacrificed for profits and Margaret Thatcher's dictum applies - "there is no alternative."

"The Shock Doctrine" is a powerful tour de force, four years of on-the-ground research in the making and well worth the wait. In an age of corporatism partnered with corrupted political elites, it's a must-read by an author now firmly established as a major intellectual figure on the left and champion of social justice. Naomi Klein is all that and more. Even for those familiar with her topics, the book is stunning, revealing, unforgettable and packed with essential knowledge. This review will cover a healthy sample of what's in store for readers in the full exquisitely written text. It's in seven parts with a concluding section. Each will be discussed below starting with a brief introduction.

Introduction - Blank Is Beautiful: Three Decades of Erasing and Remaking the World (into Hell)

New Orleans, post-Katrina, is a metaphor for an American-style "New World Order" with unfettered capitalism unleashed in its most savage form. Klein quotes Republican congressman Richard Baker telling lobbyists: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it but God did." And New Orleans developer Joseph Canizaro added: "I think we have a clean sheet to start again (and take advantage of) big opportunities." Their scheme is erasing communities and replacing them with upscale condos and other high-profit projects on choice city real estate at the expense of the poor mother nature forced out and government won't allow back.

Enter the "grand guru" of free-wheeling capitalism, then age 93 and in failing health. This was conservative/libertarian economist Milton Friedman's moment that he first articulated in his 1962 book "Capitalism and Freedom." His thesis: "only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change. When a crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around....our basic function (is) to develop alternatives to existing policies [ones Friedman rejects, and have them ready to roll out when] the impossible becomes politically inevitable." Klein calls crises "democracy-free zones," and Friedman's thesis "the shock doctrine." For New Orleans it means "permanent reforms" like destroying public housing and issuing vouchers for privatized schools in lieu of rebuilding public ones with government reconstruction funds.

For Friedman, government's sole function is "to protect our freedom both from (outside) enemies....and from our fellow-citizens." It's to "preserve law and order (as well as) enforce private contracts, (and) foster competitive markets." In his view, anything else in public hands is socialism that for "free market" fundamentalists like Friedman is blasphemy.

Until 1973, Friedman's radical doctrine stayed in his classroom, but all that changed on an earlier September 11. Following General Augusto Pinochet's bloody ascent to power, he had a real life laboratory as adviser to the new Chilean dictator. His prescription came to be known as the "Chicago School" revolution of rapid-fire economic transformation he called "shock treatment," now known as "shock therapy." It's an economic version of "destroy(ing) the village (and country) to save it" from the Vietnam era and nearly as harsh.

Millions know its lessons, but Friedman's not their hero. It's central tenets are structurally adjusted mass-privatizations, government deregulation, unrestricted free market access for foreign corporations, and deep cuts in social spending with repressive laws, harsh crackdowns and torture along for the ride to reinforce the core tenet Reaganites call "trickle down" and Brits call "Thatcherism."

Its recipients call it hell, and Klein explains why - in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Russia, the Falklands, Poland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Orleans, Israel, and coming to a neocon-occupied homeland neighborhood near you. It's "disaster capitalism" unleashed, and business is booming. Klein cites insiders saying opportunities are on a par with a thriving "emerging market...."the deals are even better than the dot-com days, and the 'the security bubble' picked up the slack when those earlier bubbles popped."

Reaganomics adherents are today's neoconservatives with the "full force of the US military machine (serving their unfettered) corporate agenda" of greed writ large. Its holy policy trinity is: "elimination of the public sphere, total liberation for corporations and skeletal social spending (if any at all)." But instead of lifting all boats as promised, it's mirror opposite. It creates a powerful ruling corporatist class partnered with corrupted political elites - "with hazy and ever-shifting lines between the two groups." Russia got billionaire "oligarchs," China "the princelings," Chile "the piranhas," and America the Bush-Cheney "Pioneers."

Everywhere, the scheme is the same: huge public wealth transfers to private hands, exploding public debt most often, "an ever-widening chasm between the dazzling rich and disposable poor, and an aggressive nationalism (like George Bush's permanent "war on terrorism" and the world) that justifies bottomless spending on security." "Inside the bubble" is paradise. Outside, however, is hell with "aggressive surveillance, mass incarceration, shrinking civil liberties," a declining standard of living, and repression and torture reinforcing the message to non-believers.

Klein calls the harshness "a metaphor of the shock doctrine's underlying logic." When applied, it induces a state of "deep disorientation," and shock to force targets "to make concessions against their will." The "shock doctrine" works the same way on a mass scale, and the 9/11 experience proved it. It exploded the "familiar world" and created a period of disorientation and regression the Bush administration jumped on abroad and at home. As Klein put it: "Suddenly we found ourselves living in a kind of Year Zero (with) everything we knew of the world before (now) dismissed as 'pre-9/11' thinking." We became a "blank slate, a clean sheet of paper," and the administration did what was impossible before. It's how the "shock doctrine" works: "the original disaster (terror attack, war, hurricane, market meltdown) puts the entire population into a state of collective shock" enabling policy manipulators to move in for the kill to remake the world in their image and get it done before the shock wears off.

Part 1 - Two Doctor Shocks - Torture and Chicago School Fundamentalism

Following a crisis shock, another quickly follows. The corporate piranhas exploit disorientation with economic "shock therapy" along with "police, soldiers and prison interrogators" with torture their method of choice "to build a model country (by) erasing people and then trying to remake them from scratch."

Klein reviews the history of CIA's interest in torture as a way to control the human mind. It began with the Montreal doctor they funded to perform "bizarre experiments on his psychiatric patients (by) keeping them asleep and in isolation for weeks, then administering huge doses of electroshock (plus) experimental (psychedelic LSD and hallucinogen PCP angel dust) drug cocktails."

The experiments were performed at McGill University's Allan Memorial Institute by Dr. Ewen Cameron even though they clearly violated all standards of medical ethics using human guinea pigs without their permission with permanent damage their reward. Cameron believed by blasting the human brain with an array of shocks, he could "unmake and erase faulty minds, then rebuild (on a blank slate) new personalities" cleansed of their previous nature. It was voodoo science, and it failed. His patients were his victims, but CIA gained a wealth of knowledge it now employs with no pangs of conscience or regard for ethics.

Klein traces CIA's interest in mind manipulation to a 1951 tri-national meeting of intelligence agencies and academics in Montreal when concern was that Communists could brainwash POWs to control them. That was when the spy agency engaged Canadian researchers to learn how, and one of them was Dr. Donald Hebb, director of psychology at McGill, who was working on the problem. Intelligence agencies were impressed enough with his work to fund classified sensory-deprivation experiments on volunteer McGill students.

They proved intensive isolation interferes with clear thinking enough to make people more receptive to suggestion. They were also "formidable interrogation techniques" amounting to torture that Hebb knew violated medical ethics. He later characterized Cameron's work as "criminally stupid," but CIA got what it wanted - a way to interrogate "resistant sources" in a "new age of precise, refined torture, not the gory, inexact" kind from the Spanish Inquisition or what Nazis and other tyrants often practiced. Cameron's experiments with human guinea pigs built on Hebb's earlier work laying the foundation for CIA's "two-stage psychological torture method" of sensory deprivation followed by sensory overload. University of Wisconsin historian Alfred McCoy in his book, "A Question of Torture" on CIA interrogation, called it "the first real revolution in the cruel science of pain in more than three centuries."

Pre-9/11, these techniques were freely used covertly as any form of abuse or torture violates the Geneva, UN and other statutes prohibiting these practices as well as the US Army's own Uniform Code of Military Justice barring "cruelty" and "oppression" of prisoners. No longer, as "On September 11, 2001, that longtime insistence on plausible deniability went out the window" as well as any claim this nation respects the law and rights of free people everywhere. What once was done sub rosa or by proxy is now condoned and authorized at the highest levels of government on the fraudulent claim of national security to hide the real aim of social control.

Klein notes torture is still technically banned in the US, but only when pain is the "equivalent in intensity to (what accompanies) serious physical injury, such as organ failure." Simply put, anything goes, but it's not put that way. In Iraq, it was thought "shock and awe" would be so stunning, Iraqis "would go into a kind of suspended animation." A second makeover Chicago School fundamentalism shock could then be imposed on a blank post-invasion slate, and bingo, mission accomplished. Klein notes "there was no blank slate, only rubble and shattered, angry people" who were blasted with more shocks when they resisted. Like Cameron and his experiments, "Iraq's shock doctors can destroy, but they can't seem to rebuild," and the same is true wherever these shock doctors show up.

Milton Friedman and the Search for a Laissez-Faire Factory

The epicenter of shock ideology is the University of Chicago Economics Department. It came out of the 1950s "in the thrall" (of a) man on a mission to fundamentally revolutionize his profession," and on that score Milton Friedman succeeded mightily. Friedman, now gone, believed markets work efficiently and best unfettered of rules, regulations, onerous taxes, trade barriers, entrenched interests, and human interference. Whereas Cameron believed electroshocks could restore natural health, Friedman favored economic shock as extreme and destructive to nations as Cameron and CIA's methods are to human minds.

Friedman taught this voodoo science and believed to the end, all contrary evidence aside, it was perfect and worked. Chicago School fundamentalism developed at a post-war time in the 1950s when leftist ideas supporting worker rights were gaining ground. Where they "promised (workers) freedom from bosses, citizens from dictatorship (and) countries from colonialism," Friedman promised "individual freedom" to choose that appealed to owners of capital who embraced him and his thinking.

It stood in stark contrast to what became known as "developmentalism" or "Third World nationalism" in the post-war developing world. Economists in it favored an "inward-oriented industrialization" strategy to break the cycle of poverty and grow. Like Keynesians and social democrats, they showed it worked in Latin America's Southern Cone with leaders like Juan Peron "put(ting) their ideas into practice with a vengeance (by) pouring public money into infrastructure projects, (providing) local businesses generous subsidies, and keeping out foreign imports with....high tariffs." It brought prosperity to the South and "dark days" for Friedman, his acolytes, and free-wheeling capitalists losing out to social progress.

It sprung corporate America to action by funding a legion of think tank and Chicago School foot soldiers to change the message and fortunes of their businesses. Friedman was their ideological leader preaching public wealth should be in private hands, rules and regulations out the window, accumulation of profits unrestrained, and social welfare programs curtailed or abolished. In short - deregulate, privatize and get government out of the business of everything besides providing security and enforcing contracts. He also believed taxes were onerous and once said he was "in favor of cutting (them) under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible...."

He also said corporations should be exempt from federal taxes claiming what they pay ends up in consumer prices that, in fact, is pure nonsense as every marketing MBA (like this writer) learns straightaway. The fundamental law of pricing is to charge what the market will bear, no more or less. In other words, get all you can but no more than buyers will pay. Soon enough they'd pay plenty in the developing world.

In 1953, the US declared war against "developmentalism" with CIA's first ever coup against Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. Another followed the next year in Guatemala, and in both instances democratically elected leaders were ousted because corporate interests opposed them. It was only the beginning, and Friedman and his "Chicago Boys" soon had a real time laboratory to prove their "capitalist utopia" worked.

Salvador Allende's Popular Unity government electoral victory in 1970 was the opportunity. Three years later he was out giving Friedman the chance he wanted. Klein related the results in what she called "the first Chicago School state" with others to follow. They're all the same with "an unstoppable hurricane of mutually reinforcing destruction and reconstruction, erasure and creation" following the crisis. Next is unfettered economic shock therapy with torture and disappearances awaiting resisters and anyone guilty of bad thinking. Friedman's brave new world was beginning to roll. It's devastation is everywhere including at home.

Part 2 - The First Test - The Bloody Birth of the Counterrevolution

Counterrevolution began 34 years ago in Chile on another September 11 that should have been unimaginable and had to seem surreal. There were tanks in the streets and fighter jets attacking government buildings in a scene all too real and deadly. It played out in Santiago and around Chile and was just the beginning of a long nightmare. It brought General Augusto Pinochet to power (with plenty of CIA help) who called his action "a war," not a coup, and to reinforce his message he made it seem like one. Blood in the streets, the presidential palace in flames, and President Salvador Allende dead ended the most vibrant democracy in the Americas. It was a cakewalk with "the junta's grand battle over by mid-afternoon."

A state of siege was imposed followed by mass arrests, killings and torture in a climate of fear that enveloped the country. Allende supporters were targeted in Chile's "Caravan of Death." Chileans paid dearly, but the Chicago Boys had their moment of triumph, and they were ready. Rolling off the press was their detailed economic manual for the new government called "The Brick." It was a 500 page Chicago School shock therapy wish list. It was "the first Chicago School state," its first "global counterrevolution" victory, and "a genesis of terror" in a brave new world for Chileans.

The economic playbook was right from Milton Friedman's "Capitalism and Freedom" that's long on free market triumphalism and void on its effects on real people. It was pure Friedman featuring mass privatizations, deregulation and deep social spending cuts flavored generously with corporate-friendly tax cuts, trade unionist crackdowns, savage repression for non-believers, and an end to Chile's social democratic state Friedman condemned.

Pinochet bought it along with a team of Chicago School alumni called "technos." They embarked on a free market binge with disastrous results. In the first year, inflation hit 375%, thousands of Chileans lost jobs, the country was flooded with cheap imports, local businesses closed and hunger grew along with public and small business discontent in this free market "paradise." In desperation, "it was time to call in the big guns" with Milton Friedman coming to Santiago to reinforce his message that for things to improve they first had to get worse. It was classic shock treatment and Chicago School baloney with Friedman preaching patience and promising an "economic miracle" if his prescription was followed.

Pinochet agreed, and slash and burn followed with visions of paradise at the end of the rainbow. It was pure untested fantasy, and the results showed it. After one year of hardened shock therapy, Chile's economy contracted 15%, unemployment rocketed to 20%, and contrary to Friedman's rosy scenario it lasted for years with no social safety net help for desperate Chileans.

Klein notes Chile today is still cited as a model that free market "Friedmanism" works in spite of the clear evidence it doesn't. Growth did resume a decade later, but only after conditions worsened. It forced Pinochet to reinstate Allende policies like renationalizing privatized companies but not his social democratic agenda. Chileans were left with the shambles. When the economy stabilized and rapid growth resumed in the late 80s, poverty was 45%, but the richest 10% saw their incomes rise by 83%. Even today, Klein notes, Chile remains one of the most unequal societies in the world. It's shock therapy miracle shifted "wealth to the top and shock(ed) much of the middle class out of existence."

It's the way it works everywhere and a glimpse of the future: "an urban bubble of frenetic speculation and dubious accounting fueling superprofits and frantic consumerism, ringed by ghostly factories and rotting infrastructure of a development past; roughly half the population (excluded); out-of-control corruption and cronyism; (decimated) nationally owned small and medium-sized businesses; (mass) transfer of (public) wealth (and resources) to private hands (accompanied by) a huge (shift) of private debts into public hands." Inside the Chilean bubble was paradise. Outside was "The Great Depression." Bubble-benefitters reacted with "junkie logic: Where is the next fix?"

It was first across the border in other Latin American Southern Cone countries where the "counterrevolution spread (and) people vanish(ed)." Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay were targeted with similar results as in Chile under juntas replacing democrats. Chicago School fundamentalism was on a roll, and woe to the non-believers. Nations that were developmentalism models became wastelands with decades of worker gains lost almost overnight. Factories closed, wages fell, unemployment soared, poverty grew severe, dissenters disappeared, and ordinary people suffered to prove what pin-stripped academics knew after Chile went sour. Instead, it was on to the next target.

In them all, the slate was cleansed and terror unleashed, unrestrained by national borders. Former Allende economist and diplomat turned activist Marcos Orlando Letelier became a victim in September, 1976. While living in Washington, he condemned Chile's "economic freedom" for the privileged and paid with his life. Pinochet's DINA secret police killed him and his American colleague, Ronni Moffit, by remote-detonating a bomb planted under his driver's seat. An FBI investigation learned the assassins entered the country under false passports with full CIA knowledge and complicity.

The purging included cleansing wrong ideas and thinkers like legendary left wing Chilean folk singer, Victor Jara. He was seized and taken to Chile's notorious National (killing and torture) Stadium to be reeducated. Soldiers broke his hands so he couldn't play the guitar. Then they shot him 44 times "to make sure he couldn't inspire from....the grave." One culture was being erased and replaced by another. As in Nazi Germany, books were burned, newspapers and magazines shuttered, universities occupied and strikes and political meetings banned. Trade unionists were specially targeted as threats to the new economic order. It's leaders were rounded up, movement members viciously attacked, and "battalions" targeted workers in factories. They were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and disappeared in a sweeping reign of terror designed to crush opposition and wrong-thinking.

In Argentina, Ford Motor Company's local subsidiary was complicit. It helped soldiers and secret police rid unionists from its factories and supplied vehicles as well. Green Ford Falcon sedans became the feared symbol of terror an Argentine playwright called "death-mobiles." Many thousands kidnapped and disappeared rode off in these cars, never to return.

Farmers involved in land reform struggles also were targeted along with anyone with "a vision of society built on values other than pure profit." It affected community worker activists, many church-connected, who wanted social services like health care, public housing and education the state was erasing through shock therapy and mass repression. Klein noted while "policies attempted to excise collectivism from the culture, inside....prisons (the practice was to) excise it from the mind and spirit." The sickness was democratic socialism, the cure pain and suffering. Wrong-thinkers were taught the hard way, and many paid with their lives. Chicago School fundamentalism is harsh medicine. Its grand guru, Milton Friedman, was unrepentant. He called it "freedom" and took his mathematical model miracle to the grave amidst a hail of undeserved eulogies.

In his memoirs before he died, his "blatant revisionism" on Chile was shameful and disturbing. He falsely claimed Pinochet only asked for help in 1975 when, in fact, the Chicago Boys worked with the military before the 1973 coup, and their policies were implemented on Pinochet's first day in power. Friedman also claimed the junta's repressive years didn't undo Chilean democracy. In his view, it opened up "more room for individual initiative and for a private sphere of life (offering a greater) chance of a return to a democratic society." It was classic convoluted Chicago School thinking. It made him famous courtesy of corporate triumphalism, generous funding and an utter disdain for human rights and dignity.

Friedman also used his 1976 Nobel lecture to argue economics was as scientifically accurate and objective as other sciences. He failed to mention its dark side - devastating poverty, unemployment, shuttered factories and mass human misery and deaths in the first nation adopting his ideology on its victimized people. Now it's everywhere and savagely enforced in an age of corporate dominance, wars for profit and neglect of human needs to fund them. That's Friedman's real legacy from the barrel of a gun and called "freedom."

Part 3 - Surviving Democracy

Chicago School dogma became known as Thatcherism in Britain, but its prime minister wasn't an early adherent. Margaret Thatcher thought Chilean shock therapy wasn't possible in a democracy like the UK because voters wouldn't buy it. Three years into her first term, her approval rating was lower than George Bush's. She was in danger of not being reelected and didn't dare risk imposing bitter economic medicine that would sink her chances. That is, until destiny intervened on April 2, 1982 when Argentina invaded the British-held Falkland Islands off its coast that was unimportant to either country except for the political hay to gain from war.

Thatcher jumped at the chance to regain her footing and "went into Churchillian battle mode," even though Argentina's president, General Leopoldo Galtieri, wasn't Adolph Hitler. But defending the British empire was almost as good, and it paid off. Thatcher's political future was at stake. She revived it, more than doubled her approval rating and henceforth was known as the "Iron Lady" that for her was high praise, and she made the most of it.

She launched a "corporatist revolution" based on Chicago School economics she thought impossible earlier. She parlayed her new popularity to a victory against striking coal miners in 1984 with tactics like unleashing 8000 "truncheon-wielding" riot police in a single confrontation. Before the strike ended, thousands of workers were injured, but Thatcher stood firm with a clear message to other unionists. Take what you're offered or get the same medicine.

She didn't stop there, and what followed was a radical economic agenda in a wave of state enterprise privatizations including British Telecom, British Gas, British Airways, British Steel and others in what Klein called "the first mass privatization auction in a Western democracy." It proved Chicago School fundamentalism didn't need repressive dictatorships to advance as long as "Iron Ladies" like Thatcher were around to match the best of them, short of all out tanks in the streets shock therapy, that is. Her eleven and a half years in power proved it, and Britain hasn't been the same since with Labor as committed now as the Tories.

Bolivia was soon targeted as well, but in 1985 was part a democratic wave sweeping the world. It was an election year with two familiar figures facing off for the presidency - former dictator Hugo Banzar and former elected president, Victor Paz Estenssoro. It was close and Banzar thought he won so before final returns were in he named 30 year old Harvard economist Jeffrey Sachs to help develop an anti-inflation economic plan for the country.

Sachs was part Keynsian but larger part Chicago School adherent that made for a bad combination. He bought its orthodoxy in softer form by supporting debt relief and generous aid along with the shock therapy he advised Banzar to adopt as the only solution to hyperinflation.

As it turned out, Banzar lost and Paz won, and while no socialist, he was no Chicago School adherent either, or so voters thought. Four days into his term, he charged his emergency economic team to radically restructure the economy using shock therapy with a twist. It was much harsher than Sachs proposed with the entire state-centered structure Paz erected decades earlier dismantled in the first 100 days before the public could react. In its place, food subsidies were ended, price controls lifted, wages frozen, oil prices hiked 300%, deep government spending cuts imposed, unrestricted imports allowed, and state-owned companies downsized as a first step to privatizing them. It cost hundreds of thousands of full-time jobs, pensions and safety net protections. Friedman continued to roll.

The results were predictable. The minimum wage never regained its value, and two years later real wages were down 40% and average per capita income dropped from $845 in 1985 to $789 in 1987. As in other shock therapy countries, a small elite got richer while the great majority of Bolivians lost out with campesinos faring worst. In 1987, they earned on average $140 a year, or less than one-fifth the nation's declining average income.

Bolivian misery gave Sachs star status for the country's "Miracle." It launched his new career and brought him to Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela and Russia later on plus a best-selling book and three-part PBS "success story" series. The only problem was it wasn't true. President Paz had no mandate for shock therapy, and many workers were predictably furious at his betrayal. They went on strike and Paz's response made Margaret Thatcher's earlier action against striking coal miners seem tame by comparison. Tanks rolled in the streets, and riot police raided union halls, a university and factories. Hundreds of arrests followed, including the top 200 union leaders, and oppositional politics was banned. The siege lasted three months during the decisive shock therapy period with more repression and Chicago School medicine later.

It showed shock therapy needs harsh authoritarian rule backing with Bolivia's pin-stripped politicians, economists and bureaucrats administering it, not uniformed soldiers as in Chile. Paz's democratic victory was illusory like others when leaders renege on promises and sacrifice them on the alter of Chicago School orthodoxy.

Argentina was another "textbook case." In the post-Falklands War period, it was burdened with billions in odious debt Washington insisted be serviced and paid. It was far more onerous after the (Paul) "Volker Shock" when the US Federal Reserve Chairman hiked interest rates up to 21% in the early-mid 1980s to fight inflation, so he said. It was painful in the US and disastrous for developing countries turning their debt burdens into crises. New loans were needed to pay off old ones, and the debt spiral was born afflicting nations then and still today. That was the whole idea, or at least one of them.

Argentina, Brazil and other countries had another option they didn't take - defaulting on debt so great it was unrepayable. As Klein put it: "Understandably (new democracies were) unwilling to go to war with Washington (and the international lending agencies it controls so they) had little choice but to play by Washington's rules (and) in the early eighties (they) got a great deal stricter....It was the dawn of the era of 'structural adjustment' - otherwise known as the dictatorship of debt." [China is holding such a sword over the heads of the US, yet most are blissfully ignorant of it as they shop Walmart's "low prices".]

In the 1980s, Chicago School economists colonized the IMF and World Bank to advance their corporatist crusade. Economist John Williamson named it "the Washington Consensus" that stuck ever since. It consisted of core economic policies both institutions consider essential for economic health according to their orthodoxy. We know them well: all "state enterprises ....privatized (and) barriers impeding entry of foreign firms....abolished." There was more that together was classic Friedman dogma: privatization, deregulation, unrestricted free trade (never called fair), and deep cuts in government spending except for security.

Indebted developing countries learned shock doctrine 101 the hard way. Getting aid meant accepting Washington Consensus rules - the whole package. So to save their countries, they had to "sell (them) off." Klein calls Argentina the "model student" in the 1990s under leaders like Carlos Menem. Appointing Domingo Cavallo economy minister signaled he bought the corporatist package. But as Klein points out: "Argentina was not unique (and by 1999) Chicago School alumni included more than twenty-five government ministers and more than a dozen central bank presidents from Israel to Costa Rica."

Shock therapy was on a role that in Argentina turned into a textbook case of therapeutically induced disaster. What Time magazine in 1992 called "Menem's Miracle" became Menem's Mirage when the economy collapsed in 2001, and Argentina did the unthinkable with Menem gone and a new president in power. It defaulted on an $805 million debt to the World Bank. It should have ended the neoliberal experiment, but instead it spread. Economic crises fueled it, and when old ones ebbed "even more cataclysmic ones appear(ed): tsunamis, hurricanes, wars and terrorist attacks. Disaster capitalism was taking shape" with shock therapy its tool of choice.

Part 4 - Lost in Transition: Slamming the Door on History

Before the Berlin Wall fell, Lech Walesa became a labor hero in Poland and the West by defying the Moscow-controlled government and getting away with it. Solidarnosc (Solidarity) spread from its Gdansk roots to the country's mines, shipyards and factories and within a year had 10 million members. They won the right to bargain but wanted more. They aspired to take over the state and institute their own alternative economic and political program. It's radical centerpiece was to transform huge state-run companies into worker-run cooperatives so Solidarity members could be empowered in their own "socialized enterprise."

Walesa objected, lost the debate, and he feared what then happened. The Jaruzelski government declared martial law, sent tanks to the streets and rounded up thousands of Solidarity members. By the late 80s, the crackdown subsided, the economy was in free fall, workers again struck and Mikhail Gorbachev's reformist government was in power in Moscow. Solidarity was legalized, a Citizens' Committee Solidarity wing was formed, its members stood in snap elections and won effective control of the government capturing 260 parliamentary seats.

It should have been the best of times, but with the economy in trouble, Poland needed aid including debt relief. With Chicago School alumni running IMF, none was offered except under Washington Consensus rules, take it or leave it. Enter Jeffrey Sach, the shock doc, with an even harsher plan than imposed on Bolivia. It included an immediate end to price controls, slashing subsidies, and privatizing mines, shipyards and factories. It short, it ran directly counter to Solidarity's aim for worker-run industry.

Sachs promised Solidarity Poland could become like France or Germany under his plan. By swallowing shock therapy medicine first, taking the pain, the patient would end up cured and healthy - if he was right. After debate, the verdict was in and the treatment bought with predictable results. Sachs promised "momentary dislocations" but delivered a full-blown depression. Industrial production plummeted 30% after two years of "reforms." Unemployment skyrocketed, and in 1993 hit 25% in some areas. It's still chronic today with recent World Bank figures pegging it at around 20%, the highest in the European Union. For young people, it's even worse with 40% of workers under 24 unemployed.

Most alarming is the number of people in poverty. From a 15% level in 1989, it rose to a startling 59% in 2003. Incredibly, the country, like Chile, is still cited as a free market reform model. It's pure myth, angry Poles know it, but reports in the West ignore them as they do shocked victims everywhere.

They didn't ignore "the shock of Tiananmen Square," but didn't report it accurately either. In the early 1980s, Deng Xiaoping was transforming his country economically while keeping rigid political control including iron-fisted repression when needed. Democracy was nowhere in sight nor is it now. While many of Deng's reforms were successful and popular, others in the late 80s weren't, and it provoked deep anger in the cities by people most affected. Price controls were lifted, corruption and nepotism was rampant, freedom minimal, job security eliminated, unemployment soared, and deep inequalities grew between "winners and losers in the new China."

It came to a head with mass protests in 1989 in Tiananmen Square that Western reports characterized as a clash between old-guard Communist authoritarians and idealistic students wanting western-style democracy. It was pure propaganda. The protests were massive and threatened the government, but democracy wasn't the issue. It was popular discontent from wrenching economic change raising prices, lowering wages, and causing "a crisis of layoffs and unemployment." Protesters weren't against economic reform. They were against the Chicago School version of it, but their efforts were costly.

Deng declared martial law May 20, tanks rolled in the square, indiscriminate shooting took place, and when it ended thousands were dead, many more thousands injured, and still more thousands hunted down, arrested, jailed, some tortured, and hundreds likely executed. Shock therapy rolled in China as in Chile - through the barrel of a gun and raw state terror. Following the crackdown, China opened to foreign investment, joined the WTO, and turned the country into the world's largest low wage sweatshop for Wal-Mart's "Always Low Prices."

For foreign investors and party apparatchiks, it was a win-win arrangement with Klein citing a 2006 study showing 90% of China's billionaires to be Communist Party officials. About 2900 "party scions" (called "the princelings") control $260 billion, and Klein notes the "stark similarity between (China's authoritarian rule) and Chicago School capitalism - a shared willingness to disappear opponents, blank the slate of all resistance and begin anew" using shock and fear to transform countries into free market paradises for the privileged.

The Tragedy of South Africa's "Democracy Born in Chains"

Klein quotes Nelson Mandela in January, 1990 (two weeks before he was freed) in a note to his supporters from prison saying: "The nationalisation of the mines, banks and monopoly industries is the policy of the ANC (and changing) our inconceivable. Black economic empowerment is a goal we fully support and encourage, but in our situation state control of certain sectors of the economy is unavoidable." That belief became ANC policy in 1955 in its Freedom Charter. The liberation struggle wasn't just about a political system but an economic one as well. White workers in mines earned 10 times more than blacks, and large industrialists worked with the military to enforce order and disappear dissenters.

Once apartheid ended, a new way was possible, and Mandela seemed poised to lead it. The ANC had "a unique opportunity to reject the free market orthodoxy of the day" and choose a "third path between Communism and capitalism." ANC candidates swept the 1994 elections and Mandela became president at a time South Africa surpassed Brazil as the most unequal society in the world. Negotiations were held with the ruling National Party, and a peaceful handover was achieved but not without "prevent(ing) South Africa's apartheid-era rulers from wreaking havoc on their way out the door."

Negotiations took place on two parallel tracks - political and economic. Mandela and his chief negotiator, Cyril Ramaphosa, "won on almost every count" politically. But along side it, economic negotiations were held with the country's current president, Thabo Mbeki, in charge with the outcome in the end far different. With ANC leaders preoccupied with controlling Parliament, the former white supremacist government and industrialists were determined to safeguard their wealth, and they succeeded by assuring Washington Consensus policies would be instituted when political power changed hands.

ANC economists and lawyers were outfoxed or outgunned by the opposition, IMF, World Bank, GATT and power of big capital against inexperienced politicians and technocrats who ended up losers. Black officials controlled the government, but discovered the real power was elsewhere. As Klein put it: "The bottom line was that South Africa was free but simultaneously captured." The leadership mistakenly thought once firmly in power they could undo earlier made transition compromises.

They couldn't or didn't for the same reasons other developing countries accept free market rules. Adopt them or be punished by the market as Mandela learned when he was freed. The South African stock market collapsed in panic, and the country's currency (the rand) dropped by 10%. He acknowledged the problem later on saying it's "impossible for decide economic policy without regard to the likely response of these markets." It's too bad he didn't know how Hugo Chavez managed after 1999 (oil aside). He achieved what Mandela reneged on, and Venezuela's economy is booming. Had he and ANC officials stood their ground early on, South Africa (with its mineral riches) might have done the same thing - had a growth economy in a socially democratic state and a model for its neighbors.

They didn't, black South Africans lost out, Mandela's legacy is tainted, and a key factor was current president Thabo Mbeki. He spent spent years studying in exile in England during the apartheid years during which time "he was breathing in the fumes of Thatcherism." He became the ANC's free market tutor, believed in market fundamentalism, and its prescription was "growth and more growth." It meant neoliberal shock therapy with the full Friedman package Mbeki supported. He later professed: "Just call me a Thatcherite," and Mandela told journalist John Pilger the same thing in retirement saying: " can call it Thatcherite but, for this country, privatization is the fundamental policy."

After over a decade of that agenda (1994 - 06), Klein highlighted the toll showing conditions today much worse than under apartheid, and ANC's leadership responsible:

-- the number of people living on less than $1 a day doubled from two to four million;

-- the unemployment rate more than doubled to 48% from 1991 - 2002;

-- only 5000 of 35 million black South Africans earn over $60,000 a year;

-- the ANC government build 1.8 million homes while two million South Africans lost theirs;

-- nearly one million South Africans were evicted from farms in the first decade of democracy; as a result, the shack dweller population grew by 50%, and in 2006, 25% of South Africans lived in them with no running water or electricity. And there's more:

-- the HIV/AIDS infection rate is about 20%, and the Mbeki government shamefully denied the severity of the crisis and did little to alleviate it; it's been a major reason why average life expectancy in the country declined by 13 years since 1990;

-- 40% of schools have no electricity;

-- 25% of people have no access to clean water and most who do can't afford the cost; and

-- 60% of people have inadequate sanitation, and 40% no telephones.

"Freedom" for these people and all black South Africans came at a high price, and no efforts are being made to ameliorate it. Political empowerment was traded for economic apartheid under Chicago School fundamentalist rules. Klein observed: "Never before had a government-in-waiting been so seduced by the international community." If China, Vietnam and even Russia saw "the neoliberal light," Mandela was told, how could South Africa resist it. The ANC leadership might have (and Mandela had the credentials to lead them) had they examined the wreckage around the world in Friedman-seduced countries. Instead, they took the easy way out and surrendered.

Russia Chooses "the Pinochet Option"

The man who ignited political and social change in Russia wasn't around long enough to lead it. Mikhail Gorbachev became head of the Soviet Union's Communist Party in March, 1985, believing the economy stalled and needed change. His solution became glasnost (liberalizing opening up) and perestroika (reconstruction), and Soviet Russia would never be the same again. By the early 1990s the press was freed, the constitutional court was independent, and elections were held for Russia's parliament, local councils, president and vice-president. In addition, Gorbachev favored a Scandinavian-style social democracy combining free market capitalism with strong social safety net protections. He hoped to build "a socialist beacon for all mankind." He never got the chance.

While still in office at the 1991 G7 meeting in London, his fellow heads of state delivered a free market message Chicago School-style. Later, the IMF, World Bank and other international lending agencies reinforced it - Soviet-era debts must be honored and aid depended on adopting strict shock therapy rules. The Soviet Union soon dissolved, Gorbachev was out, Boris Yeltsin became Russia's president, and Chicago School fundamentalism was adopted as needed "reform." Klein calls what happened next "one of the greatest crimes committed against a democracy (in peacetime) in modern history."

Yeltsin assembled a team of Chicago School ideologues to remake the economy. Jeffrey Sachs showed up, too, with other US-funded transition experts to help write privatization decrees, launch a New York-style stock exchange, and craft a total radical economic makeover for a country long used to central planning. Only one thing stood in the way - democracy, and a parliament able to vote down what Yeltsin's team designed. A clash of wills drew closer in the spring of 1993 when parliament's budget diverged from IMF demands for strict austerity. Yeltsin reacted with the "Pinochet option." He issued decree 1400 dissolving parliament and abolishing the constitution. Two days later, parliament voted 636 - 2 to impeach him, and battle lines were drawn.

Yeltsin sent troops to surround parliament and cut off power, heat and phone lines. The army backed him and he pressed on. He then proceeded to dissolve all city and regional councils in the country. Then, on October 4, 1993, he ordered the army to storm the parliament, set it ablaze and "defend Russia's new capitalist economy from the grave threat of democracy." The assault took about 500 lives, wounded nearly 1000 others with the enthusiastic support from the West in headlines like the Washington Post proclaiming "Victory Seen for Democracy" in Russia. Some democracy.

Yeltsin now had unchecked dictatorial power, the West had its man in Moscow, and shock therapy had an open field to inflict wreckage on Russia's people who didn't know what him them as it unfolded. A corporatist state replaced a communist one, and its apparatchiks were winners along with a handful of western mutual fund managers who made "dizzying returns investing in newly privatized Russian companies." In addition, "a clique of nouveaux billionaires" (17 in all called "the oligarchs") were empowered to strip mine the country of its wealth and ship profits offshore at the rate of $2 billion a month.

As a result, Yeltsin's popularity plunged so he did what all desperate leaders do to hold power with the next election to worry about. He began a war in 1994 in the breakaway Chechen republic killing 100,000 civilians by the late 90s. Elections were held in 1996, and Yeltsin won by overcoming his low approval ratings with huge oligarch-funding and near-total control of television coverage. He then quietly handed power to Vladimir Putin on December 31, 1999 without an election but with the stipulation he was exempt from criminal prosecution. His legacy was devastating with Klein noting "never have so many lost so much in so short a time." When Russia's 1998 financial crisis hit:

-- 80% of Russia's farmers were bankrupt;

-- around 70,000 states factories had closed;

-- an "epidemic" of unemployment raged;

-- before shock therapy in 1989, two million Russians lived in poverty on less than $4 a day; by the mid-90s, the World Bank estimated 74 million were impoverished and by 1996 conditions for 25% (almost 37 million) Russians were "desperate" and the country's underclass remained permanent;

-- Russians drink twice as much now as before; painkilling and hard drug use increased 900%, and HIV/AIDS threatens to become epidemic with a 20-fold jump in infections since 1995; suicides are also rising, and violent crime increased more than fourfold; and

-- Russia's population is declining by 700,000 a year with capitalism having already killed off 10% of it as one more example of free market-inflicted disaster. That's the brave new world disease spreading everywhere with another scorched-earth stop below. Friedman called it "freedom."

The Looting of Asia

In the summer of 1997, economic crisis hit Asia from no apparent cause beyond rumors the Thai bhat was in trouble, and Thailand didn't have enough dollars to back it. Hot money in became an electronic stampede out with "Asian Contagion" unleashed and heading for Indonesia, South Korea and other so-called Asian Tiger countries that were fast-growth miracles until they crashed together with the plight of one affecting the others. It then got worse and spread to Latin America and Russia with US markets also affected briefly in 1997 and then again with a severe jolt in the summer of 1998.

The 1997 Asian panic was crippling with $600 billion in stock market wealth taking decades to build wiped out in a year. Klein notes "a classic fear cycle" ignited the crisis that might have been contained by the same type "quick, decisive loan" rescue package offered Mexico in 1994 in their so-called Tequila Crisis. It would have been a strong signal to markets the US Treasury and international lending agencies wouldn't let the Asian Tigers fail. No help came, and the message instead was: "Don't help Asia." Why? Because "Asia's catastrophe was an opportunity (for predatory western corporations and vulture investors) in disguise."

Asian Tigers grew by protecting their markets and barring foreign companies from ownership of land or national firms. They also restricted imports from the West and Japan and instead built up their own domestic markets. Western predators wanted unfettered entry to the region with the right to scoop up the best Asian companies but needed a way to do it. Now they had it from an event Klein calls "the fall of a second Berlin Wall," as important to western capital as the first one.

Enter the IMF with crisis-struck Asian countries too sick to resist it. They needed help, and the lending agency had plenty to offer on similar terms as to previous crisis recipients. With economies in trouble and empty treasuries, the Tigers got no choice. First, they had to remove all "trade and investment protectionism and activist state intervention that were the key ingredients of the Asian miracle." IMF also demanded big spending cuts, "flexible" workforces (meaning mass layoffs and constrained wages and benefits), privatized basic services, and the rest of the package they demand for loans.

The regional toll was devastating with the International Labor Organization estimating 24 million lost jobs along with "what was so remarkable about the region's 'miracle' in the first place: its large and growing middle class." In addition, 20 million people fell into the "planned misery" of poverty, reversing an earlier trend reducing it. Women and children suffered most with families selling daughters to human sex traffickers to survive as child prostitution had a new growth market.

So did Wall Street as IMF structural adjustments put "pretty much everything in Asia....up for sale" in the affected countries. The more markets panicked, the lower asking prices became, and the more pressured hurting companies were to sell out for what they could get or face bankruptcy. It was a bonanza for buyers, and major deals went through in a great fire sale at bargain prices. Asia became hugely transformed with hundreds of local brands replaced by western transnational ones. The New York Times called it "the world's biggest going-out-of-business sale." It also became an early glimpse of post-9/11 disaster capitalism - a way for corporate predators to exploit crises in what's become common practice in the age of "terror" creating opportunities galore and big profits for well-connected firms.

Klein notes the Asian crisis never ended as desparation took root after 24 million people lost jobs in two years. No nation handles that, and the fallout can be unpredictable. It led to a rise in religious extremism in Indonesia and Thailand and "the explosive growth in the child sex trade." Unemployment is still high and layoffs continue with new foreign owners demanding higher profits with jobs disappearing to provide them.

Eventually things settle down but never to where they once were. Throwing people overboard, displacing small farmers and business owners and crushing unions means those affected stay that way. "They end up in slums, now home to one billion people (and rising); they end up in brothels or in cargo ship containers. They are the disinherited (or what) German poet Rainer Maria Rilke (called) 'ones to whom neither the past nor the future belongs.' " They're the human wreckage left behind by countries swallowing Chicago School economic medicine. Its promised miracle is people-poison but not for vulture investors thriving on it. Disaster capitalism is on a roll, and its growth market potential is unlimited and guaranteed to continue unless mass public outrage stops it as one day it will.

Part 5 - The Rise of the Disaster Capitalism Complex

Shock Therapy in the USA

Richard Nixon knew before the rest of us that Donald Rumsfeld is "a ruthless little bastard." He also has a knack for making enemies even inside the Pentagon he ran as Defense Secretary. He planned to "reinvent warfare for the twenty-first century (making it) more psychological than physical, more spectacle than struggle, and far more profitable" than ever before. Talk aside, he wanted to revolutionize the military by running it like the corporate world, and that meant using methods like outsourcing and branding. His idea was for fewer full-time troops, more as-needed ones from the Reserves and National Guard, and a lot of backup help from private contractors like Blackwater USA for security and Halliburton for a range of functions unrelated to soldiering. He wanted less staff and more tax dollars diverted to private companies. The Pentagon brass wasn't pleased, but Rumsfeld was boss and Dick Cheney backed him.

Klein calls them both "proto-disaster capitalists" who practice "the central tenet of the Bush regime (that) the job of government is not to govern but to subcontract." The privatization mania was kick-started in the Reagan era, but Bill Clinton bought it as well. Now the feeling is anything government can do, private business can do better so let them. That means fire departments, prisons, public schools, public health, data management, border control and even parts of the military. As Klein explained: "crisis-exploiting methods....honed over the previous three decades would be used to (privatize) the infrastructure of disaster creation and....response. Friedman's crisis theory was going postmodern (to create a) privatized police state" by auctioning it off.

"Then came 9/11, and the idea of hollowing out government seemed opposite of what a frightened public wanted - a strong central government to protect them. Bush promised it in speeches, but "his inner circle had no intention of converting to Keynesianism." September 11 security failures only reinforced their belief that private firms could handle the challenge better than government, and that meant transferring hundreds of billions of public dollars to corporate pockets. The Bush administration exploited shock and fear "to push through its radical vision of a hollow government in which everything from war fighting to disaster response was a for-profit venture."

Mass disorientation post-9/11 provided the opportunity, and the "war on terror" became a "bold evolution of shock therapy....built to be private from the start" to capitalize on it. It came in two stages. First, policing, surveillance, detention and war-making powers of the executive were dramatically increased though nothing in the Constitution permits it. Then, the whole package, including occupation and "reconstruction," was outsourced to well-connected private firms that responded with generous campaign funds to keep the mutually reinforcing daisy chain humming. Using the ploy of fighting "terrorism," the homeland disaster capitalism complex emerged as a full-blown new economy and what Klein calls "a virtual fourth branch of government."

The Bush administration's idea of government, with security as one function, wasn't to provide it but to buy it at cost-plus market prices with lots of latitude for the plus. Just as the internet launched the dot-com bubble, from 9/11 emerged the disaster capitalism one, and it was off to the races "in an ad hoc....chaotic fashion."

Fighting "terrorism" is big business, and one of the first opportunities was the market for surveillance cameras with 30 million of them installed in the US, billions of hours of footage, analytic software to scan it, digital image enhancement to help it, and information management and data mining technology to handle all data government collects on everyone and everything. September 11 unlocked the potential, a huge new growth market was created, and protection from terror became more important than big brother watching. In six short years, an industry that barely existed is now much larger than Hollywood or the music business, and its potential looks limitless.

Klein calls it "an unprecedented convergence of unchecked police powers and unchecked capitalism, a merger of the shopping mall and the secret prison" in a frightening brave new world most people barely understand or know exists. It generates enormous wealth that creates a powerful incentive for its winners to sell fear for more of it and partnering with government makes it easy, especially the kind in power now.

Capitalism Becomes Corporatism in a Corporatist State

Proto-disaster capitalism defines the Bush administration as crises, wars and other disasters "conflate with what's good for Lockheed, Halliburton, Carlyle and (Rumsfeld's old company) Gilead" Sciences. Cataclysm is a growth business that in the current climate involved "some of the seediest and most blatant corruption scandals in recent history," war-profiteering in the hundreds of billions, and a "whirling revolving door between government and business" taken to a new level. The limitless homeland security and war-profiteering markets are so alluring, hundreds of administration officials can't wait to cash in like earlier ones did. Klein names some noted ones like Richard Pearle, James Baker, Henry Kissinger, Paul Bremer, George Shultz, John Ashcroft, Tom Ridge, Rudi Giuliani, Richard Clarke, James Woolsey, Joe Allbaugh, and Michael Brown who wrote an infamous memo to a fellow FEMA staffer asking: "Can I quit now?"

That's the whole idea in a get rich quick environment - get an impressive government title, stay in office long enough in a department handing out big contracts, collect insider information with market value, then quit and cash in. Klein calls public service now "little more than a reconnaissance mission for future work in the disaster capitalism complex." She also quotes Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight (a nonprofit watchdog group) saying: "It's impossible to tell where the government ends and Lockeed begins." She also believes that corporatist economic goals and right to limitless profit seeking lie at the heart of the most committed neocons who talk a good game but value great wealth their top priority. They partnered permanent war and homeland security with the disaster capitalism complex to get it, and it's hard indeed telling where one ends and the other begins. But it's centerpiece project is Iraq, and its headquarters is in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

Part 6 - Iraq, Full Circle - Overshock - Erasing A Country

Perhaps no country provides a greater untapped opportunity for unfettered capitalism than Iraq. It represents the planet's last remaining low-hanging oil resources fruit with potentially more of it than Saudi Arabia according to some oil analysts. It's also strategically located in the heart of the oil-rich Middle East (with two-thirds of proved reserves) Klein calls the "crusade' frontier." Iraq's potential alone is so enormous it made war the way to crack open its market potential because peaceful methods hadn't worked. Its conquest would then serve as "a different model in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world" that could become a catalyst to opening the whole region.

The potential is a giant free-trade zone, the illusion of newly created democracies, and the freedom for unfettered capitalism "to feed off freshly privatized states." Klein explained this as "the model theory," Iraq as the model, with the idea not being nation-building but nation-creating. But what of the nation already there that's known as the "cradle of civilization." It would have to be erased, and Chicago School fundamentalism would create a new one in its place in its own image with a blank slate to work from.

Bush administration war planners considered the full array of possible shocks and went with them all - blitzkrieg "shock and awe," elaborate PsyOps, use of fear as a weapon, repressive occupation, mass detention and torture, and "the fastest and most sweeping political and economic shock therapy program attempted anywhere....From the start, the invasion was (Washington's message) to the the language of fireballs, deafening explosions and city-shattering quakes." It said dare challenge US authority, and you're next. Shock and awe planners designed its strategy to deter "the public will of the adversary to resist (to render) the adversary completely impotent" from the effects of sensory deprivation and overload inducing disorientation and regression.

In March, 2003, Baghdad got it on a massive scale. The ministry of communication and four telephone exchanges was blitzed and set ablaze cutting off millions of phones and preventing people from learning if their family and friends were alive. Television and radio transmitters were also destroyed along with the electrical grid plunging the city into "an awful, endless night." Residents were trapped in their homes unable to speak or hear each other or see outside at night. "Like a prisoner destined for a CIA black site, the entire city was shackled and hooded. Next it was stripped."

Unchecked looting did the most to erase the "country that was....Gone are 80% of the museum's 170,000 priceless objects....the national library is a blackened ruin....the Ministry of Religious Affairs....was left a burned-out shell (and the) national heritage was lost." Paul Bremer's senior economic advisor, Peter McPherson, wasn't bothered. It made his job of radically downsizing the state and selling it off easier. Cleaning the slate and erasing the nation was proceeding fast. It "all unfolded in a matter of weeks." Baghdad was "open for business," and the fire sale for its assets began with US firms having first dibs on everything, except oil, and that would come later as it has now but is stalled.

While he was there, Paul Bremer was Washington's man in Baghdad charged with readying the launch of Iraq, Inc. He saw to it laws were passed smoothing the way for Chicago School shock therapy. Two hundred firms were to be privatized immediately to get "inefficient state enterprises into private (predatory) hands...." New economic laws followed that comprised a "wish list....foreign investors and donor agencies dream of," according to The Economist. The corporate tax was cut from 45% to a flat 15%; another allowed foreign companies to own 100% of Iraqi assets and take all profits out of the country; all restrictions on imports were removed; and investors could sign deals and leases lasting 40 years so no future government could change them.

Iraq became a bold new experiment with invasion, occupation and reconstruction transforming the country into a fully privatized new market "with a huge pot of public money" doing it. Klein called the adventure an "anti-Marshall plan," mirror opposite the post-WW II plan, and guaranteed "to further undermine Iraq's badly weakened industrial sector and send Iraqi unemployment soaring." No funds went to Iraqis or their industries nor was anything done to build a sustainable economy, or rebuild local infrastructure like electrical grids, schools, and hospitals. Iraqis played no role in planning, local firms weren't even given "subsubsubcontracts," jobs were destroyed not created while thousands of serf-type foreign workers were brought in and abused, and critically needed social services were ignored.

Another goal was for a fully outsourced, hollow government with no function so "core" a contractor couldn't handle it for profit. It was pure pillage, but nothing went as planned. "Each miscalculation provoked escalating levels of resistance" with occupying forces responding with counterrepression "sending the country into an inferno of (unending) violence." Everything "tearing Iraq apart today - rampant corruption (and unfettered plundering), ferocious sectarianism, the surge in religious fundamentalism and the tyranny of death squads (including US 'Salvador option' ones) - escalated in lockstep with....Bush's anti-Marshall Plan." In that environment, the country became "a cutthroat capitalist laboratory" for shameless pillage. Iraq today is a model, a metaphor for everything wrong with Chicago School dogma showing it to be savage, ruthless, heartless and bankrupt.

Its implementation is the core reason for resistance that continues and grows, but it caught war planners off guard when it began. They thought the shock and awe of attack, invasion, occupation and rapid transformation on the ground would be disorienting. Instead, Iraqis demanded a say from the start in how their country would be rebuilt and transformed. "And it was the Bush administration's response to this unexpected turn of events that generated the most blowback of all" that became even worse by crushing democracy and effectively installing a puppet government in the fortified Green Zone masquerading as a real one.

The result was predictable and so was the harsh response - mass detentions, aggressive interrogations, administration-sanctioned gloves off torture, and US unleashed "Salvador option" death squads making it hard to know who's doing the killing and blasting away at selected targets. What is clear are the consequences - "millions of psychologically and physically (traumatized, angry and) shattered people, first by Saddam, (then) by war, (then) by one another (and the occupation). Bush's in-house disaster capitalists didn't wipe Iraq clean, they just stirred it up....Countries, like people, don't reboot to zero with a good shock; they just break and keep breaking....Which....requires more blasting - upping the dosage...."

Slowly, it's disappearing, disintegrating, erasing an entire country - women behind veils and doors, children from schools, four million displaced, Iraqi industry collapsed, a new growth industry in kidnapping for ransom, a country so unstable investment is high-risk, and even the heavily fortified Green Zone is too unsafe for George Bush to visit on one of his "surprise trips" to the country. Bremer's charge was to build a "corporate utopia" but instead unleashed a "ghoulish dystopia," and, on an April, 2004 visit to the country, Klein thought she was witnessing a mass contractor exodus with 1500 of them leaving in one week.

Now she's not sure. Big investors like Wal-Mart, HSBC and Procter and Gamble never showed up, and in December, 2006, the Pentagon announced a new project to get state-owned factories operating with plans to buy cement and machinery from them instead of the usual corporate suppliers. Does it signal a change of disaster capitalism tactics? Not at all, and it's likely this amounts to no more than tinkering and tokenism that in the end will do little for the local economy and even less to reduce hardened anger.

The Big Oil drafted Hydrocarbon Law is still a work in progress but already inflamed things further, and well it should. It's an anti-Marshall Plan project at its worst, and in whatever final form is a shameless act of theft on the grandest scale. It's a privatization blueprint for plunder giving Big Oil a bonanza and Iraqis a mere sliver of their own resources. In one draft, Iraq's National Oil Company got exclusive control of just 17 of the country's 80 known oil fields with all yet-to-be-discovered deposits set aside for foreign investors. Even worse, Big Oil is free to expropriate all earnings with no obligation to invest anything in Iraq's economy, partner with Iraqi companies, hire local workers, respect union rights, or share new technologies. In addition, foreign investors are guaranteed long-term contracts up to 30 or more years, dispossessing Iraq and its people of their own resources in a naked scheme to steal them and deny them the one source of revenue able to rebuild their shattered country and lives.

The battle for Iraq continues that involves clinging to if not winning the hearts and minds on the home front as well. The country is a wasteland, the nation creation project bankrupt, and the prospect for success bad and worsening. Iraq has been a graveyard for past imperial powers, and it may just be a matter of time until history again repeats. The Brits in the South know it, and after four and a half futile years are tiptoeing out to the dismay of their "coalition" partners. One day, Washington may join them, and for shocked Iraqis it can't come too soon. For now, though, the shock continues, and Iraq more closely resembles hell than "the cradle of civilization."

Part 7 - The Movable Green Zone: Blanking the Beach - "The Second Tsunami"

For coastal Sri Lankans, like those in Arugam Bay, December 26, 2004 felt more like 1945 Hiroshima than life before that fateful day changing everything for them. A devastating tsunami took 250,000 lives and left 2.5 million homeless throughout the region. It affected Arugam Bay, "a fishing and faded resort village" on the island's east coast that government was showcasing in its plans to "build back better." Indeed, but not for the villagers hoteliers, developers and the government wanted removed but weren't sure how until nature did what they couldn't. Everything was gone, and a blank slate remained for what the tourist industry long wanted - "a pristine beach (in a prime area), scrubbed clean of all the messy signs of people working, a vacation Eden. It was the same up and down the coast once rubble was cleared....paradise."

"New rules" forbade homes on the beach and a "buffer zone" imposed insured it. Beaches were off-limits, displaced Sri Lankans were shoved into temporary grim barracks camps inland, and "menacing, machine-gun-wielding soldiers" patrolled to keep them there.

Tourist operators were treated differently. They were encouraged to build and expand on prime vacated oceanfront land. It was all in a document called the "Arugam Bay Resource Development Plan" to transform the former fishing village into a "high-end 'boutique tourism destination' (with) five-star resorts, luxury....chalets, (and even a) floatplane pier and helipad." Arugam Bay was to be a model for transforming up to 30 similar "tourism zones" into a "South Asian Riviera." When the plan leaked out, people in Arugam Bay and around the country were outraged.

The grand scheme to remake Sri Lanka was around two years earlier and began when the civil war ended. It was to be the country's reentry into the world economy as one of the last remaining uncolonized places globalization hadn't touched, and a high-end tourism project was seen as the right option. It would be a luxury destination for the "plutonomy set," once a few changes were made. Government's 80% land ownership had to be opened to private buyers, more "flexible" labor laws were needed, and modernized infrastructure had to be developed with World Bank and IMF providing funds on their usual shock therapy terms discussed above. With mass public opposition to the ideas, it wouldn't be easy, and before the tsunami hit, militant strikes and street protests held it back.

Sri Lanka's president, Chandrika Kumaratunga, was elected on an "overtly antiprivatization platform," but the tsunami changed everything and helped her see "the free market light." Four days after the disaster, her government passed a bill "pav(ing) the way for water privatization." It also raised gasoline prices and began crafting legislation to privatize the electricity company in pieces. It was like a second tsunami, and the same scheme followed hurricane Mitch in October, 1998 with Hondurus, Guatemala and Nicaragua hardest hit like New Orleans discussed below.

Klein explained when the tsunami struck in 2004, "Washington was ready to take the Mitch model (now familiar) to the next level - aiming not just at individuals laws but at direct corporate control over the construction." Sri Lanka's president complied and created a new body called the Task Force to Rebuild the Nation fully empowered to proceed. On it were the most powerful business leaders from banking and industry including key players from the beach tourism sector. Absent were villagers, farmers, environmentalists or even a "disaster-reconstruction specialist." Klein called the task force a new type corporate coup d'etat mother nature made possible.

In ten days, then had a complete reconstruction blueprint from "housing to highways" with aid money directed to corporate development and nothing for disaster victims. They were destined to become permanent shantytown dwellers similar to the kinds ringing most Global South cities and populating Global North inner ones. Similar stories of law changes and land grabs came out of other affected Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand, the Maldives and India where around 150 Tamil Nadu displaced women had to sell their kidneys for food.

A year after the tsunami, NGO ActionAid surveyed the aftermath in five Asian countries and found the same pattern everywhere - residents barred from rebuilding, living in militarized temporary camps, hotels "showered with incentives," no restoration of homes lost, and "entire ways of life" destroyed. In July, 2006 in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers ended their cease-fire and war resumed. It's hard knowing if disaster capitalism had a role because peace was always precarious, the government offered little, and continued violence at least promised a chance for something better before and more than ever now given the choice between disaster capitalism and hope.

Disaster Apartheid - A World of Green and Red Zones

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and flooded New Orleans. The well-off left town, "checked into hotels, and called their insurance companies." For 120,000 others without cars or means of transportation, it was another story. They depended on the state, waited for help and got none. FEMA is supposed to provide it, too, but it was one of the many government functions Bush gutted advancing savage capitalism at the expense of public service.

Katrina was disastrous for those affected, but Milton Friedman saw "an opportunity" in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. It was easy for him to say from his luxury San Francisco digs as well as his like-minded ideologues who met 14 days later to plan how to pounce on the tragedy for profit. They produced 32 Chicago School-type schemes packaged as "hurricane relief" that was a wish list for developers and hell for the displaced. They ranged from suspending Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws in disaster areas and making the whole area a flat tax free enterprise zone to erasing public schools by giving parents vouchers for privately-run charter ones. They also wanted environmental regulations suspended on the Gulf Coast and permission to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that showed how far afield they'd go to capitalize on the shock of a local tragedy.

Things moved fast, and within weeks "the Gulf Coast became a domestic laboratory for the same kind of (outsourcing schemes) pioneered in Iraq." The names were familiar with Halliburton first in line along with Bechtel, Blackwater USA and a host of others homing in for the kill. Billions were at stake, and no open bidding was required, just good connections. As Klein put it: "within days of the storm it was as if Baghdad's Green Zone....lifted from....the Tigris and landed on the bayou....As in Iraq, government once again played the role of a cash machine equipped for both withdrawals and deposits." Corporations took one and repaid with the other in sizable campaign contributions in a pattern now familiar.

They also ignored unemployed locals and relied instead on cheap imported undocumented labor easily exploited. The Bush administration showed its type compassion, too, with $40 billion in budget cuts for essentials like Medicaid, food stamps, student loans and more so funds could go to contractors and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Again, a familiar pattern.

In visiting Iraq, Klein first thought the "Green Zone phenomenon was unique to the war in Iraq." She then discovered it emerges wherever disaster capitalism lands with the same stark divisions between the included and excluded. It was evident in New Orleans with "gated green zones and raging red" ones - not from flood damage but from predatory free market solutions only for the privileged.

The Bush administration refused emergency funds for public sector salaries so 3000 city workers were fired. Charity Hospital closed and still isn't open. Public transit was gutted losing half its workers, and most public housing is still boarded up and empty by design. Some sits on prime land close to the French Quarter, developers want it for luxury properties, and New Orleans is being erased for profit just like Iraq. It was all planned with the storm the excuse to do it.

Earlier "creative destruction" opportunities generated "rust belts," neglected neighborhoods, and underfunded inner city public schools. Creative neglect is at work as well as the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2007 said it will cost $1.5 trillion over five years to bring essential public infrastructure back to standard. Instead it continues to deteriorate while the well-off withdraw into gated communities and luxury condos with all their needs met by private providers. Klein calls this trend a "state-within-a-state that is muscular" and as able as the public one is frail. It no longer can function without help from contractors as government is hollowed so business can prosper.

New Orleans is a window on the future in which survival depends on the ability to pay, and those who can't are discarded like trash. It promises a world of protected Green Zones with those outside it neglected, abandoned, ignored and forgotten.

Losing the Peace Incentive - Israel As Warning

Conventional wisdom once thought economic growth and prosperity required peace and stability. No longer. Post-9/11, the terror scare was ignited, wars rage in Iraq and Afghanistan, more war is threatened on Iran, oil prices touched $80 a barrel, the WTO Doha Round trade talks collapsed, and "a golden period of broadly shared growth" prevails (at least until the recent credit crunch). How come?

Conflict and global instability don't just benefit arms related industries. They help the high-tech security sector, heavy construction, private health care companies treating soldiers and oil and gas. The business bonanza in Iraq alone is hugely profitable with all sorts of companies cashing in. The same goes for New Orleans and Gulf Coast overall. Terrorist attacks are good for business. The more destruction, the more to rebuild - a great market for disaster capitalism it pounces on with every incentive to assure the trend continues unchallenged, and why not when government throws public tax dollars at it.

Today, "instability is the new stability," and Israel is its "Exhibit A." In the post-1993 Oslo years, the Jewish state designed its economy to expand in response to escalating violence at home at first and now everywhere. The nation's technology firms pioneered the homeland security industry, and they still dominate it. In addition, its economy overall is the most "tech-dependent in the world," according to Business Week magazine, twice as dependent as the US representing half its exports.

Following the 2000 dot-com crash, Israel's leading tech companies needed a new global niche, and the government encouraged expansion beyond information and communications technologies into security and surveillance. It launched a slew of start-ups "specializing in everything from 'search and nail,' data mining, surveillance cameras, to terrorist profiling." It was perfect timing for a market that exploded post-9/11, and Israel's economy is thriving with one of the fastest growth rates in the world. Klein calls the country "a kind of shopping mall for homeland security technologies," and Forbes magazine says it's "the go-to country for antiterrorism technologies." Today, the country's counterterrorism industry is booming, and its defense-related exports make it the fourth largest arms dealer in the world, larger than the UK.

Klein notes: "With more and more countries turning themselves into fortresses (with walls and high-tech fences part of it), 'security barriers' may prove to be the biggest disaster market of all." In the case of Israel, it's also another "Chicago School frontier marked by rapid stratification of society between rich and poor inside the state." The security boom fueled a wave of privatizations accompanied by social program cuts, "an epidemic of inequality," and the virtual end of Labor Zionism. Klein notes 24.4% of Israelis live in poverty, including 35.2% of children, compared to 8% twenty years earlier (but she doesn't say if these figures include Arab Israeli citizens comprising 20% of the population). She concludes Israeli industry no longer fears war as it thrives on it.

Today, Baghdad, New Orleans and suburban Atlanta Sandy Springs are glimpses of a gated community future run by the disaster capitalism complex. But it's in its most advanced state in Israel - "an entire country (turned into) a fortified gated community, surrounded by locked-out people living in (the) permanently excluded red zones" of Gaza and the West Bank that aren't just left out but are encroached on and under attack. Disaster capitalism thrives in this environment so it yearns to bring it to a neighborhood near you, and that's a prospect to fear.

Hopeful Signs - Shock Wears Off

Klein quotes Canada's National Post editor, Terence Corcoran, wondering if the Chicago School movement Milton Friedman launched could continue as before after his November, 2006 death. The movement's pinnacle was capturing the Congress in 1994 that it lost in 2006 for three reasons - public disenchantment with the Iraq war, political corruption, and a growing class divide unseen since the Gilded Age of the "robber barons" or roaring 20s. Each factor related to core Chicago School economics - privatization, deregulation and cutting government services. In the US, it created a wealth disparity economist Paul Krugman calls unprecedented while poverty is growing and the middle class dying in the richest country in the world that's also the least caring one.

Everywhere Chicago School fundamentalism shows up, the results are the same. A small elite gains hugely while most others don't. But cracks in the ideology are visible as many of its front line adherents got caught up "in an astonishing array of scandals and criminal proceedings (from the) earliest laboratories in Latin America to the most recent one in Iraq."

Before he died, Pinochet was under house arrest. In Argentina, courts stripped former junta leaders of immunity. Bolivia's de Lozada got chased from the country and is now a wanted man. In Russia, many of the oligarch fraudsters were either in exile or jail. In Canada, newspaper magnate Conrad Black was convicted of fraud. In the US, a rogue's gallery of CEOs were charged and convicted as well, and other high level types were caught up in scandals like lobbyist Jack Abramoff's influence-peddling one.

Klein notes another hopeful sign as well - shock effects were beginning to wear off, and in Argentina's 2001 economic crisis forced out five presidents in three weeks. It was spreading and most apparent in Latin America where it began with opponents of Chicago School doctrine winning elections like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, but he wasn't alone. It showed a renewed faith in democracy and condemnation of Washington Consensus dogma when people made a choice at the polls in free and open elections. Today's movements aren't replicas of the past, and one of the differences "is an acute awareness of the need for protection from shocks of the past" - coups, foreign shock therapists, torturers, debt and currency shocks.

They've learned from the past and are building "shock absorbers into their organizing models." It's in movements less centralized, Venezuela's grassroots community councils, Brazil's Landless Peoples Movement, and the streets of Oaxaca, Mexico where thousands battled police since a year ago May and still won't quit. In addition, governments are rejecting old trade models and adopting new ones like Venezuela's ALBA bartering system making it less vulnerable to turbulent markets.

They're also rejecting World Bank and IMF debt slavery, and the change is dramatic. In 2005, 80% of IMF's lending portfolio was to Latin America. It dropped to 1% in 2007. And IMF's 2005 $81 billion dollar portfolio shrank to $11.8 billion in three years with nearly all of it in Turkey. The World Bank is also being rejected. Venezuela severed its relationship, and Ecuador's Raphael Correa suspended bank loans and declared its country representative persona non grata in an extraordinary move the equivalent of a well-deserved slap in the face. In addition, the Doha Round trade talks collapsed, and some observers thought it signaled "globalization is dead," or if not, it's at least breathing hard.

Resistance is showing up in Europe, too, with voters in France and the Netherlands rejecting the European Constitution the French call "savage capitalism" and a codification of the corporatist order they reject. The Putin era in Russia is also seen as a backlash against the shock therapy of the 90s that impoverished millions of its people still left out and many desperate. The same is true in South Africa where people in slums abandoned the ANC to protest against their broken Freedom Charter promises. It even surfaced in China where, according to official government sources, 87,000 large protests were held involving over four million workers and peasants. They won major victories for new rural area spending, better health care, and pledges to eliminate education fees.

Millions of Lebanese were in the streets as well that wasn't a show of strength by Hezbollah as the major media characterized it. It was a rejection of the Siniora government's willingness to accept Chicago School reforms in exchange for billions of needed reconstruction loans to recover from Israel's summer, 2006 blitzkrieg attack. Klein called their actions "a poor and working-class people's revolt."

Examples are everywhere but so far just ripples in a pond needing greater numbers for real change. They were in tsunami-struck Thailand where, unlike in Sri Lanka, many settlements were successfully rebuilt in months but not by the government offering no aid. So hundreds of villagers "engaged in what they called land 'reinvasions,' " defied their government with direct-action, and rebuilt their communities making them better than before the destruction.

The same thing happened in New Orleans. In February, 2007, housing project residents "reinvaded" their old homes and reclaimed them in another example of "people rebuilding for themselves" and bypassing government indifferent to their needs and rights. Klein calls this phenomenon "the antithesis of the disaster capitalism complex's ethos." The actions are communal with people helping each other, rebuilding rubble, and aiming to end the erasure "of history, of culture, of memory."

It's a message of collective shock resistance replacing shock, but it's too early to declare victory. The signs are encouraging, and with enough of them who knows what's possible. Hopefully a better world replacing the bankrupt notion that markets work best and government is the problem. That's an idea for the trash bin of history where it belongs and where it one day will be.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog and listen to The Steve Lendman News and Information Hour on Saturdays at noon US central time.

Comment: To better understand why these shocks are being applied, take a gander at the entry on Transmarginal Inhibition in the Cassiopedia. It isn't happening by chance.

Milton Friedman, the "father of the shock doctrine" can be characterized as a Schizoidal psychopath as described by psychologist, Andrzej Lobaczewski in Political Ponerology:

Literature provides us with descriptions of several varieties of this anomaly, whose existence can be attributed either to changes in the genetic factor or to differences in other individual characteristics of a non-pathological nature. Let us thus sketch these sub-species' common features. Carriers of this anomaly are hypersensitive and distrustful, but they pay little attention to the feelings of others, tend to assume extreme positions, and are eager to retaliate for minor offenses. Sometimes they are eccentric and odd.

Their poor sense of psychological situation and reality leads them to superimpose erroneous, pejorative interpretations upon other people's intentions. They easy become involved in activities which are ostensibly moral, but which actually inflict damage upon themselves and others. Their impoverished psychological worldview makes them typically pessimistic regarding human nature. We frequently find expressions of their characteristic attitudes in their statements and writings: "Human nature is so bad that order in human society can only be maintained by a strong power created by highly qualified individuals in the name of some higher idea." Let us call this typical expression the "schizoid declaration".

Human nature does in fact tend to be naughty, whenever the schizoids embitter other people's lives, that is. When they become wrapped up in situations of serious stress, however, the schizoid's failings cause them to collapse easily. The capacity for thought is thereupon characteristically stifled, and frequently the schizoids fall into reactive psychotic states so similar in appearance to schizophrenia that they lead to misdiagnoses.

The common factor in the varieties of this anomaly is a dull pallor of emotions and a feeling for the psychological realities of this essential factor in basic intelligence. This can be attributed to the incomplete quality of the instinctive substratum, which is working as though on sand. Low emotional pressure enables them to develop proper speculative reasoning, which is useful in non-humanistic spheres of activity. Because of their one-sidedness, they tend to consider themselves intellectually superior to "ordinary" people.
The quantitative frequency of this anomaly varies among races and nations: low among Blacks, the highest among Jews. ...

A schizoid's ponerological activity should be evaluated in two aspects. On the small scale, such people cause their families trouble, easily turn into tools of intrigue in the hands of clever individuals, and generally do a poor job of raising the younger generation. Their tendency to see human reality in the doctrinaire and simplistic manner they consider "proper", transforms their frequently good intentions into bad results. However, their ponerogenic role can take on macro-social proportions if their attitude toward human reality and their tendency to invent great doctrines are put to paper and duplicated in large editions.

In spite of their typical deficits, or even an openly schizoidal declaration, their readers do not realize what the authors' characters are like; they interpret such works in a manner corresponding to their own nature. The minds of normal people tend toward corrective interpretation thanks to the participation of their own richer, psychological world-view. However, many readers critically reject such works with moral disgust but without being aware of the specific cause. An analysis of the role played by Karl Marx's works easily reveals all the above-mentioned types of apperception and the social reactions which engendered separations among people. [...]

During stable times which are ostensibly happy, albeit marked by injury to individuals and nations, doctrinaire people believe they have found a simple solution to fix such a world. Such a historical period is always characterized by an impoverished psychological world-view, a schizoidally impoverished psychological world-view thus does not stand out during such times and is accepted as legal tender. These doctrinaire individuals characteristically manifest a certain contempt with regard to moralists then preaching the need to rediscover lost human values and to develop a richer, more appropriate psychological world-view.

Schizoid characters aim to impose their own conceptual world upon other people or social groups, using relatively controlled pathological egotism and the exceptional tenacity derived from their persistent nature. They are thus eventually able to overpower another individual's personality, which causes the latter's behavior to turn desperately illogical. They may also exert a similar influence upon the group of people they have joined. They are psychological loners who feel better in some human organization, wherein they become zealots for some ideology, religious bigots, materialists, or adherents of an ideology with satanic features. If their activities consist of direct contact on a small social scale, their acquaintances easily perceive them to be eccentric, which limits their ponerogenic role. However, if they manage to hide their own personality behind the written word, their influence may poison the minds of society in a wide scale and for a long time.

The conviction that Karl Marx is the best example of this is correct as he was the best-known figure of that kind. Frostig, a psychiatrist of the old school, included Engels and others into a category he called "bearded schizoidal fanatics". The famous utterances attributed to Zionist wise men at the turn of the century start with a schizoidal declaration. The nineteenth century, especially its latter half, appears to have been a time of exceptional activity on the part of schizoidal individuals, often but not always of Jewish descent. [...]

In spite of the fact that the writings of schizoidal authors contain the above described deficiency, or even an openly formulated schizoidal declaration which constitutes sufficient warning to specialists, the average reader accepts them not as a view of reality warped by this anomaly, but rather as an idea to which he should assume an attitude based on his convictions and his reason. That is the first mistake. The oversimplified pattern, devoid of psychological color and based on easily available data, exerts an intense influence upon individuals who are insufficiently critical, frequently frustrated as result of downward social adjustment, culturally neglected, or characterized by some psychological deficiencies. Others are provoked to criticism based on their healthy common sense, also they fail to grasp this essential cause of the error.

Societal interpretation of such activities is broken down into the main trifurcations, engendering divisiveness and conflict. The first branch is the path of aversion, based on rejection of the contents of the work due to personal motivations, differing convictions, or moral revulsion. This already contains the component of a moralizing interpretation of pathological phenomena.

We can distinguish two distinctly different apperception types among those persons who accept the contents of such works: the critically-corrective and the pathological. People whose feel for psychological reality is normal tend to incorporate chiefly the more valuable elements of the work. They trivialize the obvious errors and complement the schizoid deficiencies by means of their own richer world-view. This gives rise to a more sensible, measured, and thus creative interpretation, but is not free from the influence of the error frequently adduced above.

Pathological acceptance is manifested by individuals with diversiform deviations, whether inherited or acquired, as well as by many people bearing personality malformations or who have been injured by social injustice. That explains why this scope is wider than the circle drawn by direct action of pathological factors. This apperception often brutalizes the authors' concepts and leads to acceptance of forceful methods and revolutionary means.

The passage of time and bitter experiences has unfortunately not prevented this characteristic misunderstanding born of schizoid nineteenth-century creativity, with Marx's works at the fore, from affecting people and depriving them of their common sense. [...]

Schizoidia has thus played an essential role as one of the factors in the genesis of the evil threatening our contemporary world. Practicing psychotherapy upon the world will therefore demand that the results of such evil be eliminated as skillfully as possible.