I can honestly say that I’ve been with Klein since the beginning. I read a review of No Logo while we lived in London and carried it around with me until I could find a copy. That book, though a bit long-winded at times, changed the way I see the world, and every one of her subsequent books has done the same.
When I first learned that Klein was “rushing” this book into print, I was struck by her urgency, the belief that people needed what she had put together, and they needed it sooner rather than later. And she’s right.
In this brief history of neoliberalism (a word I think I finally understand), she, in the end, sees our current American president (I can’t make myself write his name) less as the kind of shock she described in her book, The Shock Doctrine, but as a predictable culmination of the direction our world, particularly the United States, has been taking.
And though I resist the notion that those who criticize are responsible for providing suggestions and alternatives, Klein does do that, first outlining the model she experienced at Standing Rock and then the process that led to her being a part of the group that established the LEAP manifesto. ‘Leap,’ not walk. There’s that urgency again.
She calls for a re-awakening of dreaming of utopias and thinking big. What kind of world do we want? And then, though a brief aside suggests she’s a bit too locked into the mode of electoral politics that Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor argues we should work outside of in her powerful book, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. If we’re going to destroy the box that has constrained our thinking – particularly one that is so tied to the “ecocidal capitalism” Klein rejects, then we need to destroy all of it.
And while I applaud Klein’s call for more imagination and creativity and while I understand the logistics involved, I worry about our reliance on the Internet. Does making something into a hashtag really matter? If we’re on the internet, then we’re not face-to-face (an option Klein does support – it led to the creation of the manifesto) and we’re not reading and we’re not reading fiction, which does activate the imagination and creativity. We’re also not stepping in any way outside of our comfort zone, whether it’s to another place or even another place of worship. That said, I have joined the internet community Klein has helped create. I want to not only be ready to resist any new natural and created shocks, but I also want to be part of the group that has a plan ready – some good, Klein points out, can emerge from shocks, but only if we are prepared and we dream big.