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A Book Everyone Should Read:: The Shock Doctrine

It’s long (500 or so pages), and depressing (all about how US-influenced monetary policy has wreaked havoc throughout the world), but don’t let that thwart you. Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is an important book about forces that manipulate the world.

Now, I am not an anti-globalization state socialist. I support free trade and the free movement of people. But, I definitely have concerns with the winner-takes-all reality of laissez-faire capitalism, and when such practices end up ruining the lives of millions, nay, potentially billions of people, you have to take notice. And Klein’s book does that.

It’s not flawless, but it’s definitely eye-opening, and also a satisfying primer on economic historical developments in Chile and Bolivia in the 70s, Poland in the 80s, Russia in the 90s, and much more.

You probably won’t agree with everything she writes, but you owe it to yourself to disagree meaningfully. Unfortunately, I can’t find substantive criticisms of the book. The most prevalent is Tyler Cowen’s surprisingly shrill screed that opts to not critique the fundamental principles of the book in favor of potshots at rhetorical flourishes.