Louisiana native Erick Erickson (again, not to be confused with the famed psychoanalyst) owns and operates one of the most popular right-wing blogsites in the country, RedState.com, whose former front-page contributor and co-founder actually refused to vote for John McCain this year, instead writing in a vote for Governor Bobby Jindal).

It’s no surprise that the good people at RedState would begin to express their loyal opposition to President-elect Obama, well before he takes the oath of office. That, of course, is fair and expected.

But today, one of Erickson’s writers, Pejman Yousefzadeh, attempted to lamely reappropriate Naomi Klein’s thesis in The Shock Doctine in order to attack and criticize a statement made by Rahm Emanuel, bootstraping on a ridiculous post on the CATO Institute’s blog.

This is your “shock doctrine.” As is this. Now, if you want to write a book explaining how crises get used by ideologues to impose policy on the rest of us, you have a perfect excuse to do so. What’s more, your hypothetical book will bear a much greater relationship with reality than the one in which you misquoted and libeled Milton Friedman.

See? This works out for everyone!

Now, get cracking and write that book. Think of it as a way to salvage what’s left of your reputation.

With all due respect to Mr. Yousefzadeh, whose obscurity ensures that his “reputation” is not, currently, something in need of being “salvaged,” and the people who operate the CATO blog, have any of you actually read The Shock Doctrine?

Because it sure seems like you have absolutely no idea of what you’re talking about.

Of course, there is absolutely no evidence that Ms. Klein “misquoted and libeled” Mr. Yousefzadeh’s apparent hero, the late Milton Friedman; however, there is ample evidence that both the CATO blog and RedState have egregiously misappropriated the thesis of The Shock Doctrine in order to propound an intellectually dishonest argument that Rahm Emanuel (and, by extension, Barack Obama) would prefer to exploit the current economic crisis to legitimize a shock doctrine.

Uh, no.

Read the book.

It’s all about the propensity of certain ideologically-driven politicians to exploit a natural or economic disaster in order to enact Friedman/University of Chicago School economic policies. So when Rahm Emanuel says something like, “Hey, we can use this crisis to remind Americans of previous policy failures” (paraphrasing), it doesn’t mean that he’s in favor of employing the Shock Doctrine. (You see, the Shock Doctrine is married to a very specific economic agenda). And anyone who makes such an argument proves, to the entire world of literate people, their purposeful duplicity and intellectual dishonesty.

So, in short, we should all thank Mr. Yousefzadeh and the people at the CATO blog for demonstrating their lack of intelligent, honest, and insightful criticism and for proving, to anyone who has actually read Ms. Klein’s book, that her critics are more comfortable with unevenly disparaging a book they’ve never read (and in ironically attempting to use her thesis to buttress their own ideological agendas) than in the truth.

That said, I pledge to purchase copies of Ms. Klein’s book to any and all frontpage contributors to RedState.com. If you’re a frontpage contributor to RedState and you’d like a FREE copy of Naomi Klein’s book, send proof of authorship and your mailing address to lamarw at gmail dot com, and I’ll send you the book.

But, until you read the book, you probably shouldn’t write about it.

One thought

  1. Thank you, Lamar. This is most excellent work!
    Few are actually poking that stick about the left and it needs poking.
    I don’t know if you caught this on WCBF but here is something extra fo’da bonechill:
    The writer Naomi Klein, in her book The Shock Doctrine, describes actions like those as “disaster capitalism”: profiteering and privatization in the wake of shocks such as 9/11 or Katrina. So when I spot Alan Greenspan’s memoir, The Age of Turbulence, on Nagin’s desk and ask him about it, I’m surprised to learn that he’s not reading it but The Shock Doctrine, which he pulls from his briefcase.

    “I understand exactly the premise that they’re presenting,” Nagin says, holding the book aloft, “that’s for sure. Look, man, after this disaster there is big money! The shock-and-awe piece of what they’re talking about is absolutely correct.” I ask if he’s read the chapter in which Klein laments that the public sphere in New Orleans is “being erased, with the storm used as the excuse.” Nagin replies cheerily, “I haven’t gotten that far! I just picked it up.”
    http://wecouldbefamous.blogspot.com/2008/11/bad-day-gets-worse-for-ray-nagin.html

    Needless to say I hung you onto today’s Ladder.

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