Believe me, The Shock Doctrine is an excellent book. It’s well written, an eye-opener of current, and past, economics and social issues. But at the same time it fails in some aspects, always portraying what is left of the right as the best solution and what is right of the left as the bad alternative.
As any good leftist writing, the book tries to explain facts that don’t fit on the perfect picture the author is trying to paint (I bet right-wing authors would do the same). When explaining about the Argentinean and Chilean dark years, Naomi Klein mentions en passant, Brazil as another example of Friedmanism economics. She dedicates long passages of the book to the Cone Sul, which Brazil is also part of (in less extent than Argentina and Chile) and sometimes she puts Brazil in the mix of some economic decisions in the region. It turns out, although under a dictatorship regime, a right-wing one, Brazil never “suffered” of Friedmanism, the ports were not open, no privatization, no liberal agenda. That would happen firstly with a right-wing elected president and secondly with a left-wing elected president. The author also fails to understand that South-America left and right are identical, and some of the centre is always in power, no matter who is power.
Also, in one of the final chapters of the book, Naomi starts to praise the new “leadership” of South America, Lula, Chavez, Correa, Zulaya, Morales and the whole gang of perfect latin-american idiots and the whole gang of illiterate that vote on them. In one the passages she mentions that Evo Morales sent “the Army to take back the gas fields from multinational ‘plunderers’”. The so-called multinational plunderers were the Brazilian gas and oil company, Petrobras, which is a public company managed by the government of Brazil, praised in the book for showing a new style of leadership.
I don’t think Naomi Klein will ever read this page, but if she does I have an advice for her. Naomi, you’re Canadian, and apparently a competent person. I was born in Brazil, and left the country six years ago, and now I live in Canada. So, my southern spot is open, you can take it. Go live in Brazil, Naomi, but not for six months and guided by someone from the “social movement”. Go find a job, go raise a family, go buy food, a car, be shot on the streets. Go see how the left-wing (at least the label is) is so corrupt as any other any-wing government. Go see the hospitals, the palaces from the senators, go buy your book with a ten fold price increase. I guess only the ones that suffered through a populist South American government should be allowed to write a book about them.