For a thorough and devastating critique of Klein, one must turn to a review by Jonathan Chait, who is no kind of conservative. Chait explains that in Klein’s world the practitioners of free market capitalism are trying to implement their plan to create pro-corporate policies through “the imposition and exploitation of mass trauma.” Everything comes down to that. Most people, he points out, would think that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has to do with things like land, security, religion and ideology. Not Klein. She believes that “Israel decided to provoke bomb blasts in its buses and pizzerias largely…because building blast walls and bomb detectors became more profitable than living in peace.”
That such simplistic claptrap gains thousands of followers- more abroad than at home-is in itself frightening. Chait himself—he is a bona fide left liberal-agrees that there are major problems in America like income inequalities that need to be addressed. But, he concludes, ”Klein’s relentless lumping together of all her ideological adversaries in the service of a monocausal theory of the world ultimately renders her analysis perfect nonsense.”
Neither Klein not her husband think much of or have hopes for Barack Obama. “The main feeling Obama creates in me,” Lewis says, “is fear, because I see people fooling themselves. If you actually look at his policies, what they reflect is the triumph of the right-wing political paradigm since Reagan, and I think he could set things back dramatically.”
The people wanted an anti-war leader, Klein says. But instead, Obama was really saying “we’re going to send more troops to Afghanistan.” Viewing him as a regular politico, Klein accuses him of telling his audience what they want to hear, “and then in the back rooms he’s making deals and signing on to the status quo.” He isn’t, she says, demanding nationalization of the oil companies!
Her hope: point out whenever and wherever she can, that the Wall Street crash proves everything she has been saying. Then the Right will apologize and the Left will triumph.
Naomi Klein will be waiting a long, long time, until some decades later, a new Naomi Klein will carry on the cudgels, and some writer will say how the 2008 Klein is so passé.