If you haven’t read The Shock Doctrine, you really should. The audiobook is free!

Content warning: Descriptions of torture re: CIA, MkUltra, Cold War torture programs, and so on.

I’ve made this pitch before, but I’m making it again, and I’m going to keep making it. The audiobook for Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine is youtube, and EVERYONE should listen to it, or read a paper or e-book copy. It provides historical context for a lot of what has happened in the world since the 1970s, for what’s happening right now, and for what we can expect from the current COVID-19 crisis, and from the crises we will be seeing from climate change in the coming years. If you believe that healthcare should be available to all, or that everyone should be free to pursue happiness in their own way, then understanding what’s in this book is essential. People with an unimaginable amount of power continue to carry out the tactics described here, and resisting their efforts will require us to be able to understand what’s going on as it’s being done to us. This book is probably the best way to get that understanding.



  1. StevoR says

    Thanks. Will do. I suspect it will be difficult reading given the warnings and state of the world right now. But still.

  2. klatu says

    Okay, so I’ve just binged the entire thing today. I’ve heard the term ‘disaster capitalism’ before, sure, but I never actually sat down to investigate. So thank you, Abe.

    It’s a really good book, first of all. It certainly manages to summarize very succinctly (considering the breadth of the topic) the state of capitalism and its role in many notable disasters in the last few decades. It provides a historical context for why the world is as… fucky as it is.

    Now, there won’t be much new here for anyone already familiar with leftist critiques of capitalism. But Naomie Klein does an amazing job of combining it all into a single thesis. (And it’s inspiring to hear about her personal experiences, often in very risky and dangerous situations)
    And her critique rings very true. I graduated the equivalent of American college in 2009. I remember in the farewell speech, my school principle talking about how much of an opportunity the nascent financial crisis presented. Even back then, I thought that was kind of a sociopathatic thing to say. I joked about it. We all joked about it. Only some of those jokes weren’t jokes, it turns out. I bet some of my classmates went on to become real bastards.

    It’s not a rare stance to take, even. It’s actually an ethos. It’s almost a religion, and Klein kind of makes this point. The way Milton Friedman is talked about by his followers/cronies/disciples/Igors is very telling. When the world’s most powerful people are basically no brighter than the IDW, we all really need to start worrying. Escpecially now that the world’s ecosystems and climate systems and dwindling resources are telling us that we no longer can afford any of this wasteful nonsense…

    I won’t say much more. My only criticism has to be (obligarorily) that she doesn’t provide much of a solution. Yes, people come together after being “shocked”. Great. But how do we prevent getting shocked in the first place?

    Anyway, I’ll stew on this for a bit. And I guess I’ll check youtube for more free audiobooks.

    Much appreciated, Abe.

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