A Crisis Response that Builds from Emergency to Transformation
Naomi Klein: Thirteen years ago, I wrote a book about how the Right has used moments of shock and upheaval to ram through economic and social policies that would never pass in normal times. The conservative economist Milton Friedman best described the approach that I came to call “The Shock Doctrine”:
“Only a crisis-actual or perceived-produces real change. When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.”
There’s no question that this pandemic, and the economic upheaval around COVID-19 is exactly the kind of crisis that Friedman described — and that how we respond to it will be shaped by who fights harder for their ideas today and in the weeks to come.
My friends: this is no time to lose our nerve. Thank you for your work, your courage and your care for others during this time.
“Moments of shock are volatile. We either lose ground, get fleeced by elites, and pay the price for decades, or we win progressive victories that seemed impossible just a few weeks earlier. This is no time to lose our nerve.” – Naomi Klein