"The Shock Doctrine": A Deliberate Destruction of the Free Market

One of the purposes of existence is to serve one another so that we might become equal. This is the essence of the free market, as well as of the "Invisible Hand" of which the great economist Adam Smith wrote. Yet despite what free market principles may have been espoused lately, America has not had a truly free market for decades.

Achieving a truly free market is not done by taking advantage of catastrophe, or by tearing down in order to build up. Yet through exactly such tearing down, referred to by author Naomi Klein as "The Shock Doctrine", the United States has promulgated a counterfeit version of the free market that has given freedom in general a bad name.

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The Soviet Union was a powerful machine, but it was much less powerful than American foreign policy gave it credit for. Based on a fraudulent representation of the Soviet Threat in the western hemisphere, the free market has come to have an undeserved bad name. As a result, nearly all of the American foreign policy that was conducted in the name of free markets was actually conducted to the advantage of the elite, both in and out of government.

We got ourselves into our current mess by countering the Brezhnev Doctrine with what we might call the "Nixon Doctrine", wherein the US allegedly protected the free market in Latin America against the supposed Soviet bogeyman, but what it really did was protect the "rights" of elite American corporations at the expense of the general populaces of those countries. It is hard for us to complain about the use of force when we have grown accustomed to using force ourselves. America would be in a much more healthy situation today domestically if historically our foreign policy had been about persuasion rather than force.

As a result of America's misanthropic foreign policy, today's national political climate can be divided into two large factions (with a substantial and growing minority that subscribes to neither false doctrine):

1. Those who gain political advantage by claiming to believe that the power of government should be used to force the equality of all people through government control.

2. Those who gain political advantage by claiming that the power of government should be used to force the equality of all people through the use of supposed free markets.

Although many people reflexively believe that faction #2 described above authentically supports a free market, in reality, neither faction does. (I am beginning to think that the recent Tea Parties across America are a reaction of more and more people to the realization that neither major political party advocates a truly free market.)

Equality cannot be achieved through force. Neither can freedom. The greater "sin", however, lies on the heads of those who aggrandize themselves on the backs of those whom they have tried to convince that freedom can be compelled. Like their counterparts in compulsion, they have failed.

In a masterful way, Naomi Klein, in her most recent book, The Shock Doctrine castigates these faux free marketeers:
The role of the government in this unending war is not that of an administrator managing a network of contractors, but of a deep-pocketed venture capitalist.
Klein refers to the phenomenon as "The Shock Doctrine" because the malevolent destroyers of market have learned to quickly seize upon catastrophe in order to remake society in their image. Examples of such shocks--whether manufactured or exploited--range from the military takeover by Augusto Pinochet of Chile in 1973, the Chinese massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989, the attacks on America on 9/11, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and the "Shock and Awe" used by the George W. Bush administration in attempt to beat the entire Iraqi population into abject submission to their American overlords.
When the long-awaited disaster strikes, they know instantly that their moment has come at last. Best understood as a "disaster capitalism" complex, it has much farther reaching tentacles than the military-industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned against... This is a global war fought on every level by private companies whose involvement is paid for with public money...

A more accurate term for this system that erases the boundaries between Big Government and Big Business is not liberal, conservative, or capitalist, but corporatist. Its main characteristics are huge transfers of public wealth to private hands, often accompanied by exploding debt, an ever-widening chasm between the dazzling rich and the disposable poor, and an aggressive nationalism that justifies bottomless spending on security.
A correct understanding of the seeming but non-existent dichotomy of American foreign policy history over the last few decades gives us great insight into current controversies, such as the economic collapse of 2008 and the health care debate of 2009. It has been decades since the main debate has been between government force and freedom of choice. Instead, nearly every American alive today has been force fed their entire lives with a constant dialectical diet of two competing methods of government coercion.

It would be as refreshing as a pool of spring water if actual free market principles could become once again a part of the political debate in America. That won't happen, however, until America rids itself of a substantial majority of both sides of the fake debate we thought we'd been having all these years.

It is time to quit voting for a candidate from the Party of the Lesser of Two Evils. It's time to give freedom a chance.



Comments

  1. Great article

    To be honest are system of free markets and freedom in general died with Woodrow Wilson. He used WWI as the "shock" to enact the Federal income tax, the Federal reserve, including the IRS. The League of Nations which would be the precursor to the United Nations designed to establish a world government.

    Big Business hates free markets and loves Socialism. Just look how big business is fighting hard for socialized medicine and pushing hard for cap'n trade and other non-free market entities.

    Who benifits from a free market? Small business and regular people. In a true free market there would be a lot of mom and pop stores and less Walmarts. the one stop shopping might be more convenient but we have sacrificed quality, higher wages and competition.

    Competition is the essence of a free market. Even though Walmart's prices may be lower the quality is low and it takes advantage of slave labor in China and other places. In a true free market their would be little room for sub par quality because someone else will always be willing an able to sell higher quality at a lower price.

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  2. I agree that the Federal income tax and IRS are bad, I believe that the Federal reserve has save the nation from more problems then it has caused.

    I support Mike Huckabee's Tax proposals. Getting rid of income tax's both personal and corporate would put our industry's on a much more even footing with foreign industry's importing goods to our nation.

    I have to completely disagree with your assessment about Walmart however. They are the result of an organization using economy's of scale to bring products to sale cheaper. In fact many small business's do fine against Walmart its the medium sized retailers that have been all but obsoleted by them.

    As to your comment about Big Business pushing for socialized medicine, Health care is not a market or at the very least is a grossly atypical market. In the Supple and demand equation for example demand is not a function of price or supple, Demand is a function of the disease rate and changes in supple or price have little to no effect on it. If we look at the nature of disease we can find other atypical behaviors in the health care market as well, for example if the family in the house next to mine doesn't own a car or has a crappy car it does not effect the quality of my car, But if they have no health care or bad health care their disease's can easily become my disease "see link below". Lets move on to consumer driver principals of the market. In a car accident for example if you are injured the ambulance is going to take you to the nearest hospital that can treat your injury's not the cheapest one or the one chosen by your insurance company or by some other consumer driven decision. Then we have the insurance company now this is the biggest thing that removes consumer driven principals from the health care market, you don't negotiate pricing with your doctor, you don't negotiate pricing with your hospital. Many services are vastly beyond the affordability of an individual so insurance spreads the risk out among their policy holders removing consumer driven principals from those services as well.

    Developing World's Parasites, Disease Hit U.S.

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  3. As long as we insist on seperating the payer from the patient, medicine will always be an expensive commodity. If we only had insurance for catastrophic expenses and paid our of our pockets for routine health care and medicine it would be vastly cheaper than it is today.

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