Thursday March 8, 2018

Shock Politics

How shocking events can spark positive change

Things are pretty shocking out there right now -- record-breaking storms, deadly terror attacks, thousands of migrants disappearing beneath the waves and openly supremacist movements rising. Are we responding with the urgency that these overlapping crises demand from us? Journalist and activist Naomi Klein studies how governments use large-scale shocks to push societies backward. She shares a few propositions from "The Leap" -- a manifesto she wrote alongside indigenous elders, climate change activists, union leaders and others from different backgrounds -- which envisions a world after we've already made the transition to a clean economy and a much fairer society. "The shocking events that fill us with dread today can transform us, and they can transform the world for the better," Klein says. "But first we need to picture the world that we're fighting for. And we have to dream it up together."

Naomi Klein is a public intellectual, journalist and activist.

In her first book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, Naomi Klein made a strong case against the takeover of public life by global corporations and brands. She ended that pre-internet essay suggesting as a counterpoint that everyone could become their own "personal brand." In her most recent book, No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need, she analyzes how social media has made the idea of personal branding commonplace -- and how it helped Donald Trump become the first brand-president.

Klein's other books The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate have also energized the global conversation. Klein is a board member of climate-action group and one of the organizers of Canada’s Leap Manifesto, and in 2015 she helped launch Pope Francis’s historic encyclical on ecology. In 2016, she received the Sydney Peace Prize for "inspiring us to stand up locally, nationally and internationally to demand a new agenda for sharing the planet that respects human rights and equality." is distributed twice weekly; Tuesday and Thursday

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