Thursday, October 04, 2007

Shock Doctrine















4 comments:

  1. abbass12:32 AM

    "32 free market solutions for Hurrican Katrina"..

    .."and then, just for the hell of it, allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve, because THEY'RE PSYCHOTIC"

    indeed

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  2. spsychotic and rational at once.

    was a good speech; i think this approach of setting up a single, oft repeated theme and organise around a theme - of shock, which is a good emphatic resonant word too - is a good tactic even though its strained (falklands war hardly shocked the british, it's another kind of tactic); by repeatedly stating/overstating the theme of shock treatment, she manages to emphasise the violence and cunning, the premeditated scientific violence; but if she said "violence and cunning", she would risk sounding militant and old fashioned, so sixties, so fifties, so 1918, so 1848, so 1789, so populist so this and that unfashionable. This was a good solution - the shock, the practises of torture as metaphor and analogy, and then all the violence and cunning brought under this title of shock. The best thing about this rhetorical strategy is it repeatedly puts capital in the role of torturer without her having to say that, and be immediately dismissed as shrill, exaggerating and paranoid; she evades the standard ripostes which turn the conversation to the individual psychology of capitalists and policymakers ("oh, you're not actually saying Margaret Thatcher wanted to hurt people!!!! You're not really saying uncle Miltie was eeeeevil!") With this theme of shock she just implicitly places them in the torturer's position. It's a very clever preemptive solution to the problems involved in telling the history she wants to tell and making the connections she wants to make in mainstream environments. It wouldn't be bad even if it got picked up by general discourse and became a platitude, so that every time there is an attempt at the provocation of an artificial crisis - like the protests against the Danish cartoons - you could just say "there they go again with their shock doctrine" and deflate the emotion and irrationality bubble.

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  3. metaphor, analogy and indispensible component, I should say

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  4. abbass3:39 PM

    Yes, U are correct. It's a very useful and clever rhetorical strategy.

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