Just Say No to Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein has made a career giving guidance to the dumbest segment of the juvenile left. Each new generation brings a new crop of kids susceptible to the siren song of Marxism. With movie-star looks and a fake humble act, Klein repackages Marxism, explaining to her star-struck acolytes, most of whom probably never heard of Marx, that evil billionaires and scheming corporate bosses are conspiring to further oppress every oppressed group. Her act sells millions of books. Her mama didn't raise any dumbbells.
Her latest book is No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. The book was hurriedly written so that it would be published before people became used to having Trump as president. Klein describes Trump's election as a naked corporate takeover. Apparently, much of the corporate establishment was only pretending to be in Hillary's camp.
Klein explains the world by shoehorning the real world into Marxist categories. Some of the people in Trump's Cabinet are wealthy – proof for Klein that scheming capitalists have taken over the government.
Klein is a dual American-Canadian citizen. Her parents fled the U.S. for Canada in 1967 to escape military service and jail.
According to Klein, the meaning of Trump's election is that a "gang of predatory lenders, planet-destabilizing polluters, war and 'security' profiteers joined forces to take over the government and protect their ill-gotten wealth."
What do predatory lenders and planet-destabilizing polluters have in common? Perhaps the predatory lenders enable people to buy cars so that the planet-destabilizing polluters can sell gasoline – obviously a sinister conspiracy. Planet-destabilizing pollution is a political slogan, not a scientific category.
Lockheed Martin, presumably a war profiteer, made 8% profit on sales. Apple, presumably not a war profiteer, made 21%. It must be that the profits of war are depressed.
The far left, when it obtains political power, always suppresses its opponents. In the U.S., if the hard left obtained power, the opposition would be demonized as racists or promoters of hate. Their fate would be a prison camp or worse. Thugs would be utilized to beat up or kill opposition figures and reporters.
When the left does not hold power, it holds itself out as the protector of wronged people and wronged groups. That is a strategy for building political support. Naomi Klein constantly invokes a long list of groups supposedly wronged by capitalism.
Here is how Klein, bizarrely, describes Trump's electoral appeal:
It is this complex mix of factors that allowed Trump to come along and say: I will champion the beleaguered working man. I will get you those manufacturing jobs back. I'll get rid of these free trade agreements. I'll return your power to you. I'll make you a real man again. Free to grab women without asking all those boring questions. Oh, and the most potent part of Trump's promise to his base: I will take away the competition from brown people, who will be deported or banned, and Black people, who will be locked up if they fight for their rights. In other words, he would put white men safely back on top once again.
This is a clear attempt, a pathetic attempt, to incite racial animus if not a race war. White men are parodied as mean-spirited and lording it over women, brown people, and black people. This is Klein dropping the sweet and humble act and baring her fangs. If only she and her allies can tear the country apart by inciting racial animus, there might be an opening for the left to obtain political power.
Fortunately, Trump was elected president, and Naomi Klein is a lefty gadfly.
Global warming/climate change is a natural leftist cause. If we aren't swearing off fossil fuels, it must be due to the sinister influence of corporate America. So, to get the maximum political mileage, global warming is depicted as unquestioned science – something like the law of gravity. Given that, if we are not eliminating carbon dioxide emissions, it must be because capitalist forces are selfishly, for profit, spreading confusion and lobbying against saving the world.
Klein explains that skepticism concerning global warming is motivated by selfish considerations:
Because climate change, especially at this late date, can only be dealt with through collective action that sharply curtails the behavior of corporations such as ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs. It demands investments in the public sphere – in new energy grids, public transit and light rail, and energy efficiency – on a scale not seen since the Second World War. And that can only happen by raising taxes on the wealthy and on corporations, the very people Trump is determined to shower with the most generous tax cuts, loopholes and regulatory breaks.
Klein sees everything through political glasses. It does not matter that global warming stopped 18 years ago, or that that large numbers of qualified scientists doubt or denounce the computer projections of global warming from CO2. Following Klein's climate program would not have much effect on CO2 emissions, given that China is the main emitter of CO2 and is rapidly growing its CO2 emissions. Klein's only interest in global warming is its utility as a tool for promoting leftist politics.
Klein's previous 2014 book is This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. That book has the theme that in order to save the climate, we have to get rid of capitalism, or at least capitalism as we know it.
Socialism, or heavy-handed control of the economy by the state, has been discredited due to the failure of the socialist model in the Soviet Union, China, and other places. Except in relics like Cuba, free-market capitalism is favored because it has proven itself as the best means for creating wealth and improving the lot of the population. Klein calls free-market capitalism "Neoliberalism" and denounces it as a plot by the wealthy to further enrich themselves and oppress the vast majority of people.
Klein herself is as much a relic as is Cuba. She denounces Neoliberalism but embraces Neo-Marxism with religious intensity.
Neo-Marxism hides it true, totalitarian nature. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing. The appeal of Neo-Marxism is that it is a substitute for traditional religion. It gives meaning to the lives of people whose religious impulse in previous times would have had expression in Christianity or Judaism. The Neo-Marxists hold forth with a long list of mostly imaginary grievances that could be corrected if only the evil rich people could be moved out of the way. The ideology has little relation to reality, which is why it always turns totalitarian when the Marxists actually gain political power. When Marxists gain power and try to implement their impractical program, the result is a disaster, and their reaction is not to give up their ideology, but to resort to totalitarian methods to impose it.
Norman Rogers writes often on environmental and political subjects.