Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A hack job on Naomi Klein: "Outside Agitator: Naomi Klein and the New New Left

From the New Yorker. Obviously, the people at the New Yorker think it's more important to point out that Naomi Klein's grandparents were lefties than it is to actually look at and analyze her ideas. The article presents a person who doesn't resemble the Naomi Klein who folks have been reading for years but instead some person synthesized from a reporter's idea of what people on the left look like and sound like. For being about a "new new left" it says virtually nothing about anti-globalization folks, preferring to make Klein and her husband into demonic figures ready to put people into labor camps. People Who Have To Be Stopped could be the subtitle of the article.

*on edit: Seriously. I guess that there wasn't enough dirt that she could dig up about Naomi Klein and her husband so she spent more paragraphs talking about their grandparents than she did about Klein's activism and thoughts. I've never seen that; she must have been desperate to make her ideological point.

That would be Larissa MacFarquhar.

*on edit: not surprisingly, it turns out that Larissa MacFarquhar is the author of "The Devil's Accountant", a piece about Noam Chomsky published in the New Yorker in 2003.


Anonymous said...

Hack job? The Shock Doctrine is the most thoroughly discredited public policy book of the last 10 years. It's been destroyed by right-wing statists, left-wing statists (e.g., the New Republic), and even non-statists (e.g., Cato). It is truly astounding that anyone still takes this woman seriously.

John Madziarczyk said...

So I take it that you feel it's okay to focus on a person's grandparents and their political affiliations instead of examining said ideas. And by okay I mean decent journalism.

Anonymous said...

The potential sources of the sociopathy are not fair game? I suppose that it's possible that she wasn't influenced by her grandparents, but I wouldn't presume it to be true. Her devotion to collectivist coercion would be quite a coincidence if her upbringing played no role.

John Madziarczyk said...

But you're assuming that your point has been proven. Even if the Shock Doctrine was discredited totally, which I don't believe it was, the author would still have to make the case for why it was wrong in the article. The idea that the reason that Klein believes what she believes is because she has a kind of sociopathy caused by her upbringing is another layer of argument that's not proven, even if the Shock Doctrine itself proves to be false.