"Stories to Masturbate to"

— I'm proud to report that the Fly Bottle is #2 in this search on AOL, just after “A Special Weekend” by D. at Spinkle's Golden Showers! [WARNING: For the love of sweet Jesus DO NOT READ “A Special Weekend” by D. at Sprinkle's Golden Showers!!! Just don't.]

[To National Review Readers: Sorry about this, didn't know you were coming. I repeat: DO NOT READ THE STORY. I mean it.]

  • Awesome.

    This is a great thing for the “Naomi Klein” googlers to find.

  • But other than that, Naomi Klein is groovy.

  • Sjenks

    “Ms. Klein’s rhetoric is ridiculous. For instance, she attaches import to the fact that the word “tank” appears in the label “think tank.””

    Tyler has to be making this up, right???

  • Greg N.

    You’re right that in the long run Klein is irrelevant, but it doesn’t feel that way. I won’t be satsified until the more smug on the left are embarrassed to use her “arguments.” As it stands, and for whatever reason I think they think Klein is the trump card to the liberal arguments developed over the last 800 years or so. And that’s irritating. Maybe if we ignore her she’ll go away, but my fear is that unless we crush her absolutely, Sun-Tzu style, the left will always think she (and they) got the better of us.

  • Klein embarrasses herself by her own hypocrisies. For all her rants against commercialism and markets, she sells her book on amazon.com. Wouldn’t she be better off forming a collective community, in which anyone who desires a copy of her book can receive one for free, so long as he does something according to his ability? Or why not team up with Jong Il or Castro to mass distribute it for free, thus demonstrating to the rest of us how the state can elevate the masses out of woeful ignorance?

  • Greg N.

    I’m sure she would, provided everyone else did the same. That’s the standard reply to that argument from the far left.

  • John V

    A big problem with the Left is the murky line between the likes of Brad DeLong and many of his posters. Brad knows Klein is BS. Yet, if you read the comments section, you the dimness that dominates his readership and that of other liberal economics blogs. I’d be embarrassed. It’s sad to see and it’s actually a bit annoying that the brighter minds of the Left like DeLong (and Stiglitz as Cowen shows) won’t slap down the sheer economic ignorance that occupies large swaths of his ideological company.

  • Tushar

    John V you took the words out of my mouth. I respect DeLong and read him almost every although as a libertarian i obviously disagree with him many a times. But his comments section is a complete gutter swamp and I avoid it.

  • Brian

    This post is nothing more than a several hundred word ad hominem attack. Label her a Marxist, a communist, a hack, a conspiracy theorist, and on and on. Package it with some rhetorical flourishes, slap a bow on it, and you’ve got your standard issue smear. But, at all costs, don’t address what Klein _actually says_. Because to do that, one would have to actually exit the comfort of one’s received ideological wisdom. Ugh.

    • Brian,

      Which of those labels do you think are wrong, or even controversial?

      I think she deserves everything Will dished up and more.

      I don’t mind that she’s a socialist, or that her world-view is insanely stupid, or that she has become incredibly successful and popular spreading her drivel.

      But, I do mind that she’s left such a terrible impression of Milton Friedman in the minds of many people who may never learn that the truth is the opposite of what she says and implies.

      And, remember, this is a blog post. It doesn’t have to be a scholarly article. It’s just what Will wanted to write about the search term “Naomi Klein”. I think it was perfectly suited for that purpose.

    • Rubbadubdubicus

      A thorough critique of The Shock Doctrine already exists. It’s called “The Klein Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Polemics” by Johan Norberg, and is on the Cato Institute website. It addresses all of what Klein says and reveals much of it to be not only incorrect, but slanderous of Milton Friedman, a great humanitarian and pacifist.

      Considering that, Will’s post is a very articulate summation of what many market liberals think about Klein.

  • Sigivald

    In fairness to Rorty – despite my being a staunch anti-Communist – I read the struggle against avoidable human misery not as a claim that misery is per se avoidable, but as a claim to struggle against that portion of misery which is avoidable.

    That is, the same old (and in itself unobjectionable) Marxist desire to improve the material conditions of the masses.

    (I further suspect that in his talk about replacing the slogans, “banal and untheoretical” refers to the wording rather than the content; “anticapitalist struggle” having become a set of codewords referring to Marxist theoretical constructs, while the replacement phrase contains words meaning exactly what they say in common language.)

  • berger

    The use of Rorty here is priceless. If there’s one thing that Rorty is not doing in this essay its offering a logical argument refutating Marxism – the very idea of such a refutation is antithetical to his whole epistemology…so what does it say about the philosophical defense of Milton if it has to turn to Rorty and his many narratives?

    Tthere seems to be little attention here not only to Rorty’s actual thought (particularly the role of literatire in it) but also concern for the meanings of words banal and untheoretical (though by the end of his complaint Will comes around to what R had in mind).

    • Peter

      berger,

      Thank you for noting how off-target Will and his commentators are in their assessment of Rorty, his ideas, and his language. Indeed, as you recognize, Will criticizes Rorty by all but plagiarizing the terminology and thrust of Rorty’s own claims.

      If one cannot see that “banal” is a positive term in Rorty’s vocabulary — precisely because it is pragmatic and not theoretical, reformist and not revolutionary, based on the struggles of consensus and not on the revelations of apocalyptic Truth (secular, sacred, or ideological) — then a closer reading is definitely in order. Rorty is nothing if not deflationary. His is a liberalism of doubt, not dogma.

  • Knemon

    “Tyler has to be making this up, right???”

    No. The line is something like “think tanks – by which I mean people paid to think by the makers of tanks.” Funny cuz it’s a homonym.

    “a logical argument refutating Marxism”
    1) Refutating?
    2) Dunno how “logical” this is, but how about: It’s failed miserably every time it’s been tried? Sorta like a “logical” argument against unaided human flight …

  • ericccr

    does will have the balls to debate klein on bliggingheadstv???

  • Hell yes. If they can book her, I’ll debate her.

    • Cool Cal

      I would love to see that. What truly infuriates me about Klein, Maher, Olbermann, Maddow, Chomsky, etc. is perfectly articulated by a sentiment by Malcolm Muggeridge (arguably an extremist himself near the end). He once mused that in the long run Roosevelt was far worse than Mussolini, because while Mussolini had been discredited, Roosevelt continued to be hailed as a great man. Now many may disagree on the virtue of the comparison (Amity Shlaes perhaps would not), but the logic applies. While polite, that is coastal liberal urbane, society rejects O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Coulter, and Limaugh as know-nothing boors, the Huffington Post gang of previous mention is nevertheless respected as a throng of legitimate commentators, journalists, and intellectuals. But I challenge even the most ardent leftist of any serious intellect to accept that a man, whose program has as its centerpiece a constantly updated list of the ten worst people in the world, is any more a legitimate journalist than his Fox counterpart.

    • Greg N.

      How about a more formal debate like those Economist things in NYC?

  • Cameron McCormack

    I think it’s ridiculous that some of you are either hinting at, or directly saying that what Klein has done doesn’t matter. I don’t have a strong pull to either side of this argument, because honestly I just don’t know enough about it to make a stance. What I do know is that what Klein has done is convince a lot of people, whether on well founded grounds or not, that her views are correct. In turn there will certainly be more people gravitating to the left. I’m sure she will also solidify some quasi-right thinkers into a mind set to defend their weak believes (“weak” referring to their level of conviction; not their arguments), but the overall effect will be more of a shift to the left. Whether you agree with her or not, it’s hard to refute that “The Shock Doctrine” was a compelling book that has been read by a lot of people in a lot of different countries. It will and has had an effect on people, and whether she’ll be forgotten in the end or not her sentiments will live on (for better or worse). And truth be told, if what she’s done doesn’t matter we all wouldn’t be responding to this blog.

  • GOD

    O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I blessed you more than any other people, Beware of the day when no soul can avail another soul, no intercession will be accepted, no ransom can be paid, nor can anyone be helpedRecall that we saved you from Pharaoh’s people who inflicted upon you the worst persecution, slaying your sons and sparing your daughters. That was an exacting test from your Lord. Recall that we parted the sea for you; we saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s people before your eyes.
    Yet, when we summoned Moses for forty nights, you worshipped the calf in his absence, and turned wicked, Still, we pardoned you thereafter that you may be appreciative. Recall that we gave Moses scripture and the statute book, that you may be guided.”
    We made a covenant with the Children of Israel:… We made a covenant with you, that you shall not shed your blood, nor shall you evict each other from your homes. You agreed and bore witness. Yet, here you are killing each other, and evicting some of you from their homes, banding against them sinfully and maliciously. Even when they surrendered, you demanded ransom from them. Evicting them was prohibited for you in the first place. Do you believe in part of the scripture and disbelieve in part? What should be the retribution for those among you who do this, except humiliation in this life, and a far worse retribution on the Day of Resurrection? GOD is never unaware of anything you do.

    Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. (Al-Baqarah)