It is hard to believe they do.
Two reviews of Ms. Klein's new book, The Shock Doctrine.
Let me qualify that--I have bad dreams about Naomi Klein. She is, of course, the author of the popular book that attacked the evils of corporate globalization, No Logo. A favorite of the anti-globalization movement, she has recently released another, more ambitious book entitled The Shock Doctrine. The book makes an analogy between electroshock therapy applied to psychiatric patients and the "shock therapy" doctrine of wholesale economic makeover. (Although Jeffrey Sachs is associated with the term, he claims not to like it.) Just as electroshock therapy is designed to break down patients and make them susceptible to reprogramming, economic shock therapy supposedly does the same to entire nations. What else, this kind of shock therapy is often accompanied by coercion. To Klein, it's a cocktail of shocks: "Countries are shocked by wars, terror attacks, coups d’état and natural disasters"; afterwards, “they are shocked again — by corporations and politicians who exploit the fear and disorientation of this first shock to push through economic shock therapy.” Lastly, those who “dare to resist” are shocked for a third time, “by police, soldiers and prison interrogators.”
This exceedingly specious analogy is extended to a number of "case studies": Pinochet's Chile in 1973; the Falklands War in 1982; the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989; the rise of Russian oligarchs in 1993; September 11; the invasion of Iraq in 2003; and Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami. How deliberately conducted electroshock therapy relates to the catastrophic "shocks" of 9/11 (unless you buy the conspiracy theory that a US missile hit the Pentagon) and the 2004 tsunami is not given much explanation. Nor is it explained how the Falklands War, which, if I recall, resulted from the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands, led to liberalization, privatization, and deregulation in England. In effect, Klein tries to conveniently fit events on a Procrustean bed of an analogy by forcing the description of these events to fit an electroshock therapy/shock therapy analogy and its associated corporate-led violence. Muddling up actors, motives, and outcomes doesn't really matter. Aside from those neoliberal Argentineans who foisted liberalization, privatization, and deregulation on the hapless English, we have the Tiananmen massacre being the turning point in China's conversion to "getting rich is glorious," which Deng Xiaoping first uttered in 1979 if I recall correctly.
Needless to say, I would not hesitate to give any paper based on the idea that the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands was done in order to spur neoliberal reforms in Britain or one that suggested Tiananmen spurred China's turn to the market a failing mark. That such faulty logic could be extended to 500+ pages beggars belief. It's not ideological bias on my part. This is one of the very few blogs covering economics topics that has Marxist sources among its links. Nor would it be fair for me as an IPE instructor to deliberately give lower marks to papers that adopted a Marxist-leaning perspective. (Actually, it's often easier for students to write a good essay with such a perspective, but that's another story.) Rather, the faults with Klein's work are not ideological but logical. Even the renowned left-leaning author, the late great Andre Gunder Frank would have said that markets are not newfangled Western corporate contraptions designed to impoverish the world but have existed throughout the Orient since time immemorial.
And from The Guardian
In her delusional, Manichaean world view, privatisation, free markets, private property, consumer freedom, the profit motive and economic freedom are just other terms for corporate self-enrichment, denial of voice, limitation of citizenship, inequality and, sometimes, even torture. The discredited electro-shock psychological treatment of the Fifties, we learn, informed the thought system of the free marketeers; it is guilt by association and assertion rather than proof, a weaknesses of too much of the book.
Nothing good can ever come from globalisation, which is just more capitalism. Democracy, however, is a halcyon world of political and economic co-operation, citizen voice and engagement, with a freely arrived- at assertion of the common interest in which most think along the same lines as, say, Naomi Klein. ...
Klein is so anxious to prove that all capitalism is bad, even, on occasion, relying on torture to get its way, that she never allows for the possibility that markets can deliver beneficial results. Or that the demand for markets comes from the bottom up, as it did in China between 1980 and 1983. Nor, in her account of the shock treatment of the former communist Eastern Europe, does she explain why some countries - the Baltic republics and the Czech Republic - have done so much better than others.
I guess anybody can write a book.