Fascinating Naomi Klein book review

No, by Klein, not of a Klein book. The conclusion:

This need not have been the case. Fraser spares only a few short paragraphs for those movements that are attempting to overcome the obstacles he documents — student-debt resisters, fast-food and Walmart workers fighting for a living wage, regional campaigns to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour or the various creative attempts to organize vulnerable immigrant workers. We hear absolutely nothing directly from the leaders of these contemporary movements, all of whom are struggling daily with the questions at the heart of this book.

That’s too bad. Because if hope is to be credible, we need to hear not just from yesterday’s dreamers but from today’s as well.

Isn’t that just great?

“Naomi Klein gives this book two stars only as it doesn’t mention Naomi Klein and her friends enough”.

5 thoughts on “Fascinating Naomi Klein book review”

  1. Fraser spares only a few short paragraphs for those movements that are attempting to overcome the obstacles he documents

    Hmm, perhaps there’s a reason for that. The book is subtitled “The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power”, and is by a “labor historian” – which is a polite term for “pinko academic who has never had to do a real job in his life”.

    So, I’m guessing the book is about heroic tales of broad-shouldered union brothers knocking hell out of the Pinkertons, Rosie the Riveter types demanding fairer pay, and maybe a bit about the Bonus Army.

    It would quite spoil the effect if he were to cast the spotlight on:

    student-debt resisters – pampered, privileged perma-children crying about how the masters degree in feminist film studies they voluntarily got into debt for isn’t worth anything in the job market, and therefore everybody else should pay.

    fast-food and Walmart workers fighting for a living wage – sadly delusional left-hand-of-the-Bell-Curve types demanding that a part time burger-flipping or shelf-stacking job usually filled by teenagers or folks with learning difficulties should pay enough for them to buy a house and raise a family on.

    regional campaigns to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour – regional campaigns to abolish jobs.

    the various creative attempts to organize vulnerable immigrant workers – the various doomed creative attempts to pretend that you can have a million dirt-poor, unskilled illegal immigrants flooding into your country every year, and also have high wages and expansive welfare spending for everyone, because the jury’s still out on Supply and Demand curves, right?

    So that’ll be why this paean to the spirit of John Henry doesn’t dwell too much on his neon-haired, facially-pierced, perpetually-whining supposed successors among the Occupy crowd, fat-arsed lefty academic wafflers, and whatnot. Readers might draw the wrong conclusions – which is to say, the correct conclusions.

  2. I fondly recall Klein’s book No Logo featuring a section on some class warriors who where opposing the building of the Link Road between Hackney and the start of the M11.

    The group were based in squats in Claremont Road near Leytonstone and had built a intense fortification with guard towers, corrugated iron fencing and concrete traps, to prevent it’s destruction. However, the only reason they existed was due to to a couple of legitimate elderly residents who refused to move, when one of them agreed to go into a plush council house, and the other fell over and had to be moved to sheltered housing, the police then moved in swiftly and the protesters were cleared out within a week. I always recall the demolition revealed one house had a pile of tyres behind it as big as the house itself.

    I travelled by tube at the time, the section near Leytonstone is overland and I would watch the progress of the rise and fall of Claremont Road every day.

    I eventually moved to Hackney and frequently travelled to outer Essex using the same Link Road, in my opinion the campaigners were freaking nuts as the travel time was massively cut and it removed the blight of heavy traffic on the East End communities. The houses they knocked down were the same design as the ones my grandparents lived in when they were in nearby Leyton, the were basically cold, dark and damp slums, with Victorian kitchens and toilets you had to go outside and come back in again to use.

    The protesters just moved on, probably joining up with Swampy and his mates at Newbury, the reality was they couldn’t give a cr*p about East End communities and if they ever did they’d have been in favour of the road. In the end their campaigning just cost the taxpayer vast amounts in policing and legal expenses and achieved nothing. These are the kind of brats Klein adores, they’re all mouth and no trousers hippies (literally).


  3. And why are the criminal class overlooked. They toil to profit without actual work. They supply democratically needed drugs and redistribute wealth. And what thanks do they get.
    Well quite a bit at times I suppose.

  4. $15 an hour equates to nearly £400 per week or slightly more than four times JSA. So any job that is worth more than JSA but not four times more would be outlawed.
    Maybe Naomi Klein pays thge girl who trims her toenails so much that she cannot envisage a job paying less than the average GDP/head (on a Purchasing Power Parity basis, so I am avoiding exchange rate distortions) for five-sixths of the countries in world. Maybe she is so stupid that the only reason she is not accused of being punch-drunk is that she is female or maybe she is following Arthur Scargill in trying to create an underclass of unemployed/unemployable who will form cannon-fodder for the red revolution.
    Whatever! I should get bored if I was not allowed to work for less than $15/hour (some days I’ve earned more, occasionally a lot more, than ten times as much, and most of my income comes from those days but the really interesting jobs involve hours and hours and hours of research and dozens of hours working on them).

  5. bloke (not) in spain

    O/T but more trouble with numbers this morning:

    “Open Europe estimates that, under the protectionist scenario, leaving the EU would cost 2.2 per cent of GDP by 2030. Alternatively, if we embrace free trade, roll back damaging regulation, and take a balanced approach to economic migration, then we could be more successful outside the EU than within. In such a scenario, we could add at least 1.6 per cent to GDP by 2030.”


    Shouldn’t that be 2.2% or 1.6% of GROWTH/DECLINE?

    Save Tim the bother.

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