According to bestselling author
Naomi Klein, the systemic use of shock and fear by the power elites to
undermine vulnerable communities is very much evident in post-bailout
Greece. From the rise of racism to the sell-off of the country's oil and
natural gas resources – much of what will shape Greece's immediate
future are, she argues, predictable consequences of the politics of
Naomi Klein is the author of controversial New York Times bestseller
The Shock Doctrine, which has been referred to as "the master narrative
of our time". The book argues that business interests and powerful
nations exploit shocks in the form of natural disasters, economic
problems, or political turmoil, as an opportunity to aggressively
restructure vulnerable countries’ economies. She posits that because
ultra-capitalistic policies are harmful to the majority of citizens,
they cannot be implemented without a shock, ranging from media-hyped
anxiety to police torture, that squashes popular resistance. In this
exclusive interview, Klein explains to EnetEnglish how she believes the
Shock Doctrine relates to Greece today.
Klein's The Shock Doctrine (2007) was an
international bestseller and its Greek translation, Το δόγμα του σοκ
(2010), remained a top-seller for many months
How do events in Greece relate to your arguments in The Shock Doctrine?
To me it is a classic example of the things I wrote about. It’s
heartbreaking to see the same tricks and the same tactics being used so
brutally. And there’s been enormous resistance in Greece. It’s
particularly distressing to see the violent repression of the social
movements that were resisting austerity. And it’s just been going on for
so long now. People get worn down.
What I’ve been following recently is the sell-off of natural
resources for mining and drilling. That’s the next frontier of how this
is going to play out – the scramble for oil and gas in the Aegean. And
it’s going to affect Cyprus as well. This is a whole other level of
using austerity and debt to force countries to sell off their mining and
drilling rights for fire sale prices.
When you add the climate crisis on top of that it is
particularly culpable that you have an economic crisis being used as
leverage to extract more fossil fuels, especially because Greece itself
very climate vulnerable. And I think its possible that, as the scramble
for oil and gas heats up, there will be more resistance because it’s a
huge threat to Greece’s economy...