A concerning number of young adults obsess over designer brands and labels to enable self-identity and an allowance to be identified by others. Brands trigger a feeling of need to be in a certain social class so as to make individuals feel better about themselves. Not only having these mega corporations take over many individual’s morals, the other important issue coming from the before these companies take over consumers; countries worldwide have relied on natural disasters in order to get a leading advance to benefit their own economies.
Naomi Klein, a Canadian author who has gained a reputation as a social activist and known for her political analysis and criticism of corporate globalization. As well of capitalism seeks the truth behind deregulation, privatization, cuts to social services, and Fordism and post Fordism. Naomi highlights these critical issues to help educate how modern politics is overpowering today’s society.
Klein spent much of her early years in shopping malls, obsessed with the lifestyle of designer labels.
As a child and teenager, she found it “very oppressive to have a very public feminist mother” and having her mother reject politics, instead embracing “full-on consumerism.” Her writing career began with contributions to The Varsity, a student newspaper. After her third year at the University of Toronto, she dropped out of University to take a job at The Globe and Mail. In 1995, she returned to the University of Toronto with the intention of finishing her degree, but soon after left again for a journalism internship.
“I am writing a book about shock. About however, countries area, unit shocked–by wars, terror attacks, coups d’etat and natural disasters. And then however, they’re appalled again–by companies and politicians UN agency exploit the concern and disorientation of this initial shock to erupt economic shock treatment. And how people who dare to resist this shock politics are, if necessary, shocked for a third time–by police, soldiers and prison interrogators.” (Klein 28).
Klein critiques global capitalism and highlights a greater connection to an ongoing crisis today’s society faces. Events such the destruction of New Orleans by Katrina, and the invasion of Iraq, can be seen as opportunistic events by capitalists. The capitalists that work to put a plan in place to get their economic plans to fall in their favor, and by using the natural catastrophes in their favor.
There have been many speculations of countries around the world that have found themselves in an economic drought, that have used war and disasters to regain stability from their economic depression. One of the best known human caused disaster, the terrorist attacks on September 11th. The attack led the world to complete shock and shear terror of the capabilities of humans. Many people were impacted by this attack, and still continue to mourn over it, years after. The United States of America now had a motive for war and terror, which gave it precedence to invade countries like Afghanistan and Iraq as a motive to seek revenge for the Twin Towers attack. Which can support Kleins analysis of a shock doctrine and incidences of disaster-capitalism that she presents in her writing.
The events following the disaster brought on in New Orleans by The Hurricane Katrina is used as another example of “Shock Therapy.” This natural disaster caused thousands of people to go homeless and many people were then forced to evacuate from New orleans. After the disaster, money then had to be put into rebuilding homes to keep the city in tact. Capitalists also saw this as a new scheme to then make money, by re-building newer more lavished homes, causing real estate prices in the neighboring areas to go up increasingly.
“Globalization in effect, means that a global culture is derived for all countries all over the world so that they can all work in a viable and concrete economic environment.” Hurricane Katrina, the natural disaster that caused many deaths, was also in fact responsible for the raised price of real estate all throughout the affected areas in New Orleans. Which is also the “shock therapy” that Klein implies in her analysis.
The rise of logos established the era of “brand identification”, which allowed many companies not to be duty-bound on the quality of their products but focus more on building a reputation of the company. Klein critiques on how the usual business model shifted from a production based strategy to a large advertising market. Companies that embraced this change in trend were willing to spend much on building the company’s name, while shifting the focus off of the quality of the products.
The issues of taking advantage of the working and lower class, by rights as consumers are exploited every time companies provide less quality on products that they advertise, and more of the build up of their name as an overall brand. Brands no longer have put the focus on the quality of their own products, but who has the strongest known presence to consumers. The presence presented to consumers can impact the way our money flows on and out through the economy. Whether it is supporting mega-owned companies who use their money and power for personal gain, or helping locally owned companies flourish with quality products. “If it’s clear by now that the factories don’t bring on taxes or create local infrastructures, and that the goods produced are all exported, why do countries like the Philippines still bend over backwards to lure them inside there borders? The official reason is a trickle-down theory: these zones are job-creation programs and the income the workers earn will eventually fuel sustainable growth on the local economy.” (Klein 210). Locally owned companies can help maintain a steady society where the funds stay local and help one individuals community. These countries will pay their employees as an expectation the money will return right back into brand bullies pockets.
Countries that are still behind on labor and industrial infrastructure, policies are on tact to form mega-corporations sweatshops for the production of their own products. Companies operating in these economies have not any interest to raise benefit to the communities, improve wages, or provide safer conditions, as a result of their governments have very little care to look after the impoverishment in their own country. Brands such as these are eliminating opportunities for these countries to grow and become a stable economy.
Pressure has with success been placed on massive corporations like McDonalds and Shell to review their operating conditions and production practices, that Klein uses as an example of positive social modification.The goal of the anti-corporate movement as being a modification in company behavior, as hostile ending promoting and advertising. “The Ontario Labour Relations Board reviewed the process and found that the behaviour of Wal-Mart managers and supervisors before the vote amounted to “subtle but extremely effective threat”, which caused “the average reasonable employee to conclude that the store would close if the union got in”.”(Klein 241). It promotes social and business responsibility, and it improves shopper alternative inside a given marketplace.
Klein explains that there’s solely such a lot that policy will do, and it’s additionally on people to vary their own behavior to manage brands. several free markets within the world that area unit following free enterprise do comparatively well, therefore those that live there area unit sustaining gratifying lives, not solely economically as well as socially.
Overall, Naomi Klein is a very strong willed writer who choses to challenge the issues of modern society, and gives her audience a chance to think about the world we reside in. Naomi Klein uses real life examples of modern politics to explain the in depth background of deregulation, privatization, cuts to social services. Naomi highlights these critical issues to help educate on the way modern politics is overpowering citizens in hopes to change the perspective of how we view modern society. Her influence is very strong as she writes too inspire and create a better world for future generations to come.