Tyler Cowen on Klein

George Mason economics professor Tyler Cowen has a searing review in the New York Sun today on Naomi Klein’s new screed, The Shock Doctrine. And he tears apart Klein’s illogical and emotional attack on capitalism and the free market.

Here’s a sample of what he says:

Most of the book is a button-pressing, emotionally laden, whirlwind tour of global events over the last 30 years: Katrina, the invasion of Iraq, torture in Chile, the massacre in Tiananmen Square, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The book offers not so much an argument but rather a Dadaesque juxtaposition of themes and supposedly parallel developments in the global market. Above the excited recitation stands Milton Friedman as the überdemon of the march toward global tyranny and squalor.

He also links Klein’s abhorrence of brands in No Logo to her own “branding” of herself:

With “The Shock Doctrine,” Ms. Klein has become the kind of brand she lamented in “No Logo.” Brands offer a simplification of image and presentation, rather than stressing the complexity, the details, and the inevitable trade-offs of a particular product. Recently, Ms. Klein told the Financial Times, “I stopped talking about [the campaign against brands] about two weeks after ‘No Logo’ was published.” She admitted that brands were never her real target, rather they were a convenient means of attacking the capitalist system more generally. In the same interview, Ms. Klein also tellingly remarked, “I believe people believe their own bulls—. Ideology can be a great enabler for greed.”

When it comes to the best-selling “Shock Doctrine,” that is perhaps the bottom line on what Klein herself has been up to.

I earlier had posted on Klein’s weird video promoting her new book. I still haven’t steeled myself to buy her book and add to her coffers — but if someone would lend me a copy?

(Thanks to MarginalRevolution for the link.)