Additional Information on Naomi Klein

Additional Information on Naomi Klein


Klein’s Enormous Influence on the Public

* In November 2002, The Economist described Klein as “the pre-eminent figure … in a worldwide protest movement against companies, free trade and global integration—in effect, against capitalism—that … is the most vigorous expression of leftist sentiment since the 1960s.”

* A December 2008 profile of Klein in The New Yorker called her “the most visible and influential figure on the American left—what Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky were thirty years ago.”

Klein’s Contribution to a 2002 Book

* Klein was a contributor to a 2002 book titled After 9/11: Solutions for a Saner World, a collection of 42 articles that “untangl[e]the knot of our new post-9/11 landscape, tackling every subject from civil liberties to Islamic fundamentalism to economics to sex.” Other contributors to the book, which was published by AlterNet, included Bill MoyersBarbara EhrenreichBarbara LeeArundhati RoyMarc CooperMichael KlareKatrina vanden HeuvelStephen ZunesArianna Huffington, and Robert Reich.

Environmental Hypocrisy

* In the course of promoting her books and delivering her anti-capitalist message to audiences around the world, Klein’s extensive air- and ground-based travels qualify her, by her own telling, for designation as “a climate criminal.” Nevertheless, she vows not to be trapped into “gotcha games” by critics who question her personal habits.

Opposition to Sanctions Against Iraq

* In March 2002, Klein was a signatory to a statement (which appeared in the International Herald Tribune) denouncing the United Nations’ post-Gulf War sanctions against Iraq as “one of the great injustices of our time,” having brought “starvation and disease to millions of innocent Iraqis.” Other signers of the statement included Ramsey ClarkPhyllis BennisThomas NagyNoam ChomskyEdward SaidRichard FalkBishop Thomas J. GumbletonJohn PilgerGeorge GallowayRobert JensenMichael LernerArundhati RoyHoward Zinn, and Harold Pinter.

Portraying Islamic Jihadism and Amti-Americanism As Reactions to U.S. Racism

* Klein has portrayed global Islamic jihadism not as a longstanding tradition within Islam, but rather as a historical aberration provoked chiefly by American racism. For example, in her 2005 article “Terror’s Greatest Recruitment Tool,” Klein writes that Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), an Islamic fundamentalist who helped develop radical political Islam, was deeply influenced by the race-based mistreatment he supposedly endured when he first moved to Colorado in 1948. According to Klein, Qutb at that time witnessed an America that was blind to the suffering of the thousands of Palestinians who were being made permanent refugees by the Zionist project. “So-called Islamist terrorism,” Klein reasons, was actually a “home grown” phenomenon that was “from its inception … the quintessentially modern progeny of Colorado’s casual racism.” Contrary to Klein’s assertion, however, Qutb’s radicalism and commitment to jihad began well before his stay in the U.S.

* In 2005 Klein stated that Muslims’ “rage” against the U.S. was exacerbated by the “lethal cocktail of racism and torture” that America was inflicting on “Arabs and Muslims [who were] being debased in torture chambers around the world.” The terrorists’ “greatest recruitment tool,” she said, is “our racism.”

Addressing Income Inequality

* Klein calls for reducing income inequality by such measures as “taxing the rich and filthy,” “increasing taxes on corporations,” “cutting bloated military budgets,” and “eliminating absurd subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.”


* In 2004 Klein, along with numerous fellow critics of Israel, signed her name, as an act of protest, to a replica of the Separation Wall that had recently been erected as an anti-terrorism barrier in Israel’s West Bank. The construction of the faux partition was organized by War on Want.

Supporting Big Government & Rejecting Private Enterprise

* Klein advocates free universal (government-run) health care for all Americans.

* Klein believes that “a large segment of the economy—such as a national oil company—[should be] held in state hands.”

Viewing the Crimes of Communism As No Worse Than Those of Capitalism

* While claiming to favor accountability for the historical crimes of Communism, Klein demands that supporters of free-market capitalism acknowledge that the transgressions of their own ideological kin have been at least as egregious.

* A Weekly Standard analysis from March 2009 observed that while Klein repudiated “authoritarian Communism,” she did so “always with that qualifier.”

Lukewarm on Barack Obama

* Klein views Barack Obama as basically a run-of-the-mill, status quo politician whose commtment to left-wing economic policies, environmental reforms, and an ever-expanding welfare state is inadequate.

Blaming Capitalism for the Financial Crisis of 2008

* In a September 2008 piece appearing in the Huffington Post, Klein blamed the Wall Street financial crisis not on government intrusion into the market system, but rater, on “radical pro-corporate policies.” She lamented, however, that “nobody should believe the overblown claims that the market crisis signals the death of ‘free market’ ideology.”

Support for “Media Reform”

* In 2005 Klein participated in the Second National Conference for Media Reform, staged by the organization Free Press. Other speakers at the conference included Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange and Code PinkDavid Brock of Media Matters for America; author and radio host Laura Flanders; Bill Fletcher of TransAfrica Forum; Al Franken and Amy Goodman of Air America Radio; Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News; film producer Robert Greenwald; author and commentator Jim Hightower; Janine Jackson of Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingDemocratic Party advisor George Lakoff; Free Press  founder Robert McChesney; and California congresswoman Diane Watson.

Condemning Capitalism and Corporations

* In a 2014 interview , Klein condemned “the reigning, unquestioned ideology that sees privatization as always good, and doesn’t question the logic of austerity, doesn’t question the logic of pro-corporate, free trade deals that have stood in the way of progress on climate.”


* In September 2004, just days before the Republican National Convention, Klein published a piece that said: “[T]here is only one chance for Americans to express their wholehearted rejection of the ongoing war on Iraq: in the streets outside the Republican National Convention. It’s time to bring Najaf to New York.”

Ascribing Sinister Motives to the U.S. Invasion of Iraq

* In September 2004, Klein penned an article for Harper’s Magazine accusing the Bush administration of “Pillaging Iraq in Pursuit of a Neocon Utopia.” In that piece, she wrote:

“The great historical irony of the catastrophe unfolding in Iraq is that the shock-therapy reforms that were supposed to create an economic boom that would rebuild the country have instead fueled a resistance that ultimately made reconstruction impossible…. These dangers are so great that in Iraq global capitalism has retreated, at least for now. For the neocons, this must be a shocking development: their ideological belief in greed turns out to be stronger than greed itself.”

Citing the Iraq War as a classic example of America using the shock doctrine to expand its economic influence across the globe, Klein wrote that “the architects of the invasion had unleashed ferocious violence because they could not crack open the closed economies of the Middle East by peaceful means.” They chose to attack Iraq rather than some other nation, she claimed, because of its “good central location for military bases” and because “Saddam‘s use of chemical weapons on his own people made him easy to hate.” “Had the Bush administration kept its promise to hand over power quickly to an elected Iraqi government,” added Klein, “there is every chance that the resistance would have remained small and containable, rather than becoming a countrywide rebellion. But keeping that promise would have meant sacrificing the economic agenda behind the war, something that was never going to happen.” In short, Klein suggests that the U.S. government deliberately tried to foment the anti-American insurgency—so as to ensure the military occupation’s failure and, by so doing, create the sort of chaos that seemed to justify the imposition of a U.S.-controlled puppet government.

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