No Is Not Enough

noisnotenough

I finally finished this book, published as a response to Donald Trump winning the last presidential election.

It wasn’t easy going, because there’s so much information to take in. And the disturbing nature of a lot of that information made it  a book to tackle bit by bit rather than a book that could be raced through.

Parts of it have quickly become outdated, but instead of undermining Klein’s message, that actually makes it more relevant. Those parts are outdated because of who Trump is, and how he operates. It is outdated because so many of Trump’s appointed staff referred to in the book have all been fired; as if his Presidency has been a continuation of his career as The Apprentice host. A reality TV presidency.

A major point that Klein makes is that Trump is all about Trump. That his presidency has become an extension, and the ultimate expression, of his brand. A  “property developer” who develops no property. Others pay him millions of dollars for the right to affix his name to their buildings. The presidency increases the “value” of that brand.
That has also been one of the issues raised by Michael Cohen’s recent testimony (see below) *

This book  synthesizes the content of her previous major publications: No Logo, The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything,  showing how Trump’s electoral win ought not to have been unexpected. Instead a Trump presidency  is the logical culmination of the kind of political, social and cultural paths that Klein has been studying and writing about for more than two decades.

No Is Not Enough also lives up to its own title. It does not merely point to problems but leads to a discussion of positive action to bring the change needed to turn us towards a more equitable and sustainable future.

…a plan for tangible improvements in daily life, unafraid of powerful words such as redistribution and reparation, and intent on challenging Western culture’s equation  of a “good life” with ever-escalating creature comforts inside ever-more-isolated consumer cocoons, never mind what the planet can take or whatever leads to our deepest fulfillment”

 

 

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* Article with related content, from Gary Younge, a Guardian columnist:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/28/donald-trump-michael-cohen-racist-conman-america

“Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great … He would often say this campaign was going to be the greatest infomercial in political history.”

The presidency was never the point. He had no idea that the political establishment would be so craven and career politicians be so inept that he might prevail. “He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election. The campaign – for him – was always a marketing opportunity.”

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4 thoughts on “No Is Not Enough

  1. https://portside.org/2019-03-04/death-charity-dark-side-decluttering
    ……..

    Charity distracts us. And, more generally, charity reconciles the immorality of extreme inequality by attributing morality to the people and institutions that benefit from it. While charity redistributes some wealth, it does so through a mechanism that justifies its unequal distribution. It ensures that there are always people sufficiently impoverished to rely on a corporation’s charitable handouts — and that we are sufficiently grateful to not question the need for handouts.

    ….

    But charity is dependent upon our ability to give — and not another’s right to receive. …….

  2. Frequently observable in a search for direction is a potentially confusing ploy — often intentional and via predation on ignorance — a trashing of the concept of government. It’s our job to sort through that. It is our responsibility, too, to take care not to add to the problem (through either non-democratic authoritarianism or through a nihilistic attitude toward governance). I am sharing the following article, today, as I look back to remember what I see as a turning-point timeframe… in response to which we have not yet gathered our bearings with an intent for overcoming — a careening manifest in the “W” Bush era. (The Clinton era was a huge mess, too, but people like me had hoped to get sensibility back on track with a Republican administration.)

    Bob Barr,
    Contributor
    Principal,
    Liberty Strategies;
    2008 presidential candidate

    10/26/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-barr/the-bailout-from-hell-mus_b_129190.html
    Quoting:
    ….

    ….

    Rep. [… from New York and] Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, claimed: “The private sector got us into this mess, the government has to get us out of it.” In other words, “Let’s just put Sen. John McCain or Sen. Barack Obama in charge and everything will be fine.”

    This is nonsense. This is irresponsibility of the highest order.

    The financial crash is not a “crisis of capitalism.” It is the result of foolish federal policies,manipulated by private interests ….

    ….

    ….

    In any case, Congress should emphasize accountability. The [Bush] administration has proposed a bare, two-page law including an extraordinary provision declaring: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

    ….

    The Bush administration played this game before, using 9/11 to ram the Patriot Act through Congress, and then misused its authority while resisting court oversight. Never again should Congress allow itself to be duped in this way.

    [Later, almost the end of the article, is the following.]

    “My first instinct was to let the market work, until I realized, while being briefed by the experts, how significant this problem became,” lamented President George W. Bush. ….

    {One can read — in The Man Who Knew: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ALAN GREENSPAN — of the Federal Reserve chairman at the time expressing the same kind of realization, that trusting “the market(s)” (or opposing meaningful regulation and oversight of capitalistic endeavors) had been a dire mistake. The author of that book, Sebastian Mallaby, had extensive access to the subject, Alan, himself. The content is also in audiobook form (my preference when a chosen narrator is easy on the ears; recommended).}

    [Next-to-last lines — broadcasting irony and the rejection of poor analysis with lack of democratic principles — are as follows (in the article, not the aforementioned book).]

    So, [Bush] would turn capitalism into a government-protected enterprise and Uncle Sam into an ATM machine for economic failures [of the powerful]. Congress must say, “No.”

    [In short, I think we can glean some pieces of understanding from the writer of that article… particularly from the parts I quoted. Yet, we also have to be careful; an additional example is his writing elsewhere that “activists” would be to blame. Activists are commonly associated with ordinary people as well as people who think things through, and with respect to public servants/service — more so than with conniving lobbyists for those who are already blindingly rich and powerful. It makes me wonder if most intelligent public speakers have felt compelled to pad their meaningful commentary with tropes that please the most prominent funders (those among the very “interests” looming as specters in the above article… again ironic, but this time in reprimand of the writer).]

  3. https://portside.org/2019-03-03/donald-trump-pulled-one-over-america-he-couldnt-sucker-nfl
    March 3, by David Cay Johnston (Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and best-selling author who teaches business regulation, property and tax law at Syracuse University’s law and graduate business schools)

    Michael Cohen’s testimony to Congress about Donald Trump’s failed attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills football team barely registered in the news. I can see why: By my count, Cohen’s testimony pointed to at least 14 Trump crimes.

    But the Bills story is illustrative … ….

    ………….

  4. https://eand.co/the-age-of-the-sociopath-847cc5646b70?source=placement_card_footer_grid———0-43&gi=9659efbdd21c

    It’s not often I come across a headline that make my drop my jaw in a kind of horrified bewilderment. Here’s one that did. Schools in England are beginning to close a day early a week. Why? Because there’s “not enough money” in the budget to pay for educating kids anymore (there is, my friends — how else do you think there’s always an endless supply of money for bank bailouts and hedge funds and mega corporations and CEO bonuses and so forth? …) Now: who on earth in the 21st century wants their kids to be uneducated?

    …….

    …. in America, too — there is … no functioning notion of public interest or common good at work left in its institutions, which is why, for example, hedge funds are allowed to “raid pensions” (or, put in plain English, steal your money.)

    In the end, these three effects — runaway inequality, growing poverty, which means the collapse of a middle class, and the erosion, the disappearance, of the notion of a public interest — what do they culminate in? They culminate, quite naturally, in the corrosion and eventual collapse of a democracy. After all, a democracy can hardly function when people don’t have anything left in common — when they are at each others’ throats, for the simple stuff of survival, whether money, food, healthcare, or education. ….

    ……….

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