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Parts of it have quickly become outdated, but instead of undermining Klein’s message, that actually makes it more relevant. Those parts are outdated because of who Trump is, and how he operates. It is outdated because so many of Trump’s appointed staff referred to in the book have all been fired; as if his Presidency has been a continuation of his career as The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”
* Article with related content, from Gary Younge, a Guardian columnist:
“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.”