Meet Naomi Klein. You may know her from her anti-magazine AdBusters, available at Borders. You may know her from her provocative book, No Logo that criticized capitalism’s relentless marketing and the consumerism. If you are very tuned in you may own one of her many anti-logo products. Yes, Naomi Klein sells things even though she finds the whole marketing exercise repugnant. Her products are not so much about commerce as they are about making a statement. Klein brings eco-friendly, non-sweat shop products to the considerable counter culture-audience she has built, at a 200% mark up.
Now, she has a new book Shock Doctrine, and a companion video that is extremely powerful. The book’s premise is that governments exploit disasters and the shock they induce, to push through unpopular policies while people are still reeling. The book and film are timed to launch during the week of Sept. 11, in time to exploit the news cycle of the anniversary of the twin towers disaster.
I found Ms. Klein’s remarks to the New York Times curious, that “Fixing the world’s problems has become an increasingly elite affair–a matter between C.E.O.’s and celebrities.” She was commenting from the Toronto Film Festival where she and the film’s director, Alfonso Cuaron were promoting the new film short inspired by her book. You may have seen Mr. Cuaron’s academy award nominated film “Children of Men.” Visit Klein’s website and you can marvel at the A-list of movie celebrities who endorse the film and the book. For a regular gal from Toronto, Klein sure gets around.
Don’t be shocked when I confess to you that I admire Naomi Klein. I think she is one of the canniest marketers in the counter-culture business right now. She’s the new Abbie Hoffman.