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No Logos, by Naomi Klein More Images
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No Logos, by Naomi Klein

An appalling book by a clueless fashionista college dropout who spent her youth demonstrating rather than preparing for maturity and a career. Whining endlessly about the oppression of “insidious capitalism” and the white male conspiracy that allegedly has prevented her from finding a job and forced her to live in a garment factory after she “matriculated”, her tome is packed with the adolescent vocabulary of a vulgar class-war Marxism which was already outdated and intellectually bankrupt when Lenin desperately attempted to revive it in 1902 by writing “What is to Be Done?” which marked the passing of apocalyptic quasi-democratic Marxism into ruthless dictatorial Communism. With results obvious to anyone who has bothered to read a newspaper in the past two decades and learned some actual history as opposed to waving placards.

In Klein’s mythos, the free speech of people who are not just like her is “terrorism”, while displaying services in the media that people just might wish to know about is “crass commercialism”, and controlling how one’s own property is portrayed by others is “sponsor interference”. Klein advocates the kind of petty vandalism of private property, including other people’s websites and billboards, that spoiled teenagers engage in to impress each other, showing the selfishness of her outlook, and inviting impressionable readers to acquire criminal records. In her style, she sprinkles her writing with once trendy yester-century militarist terms like “resistance”, “war”, “fighting”, “warrior”, and “our struggle” (sound familiar, NaomiNazi?). Used to shouting down disagreement in the lawless artificial environment of the classroom, she actually celebrates the decline of American universities and the end of free speech on modern campuses by publicly-funded politicized gangs by styling herself an “identity warrior” (read “brownshirt thug” and “yes to racism and sexism when it empowers me, but not when it might empower someone else”).

The shame of it all is that her most basic premise is valid. There is an internationalized ruling class, but it is not white, or male, or patriarchal – but multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, and includes gays as much, if not more than, heterosexual men and women. It includes female graduates of Vassar and Harvard, “liberal” tycoons of the media, and power-mad kingpins of academia as much as the corporations that Klein rails against. Logos may be too intrusive, and advertising may be too pervasive and too unregulated, and corporate penetration of public schools should be halted and eliminated. But she destroys her message by couching it in an intellectual – or rather anti-intellectual – framework that is a relic of the 1960s New Left, which was not new, and was hardly Left, and which disintegrated when its thinking, much like Thomas Aquinas in the Age of Science and Enlightenment, could not account for the fall of the “workers’ paradise” of the Soviet Union and Stalinism, and the persistence of values in human society such as religion. Klein confesses as much in the last paragraphs of her book, acknowledging the impact of 9/11, and, unable to label Osama bin Laden and Islam as ‘rich white capitalists’, is left with the whimper that they must represent some kind of revenge of “patriarchy,” i.e., the Enemy is now simply men. This kind of mushy thinking is responsible for the collapse of a true left-wing and persons like Naomi Klein should be held responsible for bringing the thinking-man’s Marxism into near universal disrepute. She should learn something about Marxism, by reading Lescek Kolakowski for example, before engaging in more embarrassing adolescent public posturing.

Having lived for a time in the Soviet Union, this reviewer can assure the reader that returning to the vibrant media of the West, alive with music and advertising, is an enormous relief to the dully vacant air-waves, total information vacuum, and complete absence of consumer-oriented public signs that is the iron rule in Stalinist countries. It is to be noted, finally, that Klein did not publish this work herself, but contracted with the evil multinational capitalist corporation Random House to publish it for her (not too hypocritical, are we, Naomi?), and that on the inside cover she stridently defends her “moral right” of attribution to No Logos with the zealotry of a bulldog. Nuff said. Pass this one up. —SiriusReviews.com.

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