One of the best books which I have read over the last two years is the Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.
In her excellent book, Klein questions Milton Friedman’s free market economic ideas and how the shock from ground breaking political events in different countries were used to implement them.
First and foremost I recommend reading the book.
But if you don’t have the time (its more than 400 pages) then I recommend watching this documentary which addresses the main issues discussed in the book.
The examples I found most fascinating were implementation of Friedman’s policies in Chile under Pinochet, and in Russia after Yeltsin’s rise to power.
If you ever wanted to find out how the Oligarchs had the opportunity to rise and in some cases pillage in Russia while increasing number of Russians lived in poverty, then this book does an excellent job of explaining the reasons. It also explains the silence from the US and the reasons behind it while Yeltsin stepped on the pillars of democracy by using tanks to blast the Russian parliament.
There is no doubt that Communism was a failure. We need a free market economy, however there needs to be government intervention and regulation. I don’t believe in Friedman’s free market theory (derived from Friedrich Hayek’s economic model) which calls for non intervention. Capitalism is good, but it can’t be left to its own devices. Its a good model, but its not perfect.
This documentary is a must watch: