In her wild and somewhat bizarre polemic aimed at Milton Friedman, Naomi Klein argues that major historic crises have always been manufactured by capitalists to slip free market principles into action against the wishes of the socialist-leaning masses.
Really? In what crisis, ever, did the government end up smaller? What about the current crisis and the government response to it carries any good news for free marketeers? History is a series of problems created by government intervention but blamed on the free market, which can supposedly only be solved via more government intervention.
Update: Critique of Klein here. Seriously, it is amazing that this rings true with anyone:
Klein's basic argument is that economic liberalization is so unpopular
that it can only win through deception or coercion. In particular, it
relies on crises. During a natural disaster, a war, or a military coup,
people are disoriented, confused, and preoccupied with their own
immediate survival, allowing regimes to liberal-ize trade, to
privatize, and to reduce public spending with little opposition.
According to Klein, "neoliberal" economists have welcomed Hurricane
Katrina, the Southeast Asian tsunami, the Iraq war, and the South
American military coups of the 1970s as opportunities to introduce
radical free market policies. The chief villain in her story is Milton
Friedman, the economist who did more than anyone in the 20th century to
popularize free market ideas.
As is typical, Klein confuses support for capitalism with government support of individual capitalists.