tv After Words with Naomi Klein CSPAN July 16, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
>> host: to interview you on a book i found fantastic, i read it in one long sitting and found it absolutely fascinating. my first question to you is how in the world were you able to write this so quickly because you listed the things that happened in april or may, and the book just came out. >> guest: it's great to speak with you. i'm glad you enjoyed the book. it was a bit of a frenzy writing this book. i usually take about five years to write a book. that's been my average. this book i just wanted to get it out as quickly as possible.
there are a couple of chapters in the book that are focused on what we should expect if there is a crisis in the united states, if there's an economic crisis or a major security crisis. there needed to be a new political disaster preparedness among progressives that frankly i'd never ridden before and i also worked with the publisher committed to getting it out quickly. it creeps along the production process and ease stages for another four and in this case everybody worked so hard to get it out in record breaking time.
in this political moment as i am. for the millions of people working at the political situation right now and thinking what do i do. from the title of the book you give it away that snow is not enough, but i see the book as an amazing coming together in your work that begins with the no logo and branding into the shock doctrine and even your client network about this changes everything it seems you are the quintessential anti-trump and it embodies everything that is the opposite of what trump stands for so maybe we should start with what you start in the beginning of the book as the quintessential branding.
>> the truth is so many of us have been on this journey. my work as a journalist before i published any at all was focused on the underside of branding. what's beneath the shine of those beautiful logos and marketing that got better and better in their 90s and it's turned into the era of michael jordan. but as they up the ante they started outsourcing to a web of contractors to whomever was willing to produce their produ
product. it's what some of the most valuable brands in the world were making their products. one of the companies that adopted the paradigm was a big shift i was trekking in the logo that used to be up until the 80s as the iconic brand in the american marketplace were manufactured at first and made products and then they branded the product and marketed them. they were marketers in the idea of business and projected those ideas onto as many extensions as
possible in building these cocoons. he starts off as a traditional real estate developer but quickly went into this stratosphere of the apprentice as a breakthrough for him. the brand for the high prices for other developers that wanted to have that name on the side of their tower and resort and like the other brands i mentioned earlier, this came at the expense of workers. we heard many stories of terrible conditions for workers in the properties.
it's the golf club, white house press corps increasing the brand value that allows the companies to sell more memberships, rents more rooms and increased fees. so yes how can you possibly separate the men from the brand. it's stay true to your brand. in the 1990s there are many activists exposed at companies like nike and disney were betraying the promise of the brand which was empowerment for girls as family-friendly ethos because the products were being
made under conditions that were abusive to young people in those factories so they were vulnerable on that front and have to be responsive so trump is a different kind of brand because the idea that trump has always sold is the idea of absolute power through wealth. was selling the promise that you can be. so it's not coming to any kind of mutually beneficial agreeme agreement. so he has an aspirational identity with him.
they represent the attainment of the power they want and that is the power when it comes to holding trump accountable to his promise. if you catch him lying or cheating if you catch him being nasty, anything that might hurt a traditional politician and whose brand identity has more ethical aspirational component, trump isn't hurt by any of this because it confirmed his identity that gets away from it because he is so rich. this is a challenge. the only way you can hurt them is by proving he's not as powerful as he needs to be in the bothered and the strings are being pulled by putin.
i don't think most americans heard of this before but it's being bandied on moisturizer. [laughter] now that there are lawsuits trying to say donald trump is making money illegally in the presidency i don't know if it is just foreign entities and others taking a romantic renting their hotels. it may well be. it's been interesting timing with the release of the book because actually the the day of the book came out, the news came that the attorney general of dc and also maryland had launched a
one thing i would add is a lot of the examples the heard for house -- how he is receiving i think there is a case to be made but they are deciding to stay at the hotel and deciding to have expensive events and get into his good graces. the chinese government has been granting a wave of trademarks to so. what i am the most disturbed by is something that i don't think has gotten enough attention which is the chinese government has detained labor monitors who were investigating the conditions in one of the
factories. they see that this president has not divested and they believe that these are favorites but they can do to get themselves into the good graces of a president who is very concerned about his personal and family wealth so you don't have to prove the chinese government would think they would get away from those pesky whistleblowers. >> this is not anything new that you talk about in the decades that the clintons have been using the foundation as a place where people could give money to
favor with them so i wonder if you could tell us about how the stage was set for trump. my overarching goal before there was a major crisis is to try to challenge this narrative. it's the functioning system and everything would be fine. i'm not saying one way or another if it is an impeachable offense he should be impeached but that would get us where we were before and that is the ground that created the assigned a safe place and it's nothing to prevent somebody else who
combines an even more dangerous mix of the qualities from taking power once again. i see this very much as a bipartisan process. at the table was set in so many ways all he needed to do is show up. we are already treating them like reality tv shows and we had a media landscape that was much more interested in personal drama between candidates and in-depth coverage of issues we already had democrats using the tools in the corporate branding themselves.
they were leading this deep change and transformation and there wasn't enough change and that helped set the table for trump. they were really central which was all about how billionaires could use that great wealth in the period of deregulation and privatization to fix problems that we traditionally looked to the government to solve so if you look at the global initiative and you mentioned that favor i think even more significant is this whole model of bringing the billionaires of the world together with policymakers and he would have a big announcement that he was going to solve climate change with the profit from his airli airline. as it turns out he didn't make good on that promise and
certainly didn't solve climate change but there is no accountability. it's what the health organization used to do and people argue he's more powerful than the organization and they give lots of good things in the world for this idea with the billionaire savior complex helps create a context for donald trump to stand before the american people. we are already acting at the abilitas theability to make a ly in one area that bestows infinite wisdom on this group of billionaires and even if they had no experience of health or
education, they have tremendous power because of their wealth so how different is that from the pitch to voters. but i'm so rich that you can trust me to fix america. setting the stage in terms of going back to ronald reagan as the government being part of the problem and solution then you talk about the clinton era and the deregulation of the banks and failure of president obama to do anything to hold the bankers accountable. while you have been talking about people who enter into government, may be you could talk about how the trump
administration has taken it to the extreme for the middleman that you don't have to wine and dine the people in office because the corporations are the ones in office right now. it's the ceo of secretary of state we noticed the secretary of state in history that had ties with corporate america as the most significant example this isn't a new process, but cheney very significantly halliburton with the company people hadn't heard of before. it's a hugely important company,
but it's not a highly branded company so appointing the ceo of exxon and that is not only a highly branded the company but one of the most controversial in the world by three states attorneys general over allegations that they had misled its shareholders about how much it knew about climate change because they had been researching the reality back in the 70s and 80s and then funded climate change denial.
and of course trump himself. he's just merged the organization with the white house. this is now the ultimate giveaway to corporate america. we are not even six months into this administration so what has the administration been doing to the top wish list of the companies for the bankers and the military-industrial complex but are the items we already
see? >> i do think this should be getting a lot more attention because there's a lot of focus on exposing what some people believe is a conspiracy that should be investigated there's also a conspiracthere isalso a t a systematic and orderly transfer of wealth for the lower and middle income to the 1% of the 1% it is the connective tissue of everything that the administration is doing so if you look at the 15% corporate tax. only benefits the very wealthy
and has been on the wish list for a very long time. the trump may be the one that gets through precisely because so much attention is focused on what in the 80s was called the trump show that sold out everywhere and that's where he turned at the extramarital affairs into a soap oper soap o. he always understood the power of distraction. ithey like to leak information and of course much of it is being foisted on him. if we look what he's doing on climate it is a giveaway to the
oil tap and deregulation, something like one of the first things he did was roll back the initiative to increase fuel efficiency standards and another one of his degree early decisions was to go after new requirements introduced a end of the obama administration to document the gas industry because we don't know to the extent it is leading to a major spike in emissions so there were new measures they would have to abide by.
those are a few examples of the whole health care plan celebrated in the rose garden is a huge giveaway. the tax on social security and health care because this goes against what was promised on the campaign trail and i do think he's vulnerable. the make americ america great ag had a particular promise of bringing back jobs and another broken promise of giveaway is what we will see. he promised to renegotiate other trade deals so that it would be another era and meanwhile they are reassuring business audiences they will renegotiate which is the deal one of the
first days in office this is where he is much more vulnerable and it's getting a fraction of the attention. >> one of the statistics i loved in your book is that he met with 190 different executives in the first three months in office and defend what they decided to do this nois not make public the lf people that visit. the focus on russia is taking our eyes off so many things like the military-industrial complex frowned and the fact that the pentagon budget is now according to trump not big enough and he wants to increase it. when he announced that, the
stock went up there is no attention being paid. >> it's more than that. he's basically a traveling within the salesman. he praises them because they purchased a whole bunch of u.s. weapons said he sent a message to the world this is how you get to the good graces. he goes to a nato summit and lectures by members not pulling their weight. i am a dual canadian american citizen and a canadian prime minister went home and announced
a massive increase on spending so this is how the world is responding to trump seeing the way you get into the good graces so it isn't just the military increase in the united states. its global but let's also do what you do so beautifully in the book setting the stage recognized that it was under the obama administration that countries like saudi arabia became the number one weapons purchaser under obama who bragged they've sold $110 million to this repressive extremist intolerant misogynist regime. so, here you set the stage and
talk about people getting prepared for the shock to come but you also talk about what people are doing to resist trump now and the whole premise of the book does look at what can be done in a several month of the trump administration with people rising up so maybe we should spend time on that. so we have seen this incredible effort of resistance and that it can win. it's projecting this and that the local officials and
to respond in the ways that make us more shock resistant and this is important because if there is heaven forbid we already know how trump would respond he immediately blamed immigrants. even though bomber in that case had been born in the united kingdom and after the bridge attack he said this is why we need the travel ban so there are a lot of things that are still on the agenda of some of which have been stopped and some of which they haven't even tried to do. she doesn't believe in public education so i am concerned about the security shock and economic crisis because of
course they are deregulating the banks and making it more likely that there would be another crisis and that would become the pretext for social security to further attack the public education system and that is why it is important. we need to be advancing a progressive agenda. it might slow down a little bit we think about it being at least after the 2008 financial crisis the ways in which to reject what
they thought of as being a force to pay with flash wages and austerity they said no. but there wasn't enough of a fishing for what they wanted instead so we make the case in the buck for the forward-looking vision. that is our best defense against demagogues tapping into the pain and fixing it with insidious ideas to hold out that promise. we saw in the campaign in the uk when he issued his manifesto
documents it's about the bold transition that inspired people to turn out in record numbers. >> i think also the fact that he took on the foreign-policy issues and there were those attacks in england he said we have to look at the policies overseas and how this creates a raise and spend which unfortunately there are not major politicians in the united states have been willing to say that. >> people are paying attention to how it has shifted. when he talked about the underlining causes it was
described as monstrous but it didn't hurt him, it may have helped him and there was a late stage on terror for getting out of those root causes just as it designated when bernie sanders talked about climate change as a security issue and he was mocked by the sort of elite opinion makers but that resignation with a lot of the voters. >> host: let's talk about the campaign and kind of ideas he talked about that have become more commonplace and it's now being said out loud by those that when millions of votes, double the minimum wage, renewable energy, the
demilitarized police, prisons are no place for young people, refugees are welcome, but war makes us less safe. can you talk about how those have become more acceptable and how it wasn't from the bernie sanders campaign? >> is exciting from the progressive perspectivaprogresse for me, i grew up in a neoliberal era. my childhood was in the 80s and there is no alternative. that project was about advancing a set of free-market ideas, cut of taxes with huge expansions of the security state dot that was sold based on the idea that
there is no alternative to it and it was a project that in so many ways was about to come straining the collective imagination and the neoliberalism has been a profound crisis since the 2008 financial meltdown. for many reasons not the least of which they had to break their own rules and in the open and it was possible to intervene in the market to save the banks and they could find trillions of dollars. there was no money for schools or daycare or hospitals. so if a spell was broken and we are in this period where now it is being unleashed. the first stage was saying no to the austerity after the economic crisis but now the imagination
on the left is being rekindled and we see it in documents like the vision for black lives which comes out of the movement and it's an exciting bold document about how to get at the underlining vitamins and the economy changing the society with racial justice at the center. i've been involved in a project people can read about at the week.org which is a similar approach but just as progressive ideas are surging in popularity is and we are seeing the candidacies like bernie or jeremy corbin are doing better than the entire expert class predicted. it's also the case that the far right ideas are also more popular than they've been at any point in my lifetime.
so i see this as a kind of race against time because where there is this vacuum where the consensus used to be and as it collapses there are a lot of things shifting. >> another contradiction that i see is the progressive movement is way ahead of the democratic party for example. you see a fight in baltimore where the people had won through pushinone throughpushing the cil together with a right to the 15-dollar an hour minimum wage and the democratic mayor of baltimore so i wonder what you think about how to move the democratic party that is supposed to be more progressive and get doesn't seem to have caught up to the popular sentiment and a lot of these issues. >> the energy is huge out there with more and more deep
progressives committed to taking power and seeing that it is possible. i think in a campaign with bernie getting 13 million votes carrying 22 states, there is the belief out there that i didn't have at any point in my lifetime up until now that winning the progressive coalition is in reach. it is possible. we know that he and weaknesses that many women in our generation didn't feel comfortable that he really got these areas and people and justice depend pbp fully integrated the racial justice agenda in his campaign. he got better as the campaign went on, but it wasn't enough to capture. if he had been able to capture
50% of the black vote in the states she wouldn't have been able to win, so it isn't that the democratic base is to right-wing. there were the constituents he was not able to reach and i think if that changes next time around, that winning coalition is out there and people know it. i think if the democratic party doesn't come to its senses and it keeps trying to fight off the tide of history then people will leave the party. this is what i am hearing. and there is a wide debate about what happens in this. she was fought at every single turn. he won the leadership and then he was sabotaged and faced an internal two when they tried to unseat the leader and heating hung on and after the results which were so surprising where he one i believe 32 seats when he was supposed to have been wiped out.
people are having to admit that this is the way to win elections and we will see whether they learn from that or not, but i don't think it's going to come easily. the lesson is that it's going to be a fight and there are some people who think it isn't even worth fighting in the democratic party. we will see. >> that is a tough one because there are examples where it hasn't been a transformation in the parties. it's been new parties that have cropped up and have captured the public imagination and have one tremendous victories whether it is in spain or the examples increase with the progressive parties in france or chuckle so who knows. the hard thing in the united states is we have a winner take all system. >> that is the hard part.
i think if there was a different electoral system that allowed for the government it would be a bit of a no-brainer in terms of starting a new party given how much resistance there is this is the system there is. >> you brought up the issue of race and you talk about it quite a lot in the book you talk about the movement for black lives and also the indigenous community. of course in canada you have a strong indigenous community that's been on the forefront of fable of the environmental struggles and you have a very compelling chapter in the book about your experience at standing rock and i think your view about how we move to a different society is one where people of color and of the wisdom in the indigenous communities have to be in the lead so how did you come to that conclusion flex >> i'm a journalist first and foremost and that this comes
from talking to a lot of people in the movements that are organizing. this is the wisdom of the movement at this point it's where the energy organizing is. in canada, every single key environmental battle has always been led by indigenous peoples and this is true to a large extent in the united states as well. i wrote because it was so moving to be there when i was there which is what the obama administration finally denied. but they had already won the election so people understood that it was on board with the times trump was going to go in and reverse it. but the reason i wanted to include that experience in the book is the kind of leadership that i saw him standing rock and the people i spoke to, the
analysis was so deeply holistic and intersectional that this was a racial justice battle. the pipeline had originally been routed through this market in overwhelmingly white cities and have been rejected because of concerns over water quality so it was moved under the source and it was an absolutely classic example of environmental racism, so that is one piece of it. but it was also very much about climate change and understanding that we cannot keep expanding and have any hope of protecting a livable planet for our kids. and it was also profoundly about standing up to corporate power,
standing up to increasingly militarized police because the water protections at standing rock were up against police forces that looked like an army, tanks and all but privatized surveillance equipment and tra trade. and i quote in the book about how it's just all of it. you can talk about intersection ouintrospectionaudi which is a e from kimberly crenshaw who has given us this term that so many of us are using. but at standing rock it was just life. it's helpful sometimes want to talk about something in theory but as a lived experience on the land and on people's bodies. >> which you also bring up in the chapter which i found myself
having traveled there is that it sure, it was about winning the rights to the land to do what they want with their property that it was also showing a different way of living together and how this was an experience that changed the people who came to see what it was like to be in a struggle under the leadership of the indigenous people and how different that is then the other struggles that have been in a profound sense of connection to the land and even the language of the water protectors, not protesters. do you think that this will carry on or hasn't had an impact on the people that are a part of this movement? >> i think everyone who was there was changed by it. it also embodied the title
because as soon as the victory was won to fight the pipeline it was a temporary victory. it's not over. they also won an important legal victory of what trump has done pushing through the pipeline without a proper environmental assessment is illegal, so they had to stop fighting. but as soon as that came down from the army corps of engineers, immediately everyone i've talked to wanted to say now the real work starts and we can turn this reservation into a shining example of a justice based transition off of fossil fuels. we want to get to 100% renewable fuels and star to start buildine economy that would never need a new oil pipeline. so it was like the no was necessary to be able to get to the yes. and i think this is sort of where we are. we have to leave them together,
and that was so inspiring in terms of how this plays out, i mean, the truth is we don't know. i've been involved in social movements to never believe a movement obituary. our movements were always declared over, whether it's occupied wall street, whether it's the so-called anti-globalization movement. but, you know, those of us who've been involved in these struggles know that the infrastructure, the ideas, the teaching people of the surface move from past mistakes, so i don't think the movements by. they got into a period of gestation and reemerge and turn into something else. occupied wall street turned into occupy sandy referring to to hurricane sandy and then many people went on to form the digital backbone of bernie sanders campaign and are continuing to learn new lessons, share information and eat all.
we just don't know where those teachings go. >> i want to also emphasized that in your book while you are not naïve about how dangerous the trump administration is, i love the analogy that you use to being in those automatic tennis things being hit by the bowl and taking a swing and you might get one or two but you always feel like you are being battered and on the other hand, you talk about how the agenda is not all controlling and space is not all controlling and i want to read from this part where you say they don't control of the cities and states do or even what congress does a lot of the time. they certainly don't control universities, state institutions, unions, they don't control the courts do, they don't control what others govern nations do and they do not control what we do as
individuals and groups around the world. for me this is very inspiring, this section of the book because you do layout we have a lot of thesis which we don't just have to say no, no, no. but we are building up these alternatives whether it is on the very small level of the way you live your life or whether it is on the global level of how we can reignite some of the global alliances we've had in the past after trump said no to the terrorist agenda to say we are moving ahead anyway. can you talk a little bit about those cases but he doesn't control click >> i think specifically because of his administration is doing is so dangerous with what they do control the os on us to do
more in all of the bases is all the greater. i started thinking about this when i was speaking at harvard getting a lecture early on in the administration and there was a fight over fossil fueled investments. harvard has one of the strongest fossil fueled investments in the country. but the administration has been intransigent with them and it's important for the movement because of course harvard is so iconic and it would help other schools and other institutions to also make a similar decision. talking to some of the activists, i realized the arguments the school used to make is we don't think that it's the most effective way to fight
climate change. we think it's more effective to have policy and there was a credible possibility that the obama administration would introduce policy that would be quite strong. they introduced th introduced an powerplant that wasn't strong enough, but it wasn't nothing. of course it is being undone by trump and because there is no credible prospect at this moment of federal legislation on climate change and a real carbon tax for instance, that argument is gone and anywhere where we do have power we have to use it. during the dnc when michelle obama said when they go low, we go by, i think that was the best line of the convention. she was talking about how and not wanting to join the gang in the gutter of the slurs and attacks.
i think we should adopt a similar approach as it relates to policies and actions. as the administration lowers the bar we have to raise the bar everywhere we have power and an amazing example is the mayor of pittsburgh after trump announced that paris withdraw and he joked the city of pittsburgh was elected by the people of pittsburgh not appear this and the next day they are stepping up saying actually, pittsburgh voted for hillary and i'm going to get the city to 100% renewable energy by 2035 which is the most ambitious target in the country. i think portland is the only city that adopted a target that ambitious. so that as an example of what i mean that peopl is people usingr that they do have to advance a powerful progressive vision. we are seeing something similar with healthcare in california. the california senate moving one
step closer to single payer precisely because of what they are doing in healthcare and why it is so dangerous. we may be in a position to advance something similar when it comes to free trade when they are renegotiating. that's going to be an opening for the workers movement and environmentalists and everybody concerned to come forward and say this is how you write a fair trade agreement and what it would look like and say what we think it would look like because when we are fighting these deals back in the day we were good at saying no but we were not as good at saying yes. >> as we are winding down now, i just want to as an activist thank you for saying now the lines are blurred and we have to all the activists and for giving us this beautiful way of looking at the trump agenda and not as
something that is so enormous that we don't want to get out of bed in the morning because we don't want to think about it, but as a challenge to us that we have to take extremely seriously but that gives us a lot of not only spaces within which to work, but all new communities to work with. i think as you go forward on the book tour getting more and more people excited about being a part of the solution into showinand showingthe enormous pe solutions have we as a community and a nation and a global community will be better at articulating the yes we want to live in, so thank you so much for the work, the book, again no it'is not enough, resisting trus politics and winning the world we need. thank you so much.
and my son is transfixed by the stories in the book and the images in the book talking about the civil rights and e. quality. this would be an example of booknotes this is the agenda move for. it was a book i read before the gatekeepers. i would recommend this to anybody in congress because the subtitle idea is not enough. it's not enough to come up with a good idea. you have to have a way to build coalitions and practice and put it into effect in the case of legislations. >> ..