#WomanCrushEveryday: Naomi Klein
Photo: Naomi Klein addresses 3,000 people outside Toronto’s police headquarters during a demonstration over the arrest of protesters during the G20 summit in 2010. Photograph: Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Meet Naomi Klein
Klein is an award-winning journalist, activist and campaigner, known for her activism on climate change and political critiques. She is also the writer of several bestsellers, including No Logo, The Shock Doctrine, and This Changes Everything. In 2016, she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize for activism in climate justice.
Born in Canada to American parents, Klein studied at the University of Toronto, serving as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, eventually dropping out before completing her studies, in order to pursue journalism full-time.
Her first book, No Logo, offered a critique of consumer culture, attacking the operations of super-brands, such as Nike and Apple. Klein argued that in their pursuit of profit, such brands have been able to exploit their workforce while evading responsibility. Published before social media was able to elevate brands by providing them with the levels of power we see today, No Logo instantly tapped in to the many ways that big corporations are able to brand multiple aspects of public life. Looking back, it comes as no surprise that the book became an instant bestseller, and is hailed as a manifesto for the anti-corporate globalisation movement.
Klein soon shifted her focus to politics, publishing The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, in 2007. The book discusses the idea that radical measures are introduced by those in power following a collective sense of national shock, such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. The book argues that this sense of shock often leads to a subsequent desire for bold and urgent action by the general public, thus allowing unpopular policies to be introduced without too much scrutiny.
In 2014, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, was published, leaving Klein with another instant bestseller on her hands. Her book laid out the case for an economic revolution to combat the effects of climate change, and ultimately gained plenty of support. However, Klein’s argument that the measures needed to defeat climate change may be incompatible with capitalism was not without its critics. However, her ability to combine her journalism and activism to enable her readers to look at important issues in a new light has led her to become an influential figure and prominent climate change champion. Since then, Klein’s latest book, No is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics, charters the rise of the Trump megabrand and Presidency, while also serving as a toolkit for resistance by the left.
Why We Love Her
Naomi is our woman crush for her ability to write timely and thought-provoking books which offer an insightful look in to a broad range of issues. Her meticulous research and accessible writing style has allowed her to capture a collective sense of anger in her books, while taking care each time to leave the reader with a strong sense of optimism.
What Naomi says:
“Politics hates a vacuum. If it isn't filled with hope, someone will fill it with fear”.
You can follow Naomi on Twitter: @NaomiAKlein