Dr. Turner over at the Prog Pulse has a post on Naomi Klein’s latest effort in postmodern revisionist history:
She outlines in great detail the violence that accompanied, or more accurately was required, in order to "liberate" world markets in Friedman’s name. From Chile and Argentina to Tiananmen Square; from Poland and the Soviet Union to South Africa and Southeast Asia; from 9/11 and the Department of Homeland Security to New Orleans and Iraq. It’s all there. When disaster strikes the corporatists always have only one solution…privatize or die. And if you have to crack a few heads to crack open a few markets…well, that’s the price you pay for economic freedom.
The trouble with Klein’s and Turner’s argument is that it fails to separate war from trade. While there have been many who argue – plausibly, I think – that failed states (read failed institutions) require institutional change. This can be carried out exogenously or endogenously, which I discuss at length here. But the attempt to conflate trade with war is a rhetorical trick that would invite the ire of many dovish free traders whose mantra is "peace through commerce". In any case, history proves time and again that people who trade are less likely to fight (all of which has little to do with the relative socialism within a border — unless said socialism contributes to corruption or bellicosity — i.e. anti-institutions.)
And does Dr. Turner really want to go back into history and look at the relative body counts?