Yea but no but...
It was a nice try, and while I could probably agree on many levels with the author, I still call Klein a hippie.
I have always thought it to be wholly unreasonable to demand and to sincerely expect anyone and everyone to offer their own plan as to how things should be done as opposed to how we do things now. This is preposterous. Anyone who can come up with valid arguments why things currently are amiss and why they should be remedied, must be allowed to voice their opinion despite not necessarily being able to personally formulate (then and there, or even at all) an alternative, better, way of doing things.
It's cool if you can, but it shouldn't be a qualification for even being allowed to enter the debate. There isn't a single person on this planet who could come up with a perfect plan because there are no perfect plans! Almost no one will admit that capitalism is without glitches, but many will assert with gusto that capitalism just requires a little bit of tweaking and some tender loving care.
This is absolute nonsense.
Of course we could always have better democracy. People could easily be given more and better options to vote for changes, for example. We could have "local governments" with localized budgets within different parts of cities to enable those people living there to make concrete decisions and plans that will affect their everyday lives directly. We could do loads to improve democracy, trust me.
We could also find ways to actually sustain businesses and private individuals to operate in a free market reality - not just in free market make-believe. This would most likely mean that players who began to dominate markets need to be split in one way or the other to enable other and especially up-and-coming individuals and companies to compete against them in much more fairer conditions. Unlike now, no one could really rest on their laurels and/or just buy off competition. Everyone wanting to play the game would have to be innovating and reinventing themselves constantly. Not now and then, or once in a blue moon, but every single day.
Stuff that I personally can't accept is:
a) corporations aiming to change schools' curriculums and subtly trying to greenwash their own history and business practices - in a word their public image.
b) corporations cornering smaller competitors by dumping prices until local/regional competition is snuffed for good.
c) corporations gaining even bigger share of the markets simply because they can buy other competitors out if they can afford it. This is the exact opposite of what Adam Smith called free market economy. This is rule of the few and finally rule of one.
And if and when corporations reach a status where they can effectively sensor what people can and can not buy, should be called totalitarianism because that's what it is when you can't buy a book or some other product from anywhere else simply because those few corporations still left will refuse to take them up for sell.
d) allowing corporations to grow so big and powerful that they can effectively land in places where they are not taxed, where they can disregard local laws and regulations at will, where they can effectively treat their labor force and the environment any way they want.
Even if some poor, underprivileged, schmuck wouldn't mind how the company does business, I abso-f*cking-lutely do, and I'm not the only one! If you pollute the environment (or treat your employees like dirt), you clean up the mess, pay hefty fines, and take some time off from doing business for the time being because you clearly are not a responsible and trustworthy player and the society as a whole can and will not tolerate such behavior. Simple and fair, and not complex or mean at all.
If this what we have today is free market economy, we might as well reintroduce chains and just revert to calling workforce as slaves again. I mean why not? We already love to call unemployed people - I'm sorry, "job seekers" - as cancer, vermins, and so on. I don't know about you but to me it echos 1930's Germany.
I think it's pretty vile view on life if and when (read [b:In Defense of Global Capitalism|222574|In Defense of Global Capitalism|Johan Norberg|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348353328s/222574.jpg|215553]) people in effect say that it's still miles better to be working in a sweatshop somewhere and get paid at least something than having to resort to selling one's own ass to anyone keen on buying or just starving to death.
This line of thinking not only legitimizes wretchedness and indecency. It guarantees that nothing will ever change for the better.
Now, I may think that hippies are moronic bunch of people, but folks who try to reason the above scenario disgust me to no end. Especially coming from a guy who got all the chances in the world provided by the society in a socialist paradise called Sweden. I wonder if he would have had the same tolerance for pain, strength of character and general will power to take it up his small boy's ass from some anonymous older, charming Swedish gentlemen, had he been born in the slums of India, Brazil or Vietnam and be asked to help his family and relatives by all means necessary - and there either not being any sweatshops around or all just refusing to let him work?
I'm sure he would have.