Naomi Klein: No Logo

Henk Hogeboom van Buggenum

As, on the of September, we looked at our TV screens when in New York the WTC twin towers were hit, people all over the world cried out, "Oh, my God" I am wondering if the cover picture of NO LOGO refers to this global outcry. The heavy black book almost looks Iike a tombstone itself when put on its side. It seems as if the author unconsciously wanted to establish a monument for the victims of the catastrophe. Co-incidental, perhaps?

The young author's lively face staring at us from the back of the Dutch translation (Lemniscaat 2001, 554 pages) radiates vitality. There is nothing there to indicate any signs of impending doom. And yet, when I started reading, there is an extensive blacklist inside of so many examples of economic expansion, proliferating all over the world at the cost of millions of lives everywhere.

It took Naomi and her team four years to collect the data at many different locations. It has become a most fascinating story. She demonstrates how the western rnultinational marketing system, directly or indirectly, is affecting the lives of 27million people in 850 freetrading zones of the 70 poorest countries in the world. She also shows how this strategy threatens our own economic interests.

It is here that we begin to understand the incentives that underlie the campaigns of NGO's, Reclaim the Streets, People's Global Action and other anti-globalists are waging when demonstrating outside G-8 conferences and the like. It is not surprising therefore that the anti-globalist movement have proclaimed Naomi Klein as their figurehead. However, she warns us not to overreact, but rather contemplate the situation level-headed and wisely. Many questions arise, like,

  • In what way can globalisation promote the well-being of everybody?
  • Which mistakes of the past should we avoid?
  • Do the enforced new ethics of NGO's guarantee a more stable future?
  • Is it possible to put enough pressure on the implementation of agreements made, via Internet or E-Mail? Even if structural control is not clear?

The book is a grand monument and a cry to action. Caring for our common future. Awareness of your own role and conduct - as you sow, so you shall reap. Our common wealth sorely needs a fairer distribution worldwide. The fear of poorly-treated people storming the barricades is as real today as it was of old. Don't let yourself be motivated by fear, but rather by positive actions of change.

Personally. I'd like to urgently encourage everybody who is in a place of authority, be it in politics, financially/economically, educational or in the field of religion and philosophy, to read this important book. Not only for personal insight into the backgrounds of our present social-economic developments, but also because of the necessity of discussing the issues.

They are matters of life and death, and we are standing on the brink of the grave we are digging for ourselves. Please wake up!!!