NO Is Not Enough

*Disclaimer: Contains spoilers

As someone who isn’t into politics but very into current events, the start of ‘No is not enough’ was smooth and easy to follow. It’s written by Naomi Klein, an author and social activist and someone who criticizes corporate globalization & capitalism.

Her writing style is extremely admirable. The book was first published in 2017, when Trump had been president for a while. Reading it in 2021 and seeing how some things went worse than she predicted, but others went better is jaw-dropping. So many harmful laws were passed within 4 years – which isn’t a short time, but not long either.

The book starts with an introduction to the word shock and shock societies, something Naomi has been studying large-scale for two decades. She uses the word “shock doctrine to describe the brutal tactic of using the public’s disorientation following a collective shock – wars, coups, terrorist attacks, market crashes or natural disasters – to push through radical pro-corporate measures”.

It’s split in four parts:
1. How we got here
2. Where are we now
3. How it could get worse
4. How things could get better

She discusses how Trump won the election by becoming the ultimate brand, and he wasn’t only a threat to the United States; a surge of authoritarian, xenophobic, and far-right politics was becoming a trend in many other countries as well.

I remember election day that year. A few schoolmates and I were in Denmark participating in a project. When we went to have breakfast, we saw the results of the polls and suddenly, collectively got a big gulp in our throats. It was a shock, indeed.

For the most part, there are discussions regarding climate change and mistakes that can cause permanent damage. She emphasizes that there were many other issues at the time which were as important as climate change, but climate change has a different relationship with time. It’s not something that we can just “fix” after four years when someone else is in office. One of the sub chapters is called “A very oily administration”, where she talks about how within days of Trump taking office, he pushed through the Dakota Access pipeline. Now, to people like myself, it does sound like something to be alarmed about because of the way she expresses her concerns, but I had been very much out of the loop when these things happened. Trump cleared the way to approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta (CA), and was also committed to killing Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Besides shedding a light to all the irreversible mistakes that were made during that administration, she guides young activists to not just say ‘No’, but to take action instead. Oftentimes, No is indeed Not Enough, as history teaches us. For example the 2008 financial crisis; people in southern Europe occupied squares and plazas and stayed there for months. The oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969 was another example of how people responded to the shock by demanding fundamental change.

Naomi and fellow activists started discussing the idea of a national meeting, which ultimately served as a catalyst for a deep transformation the society and economy needed and still need. This would ultimately turn into a “People’s Shock”, which later resulted in “The Leap Manifesto: A call for a Canada Based Caring for the Earth and One Another”.

The author has a crystal clear train of thought. For a book that is marked as a political book, her approach towards simplifying terms and storytelling is most definitely appealing even to people who aren’t necessarily into politics. Due to the nature of the book I’ve rated it as a 4/5; and I believe that all of us should become activists in order to make sure that No, is indeed, Not Enough.

My question to you is: Where were you when the results of the poll came in, and what were your first thoughts?

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