Naomi Klein on Becoming a Radical

November 16, 2012

In this excerpt, Naomi Klein says she doesn’t actually think her message is all that radical, but that the “poles have shifted.” She talks about growing up in Canada as the child of two Vietnam War resisters, and how she finds it difficult even today to admit to her American friends that she is a draft dodger’s daughter. She says that she “always says that we came to Canada because of the war, but we stayed for the health care.”

Klein observes: “Americans have to worry so much about the basics from a very young age. Twenty-two year olds have to worry about where’s their health care going to come from and then once you’ve got kids, you’re immediately worried about paying this astronomical price for a good university. … It dampens your compassion for others. It takes so much just to care for your family in this country. I think that that trains you to live inward as opposed to outward.”

Watch the full conversation between Bill Moyers and Naomi Klein.

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  • BJ

    .. ironic being labeled a radical when all you’re arguing for is for society to make sense… look forward to the full interview

  • Patricia

    Naomi is right. The way we live is killing us emotionally. It is a huge reality and I’m so glad that someone is talking about it. I look forward to the interview.

  • Anonymous

    I love Naomi Klein!
    If you haven’t already, read “No Logos” and “The Shock Doctrine”.

  • Concerned

    Bill, thank you for another excellent, thought-provoking show, you’re right on as always. Also, thank you so much for interviewing Naomi Klein, who is one of the leading social critics of this generation. Our society, which is more a “market” than an actual country, promotes insecurity and fear from day one of a child’s life with our lack of a national healthcare program. Sick-care as we have it does not work. Naomi, thank you for your work and please don’t ever be ashamed of being the child of a “draft-dodger”. A true patriot is one that understands that participating in an unjust war for profit is not moral or even sane for that matter, and has the courage to refuse.

  • Rationalist

    I am starting to understand why Americans rank in the bottom 10% of the developed world in math and science.

    We get our opinions/direction from people like Ms. Klein, who pick a feel-good cause and sell it to anyone who lets fear and emotion take precidence over logic and reason.

    I just wish she would formally make a proposed solution to the percieved problem. But then she’d have to tell everyone that what she she suggests requires huge sacrifices by >everyone,< not just made-up villians.

    She may lose some admirers when they have to give up their cars and heat to meet her objectives.

  • criticalthought

    Having single payer health care is also freeing. For example, my American relative cannot leave her job because it comes with health care benefits she needs for her family that cannot be easily replaced. She is stuck as a result. That is never a consideration for me. I am free to move around, start a business, go back to school, whatever, and my health care is unaffected.