The Shock Doctrine in Manitoba during COVID-19

How the Provincial Government Pushed Privatization and Weakened Democracy During COVID-19
March 1, 2023
539.93 KB27 pages

The Shock Doctrine occurs when neoliberal and undemocratic agendas are rapidly advanced in moments of societal trauma and disruption. This is caused by national and international crises, when a citizenry cannot effectively hold governments in check. A prominent example of the Shock Doctrine, in Naomi Klein’s view, was the rapid privatization of schools in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Less than two years after the disaster, the New Orleans public school system was stripped of 97 percent of its schools as a group of neoliberal proponents led by Milton Friedman took advantage of a distracted public and fragmented education unions. The COVID-19 pandemic is one such shock that continues to reverberate throughout Manitoba; it has permitted rampant privatization of public services and digression from democratic norms. These changes have often been rushed through while Manitobans had limited abilities to respond due to the health burden, stress and isolation brought on by COVID. The Shock Doctrine’s effect on Manitoba will remain long after the pandemic’s surface-level disruptions dissipate.  Read full report above.