Shock resistance depends on activists and stakeholders understanding what is at stake. These social leaders ca then influence the narrative taking root in society at large. A crucial aspect of disaster capitalism - of the shock doctrine - that people need to recognize is the fundamental neo-liberal priority to privatize social services, to download the costs of social services from government to the people accessing those services.
Neo-liberal actors - in B.C., this includes the established government - work purposely, using legislation and implementing policy to further their ideological priorities. Private sector partners and sympathetic media cooperate with government actors to implement and advocate for those priorities. In B.C., this takes forms such as the Fraser Institute’s “Report Cards” on school performance and the general tendency for media spokespeople to express negative views and criticisms of teachers and the B.C.T.F. (often refusing to even call it the B.C.T.F. and referring to it as the T.F.).
When established power and mainstream media both propagate the same general narrative, it can be challenging to counter it. However, expressing and advocating a coherent and compelling counter-narrative is a crucial aspect of shock resistance. Although it is tempting to see it as fruitless to continue resisting government propaganda, it is essential that activists and stakeholders continue to do just that.
In situations of shock, proponents of free-market ideologies attempt to use the crisis facing society - in this case, one of their own creation and orchestration - to give an opportunity to impose their policy priorities on a disoriented and desperate populace. That is when social leaders need to be forces of stabilization and orientation. Today, in British Columbia, teachers and their supporters need to actively stake their claim in the public sphere and tell their stories, stories of underfunding, overcrowded classrooms, underserved students, and overworked teachers: stories of policies being implemented that don’t reflect our values as British Columbians and Canadians.
This is an ideological conflict between the values reflected by social services such as health care and education and values reflected by reduced corporate taxes and privatization. Teachers, parents, citizens, and even students need to take responsibility for the direction the narrative goes in. Each of us needs to inform ourselves, reflect upon our values, apply those values to the facts that our research uncovers, and express ourselves to all who will listen. This may mean arranging a meeting with an M.L.A., and it could also involve a conversation with friends over coffee. If we treat these interactions as opportunities to transform the narrative about education and social services, other opportunities for action will reveal themselves. This is how shock resistance arises.
Although the following video isn't specifically about the shock doctrine or #bced, this inspiring clip from The Corporation documentary is about the possibility of positively transforming seemingly unchangeable situations. You can find out more about the Shock Doctrine at http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine