Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of sayings and quotes by Naomi Klein on freedom, climate, politics, war, violence, profit, government, globalization, taxes, finances and capitalism.

92 Inspiring Naomi Klein Quotes For A Better World

Quick Facts

Famous As: Author

Born On: May 8, 1970

Born In: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Naomi Klein is a Canadian filmmaker, social activist, political analyst and writer who have risen to prominence through her books and documentary films. Klein studied at the University of Toronto but quit the program in order to work for ‘The Globe And Mail’. Klein worked as the editor of ‘This Magazine’ as well but she gained international recognition in the year 2000 with her book ‘The Logo’, due to her critical take on activities of large corporations and the hegemony of brands in relation to consumer behaviour. However, she is also a noted documentary filmmaker on similar subjects and some of the most popular among them are ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate’, ‘The Take’ and ‘The Shock Doctrine’. ‘The Take’ is a particularly well regarded documentary for its portrayal of the occupied factories in Argentina. Klein is among the very few people in the world who are considered one of the shining lights in the fight against corporate greed and capitalism. Needless to say, she has also delivered many speeches, gave several interviews and expressed her thoughts vocally on these subjects. We bring to you a compilation of quotes that have been extracted from the vast sea of Naomi Klein’s life and works. Here is a collection of some of Naomi Klein’s best thoughts, sayings and quotes. 

You actually cannot sell the idea of freedom, democracy, diversity, as if it were a brand attribute and not reality -- not at the same time as you're bombing people, you can't.

Naomi Klein

Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live in dignity.

Naomi Klein

Extreme violence has a way of preventing us from seeing the interests it serves.

Naomi Klein

Our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life. What the climate needs to avoid collapse is a contraction of humanity's use of resources; what our economic model demands to avoid collapse is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it's not the laws of nature

Naomi Klein

It is our great collective misfortune that the scientific community made its decisive diagnosis of the climate threat at the precise moment when an elite minority was enjoying more unfettered political, cultural, and intellectual power than at any point since the 1920s.

Naomi Klein

Free speech is meaningless if the commercial cacophony has risen to the point where no one can hear you.

Naomi Klein

We live in this culture of endless extraction and disposal: extraction from the earth, extraction from people's bodies, from communities, as if there's no limit, as if there's no consequence to how we're taking and disposing, and as if it can go on endlessly. We are reaching the breaking point on multiple levels. Communities are breaking, the planet is breaking, people's bodies are breaking. We are taking too much.

Naomi Klein

The task is clear: to create a culture of caretaking in which no one and nowhere is thrown away, in which the inherent value of people and all life is foundational.

Naomi Klein

We can't leave everything to the free market. In fact, climate change is, I would argue, the greatest single free-market failure. This is what happens when you don't regulate corporations and you allow them to treat the atmosphere as an open sewer.

Naomi Klein

I am convinced that climate change represents a historic opportunity on an even greater scale.

Naomi Klein

The powerful feed ideology to the masses like fast food while they dine on that most rarefied delicacy: impunity.

Naomi Klein

The reason why nothing sticks to Trump - or very little sticks to Trump - is that Trump created his brand idea that has to do with being the guy who gets away from it. It's this ultimate power through wealth and this dream that represents in an age of tremendous economic precariousness and constrained options for so many people - that watching Trump be able to do whatever he wants to whoever he wants is this obvious vicarious kind of thrill for a certain demographic.

Naomi Klein

We can save ourselves, but only if we let go of the myth of dominance and mastery and learn to work with nature.

Naomi Klein

[On climate change:] What if it's all a hoax and we've created a better world for nothing?

Naomi Klein

Hope has never trickled down, it has always sprung up.

Naomi Klein

Our enslavement to oil has required the repression of millions of Arab people. As they shake off their bonds, so must we.

Naomi Klein

In a world where profit is consistently put before both people and the planet, climate economics has everything to do with ethics and morality.

Naomi Klein

I do think that at this moment in late capitalism it is easier in our minds to imagine raising Florida 30 feet to escape the rising seas than it is to regulate capitalism to make it serve human beings.

Naomi Klein

It seems to me that our problem has a lot less to do with the mechanics of solar power than the politics of human power—specifically whether there can be a shift in who wields it, a shift away from corporations and toward communities, which in turn depends on whether or not the great many people who are getting a rotten deal under our current system can build a determined and diverse enough social force to change the balance of power.

Naomi Klein

Anybody who claims that they know where this whole thing is all going is just lying.

Naomi Klein

The deeper message that is resonating with people is that it is possible to build. It is possible to invest in people; it is possible to invest in green infrastructure; it's possible to change.

Naomi Klein

In pragmatic terms, our challenge is less to save the earth from ourselves and more to save ourselves from an earth that, if pushed too far, has ample power to rock, burn, and shake us off completely.

Naomi Klein

The parties with the most gain never show up on the battlefield.

Naomi Klein

Most of you didn't think that helping people share books would be a subversive act...Yet the fact is that you have chosen a profession that has become radical.

Naomi Klein

Real climate solutions are ones that steer these interventions to systematically disperse and devolve power and control to the community level, whether through community-controlled renewable energy, local organic agriculture or transit systems genuinely accountable to their users.

Naomi Klein

Africa is poor because its investors and its creditors are unspeakably rich.

Naomi Klein

People without memory are putty.

Naomi Klein

When it comes to paying contractors, the sky is the limit; when it comes to financing the basic functions of the state, the coffers are empty.

Naomi Klein

So if the meaning of the Trump brand is being the ultimate boss who has the power because he's so rich, the way you undermine that brand is by making him look like a puppet, and by showing that while he's playing gold and admiring his properties, it's actually other people making the key decisions and he doesn't really know what's going on.

Naomi Klein

Indeed the three policy pillars of the neoliberal age-privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector, and the lowering of income and corporate taxes, paid for with cuts to public spending-are each incompatible with many of the actions we must take to bring our emissions to safe levels.

Naomi Klein

The fact that Trump's refused to divest from his labyrinth of business holdings, the fact that he's continuing to profit from his brand and indeed create all kinds of new opportunities to profit off the presidency is outrageous. The flip side is that he's left out a lot of levers through which to pressure him. You know, the reason you want a president to divest from his business holdings is that foreign governments can try to exert pressure on him by becoming customers of these hotels and inflating the value of how much they're willing to pay for a Trump brand.

Naomi Klein

But we need to be very clear: because of our decades of collective denial, no gradual, incremental options are now available to us.

Naomi Klein

The world now has a new kind of hero, one who listens more than speaks, who preaches in riddles not in certainties, a leader who doesn't show his face, who says his mask is really a mirror. And in the Zapatistas, we have not one dream of a revolution, but a dreaming revolution.

Naomi Klein

We are looking to brands for poetry and for spirituality, because we're not getting those things from our communities or from each other.

Naomi Klein

Catching Trump out not paying his taxes, treating his employees like garbage - none of this sticks to him because that actually reinforces his power, power over other people, which is this specific kind of power that he's selling.

Naomi Klein

The creation of today's market society was not the result of a sequence of spontaneous events but rather of state interference and violence.

Naomi Klein

It is eminently possible to have a market-based economy that requires no such brutality and demands no such ideological purity. A free market in consumer products can coexist with free public health care, with public schools, with a large segment of the economy -- like a national oil company -- held in state hands. It's equally possible to require corporations to pay decent wages, to respect the right of workers to form unions, and for governments to tax and redistribute wealth so that the sharp inequalities that mark the corporatist state are reduced. Markets need not be fundamentalist.

Naomi Klein

What we have been living for three decades is frontier capitalism, with the frontier constantly shifting location from crisis to crisis, moving on as soon as the law catches up.

Naomi Klein

There's a property in Panama where Trump has collected somewhere around $30 million just from selling his name to this property - it's somewhere between $30 million and $50 million. It would be so easy for a developer to slap on an extra $6 million to a Trump licensing deal and have that be a backdoor bribe. Who are we to say what that is worth? It's so ephemeral. And this is the appeal of selling something as ephemeral as a brand name, is that it can be inflated beyond all reason.

Naomi Klein

And most of all, it means continually drawing connections among these seemingly disparate struggles—asserting, for instance, that the logic that would cut pensions, food stamps, and health care before increasing taxes on the rich is the same logic that would blast the bedrock of the earth to get the last vapors of gas and the last drops of oil before making the shift to renewable energy.

Naomi Klein

It (the Chinese move to embrace capitalism in 1989) is a mirror of the corporatist state first pioneered in Chile under Pinochet: a revolving door between corporate and political elites who combine their power to eliminate workers as an organized political force. The creation of today's market society was not the result of a sequence of spontaneous events but rather of state interference and violence.

Naomi Klein

It's CNN who really should hold Trump accountable. And because they are trading the short-term fix of increased ratings by focusing on Trump drama - and I'm not saying they shouldn't cover the Russian investigations, of course they should - but the blanket coverage, it's not about news values. It is about ratings. And it comes at a tremendous cost because Trump supporters are fully defended against this. As far as they're concerned, this is a vast conspiracy, it's fake news, it doesn't impact their daily lives, it makes them see Trump as a victim, which he wants to be seen as.

Naomi Klein

If enough of us stop looking away and decide that climate change is a crisis worthy of Marshall Plan levels of response, then it will become one.

Naomi Klein

Our problem is that the climate crisis hatched in our laps at a moment in history when political and social conditions were uniquely hostile to a problem of this nature and magnitude-that moment being the tail end of the go-go '80s, the blastoff point for the crusade to spread deregulated capitalism around the world. Climate change is a collective problem demanding collective action the likes of which humanity has never actually accomplished. Yet it entered mainstream consciousness in the midst of an ideological war being waged on the very idea of the collective sphere.

Naomi Klein

There is plenty of room to make a profit in a zero-carbon economy; but the profit motive is not going to be the midwife for that great transformation.

Naomi Klein

Despite different cultures, middle-class youth all over the world seem to live their lives as if in a parallel universe. They get up in the morning, put on their Levi's and Nikes, grab their caps and backpacks, and Sony personal CD players and head for school.

Naomi Klein

Either greed belongs in a war zone, or it doesn't. You can't unleash it in the name of sparking an economic boom and then be shocked when Halliburton overcharges for everything from towels to gas, when Parsons' sub, sub, sub-contractor builds a police academy where the pipes drip raw sewage on the heads of army cadets and where Blackwater investigates itself and finds it acted honorably. That's just corporations doing what they do and Iraq is a privatized war zone so that's what you get. Build a frontier, you get cowboys and robber barons.

Naomi Klein

And if there is one thing we can be sure of, it’s that extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and the British floods—disasters that, combined, pummeled coastlines beyond recognition, ravaged millions of homes, and killed many thousands—are going to keep coming.

Naomi Klein

It doesn't have the ability to think rationally this economic model. It thinks like a drug addict: 'Where can I get my next fix?' It doesn't learn wisely. Any kind of measure of natural wisdom would be: you make a mistake, you correct it the next time around. But a drug addict feels terrible... and then says: 'I want more'. Unfortunately we have an economic model that thinks like a crack addict.

Naomi Klein

If you're not arguing, your coalition isn't wide enough.

Naomi Klein

What haunts me is not exactly the absence of literal space so much as a deep craving for metaphorical space: release, escape, some kind of open-ended freedom.

Naomi Klein

I think there is a danger that an environmental crisis can be used in precisely the same way as the terrorist threat can be used in terms of giving up freedom.

Naomi Klein

Those looking for ideology in the White House should consider this: For the men who rule our world, rules are for other people.

Naomi Klein

Information is shock resistance. Arm yourself.

Naomi Klein

The anti-war movement should turn itself into a pro-democracy movement

Naomi Klein

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

Naomi Klein

So the need for another economic model is urgent, and if the climate justice movement can show that responding to climate change is the best chance for a more just economic system...

Naomi Klein

So, if consumers are like roaches, then marketers must forever be dreaming up new concoctions for industrial-strength Raid.

Naomi Klein

And that is what is behind the abrupt rise in climate change denial among hardcore conservatives: they have come to understand that as soon as they admit that climate change is real, they will lose the central ideological battle of our time—whether we need to plan and manage our societies to reflect our goals and values, or whether that task can be left to the magic of the market.

Naomi Klein

Politics hates a vacuum. If it isn't filled with hope, someone will fill it with fear

Naomi Klein

Trump walked into a media setting for which he was far better suited than the other contenders because he actually knows how to do reality TV and made them all look like pretenders. And I would argue that our news media has only gotten worse since Trump got in office. Trump is media crack. The ratings have never been higher. The reason CNN would run an hour of an empty podium waiting for him to show up during the campaign is because they were terrified if they turned away from Trump their rating would go down.

Naomi Klein

What if it's all a hoax and we've created a better world for nothing?

Naomi Klein

Climate change as a battle between capitalism and the planet,

Naomi Klein

The three policy pillars of this new era are familiar to us all: privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector, and lower corporate taxation, paid for with cuts to public spending.

Naomi Klein

Climate change has never received the crisis treatment from our leaders, despite the fact that it carries the risk of destroying lives on a vastly greater scale than collapsed banks or collapsed buildings.

Naomi Klein

It is always easier to deny reality than to allow our worldview to be shattered, a fact that was as true of die-hard Stalinists at the height of the purges as it is of libertarian climate change deniers today.

Naomi Klein

Job creation as part of the corporate mission, particularly the creation of fll time, decently paid, stable jobs, appears to have taken a back seat in many major corporations, regardless of company profits

Naomi Klein

Like Russia's gangsterism and Bush's cronyism, contemporary Iraq is a creation of the fifty-year crusade to privatize the world. Rather than being disowned by its creators, it deserves to be seen as the purest incarnation yet of the ideology that gave it birth.

Naomi Klein

The triumph of economic globalization has inspired a wave of techno-savvy investigative activists who are as globally minded as the corporations they track.

Naomi Klein

GLHR... has used Greenpeace-style media antics to draw more public attention to the plight of sweatshop workers than the multimillion - dollar international trade union movement has achieved in almost a century.

Naomi Klein

Ads and logos are our shared global culture and language, and people are insisting on the right to use that language, to reformulate it in the way that artists and writers always do with cultural material,.

Naomi Klein

Why would we build as unequal a renewable energy sector as we have built a fossil fuel sector? The nice thing about renewables is they're everywhere, so you don't have to have monopoly control in the same way.

Naomi Klein

Populations of songbirds like the pied flycatcher, meanwhile, are collapsing in some parts of Europe because the caterpillars that parents depend upon to feed their young are hatching too early.

Naomi Klein

The fences that protect the public interest seem to be fast disappearing, while the ones that restrict our liberties keep multiplying.

Naomi Klein

A destabilized climate is the cost of deregulated, global capitalism, its unintended, yet unavoidable consequence.39

Naomi Klein

(Then again, this is The Nature Conservancy, which has its very own gas well in the middle of a nature preserve in Texas).52

Naomi Klein

It wins every time we accept that we have only bad choices available to us: austerity or extraction, poisoning or poverty.

Naomi Klein

Destabilized climate is the cost of deregulated, global capitalism, its unintended, yet unavoidable consequence.39

Naomi Klein

When Nike says, just do it, that's a message of empowerment. Why aren't the rest of us speaking to young people in a voice of inspiration?

Naomi Klein

So we are left with a stark choice: allow climate disruption to change everything about our world, or change pretty much everything about our economy to avoid that fate.

Naomi Klein

We need a Marshall Plan for the Earth.

Naomi Klein

There is no humane way to rule people against their will.

Naomi Klein

As a means of extracting information during interrogations, torture is notoriously unreliable, but as a means of terrorizing and controlling populations, nothing is quite as effective.

Naomi Klein

Their lands as a result of our actions (and inactions), our governments will build ever more high-tech fortresses and adopt even more draconian anti-immigration laws. And, in the name of

Naomi Klein

This is what Keynes had meant when he warned of the dangers of economic chaos—you never know what combination of rage, racism and revolution will be unleashed.

Naomi Klein

The dirty secret of the neoliberal era is that these ideas were never defeated in a great battle of ideas, nor were they voted down in elections. They were shocked out of the way at key political junctures.

Naomi Klein

When we lack the ability to talk back to entities that are culturally and politically powerful, the very foundations of free speech and democratic society are called into question.

Naomi Klein

Public infrastructure around the world is facing unprecedented stress, with hurricanes, cyclones, floods and forest fires all increasing in frequency and intensity. It's easy to imagine a future in which growing numbers of cities have their frail and long-neglected infrastructures knocked out by disasters and then are left to rot, their core services never repaired or rehabilitated.

Naomi Klein

Because it is such a huge crisis, because it puts us on a firm science-based deadline, it's a once-in-a-century opportunity to build a better society and address raging inequality, create huge numbers of jobs, rebuild our public infrastructure. But, we can't do it unless we break every single rule in the free-market playbook. Which is why the worst people in the world all deny climate change.

Naomi Klein

Terrorism doesn't just blow up buildings; it blasts every other issue off the political map. The spectre of terrorism - real and exaggerated - has become a shield of impunity, protecting governments around the world from scrutiny for their human rights abuses.

Naomi Klein

One of the main ways in which I get attacked is by being called a conspiracy theorist by the right and the other main attack is actually from the conspiracy theorists who are really pissed at me for not admitting that 9/11 was an inside job.

Naomi Klein

This same economic system, based on short-term growth and endless profits is also the reason for pretty much everything else that is lousy in our society, from private prisons to Fox News. What I'm arguing is that, in fact, what we've been told is a lie.

Naomi Klein