Naomi Klein

ELLE (Canada) - - Anniversary -

Film­maker, au­thor and gen­eral cru­sader against in­jus­tice ev­ery­where, Naomi Klein burst into the pub­lic sphere in 2000 with No Logo: Tak­ing Aim at the Brand Bul­lies, an anti-con­sumer-cul­ture man­i­festo that gave an ar­tic­u­late, pas­sion­ate voice to many peo­ple’s grow­ing con­cern about glob­al­iza­tion. Fast-for­ward a decade and a half, four books, two films and count­less speeches and col­umns and Klein is not stop­ping any­time soon... or at least not un­til she has changed the world. What’s your num­ber one piece of ad­vice for 15-year-olds to­day? “What your gen­er­a­tion does in the face of the cli­mate emer­gency will de­ter­mine the fate of gen­er­a­tions to come. Ris­ing to this chal­lenge is go­ing to be hard work. The good news is that you are young enough that, when you suc­ceed, you will get to live in a much cleaner and fairer world than we have to­day.” What were the most defin­ing 15 min­utes of your life? “I was in my fi­nal year of high school, and I had writ­ten my first real term pa­per on the sub­ject ‘Re­li­gion is the opi­ate of the masses—dis­cuss.’ My teacher was a priest, so I was wor­ried that he wouldn’t like what I had writ­ten about re­li­gion lulling peo­ple into ac­cept­ing poverty and ex­ploita­tion. He called me into his of­fice, gave me a 98 per­cent and told me I had a fu­ture as a writer.” What ex­cites you when you think about the world in 15 years’ time? “The idea that ‘truth and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion’ with First Na­tions could be more than the sub­ject of com­mis­sions and political speeches—that it could also be a lived re­al­ity. That it could deeply re­shape the story Cana­di­ans tell about our coun­try as well as our re­la­tion­ships with one an­other and the rest of the nat­u­ral world.” What wor­ries you when you think about the world in 15 years’ time? “That we won’t kick our fos­sil-fuel de­pen­dence in time, emis­sions will keep ris­ing and in 15 years it will be locked in to cat­a­strophic lev­els of warm­ing.” What have you learned over the past 15 years? “In 2001, I learned that ma­jor political shocks are of­ten har­nessed by elites to re­make the world in their in­ter­ests. I’ve been learn­ing that over and over ever since.” What would your 15-yearold self think of you to­day? “She would think that I’m do­ing okay but that I should tweet more about clothes and TV shows.” h

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