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The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Spurious George

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Klein exposes 'disaster capitalism' in new book

Sep. 5 2007

Tsunami, fantastic. Category 5 hurricane, great news. Terrorist attack, even better.

That's the thinking behind disaster capitalism -- exploiting a large scale disaster or crisis by introducing free market policies unlikely to be accepted under normal circumstances.

In her book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," Naomi Klein explores how this phenomenon has been used post-9/11, in the war in Iraq and following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Klein says the most extreme example of disaster capitalism occurred in the early days of the U.S. occupation in Iraq.

"You had Paul Bremer (former U.S. administrator in Iraq) coming to Baghdad a month after the city fell... and announcing immediately -- what I call in the book -- an extreme country makeover," Klein told CTV.ca.

"(He) very famously announced that Iraq was open for business, he also announced that the 200 state-owned companies would be immediately privatized."

At the time, Klein, who was working as a journalist in Iraq, described the situation as economic shock therapy imposed through shock-and-awe warfare.

She said the theory of the Bush administration was to push policy through while Iraqis were dislocated and disoriented.

"It failed, as it happens, but the attempt was very bold and completely unhidden," said Klein.

"The idea of so dramatically remaking a country at a moment when you fully understand that the people cannot participate in these core decisions about what kind of country they will have is basically, in my view, the most deeply anti-democratic idea on the books."

Klein says that the Bush administration took a similar approach following Hurricane Katrina.

Along with local levels of government, the White House was quick to push through unpopular policies following the disaster at a time when poor residents were displaced all over the country.

Without any strong opposition, the government announced:

* They wouldn't rebuild housing projects, instead replacing them with condos

* The closing of public health facilities

* The transformation of the public school system to a charter system

In effect, the elites pushed through policies that they could never have passed if it wasn't for the chaos in the aftermath of the disaster, says Klein.

Even disaster response is now being privatized in what Klein calls a "booming new business."

She started using the phrase "disaster capitalism" following the Asian tsunami in 2004.



The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Naomi Klein

Posted April 14, 2005


n o l o g o . o r g


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It's even more interesting to watch it play out live, just wait until the next disaster and watch the money talk and aid amount boasting, politicians calling it a "Wonderful Opportunity" in their excitement. Later you find out the "aid" money went to contractors and big business to build condos that the original inhabitants could never afford, these people remain scattered but are given poisonous trailers to sleep in comfortably... eventually!

Huge disasters happen every few years, it shouldn't be long until the next one, just wait and the watch Disaster Capitalism take place before your eyes, it's sickening :)

Edited by MansLaughteR
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And the former Soviet Union also said they were smart, and hated Capitalsim.

This thread has NOTHING to do with the USSR, get back on topic... oh that's right you never were on topic and you can't have a serious discussion about capitalism without dragging the USSR into it. It ain't the 50s anymore AROCES come out of your bomb shelter :P

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