Monday, June 2, 2008
Naomi Klein has written a book called The Shock Doctrine. It is about private companies taking advantage of natural disasters for profit. For example, when the Tsunami hit India, in the immediate shock afterward, while the local fisherman that lived on the beaches were displaced, companies came in a sold the beach front property to build resorts on. The fishermen never got to go home. A similar situation occurred with the privatisation of the school system in New Orleans after the levees broke. And of course Blackwater and Halibuton in Iraq after the invasion. She is doing some important work by exposing some very fucked up and outrageous behavior. Here is a short excerpt from the book:
"What happened on September 11 2001 is that an ideology hatched in American universities and fortified in Washington institutions finally had its chance to come home. The Bush administration... seized upon the fear generated to launch the "war on terror" and to ensure that it is an almost completely for-profit venture, a booming new industry that has breathed new life into the faltering US economy. Best understood as a "disaster capitalism complex", it is a global war fought on every level by private companies whose involvement is paid for with public money, with the unending mandate of protecting the US homeland in perpetuity while eliminating all "evil" abroad.
In a few short years, the complex has already expanded its market reach from fighting terrorism to international peacekeeping, to municipal policing, to responding to increasingly frequent natural disasters. The ultimate goal for the corporations at the centre of the complex is to bring the model of for-profit government, which advances so rapidly in extraordinary circumstances, into the ordinary functioning of the state - in effect, to privatise the government."
There is short film about it you can watch here.