Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

From NewsCenter

The Shock Doctrine
The Age of Disaster Capitalism
by Naomi Klein

The following is excerpted from Naomi Klein’s recently published book:

"As George Bush and his cabinet took up their posts in January 2001, the need for new sources of growth for US corporations was an urgent matter. With the tech bubble now officially popped and the DowJones tumbling 824 points in their first two and half months in office, they found themselves staring in the face of a serious economic downturn. John Maynard Keynes had argued that governments should spend their way out of recessions, providing economic stimulus with public works. Bush’s solution was for the government to deconstruct itself - hacking off great chunks of the public wealth and feeding them to corporate America, in the form of tax cuts on the one hand and lucrative contracts on the other. Bush’s budget director, the think-tank ideologue Mitch Daniels, pronounced: “The general idea - that the business of government is not to provide services, but to make sure that they are provided - seems self-evident to me.” That assessment included disaster response. Joseph Allbaugh, the Republican party operative whom Bush put in charge of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) - the body responsible for responding to disasters, including terrorist attacks - described his new place of work as “an oversized entitlement programme”.Then came 9/11, and all of a sudden having a government whose central mission was self-immolation did not seem like a very good idea. With a frightened population wanting protection from a strong, solid government, the attacks could well have put an end to Bush’s project of hollowing out government just as it was beginning."
See rest of excerpt at