Naomi Klein on Disaster Capitalism

Naomi Klein on Disaster Capitalism


Well, first of all I don’t think it’s conspiratorial.
I think it’s a basic principle of journalism to follow the money. And we have conflict
of interest rules precisely because people are human. And when you can benefit personally,
economically from policies that you are advancing, then those policies are called into question
and the questions are raised. So that’s why we have this legal architecture to prevent
obvious conflicts of interest. And the Bush administration . . . Key figures in the Bush
administration have just shown enormous defiance in the face of those rules, and twisted the
White House lawyers in knots trying to rationalize them holding onto these stocks. But to me
it’s a broader question about the economy . . . what I call the “disaster capitalism
complex”. And the fact that I don’t believe . . . Well I think that there’s a particular
way of thinking that comes with being in the business of disaster; being . . . You know
and I’m not talking about just any old economic holdings, right? I’m talking about those particular
economic holdings that increase, or whose fortunes increase when things go bad, right?
So oil and gas. You know bad things happen, the price of oil goes up. This we know, right,
whether it’s a hurricane. Whether it’s a war. Whether it’s a fear of a war. Whether it’s
Chavez and Ahmadinejad hugging. Whatever it is bad, the price of oil goes up, right? And
the same is true for defense stocks. The same is true of Homeland Security stocks. The same
is true of drug companies that are in the business of pandemics. So this is how I’m
defining broadly the disaster capitalism complex, which is bigger than the military industrial
complex. The reason why Eisenhower warned . . . gave that famous warning in his last
presidential address about the danger of the military industrial complex is precisely because
this is an industry that has an economic incentive for war and instability. So I think that there
is something really significant that we need to talk about in that the Bush administration
— the people who have been running the government in Washington, but also the occupation of
Iraq — are card carrying members of the disaster capitalism complex. You know I realize . . . I
don’t think it sounds conspiratorial. I think it sound obvious, right? I’m in fact embarrassed
to be pointing this out because it’s such an obvious point. But it amazes me that people
don’t talk about it all the time; that Dick Cheney was in the business of privatizing
the U.S. military before he went into office; that Donald Rumsfeld was in the business of
profiting from pandemics before he went into office; that Bush was in the oil and gas business
before he went . . . came into office; that his father was connected to the Carlyle Group,
which is a major weapons dealer; that Paul Bremer, the chief envoy in Iraq who laid the
economic framework for the occupation, that one month after September 11th he launched
a Homeland Security company to advise other corporations on how they could protect themselves
in this new era; that Rudy Giuliani did the same thing three months later. So these are
all people who see profit directly from terrorism, natural disasters, and pandemics. What is
their economic incentive to get us off this disastrous course? I mean we need political
leaders who think disasters are bad. You know, I mean that to me is a good starting premise.

16 Comments on "Naomi Klein on Disaster Capitalism"


  1. Jackholes fishing for information! Screw off youtube! Google H.A.A.R.P…..disaster capitalism at its finest…..a technology 'stolen' from Nikola Tesla by the Scherff family….Google George Scherff/George Bush.

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  2. she wouldn't hold a fucking candle to milton friedman, watch any of HIS youtube videos, he was on another level

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  3. If you want something that makes sense watch "Johan Norberg – Free or Equal"…which updates Friedman's "Free to Choose". I'm sure Naomi Klein is nice to animals and children but her ideas are deadly.

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  4. Attacking people doesn't degrade their argument and only makes you guys sound sophomoric. She only exposing the darker side, and capitalism has many dark sides, of capitalism which is exploitation of tragedy; from the great depression, to Katrina and Sandy. Search for yourself, price gouging, snatching up properties for pennies on the dollar; exploiting people's desperation. It goes on and on; root of evil is ego but it's church is capitalism because it elevates the ego to god-hood.

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  5. Is there any reason why we should be surprised by this? Government is inherently inefficient and corrupt, while capitalism is an economic system that is inherently exploitative, and its highest ideals are cynicism, nihilism and greed. Is there any reason therefore to expect other results when we marry the two systems?

    If we want better politics, and if we want to advance the conversation, what we really need to do is consider other economic paradigms that can lead to much more transparency, less corruption, more efficient use of resources, less exploitation and more sustainable economic growth and prosperity. I propose the Flow Economy: http://www.geopolitics.us/?p=1645

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  6. Military industrial complex…. Government run institution… Somehow, capitalism is to blame…

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  7. The people we elect as leaders are lead by others who think disaster is good. This explains most "disasters".

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  8. Old outdated Oligarchy re established..hail the era of the pharaohs..so when moses arrives then who will u back ?

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  9. Capitalism Is inherently and fundamentally disastrous, exploitative, predatory, inequitable, and corrupt

    Reply

  10. Capitalism 101: Those on top of the pyramid gets all the money, wealth, and resources. While everyone else struggles and works for the leftover crumbs

    Reply

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