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Monday, September 12, 2005

Privatizing, one disaster at a time

Jonathan at Past Peak relates a May, 2005 article by Naomi Klein, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, to what is apparently happening now in the wake of Katrina. The privatizing idiotlogues running the world see every disaster, including many that they create themselves, as an opportunity to remake the world in the image of crony capitalism. From Indonesia to Nicaragua, Haiti to Afghanistan, East Timor to Iraq and now New Orleans, they've been doing just that. From Klein's article:
[I]f the reconstruction industry is stunningly inept at rebuilding, that may be because rebuilding is not its primary purpose. According to Guttal, "It's not reconstruction at all--it's about reshaping everything." If anything, the stories of corruption and incompetence serve to mask this deeper scandal: the rise of a predatory form of disaster capitalism that uses the desperation and fear created by catastrophe to engage in radical social and economic engineering. And on this front, the reconstruction industry works so quickly and efficiently that the privatizations and land grabs are usually locked in before the local population knows what hit them. Kumara, in another e-mail, warns that Sri Lanka is now facing "a second tsunami of corporate globalization and militarization," potentially even more devastating than the first. "We see this as a plan of action amidst the tsunami crisis to hand over the sea and the coast to foreign corporations and tourism, with military assistance from the US Marines."
Over the weekend it occurred to me a couple of times to write a post about how the recent atrocious Kelo ruling in the Supreme Court has opened wide the door for the widespread privatizing of New Orleans and the rest of the affected region. Others have now beaten me to it, including Paul Craig Roberts, who says:
In the September 8 Wall Street Journal, Christopher Cooper ("Old Line Families Plot the Future") quotes members of the power elite, who admit they are mapping out a new city that will not restore the old order: "Those who want to see this city rebuilt want to see it done in a completely different way: demographically, geographically and politically," says James Reiss. "I'm not just speaking for myself here. The way we've been living is not going to happen again."

The Journal's report brings to light that the "teeming (black) underclass," which guarantees Democratic control of New Orleans, is one part of the old order that is not slated for renewal. In other words, federal failure in New Orleans plus Kelo equals ethnic cleansing of a large historic American city.
And, with the recent Padilla decision, anyone who stands in the way can now be arrested and held forever as a terrorist enemy combatant. What a messed-up country.