DISASTER CAPITALISM: THE GUARDIAN 2017May 28, 2019
I had to do several double takes when I read this article from the U.K.'s The Guardian from 2017, for just last week I did a two part blog about what former Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary, Catherine Austin Fitts, has dubbed "disaster capitalism." Well, it seems we're not alone in detecting a disturbing pattern, for the authoress of this article, Naomi Klein, has spotted it to, according to this artcile shared by T.M.:
Ms. Klein observed the same pattern, beginning with Hurricane Katrina:
One of those moments arrived in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, as I watched hordes of private military contractors descend on the flooded city to find ways to profit from the disaster, even as thousands of the city’s residents, abandoned by their government, were treated like dangerous criminals just for trying to survive.
I started to notice the same tactics in disaster zones around the world. I used the term “shock doctrine” to describe the brutal tactic of using the public’s disorientation following a collective shock – wars, coups, terrorist attacks, market crashes or natural disasters – to push through radical pro-corporate measures, often called “shock therapy”. Though Trump breaks the mould in some ways, his shock tactics do follow a script, and one that is familiar from other countries that have had rapid changes imposed under the cover of crisis.
This strategy has been a silent partner to the imposition of neoliberalism for more than 40 years. Shock tactics follow a clear pattern: wait for a crisis (or even, in some instances, as in Chile or Russia, help foment one), declare a moment of what is sometimes called “extraordinary politics”, suspend some or all democratic norms – and then ram the corporate wishlist through as quickly as possible. The research showed that virtually any tumultuous situation, if framed with sufficient hysteria by political leaders, could serve this softening-up function. It could be an event as radical as a military coup, but the economic shock of a market or budget crisis would also do the trick. Amid hyperinflation or a banking collapse, for instance, the country’s governing elites were frequently able to sell a panicked population on the necessity for attacks on social protections, or enormous bailouts to prop up the financial private sector – because the alternative, they claimed, was outright economic apocalypse.
What Ms. Klein is calling "shock doctrine" is what Ms. Fitts and I have been calling "disaster capitalism". There's a catch, however, and that is that Ms. Klein does not discuss the data that indicate that Katrina was possibly steered to New Orleans. In my blogs last week about the subject, I pointed out that "disaster capitalism" comes in two kinds, and they often work in tandem: (1) deliberately engineered geophysical disasters, and (2) crises of opportunity which are seized upon for fun and profit. The catch, as I pointed out, was that geophysical engineering technologies allow one to create the very "crises of opportunity" and hide behind them as "acts of God" or "accidents of 'Mother Nature'". The difficulty with the technologies is an epistemological one: how does one distinguish between the two? Certainly actual "natural disasters" can occur, allowing one to practice "disaster capitalism" of the second sort. But so much the better if one can actually manufacture them (disaster capitalism type one) and then move in to profit from them (disaster capitalism type two).
In the case of Katrina, I strongly suspect one was looking at both types, for it will be recalled that Katrina was making a beeline west through the Gulf of Mexico, and had she continued on her course, would have made landfall somewhere in southern Texas, not New Orleans. Then, two amazing things happened: once directly south of New Orleans, the hurricane made for all intents and purposes a ninety-degree turn north, and slammed into the city. The second amazing thing - and I recall this vividly because I saw the jet stream tracks - once the hurricane started to head to New Orleans, the jet stream suddenly dropped south, as if someone were trying to steer the hurricane away from the city. It's these two factors - a sudden and abrupt change in the direction of the storm, plus what looked to have been an attempt to avert the disaster (or perhaps even to add more energy to the storm, take your pick), that make me think to this day that the disaster was "disaster capitalism" of both types.
With this as a backdrop, there was something that the article mentioned that caught my eye. Ms. Klein focused attention on the role of corporations in practicing disaster capitalism of the second type, and zeroed in on former Trump Administration Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. At that point, there came this short, but stunning and tought-provoking paragraph:
At a public event in 2012, Tillerson acknowledged that climate change was happening – but what he said next was revealing: “as a species”, humans have always adapted. “So we will adapt to this. Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around – we’ll adapt to that.” (Emphasis added)
Of course, Ms. Klein has written her entire article - in true Guardian fashion - as another hit piece on the Trump administration, refugees, and so on. Like many, it appears she accepts the "climate change" narrative and that it's "man made," a proposition which I accept, though for vastly different reasons than she: the technologies of geophysical engineering and weather manipulation do exist, and any discussion which purports to discuss the subject without reference to them is committing the material omission of a significant chunk of data which changes the narrative - and its promulgators' motivations - immensely.
It's that technology which places Mr. Tillerson's 2012 remarks into a very different and singularly disturbing context. If one can engineer the weather and weather patterns, one can indeed "move crop production areas around." And this, right now, is what is happening in the American plains states, which, beginning in the north and progressing southward, have been hit with a "pattern of weather" that appears to be stuck over the region, producing strange storms and dumping loads of rain, flooding out farms and businesses. Mr. Tillerson, in my high octane speculation of the day, may have in fact let "something slip," and that is precisely the "re-engineering" of food production areas.
If that thesis be true, the one can watch for certain future patterns to emerge: (1) the buying up of more family farms in the flooded regions by corporate interests; (2) the subsequent repair of infrastructure in the affected areas to serve the corporate interests; and (3) similar weather patterns to emerge in other major food production areas of the world, particularly in places perceived to be competitors to the West...
... Russia, for instance...
Weather warfare, and GMO geopolitics, may be set to go hot.
See you on the flip side...