In Iraq, New Orleans and much of Indonesia, natural disaster led to the implementation of what Naomi Klein calls ‘Disaster Capitalism‘. This form of economic exploitation has intellectual underpinnings, and is commonly known as ‘neo liberal economics’. The philosophy and its execution relies heavily on having a ‘clean slate’ on which to test the theory of free, and its proponents have ruthlessly exploited political and natural mishaps to do so.
The results have been universally disastrous, yet there is still a hunger continue the policies.
The current crisis in Haiti is severe enough for the free market militants to trumpet the cause again, and we should expect a full out assault on the economy when the dust has cleared. Michelle Malkin and other conservatives of her particular brand have been quick to jump on Haiti, slamming its leadership and history of poverty and violence and using the disaster to vent their political opinions. The US, they say, must insist on Haiti following free market principles. The problem is, they did that before, and it didn’t go so well.
The disaster relief is of vital importance, but the rebuilding afterward could be even more crucial if Haiti is to survive in the long term. The hawks are circling, and we must remain vigilant if we are to stop them claiming another victim.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.