“Disaster capitalism” is as old as capitalism itself – The Connecticut Examiner
The idea that crises can be used to disorient, manipulate history, and cultivate societal change is nothing new. “Catastrophe capitalism” is as old as capitalism itself. Baron Rothschild, 18 years olde British nobleman of the century whose banking family loaned money (at huge interest) to warring factions, including the Lincoln Feds and the Davis Confederacy, put it bluntly. “Time to buy,” he said. “It’s when there is blood on the streets.” Taking the same thief baron approach, Wall Street, CEOs, and American industrialists routinely hedge the bets by investing in crises and exploiting desperation. In his last presidential address, Dwight Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial-political complex and the risks of tying economic incentives to perpetual war and global instability. Sixty years later, spending more on militarism than the next nine nations combined is still the US status quo. Big Pharma is gorging itself on preventable disease, profiting from diabetes and cancer, obesity, high blood pressure and the spread of COVID and flu and vaccine showers. As we allow widespread misinformation, tweak our thumbs on climate change and travel needlessly, the mere suggestion of bad news drives up the prices of oil and others.
The most revealing of Naomi Klein’s “shock doctrine” is its transition between the economic ideologies of Milton Friedman and the end of the 20th century.e the opportunism of the century and the syndications of power brokers. Libertarians, business leaders and political elites are lining up in multinational cartels to promote their individual wealth and private interests at the expense of the state. America’s business models and financial sectors base their quarterly profits on the exploitation and prolongation of crises, ravaging the biosphere and inflexible mythological enemies. Anyone seen as a threat to these dividends, globally or nationally, is called an enemy. Permanent markets require permanent conflicts and crises. So, as long as terrorists are seen as pervasive and unreasonable, wars can go on forever. If protecting tropical rainforests and other ecosystems, the diversity of species and natural resources is antithetical to the accumulation of wealth, the finite is presented as unlimited. The American economy is based on endless wars with life itself, and at the national level, as each successive act of violence produces backlash, calls for “strong men”, militarization and destruction. “Law and order” is home to police states.
Fox News and radical right-wing Trump sect repeat talking points to brainwash sidekicks by making them think of the southern border, big lies of voter fraud and gunshots in cities will tip the 2022 election Historically, however, immigration reform, xenophobia, and street violence have been a constant in America. What changes the situation is global warming which, thanks to 40 years of procrastination, remains frozen, deteriorating infrastructure. Eighty-three percent of the west is in severe drought; a million acres burned from LA to Montana last week; record high temperatures killed hundreds in the Northwest and across Canada; and Connecticut is having one of its wettest and most crop-flooded Julys. Anthropogenic climate change is also contributing to mass extinctions around the world. Meanwhile, U.S. collective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has stalled. Politically motivated resistance to COVID injections and the wearing of masks, combined with the resurgence of indoor / outdoor activities and other relaxed restrictions, are leading to an increase in delta-variant infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
Other mandates are clear. Before 2022, the Biden administration, in addition to fighting against voter suppression, is expected to crack down on militia groups, dangerously branding crime, insurgency and homicidal overthrow as patriotism. The recruitment of former members of the police and military for delusional acts of terrorism and betrayal must stop. In addition, parents’ careers and childhood development cannot be optimized at the same time as stimulating the economy. With 1 million neural connections forming every second of an infant’s first year, it’s time for a resurgence of competent employer- or government-run child care centers like the ones that operated (≥ 3,100) during WWII .
Scott Deshefy is a biologist, environmentalist and two-time Green Party congressional candidate.