The Bizarro World of Disaster Capitalism


You might presume that a massive government intervention into the economy—the $700 billion bailout, the nationalization of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG—would signal a shift away from the free market and towards, in the words of Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY.), "financial socialism." You would be wrong, says Shock Doctrine author Naomi Klein. In fact, the current proposal are merely "attempts to use [the bailout] to push through radical pro-corporate policies." Her evidence that disaster socialism is, in fact, disaster capitalism? Newt Gingrich wrote a column…and in it he suggests that America needs to "return to a Reagan-Thatcher policy of economic growth through fundamental reforms." A sample:

It would be a grave mistake to underestimate the right's ability to use this crisis—created by deregulation and privatization—to demand more of the same. Don't forget that Newt Gingrich's 527 organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future, is still riding the wave of success from its offshore drilling campaign, "Drill Here, Drill Now!" Just four months ago, offshore drilling was not even on the political radar and now the U.S. House of Representatives has passed supportive legislation. Gingrich is holding an event this Saturday, September 27 that will be broadcast on satellite television to shore up public support for these controversial policies.

Klein discusses her piece with Amy Goodman here.