Disaster capitalism, a new variant emerges

Capitalism doesn’t just profit from disasters, as Naomi Klein says. It also, through greed, shortsightedness, and corruption, creates disasters. It could be a real estate bubble, inflated by corruption and a deliberately asleep government, that finally popped and took down the US economy with it. It is also nuclear plants built to inadequate specs and monitored by toothless regulatory agencies that have been compromised by the very industry they pretend to regulate.

In both cases, the causes are the same, a lunatic capitalism that is concerned only with short-term profits and governments who are beholden to and owned by it.

For example

A noted physicist describes what Japan is doing at the reactors as using a squirt gun against a raging forest fire. What’s worse, attempting to dump salt water on the reactors could damage them even further. Instead, he says, do what they did at Chernobyl, bury the reactors in boric acid, sand, and concrete and be done with it.

The reaction from supposedly savvy Japanese government and business to this admittedly huge disaster has been like the Keystone Kops and not anything coherent. No doubt Tepco wants to save the reactors, thus their increasingly deranged attempts do something, anything, and not write them off completely. The government has not been forthcoming and has evaded so consistently that it can no longer be trusted. Instead of championing the needs of their increasingly desperate populace, it manufactures fantasy statements and pretends things will be better soon. Their interests intertwine with those of the corporatists. They are the same. Japan has a disaster, one that is made much worse by an enfeebled government that is more concerned with saving face than saving people and a poisonous form of capitalism that cares little about anything but profits. And that, my friends, is why we have yet another disaster of capitalism.


  1. Well said, take that little step further Bob and admit that there is no other type of capitalism. It is the nature of the beast to put profits first, the pillars that capitalism stands on are, reduce costs, increase market share, maximise profits. To think that any capitalist enterprises can compete in the market place and not follow the golden rules is an illusion and doomed to failure.

    • I think capitalism can work ok on a small scale, like with DJ who makes goat cheese and sells it locally. I can’t see how anyone is getting exploited by that. But on a large scale, and when the government regulatory agencies are complicit and ineffective, I’m not even sure it’s capitalism any more, more like cronyism or a theftocracy.

  2. Is somebody who makes something and sells it really capitalism? is it not the employing of people while you take the biggest slice for yourself where the exploitation comes in and that is real capitalism. Nor is it capitalism to charge people for doing them a service, gardening, cleaning or repairing their car, but employing somebody to repair your car while the employer makes the most money, again is exploitation and that is capitalism. Rather than employing people why not make it a co-operative?

    • It might work as a co-op after a business is established, solid, and of good size. But in the startup of most businesses the owners are working constantly and not making much. If it becomes a co-op, they should get a bigger piece than a new hire. But is that then still exploitation?

  3. Many co-ops start up with groups, others form as it becomes too large for one person to handle, employing others to enrich yourself over and above the others is exploitation. If you NEED somebody in the “business” for it to function, they are a necessary and integral part of that “business” and therefore should be an equal. They should not be there just to enrich you, you are gaining at their expense. Of course you could sit smugly and say you’re giving them a job, but you are using them for your benefit.

    • So how does that work in an economy like in the uS and UK where people move about constantly, going for one job to the next? I’m not saying it can’t work, just curious about the mechanics. Hint: You could do a blog post about it here 🙂

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