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.
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.