NYTimes: “Disaster Industrial Complex”

By Seth Freed Wessler Sep 03, 2008

Since when does the New York Times coin phrases to describe the world that echo the subtitles of Naomi Klein’s books? In a recent Times blog post, Michael Lewis wrote, "New Orleans, and the Disaster Industrial Complex (DIC) that now feeds on it, called a play that would have worked beautifully against Katrina." The term sounds a lot like Klein’s "Disaster Capitalism," the title of her latest book. Klein’s theory, rephrased by Lewis, is that Neoliberalism’s rise as the dominant political-economic frame of the day is not the result of democratic "free will" but rather of sneaky exploitation in moments of emergency, catastrophe and disaster. New Orleans is case-in-point of this theory where the chaos and confusion that followed Katrina opened space for private interests, from Blackwater to construction companies, to flood in after the waters and take over the city. Seems like the theory might be getting some feet seeing as its walked into the Times. Fortunately for those in New Orleans, the relative calm of the storm may not have exposed too much new terrain for the Disaster Industrial Complex to exploit; though l am sure it’ll find some.