21 Sep There’s Nothing Natural About Puerto Rico’s Disaster
September 21st, 2018
By Naomi Klein
I’ve been digging into disaster capitalism for a couple of decades now. For those of you who are new to the term, disaster capitalism is about how the already rich and powerful systematically exploit the pain and the trauma of collective shocks like superstorms or economic crisis in order to build an even more unequal and undemocratic society.
Long before Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was a textbook example. Before those fierce winds came, the debt illegitimate and much of it illegal was the excuse used to ram through a brutal program of economic suffering, what the great Argentine author Rodolfo Walsh, writing about four decades earlier, famously called miseria planificada, planned misery.
This program systematically attacked the very glue that holds a society together: all levels of education, health care, the electricity and water systems, transit systems, communication networks, and more.