Katrina and The Shock Doctrine

“Something else was familiar [i.e. similar to Iraq]: the contractors’ aversion to hiring local people who might have seen the reconstruction of New Orleans not only as a job but as part of healing and re-empowering their communities. Washington could easily have made it a condition of every Katrina contract that companies hire local people at decent wages to help them put their lives back together. Instead, the residents of the Gulf Coast, like the people of Iraq, were expected to watch as contractors created an economic boom based on easy taxpayer money and relaxed regulations.”

“Not so long ago, disasters were periods of social levelling, rare moments when atomized communities put divisions aside and pulled together. Increasingly, however, disasters are the opposite: they provide windows into a cruel and ruthlessly divided future in which money and race buy survival.”

“It’s not about the people trusting the government — it’s about the government trusting the people.”

Rules should fit local circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to common resource management. Rules should be dictated by local people and local ecological needs.Participatory decision-making is vital. There are all kinds of ways to make it happen, but people will be more likely to follow the rules if they had a hand in writing them. Involve as many people as possible in decision-making.

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Former management consultant who stepped out of the ordinary to row oceans solo. Currently writing and podcasting at www.rozsavage.com

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