Welcome to the age of Milton Friedman's ghost, who looks on all suffering with equal opportunism, linking Argentina's junta, terror in Chile, Tiananmen, Boris Yeltsin's tanks, Margaret Thatcher's Falklands, Asia's financial crisis, Africa and Latin America's debt crisis, Canadian David Frum, and Donald Rumsfeld. I'm only 40 pages in but can safely say that this book blows the lid completely off the modern zeitgeist. This despite its sociological style in which the author manages to state hir core thesis seventy-five times using different words by page 24! Say what do we do with this work of actual parrhesia that does with detailed scholarship, historical investigation and synthesized compassion what No End in Sight and Sicko did with these things, and images?
The Bush administration immediately seized upon the fear generated by the attacks not only to launch the "War on Terror" but to ensure that it is an almost completely for-profit venture, a booming new industry that has breathed new life into the faltering U.S. economy. Best understood as a a "disaster capitalism complex," it has much farther-reaching tentacles than the military-industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned against at the end of his presidency: this is global war fought on every level by private companies whose involvement is paid for with public money, with [...] unending mandate. In only a few short years, the complex has already expanded its market reach from fighting terrorism to international peacekeeping, to municipal policing, to responding to increasingly frequent natural disasters. The ultimate goal for the corporations at the center of the complex is to bring the model of for-profit government, which advances so rapidly in extraordinary circumstances, into the ordinary and day-to-day functioning of the state–in effect, to privatize the government.
[...] in market terms, it cannot fail.