A few days ago, my co-worker was “reminiscing” about the days post 9/11 when America bonded like no other time in history, when patriotism intensified, and the call to duty was amplified. He recalled when stores nationwide ran out of flags, patriotic pins, and supportive bumper stickers. Our conversation sparked my interest in how capitalism thrived after the 2001 attacks in America. After some research on the subject matter, I ran across a book titled: “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” The author, Naomi Klein examined–among several fascinating capitalistic gains– the responsiveness of the stock market, the Bush administration’s exploitation of 9/11, and the billion dollar contracts that GE won to produce bomb detection devices. I got completely absorbed in the book and just finished reading it.
However, I was left with infinite questions when I started applying Klein’s examples to a Sudanese context. Other than the hundreds of the overpaid “extra” UN workers, which businesses are thriving due to “disaster capitalism?” In the US for example, GE’s advantage is twofold: it is involved in the weapons industry, while simultaneously gaining from the “atmosphere of fear and crisis” it spreads through media outlets—GE owns NBC. Klein described disaster capitalism perfectly when she said: “its war against evil everywhere with no end. That’s a war that can’t be won, and you couldn’t ask for a more profitable business plan. The only thing that threatens it is peace.” I can’t help but wonder, what is Sudan’s GE?