6
Sep
2005

Nature is politics

CounterPunch
by Alexander Cockburn

09/03/05

Nature really kicks the door down once in a while, and let's us know how humans have made a mess of things .... There are all sorts of bargains the rich and the powerful in any society make with the poor. But one way or another ­through bread, circuses, the dole, the promise that Anyone Can Make It there's the offer of a deal: Don't make trouble: we'll take care of you. Empires collapse when the offer the "marginal rate of return" becomes empty: we won't take care of you. Or, we can't take care of you. We don't need you and we're not frightened of you. We're at that point here. Malthus, a Christian, proposed locating the surplus poor next to unhealthy marshes, in the hope they would get sick and die. How much of a difference is there between that and the "emergency preparedness" and evacuation procedures before, during and after Katrina? How did Washington perceive New Orleans and most of the Gulf coast? Basically as a vast huddle of the mostly poor and the mostly black. So, year after year, they denied funds to shore up levees that all experts agree are bound to give way in more than a Force Three storm. They hollowed out every state economy so that in the end Mississippi's tax base was its cut of the gambling take, from floating casinos because the Christians said the Devil's Work couldn't take place on dry land...

//www.counterpunch.org/cockburn09032005.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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