Disaster Capitalism and COVID-19

The following is a project created by Media Studies student Eden Turner for the course, Media, Culture, and Global Politics, taught by faculty member Nina Khrushcheva.

The world is living through an unprecedented health crisis, and many aspects of personal and public life remain uncertain. A pandemic of this magnitude proves the perfect opportunity for governments to push through radical agendas, but the question remains, whose agenda will be prioritized?

Historically in the United States, a trend has developed following crises, where corporations end up on top, public programs are slashed and left to die, and the middle and lower classes are left in the throes of a recession.

The idea of certain individuals or companies profiting off of a disaster is what author Naomi Klein calls “disaster capitalism.” The Donald Trump administration has wasted no time pushing through a profit-driven right-wing agenda that will decimate the environment and leave millions at risk.

Throughout the following presentation, we will follow the work of Naomi Klein outlined in her 2007 book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” and use it in order to analyze the ways in which the US government has taken advantage of the current COVID-19 crisis.