Haitian shock space?

There is no shortage of coverage of the horrific events in Haiti these last few days.  See, for example, the informative maps at The New York Times.  The Real News is an excellent place for alternative coverage, with original slants, and informative content from up-and-coming journalists and broadcasters. In the video below, for example, Jesse Freeston, adds to his growing reputation as an informed and sharp observer of events in and around the Caribbean and Latin America.

What’s original here, at least in terms of a lot of the Irish coverage of the Haiti earthquake, is that Freeston questions whether the United States will use crisis there as a guise to pursue what Naomi Klein has called the ‘shock doctrine’ – a project of neoliberalizing a place in a time of crisis and when possible opposition to such changes is weak. Freeston’s question seems pertinent. As Klein noted in her 2007 book, new neoliberal policies were immediately pursued and then implemented in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans in 2005. ‘There’s no opportunity like a crisis to make some radical changes’ –  or so says the shock doctrine.


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