Top Definition
(POLICY) an extreme form of capitalism created in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. In some cases, as in Chile (1973), the disaster is a coup d'etat with the express purpose of imposing disaster capitalism. In other cases, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, it is a genuine natural disaster that literally kills.

After some disasters, the authorities in some countries may well respond by imposing "reforms" that would have been impossible before. These include: (1) privatization of public property, making it unavailable to the indigenous people; (2) arbitrary elimination of laws ("deregulation"); and (3) slashing democratically chosen programs that help ordinary citizens ("austerity programs").

The concept was popularized in Naomi Klein's excellent 2007 book, *The Shock Doctrine*.
"Disaster capitalism" is neoliberalism imposed undemocratically. It exploits natural disasters, civil wars, foreign invasions, coups d'etat, terrorism, or explicit deception. It always seeks to make its changes irreversible.

Naomi Klein mostly blames the International Monetary Fund, but there are other culprits as well.
by Abu Yahya July 10, 2010

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