Wednesday, February 25, 2009

state within a state

Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine) on the parallel contractor infrastructure built by taxpayer dollars but unaccountable to taxpayers (p.417):

"The emergence of this parallel privatized infrastructure reaches far beyond policing. When the contractor infrastructure built up during the Bush years is looked at as a whole, what is seen is a fully articulated state-within-a-state that is as muscular and capable as the actual state is frail and feeble. This corporate shadow-state has been built almost exclusively with public resources (90 percent of Blackwater's revenues come from state contracts), including the training of its staff (overwhelmingly former civil servants, politicians, and soldiers). Yet the vast infrastructure is all privately owned and controlled. The citizens who have funded it have absolutely no claim to this parallel economy or its resources."

"Under Bush, the state still has all the trappings of a government -- the impressive buildings, presidential press briefings, policy battles -- but it no more does the actual work of governing than the employees at Nike's Beaverton campus stitch running shoes."

with this last comment she ties this development in government to the corporate trend of outsourcing described in her book "No Logo."

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